The Mummy (2017)

What was once a man’s desperate quest to resurrect his lost lover ala Dracula has been turned into a petulant girl’s desire to reincarnate the god she serves ala Suicide Squad. Could there be a more fitting beginning to this venture? This is shaping up to be a cinematic universe in the same way that a mime doing the invisible box gag is shaping up to be an opera.

Mary Poppins Returns

When Mary Poppins pops out on stage in stockings and Mia Wallace hair I was reminded of some Mary Poppins-themed miniskirt ensembles I saw in a shop window in Disney Springs. From then on, I was half-afraid of the Banks home staging a rendition of the sexy maid porno situation. I’m fairly certain Andrews’ version would have scoffed the scanty jollity of this number in particular. I’m positive that author P.L. Travers would have wept.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Cuarón colludes with us like one of Harry’s helpful army of British character actors whispering in our ear in a language we understand without knowing, or a clever dad with a dark and silly secret. This is the first Harry Potter film that feels like an open book. It’s the best teen film ever made.

Alien: Resurrection

Alien: Resurrection is not unified by its cynicism as Robocop was. It’s not a satire of us, but just a satire of Alien movies. It’s never boring and that’s actually something, in the realm of fourth entries. The reason this film is in the category of “Everyone Else is Wrong” is not because I think it’s good, but because I don’t know what people were expecting.

The Cloverfield Paradox

I have not in recent memory seen a film whose concept is more divergent from its filmmaking than The Cloverfield Paradox. It is a movie so dumbfoundingly predictable and yet so incomprehensible that it becomes meaningless even as an average film, a paradox only in the sense that its grand pretensions cannot occupy the same space as the need to connect a franchise that was never intended to be cohesive.

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Superman II is exciting even in its flaws: even its badness seems to defy other kinds of movies, like so long as Superman is on top of this, everything else will be okay. It’s an uneven and delightful ride with defiant special effects — they defy the ambition of their practicality and also how that ambition has aged.