Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The existence of a third Bill & Ted movie in the Year of Our Lord 2020 is both inexplicable and inevitable. The first two movies – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, from 1989 (though it was intended for 1988) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, from 1991 – are a pair of films incredibly of […]

Whether you consider it a strength, or the movie’s most damning flaw, I think this much cannot be denied: The Godfather, Part II knows the scale of the movie it’s following, and it is hellbent on topping it. 1972’s The Godfather, adapted from Mario Puzo’s 1969 crime novel, was never supposed to be one of […]

The Bill & Ted series is made up of nothing but miracles. 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure obviously intended to be nothing but a disposable lark, mocking some cultural trends of the day on the way to being forgotten by the world at large; instead, based really on nothing I can point to except […]

Nobody who ended up in Director Jail has ever deserved it less than Joe Dante. Out of the first six features on which he received sole directorial credit – Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), and The ‘Burbs (1989) – only Explorers lost money, and of the remaining five, Innerspace […]

Also check out my review of the Italian cut It is a common observation and an accurate one that independent Pittsburgh-based director George A. Romero invented the modern zombie film more or less entirely out of thin air with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. But I think the reason that the zombie film turned […]

I find myself in the ridiculous position of having approached a made-for-Syfy killer crocodile movie, that’s also the fourth film in a franchise, with sufficiently high hopes that it was capable of disappointing me. This is, to be clear, entirely a me problem, and not much at all a problem with Lake Placid: The Final […]

I can think of no reason for Lake Placid 3, a made-for-Syfy movie from 2010, to be the best Lake Placid movie up to that point; I can think even less of a reason for it to any good at all. And yet. Now, is it really three-stars good, as I have indicated on yonder […]

1999’s Lake Placid does have its fans, and I’m certainly not going to try to take it away from them. Lord knows I don’t want it. That film was directed by slasher expert Steve Miner, but much more importantly, it was written by television auteur David E. Kelley, then at the absolute height of his […]

The powerful thirst of the Italian children’s movie marketplace for animated Titanic features was not slaked at one, nor even two. That is why, five years after the batshit crazy The Legend of the Titanic and four years after that film’s gruesome rip-off Titanic: The Legend Goes On…, the world finally received a proper sequel […]

First and most importantly: the title of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon can be parsed as a meaning-carrying phrase in English, and is thus a substantial improvement on its 2015 predecessor, Shaun the Sheep Movie, whose title is a syntactically incoherent mash-up of nouns. This is, I’m a little sad the say, one of […]

If the whole point of a movie is that it follows the narrative logic of a video game, I wonder: does that mean that giving that film a “the same thing only with a few purely cosmetic tweaks” type of sequel actually counts as a strength? This question arrives on the back of Jumanji: The […]

There’s one main reason any film gets a sequel: because some producers got a bit of money, and want to get a bit more. And for the great majority of sequels, that’s where it stops, which is why so many of them are such joyless retreads, doing the same thing but bigger and louder (or, […]