Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

If there is one thing that I was not prepared for with Disney’s much-delayed Jungle Cruise, an action-adventure based on the Disneyland theme park ride that has been ready to go since late 2019, it’s that I would negatively compare it to the 1972 Werner Herzog film Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Which is not […]

In deference to the very vocal minority of internet cinephile types who have decided to use the new film Old to declare that M. Night Shyamalan has Actually Always Been Good, I will say this: the directing certain is not lazy. Shyamalan has quite a remarkable number of tricks laid out to make what’s very […]

We’ve got to start somewhere, so why not with the question that I’ve been kicking around in my head since I finished Space Jam: A New Legacy: how can anyone worship a God vindictive and hateful enough to allow this movie to exist? No wait, that’s the other question I’ve been kicking around. The one […]

Black Widow is, on balance, a largely blank experience: devoid of anything particularly obnoxious other than a 133-minute running time that it seems to view as an obligation rather than an opportunity for expansive storytelling, pretty formulaic in every single element of its storytelling, packed with hollow action scenes that don’t hurt to watch, nor […]

Everything that is worst about F9 – or to give its mildly bizarre, never-seen-onscreen full title, F9: The Fast Saga – is exactly the same as everything that makes it such a wonderfully ludicrous, over-the-top joy to behold. As the first honest-to-God watch-it-on-the-biggest screen possible Hollywood popcorn blockbuster in over a year, since the repulsive […]

This does not strike me as an unreasonable set of expectations: give me a movie musical with lots of wide shots to show off the dancing, long takes to serve the same end, tuneful songs to drive the dancing forward, and good color saturation to make it all pop off the screen, and I’m happy. […]

One might hold any opinion they like about Guy Ritchie, the onetime English enfant terrible whose career as a director of feature films is now entering its 23rd year, but I think we can agree at least on this: he has a “thing”. He has so much of a “thing”, in fact, that he has […]

Whatever one things of the seven films to date that make up the Conjuring Universe – I admire their guileless commitment to the “jump out and say boo!” qualities of a good cheesy ghost story, and the thick mountains of period atmosphere they wrap that commitment in – surely we must all agree that the […]

I don’t usually like to play this game, but if Unhinged isn’t the perfect film to embody the 2020 movie year, I don’t know what. First, there’s what it “is”: a script, by Carl Ellsworth (who was knocking out mediocre thrillers at a nice clip in the late 2000s, and then suddenly went completely dark […]

So help me, I really do feel sorry for The New Mutants and the poor saps who made it. If all had gone according to plan, it would have slunk into theaters in April 2018, gotten bored reviews comparing it unfavorably to Logan as an example of trying to do a different genre than action-thriller […]

I do not like to start reviews with the most obvious possible statement that hundreds of people before me have already pointed out, but sometimes it doesn’t pay to be clever. And so: the 2000 ancient world epic Gladiator is quite clearly what you get when 1995’s Braveheart and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan have a […]

Nobody who ended up in Director Jail has ever deserved it less than Joe Dante. Out of the first six features on which he received sole directorial credit – Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), and The ‘Burbs (1989) – only Explorers lost money, and of the remaining five, Innerspace […]