Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

This review is based on the 2011 Blu-ray, a version that is different from the theatrical release in the form of one minor scene extended by a couple of lines of dialogue, and a redone visual effect. The consensus of opinion has been that Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the best of the Star Wars prequels basically since the minute its premiere ended, and while […]

This review is based on the slightly extended cut released to digital cinemas at the time of the film’s initial release and the direct basis for the initial DVD release, prior to some re-ordering of shots in subsequent home video releases. Out of the seven subtitles given to the theatrically-released live-action Star Wars films as of 2015, they are mostly, let’s be honest, pretty bad (the exception is the stately, […]

This review is based on the extended cut available on the initial DVD release of the film, 3 minutes longer than the original theatrical cut and lacking some CGI embellishments made to the later home video editions. I come to bury the Star Wars prequels, really I do. But that’s easy and obvious, and with everybody on the internet having by now encountered the Red Letter Media reviews, it’s also […]

Transformers and its sequels are not very brainy films. I think that we can all agree on that, regardless of how we specifically feel about the films otherwise. They are, in fact, about as non-brainy as science fiction cinema gets. And this is typically held against them by people and critics who would like our movies to trigger some distinguishable amount of mental activity in the viewer’s mind while partaking […]

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: now we have Transformers: Age of Extinction out in the world, and I don’t even know what to do with that fact. There are only so many things you can do with movies about […]

My apologies to Bryan Singer and his Jack the Giant Slayer, which I’ve been mocking for months as being the most ridiculous extreme of the “let’s make fairy tales darker and edgier and violent and action-packed” trend that led through Red Riding Hood and Beastly up to this year’s strange self-parody Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. In fact, it is played unusually bright and cheery for a fantasy movie made […]

So as it turns out, the cultural hegemony angle on The Impossible is a bit of a non-starter. You know the one I’m talking about, if you’ve been paying much attention to the talk around the movie: the first major international film about the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which tells the story of how hundreds of thousands of impoverished Southeast Asian residents died in one of the worst natural disasters […]

Not so long ago, I cracked, in regards to Mike Mills’s second feature directorial outing Beginners, “if you’ve ever nurtured the desire to see Christopher Plummer dancing in a gay club, you’ve got your chance”. The joke turns out to be on me: Christopher Plummer dancing in a gay club takes up all of three seconds of the whole feature. But Christopher Plummer playing a gay man who, after 75 […]

For the second month in a row, I’ve managed to bring my preview in late. It’s that Miyazaki feller that’s to blame. Actually, it’s likelier that I’m finding it even harder than most years to find anything in these first months to get excited about. And summer’s just around the corner, movie-wise! So let’s dive into the last dregs of whatever the studios think isn’t good enough for a sexier […]

If Roman Polanski never makes another film after The Ghost Writer, the very least we’ll be able to say about the man is this: he managed to end his career with a pretty crackerjack thriller, no masterpiece on the scale of Chinatown or Knife in the Water (and really, how could it be?), but a smart, tight picture that looks just nifty and goes down as smooth as a glass […]

There was every reason to assume that Angels & Demons would be a better movie than The Da Vinci Code back in 2006, for a simple reason: the novel by Dan Brown that Angels is based on was better than its sequel, which was largely content to repeat it in most important ways, with the only difference being that The Da Vinci Code replaced Angels‘s fairly sedate Illuminati-flavored adventure mystery […]

I have just learned that Jules Dassin, director of such crime/noir masterpieces as Naked City, Thieves’ Highway, and Rififi, among many other films in an exceptionally varied career, has passed away at the age of 96. One can’t really have a moment of silence on a blog very well, but I’m going to ask for one anyway. Anyhow, April’s movies: the last bastion of smallish projects before Popcorn Season hits. […]