Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

First things first: Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart, in that order, are the whole set of reasons to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. If none of those names stir any kind of pleasure in your heart, or worse still, if those names raise your hackles, it’s probably safest to ignore […]

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 […]

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, […]