The Story Behind Anything Nice to Say

In 2020, I started a YouTube channel called Anything Nice to Say.

The idea was to watch the movies that no one liked, the movies everyone thought were bad, but had never actually seen.

I’m a pretty critical person. The origin story for quite a few writers is that they, once upon a time, read something and thought to themselves, “I could do this better.” Then, they set out to do it. That requires a critical, maybe even cynical, disposition.

I’m not one to always look on the bright side of life.


I noticed, though, that there are a lot of movies I like that people seem to be pretty negative about.

I like the 1999 Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick. I like 2016’s Ghostbusters. I think The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie that exists in a universe where Star Wars movies exist.

During the summers of 2004 and 2005, I worked at a movie theatre which meant I got free movie tickets. I saw pretty much everything that came out those summers and, when the ticket is free, it’s surprising how that changes your viewpoint on a movie. There’s no value judgment. I remember seeing Dukes of Hazzard with my brother in an otherwise empty theatre and I thought it was hilarious.

I questioned whether or not Razzie awards are really warranted. As a disaffected Millennial, is it our default setting to hate everything?

Yes. I think it is. I think we’re so obsessed with proving that we are ‘cool,’ ‘hip,’ or part of the ‘in’ crowd, that we pretend to hate things because everyone else hates them.

Besides, you can find plenty of reviews on the Internet where people tell you why you shouldn’t like something.

I remember a moment with my father, after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. We walked out of the theatre and my dad said, “I didn’t like that movie.” I said, “Neither did I.” And, he said, “Why didn’t I like it?”200-1

I proceeded to explain to him why, from a story standpoint, he didn’t like the movie, encompassing character motivations, the heroes’ journey, and character arcs.

It’s easy to convince someone not to like something by making the implication that they are stupid for liking it.

You aren’t stupid for liking something that was intended to entertain you. Alternatively, you aren’t smart for hating something that everyone else hates.

I’m not going to try to convince you to hate something you like. If you like something, like it. If other people hate it, well, they aren’t you and their opinion doesn’t matter. What if they just filed divorce papers before they saw that romantic comedy? What if they thought the movie was going to be a terrifying action adventure but what they got was a family-friendly romp?

It’s easy to criticize because nothing is perfect.

At Anything Nice to Say, we encourage you to like what you like.

It’s just a movie, after all. And, if you enjoy it, what does it matter what anyone else has to say about it?

Anything Nice to Say: John Carter

The works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan, has seen a number of adaptations over the years, but it seems like none so maligned as John Carter. Estimated losses on the movie was $200 million, making it one of the biggest flops of all time.

But, just because it was a flop was it a bad movie? We take a look.

Anything Nice to Say: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

What’s the deal with the heroes in a half-shell?

Michael Bay’s take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise started off rocky with pre-production leaks and backlash to casting choices. Concept art and a leaked script didn’t help matters and the movie seemed doomed to fail before the teaser trailer even dropped.

That doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Here’s our take on Anything Nice to Say.


Anything Nice to Say: Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy may not be the best movie, but it’s definitely a work of art. The combination of the visual aesthetic with Daft Punk’s soundtrack is outstanding.

Here are some of the nice things I had to say about the sequel to 1982’s Tron.

Anything Nice to Say: Godzilla (1998)

The American Godzilla of 1998 might not be the best Godzilla (in fact, it’s not canonically recognized) but it IS the best Godzilla with Jean Reno in it.

Also, it’s basically a by-the-numbers Roland Emmerich film. See if I could find anything nice to say about Godzilla.

Anything Nice to Say: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Poor Dr. Jones. Harrison Ford is getting older, guys. Let him be.

What are the criticisms for the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

This episode of Anything Nice to Say, I take a look at the tried and true tropes that made Indiana Jones the character we know and love. See what works (and maybe a little bit that doesn’t) in the fourth Indiana Jones film.

What did you think of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

Leave a comment.

Let me know what movies you think I should watch to try to find anything nice to say about them.