Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In the words of Robert Worshow, “A man goes to the movies. The critic must be honest enough to admit that he is that man,” and in that spirit, I will lead with my bias: the 2012 Walt Disney Animation Studios release Wreck-It Ralph, 52nd entry in the company’s official canon of animated features, is […]

In the film Rampage, in the office of its over-the-top villains, there is a copy of the 1986 arcade game Rampage, and this cute gesture raises ontological questions that the film is unprepared to address. Does Rampage exist within the universe of Rampage? Do the characters in the movie in fact realise that they are […]

Steven Spielberg has indicated during the press tour for Ready Player One that it had, alongside Jaws and Saving Private Ryan, one of the very hardest shoots of any film he’s ever directed. I think this is a slightly odd claim to make publicly – “this shoot was a grueling misery and it took everything […]

My hat’s off to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: it surely does seem to mean its title literally. When it’s over, the series mythology has been wrapped up nice and snug, and while it leaves the promise that there will be many more adventures to be had in this universe, it does so in exactly […]

The good news is that Assassin’s Creed is probably the most stylish video game adaptation ever, for what that’s worth. As you may have heard, movies based on video games sometimes aren’t very good. So the bar for Ass. Creed to stand out was in fact quite low. But still, let’s not get to pissing […]

A review requested by Ben Gruchow, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The bar for movies based on video games is low enough so that my judgment of 1995’s Mortal Kombat – it’s not just the best one, but is the best one by a whole lot – […]

Warcraft is not a disastrously bad movie. Would that it were. Then there might be some chance that enough people would gravitate towards it over the years as a camp spectacle to redeem it as gloriously awful, the fate that has rescued so many other movies based on video games, from Street Fighter to the […]

There’s some real nice texturing, that’s what there is. I mean, real nice textures. In the extreme close-ups of the birds’ bodies (of which there aren’t all that many, but enough to make the point), you can see feathers that have been individually delineated, and even barbs that have been individually delineated, all of them […]

In any film genre, however disreputable and totally without merit, there’s still going to be the “best” of its kind. And so, here we are, and I find myself committing in print to the notion that 1995’s Mortal Kombat, the film that put Paul W.S. Anderson on the map (insofar as he ever actually was […]

A version of this review was published at the Film Experience There’s a good movie to be made out of Pixels, and it would be the easiest thing in the world to get there. First, keep all of the visual effects setpieces from the movie as it exists, for they are surprisingly beautiful and convincing […]

Every week 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 notorious insta-flop Pixels is an adventure about a group of competition-level video game players. It’s also pandering to […]

The regular readers in the crowd know that I ordinarily spend a disastrously large number of words reviewing films in the Disney animated features canon, of which the new Wreck-It Ralph is the 52nd; and I will perhaps do that some day for this movie, after I have a chance to live with it for […]