To apply an overused turn of phrase, good mystery stories are typically not about the destination, but rather the journey. Despite this, the ending should still be a satisfying reveal, or else the journey would’ve been for nothing. Unfortunately based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express could’ve been an okay film, had it not managed to fumble its way to a disappointing ending.
Batman. Superman. Wonder Woman. The Flash. Cyborg. Aquaman. These are some of comic book history’s most storied heroes ever who have saved infinite dimensions from countless cataclysmic events — but they just can’t seem to beat public perception. Justice League takes place shortly after the events of Batman vs Superman. Superman’s death in the battle against Doomsday seems to have made the rounds on the inter-galactic Internet and the grossly overly-CGIed big bad Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) randomly shows up on Earth to do comically generic bad guy things. Guilt-ridden by his role in Superman’s death, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) attempt to recruit some new metahumans to help them push back against Steppenwolf’s invading army of parademons.
If a self-proclaimed lover of the arts doesn’t acknowledge how pretentious the world of art can be, they just might be a total hack. As the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, the event’s highest honor, Ruben Ӧstlund’s The Square is a dissection of the human conscience, served with a dose of mockery directed at the pompous attitudes of the artistic world.
As contradictory as it sounds, it’s difficult to make a film bad on purpose for the sake of parody. On top of needing to be cheesy and ironically bad, such a film needs to be genuinely well-made and well-written to boot. Films such as Airplane! (1981), This is Spinal Tap (1984), and Hot Fuzz (2007) are prime examples of a movie that’s made hokey and awkward on purpose. Similar to these films, Scott Sanders’ Black Dynamite (2009) is a parody of both action movies and the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, which is not only completely self-aware in its ridiculousness, but has the quality to back it up.
For a disaster movie that shows very few disasters, Dean Devlin’s Geostorm (2017) might be bad, but not a total nightmare of a movie. Gerard Butler plays Jake, the leading man and creator of “Dutch Boy”, a set of satellites designed to control earth’s climate. After a series of technical malfunctions, his brother Max, who now has been given control over the satellite operation, quickly discovers that the errors in the system are not a complete accident. With Jake sent to the space station that runs “Dutch Boy”, the two brothers work together in attempt to prevent a massive Geostorm. Continue reading Geostorm, naturally a disaster
Many would agree that on a fundamental level, any film worth watching should be one of the following: a well-made film, or fun to watch – though preferably it should be both. Jigsaw (2017) is the sequel to Saw VII, aka Saw 3D, aka Saw: The Final Chapter (2010), and despite it being a continuation of a series even fans wanted to stay dead and buried, the film is both a significant improvement over the later entries of the series, and it’s such a laughably dumb movie that I honestly didn’t want the film to end.
A crime-mystery thriller based on a bestselling novel about a detective hunting down Norway’s first serial killer sounds like an excellent film on paper. Adapting a novel that acts as an entry in a long-standing series of stories that’ve been described as “page-turning narratives featuring Norway’s own Sherlock Holmes” should be simple and straightforward. You’d think it’d be easy for a talented cast and crew featuring Martin Scorsese, Tomas Alfredson, and Michael Fassbender, among many others, to subvert the clichés of the crime-mystery genre and produce a competent and enjoyable film at the very least.
But they didn’t.