Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I will tell you what I like about Homefront: nothing. I will also, however, tell you what I like about REVIEWING Homefront, which is that the film offers a perfectly gift-wrapped opportunity to offer up thought pieces on the career and star persona of its leading man, Jason Statham. This is not a subject that […]

The charms of The Expendables weren’t just ephemeral and one-note, they were about as obviously one-note as it gets: lots of ’80s action stars, having hit the age where getting money any which way they can sounds just great, are finally all appearing in the same motion picture, and that’s how we got the best […]

In its funny little way, Safe might end up being 2012’s most important meta-commentary on both the possibilities and the limitations of movie stardom, and particularly the concept of the star persona, though I am very close to 100% certain that this was not the intent. The key thing about the film, of course, is […]

Not being an idiot, I didn’t actually expect Killer Elite to be any damn good, excited though I was for the prospect of watching Jason Statham square off against Clive Owen. Yet Killer Elite was far, far worse than would have seemed possible, even with those two not-entirely-infallible actors, even with Robert De Niro, who […]

Upon reflection, I’m a bit surprised it took this long for Jason Statham to star in a Charles Bronson remake. They fill the same niche in the Action Movie Star ecosystem: perpetually pissed-off tough guy who looks kind of scary no matter what he’s doing, and kills people with more a sense of brutality than […]

That the last five years or so have seen a tremendous flowering of ’80s pop culture nostalgia is obvious enough that it hardly even needs pointing out: the result, presumably of the generational cohort old enough to have attended junior high and high school in that decade come to positions of authority in the entertainment […]

The passage of almost three years has done nothing to temper my embarrassing enthusiasm for Crank, the Jason Statham vehicle where he plays Chev Chelios, a hitman given an exotic poison that forces him into all sorts of ridiculously contrived situations where he must do something outlandish to keep his heart rate up. So I […]

The Luc Besson-produced The Transporter and its sequel Transporter 2 are by all means dumb action movies, according to any reasonable definition of “dumb” that I can imagine. But they are both a great deal of fun also, and I do not deny having a certain affection for dumb fun. Particularly in the case of […]

Hey kids, it’s time for Compare ‘N Contrast! In 1975, Roger Corman produced Death Race 2000, a freaked-out exploitation film cum satire, in which the United Provinces of America, circa the year 2000, has turned into a fascist state (and possibly a communist fascist state at that) with a fetish for Roman-style entertainment and neo-Nazism. […]

I typically try to avoid doing multi-film posts, but given that I’ve just seen two movies that I liked for almost exactly the same reasons, it seemed like it might be okay just this once. Both are entirely unimaginative but extremely well-built, and immensely entertaining not because of their innovation, but because of how solidly […]

Most of us who are out of our teens can probably agree that, although some extremely good movies are made in the modern day, all but the very best simply can’t compete with the films of the past. Especially in America, where even the “art film” is a marketable genre rather than an indicator of […]

On paper, and just about everywhere else (including, once upon a time, this weblog), it’s pretty easy to dismiss Crank as “D.O.A.-meets-Speed.” There’s no question as to why this should be the case: a hitman wakes up to find a DVD informing him that he’s been poisoned, and if his adrenaline drops too low, he […]