Movie Snippets / by Joel Goodman

In January of 2019, I started keeping a spreadsheet to track the movies I watch. I assign a rating from 0 to 10 (with 5 being the average, or expected value) and write a little snippet with some quick opinions on the film in question. Here, I’ll post a few of those snippets at a time for your enjoyment.


Gotti (2018)


Hoo boy, now this is a really bad movie. Like, unbelievably bad. Imagine a garbage truck, loaded to capacity with soiled adult diapers, that has been set on fire and whose brakes have failed. This is the cinematic equivalent of that. Everything about it is bad, but the acting and script are the worst of the year. It's verges on, and at times crosses over into "so bad it's good" territory. It feels at times that this movie might be a prank on all of us; that the possibility exists that this is some kind of postmodern masterpiece that is really laughing at us even as we laugh at it. A hard movie to rate; this is either a 2.5 or a 9.5. I'll go with the former.

Black Rain (1989)


Just look at the poster. Look at it.

Michael Douglas's mullet stars in a dated police thriller-cum-fish out of water movie that actually has some very impressive cinematography and neat set pieces, but whose story is contrived and performances are just about a shallow as they come. Andy Garcia is especially flat. I mean, you hardly notice he's even there before he's beheaded and his death motivates everything Michael Douglas and his mullet do in the last half of the movie. Cocaine was definitely involved in every step of the process during the making this film. Bookended by two very, very bad 80's radio rock jams.



Nightbreed (1990)


I get funny looks when I tell people that this is one of my favorite movies, but I really think this is an amazing film. It’s a deeply misunderstood dark fantasy/horror masterpiece that has never quite gotten the respect it deserves. This is the best thing Clive Barker has ever done and he'll probably never match it. The 90s being what they were, the studio reportedly demanded Barker include a real slasher-style villain (played by none other than David Cronenberg!) and cut the film by something like 30 minutes. As it turns out, the former was a blessing in disguise and the latter was only temporary, as a director's cut was released in the 2010's after floating around on VHS bootlegs for nearly 20 years. Both cuts are great (although the longer cut is better by a mile), and this movie is a must-see.