Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

Author’s note, January 2017: I used to have you might call a bug up my butt about this franchise. Let’s say that although I stand by this review, I don’t actually agree with it. Typically, we do not want bad movies to have sequels; we want bad movies to go far away and stop ruining […]

Author’s note, January 2017: I used to have you might call a bug up my butt about this franchise. Let’s say that although I stand by this review, I don’t actually agree with it. I do not suppose that any of my habitual readers were anxious for me to watch and review Resident Evil: Afterlife, […]

A more disciplined viewer than I could probably watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World all the way through without constantly thinking about the six-volume comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley upon which it’s based; and that viewer would, I suppose, enjoy the film more than I did. And I enjoyed it plenty, given the […]

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: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hasn’t managed to light to world on fire, and in this it’s […]

If you absolutely must see a new-release movie this weekend, your choice is between Sex and the City 2, a reductive and insulting view of femininity-as-commodity laced with a stunning undercurrent of reflexive American cultural superiority that creaks along for 146 unending minutes; or you can see something bad. Okay, fair is fair, I’d be […]

You’d expect one thing out of a movie with the words “street” and “fighter” in the title, and one of the greatest failures of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is how very little fighting actually goes on in its modestly convoluted plot about a young woman getting her revenge on a murderous Irish real-estate […]