From The Dark Tower to Batman & Robin, crappy blockbusters share one guilty party

This past weekend greeted eager popcorn-movie fans with a dispiriting barrage of negative reviews for The Dark Tower, the would-be franchise starter of the messy but popular Stephen King book series of the same name. Everything from the lackluster direction by Nikolaj Arcel to poor choices in cutting and pasting…

On The Fresh Prince’s anniversary, proof that Will Smith elevates even the lamest script

Twenty-five years ago today, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air cabbed its way into America’s hearts—or, more specifically, Will Smith did. The often cartoonish and broadly drawn sitcom ran on NBC for six years, though it would’ve felt right at home among the good-natured and lowbrow charms of ABC’s TGIF block in that same…

The 20 worst films of 2014

Talking heating vents. Sexy pie-making sessions. Colin Farrell riding a flying horse. All this and more can be found on The A.V. Club’s ranked list of the worst films released theatrically in 2014—a downward spiral through the lowest circles of cinematic hell. Bad movies know no specific genre, and this past year’s…

Coughing, radiant, and disposable: The return of the consumptive heroine

Of all the movie tropes to see in movies in 2014, who would have guessed the consumptive heroine would make a comeback? As if a plaintive cough and early departure from the narrative were a woman’s most treasured accessories, these women stricken with tuberculosis only get more radiant and beautiful before they kick…