Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Every Sunday this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: the remake of Conan the Barbarian introduces a new generation to the pop hero of Weird Tales, one of […]

And now we come to an important moment indeed in the development of Michael Mann’s directorial personality: his first experiment with film vocabulary. In this latter part of his career, he’s become famous – infamous, in some circles – for being an arch-stylist, which is a simpler way of saying that he likes to bend […]

aNow here’s something surprising: after Halloween II, producer John Carpenter wanted to take his franchise away from the implacable killer Michael Myers (who was, at any rate, dead), and try something with little precedent in cinema history. Going forward, every new Halloween film would be a stand-alone horror story set on October 31, and so […]

For this summer’s slasher festivities, I selected the Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises for the most pragmatic of reasons: I’d already done Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, and I simply picked the next two biggest names in the subgenre. But as I reach Halloween II, I’m stunned by how many […]

The Silence of the Lambs, released exactly sixteen years ago today, is almost certainly the finest American film about serial killers, because it’s not “about” serial killers. It’s about Clarice Starling, FBI trainee, and how she stared evil in the face in order to stop another evil. It’s somewhere between a fable and a character […]