Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Girls Trip – a title in desperate, aching need of an apostrophe, but that’s neither here nor there – is made out of stock ingredients, and nothing can change that. But then, comfort food is by design made out of stock ingredients, and Girls Trip is supremely comforting. “The uptight one, the one with a […]

In ten feature-length documentaries made over a 35-year span, Errol Morris has played with different styles, different tones, different genres (he is, in no small part, the reason we can speak about “different genres” of documentary film in the first place), and different intentions, but one thing has remained constant. Ten times out of ten, […]

I’ll tell you what, Collateral Beauty only wishes it could Collateral Beauty as well as The Book of Henry does. This summer’s entry in the “uplifting sentimental treacle made by people who learned about humanity by studying our robots” genre has, like that film, a plot swerve so unbelievably apeshit that I cannot imagine how […]

It’s genuinely shocking to me that Lion is as good as it is, for as long as it is. It’s Harvey Weinstein’s duly-anointed champion for the Oscar season, which has only rarely been a good sign in the 21st Century and is frequently the biggest red flag I can think of. And that becomes an […]

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a movie full of what they used to call “heart”. They still do, I guess, but in general I don’t know that “heart” is in terribly high regard these days. Generally speaking, movies that are long on heart tend to also be mildly awful, is the thing, and this is […]

Here’s my pitch: Pixar Animation Studios needs to make more films with birds. Because here we are, with the company’s newest short film Piper, which is exquisite: the studio has not released such a beguiling, immediately engaging little miniature in the sixteen years since For the Birds (which remains my favorite Pixar short – not […]

Categories: animation, pixar, warm fuzzies

An unyielding commitment to honesty in the face of the supremely obvious demands that I concede that Forrest Gump, a gargantuan box-office hit that was the highest-grossing film at the U.S. box office in 1994 and the fourth-highest-grossing film in U.S. history at the time of its release, the winner of six Oscars including Best […]

Now that we’ve hit film #3, and given that the worldwide box office take so far makes it seem somewhat unlikely that film #4 is in the offing, we are able to speak of the “Kung Fu Panda Trilogy”. And as far as I’m concerned, we are able to speak of it in especially fond […]

The Good Dinosaur is, in the first place, a kids’ film. That’s meant to be a categorical judgment, though there’ve been more than a few people out there making it as a value judgment. And that’s fair – it’s been a rocky few years for Pixar Animation Studios, with their first outright bad film, Cars […]

It’s not enough to claim, as I was almost content to do, that The Peanuts Movie shows up as a very good example of how to do modernisation right. Upgrading Charles Schulz’s achingly melancholic comic strip that ran from 1950 to 2000, and the considerably less melancholic but sometimes nearly as iconic TV specials that […]

A second review requested by Brian Malbon, with thanks for contributing twice to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Concision is nice and all, but it’s hard not to be jealous that in 2001, those of us in the English-speaking world got a movie with the blunt, sensible title Amélie, while in France, […]

A review requested by Kari Johnson, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. You have to hold it just right, but Curious George is sort of the exact moment that traditional animation died in the American studio system. There have been only four theatrically-released studio features animated in a […]