I’m so glad “Red Sparrow” (2018) didn’t suck. Because somebody told me it sucked. I shouldn’t have believed them. Maybe it was a double cross. Maybe they actually liked it but they wanted me to not like it so that I would be surprised it didn’t suck because they wanted me to trust them but then not trust them. Oooooh, so crafty. The movie’s like that, too. Jennifer Lawrence is performing at another level right now. It’s her, Jessica Chastain, and, um, right. Also, best three-way knife fight in movie history. And definitely the Oscar frontrunner for best one-piece swimsuit.

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When I remember “Remember the Titans” (2000), I remember it as being a lot better than it actually is. I gloss over the “based on a true story” bending of actual events into outright falsehoods, the Disneyfied melodrama, the insertion of musical scenes to help the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack sell better, and the general sports movie, big-game, big-speech schmaltziness. Yet the story of a Virginia high school overcoming an integration controversy to win a state football championship with a black head coach is still interesting enough to overcome the Hollywood treatment. Plus, it’s just fun watching Denzel be Denzel.

I saw the original “Death Wish.” Bruce Willis’ 2018 version is not “Death Wish.” It’s primarily a Bruce Willis movie. In it, he becomes a vigilante to avenge crimes against his family. That sounds a lot like “Death Wish,” but it’s not “Death Wish.” The 1974 version was weightier in every aspect. The crimes against Charles Bronson’s family were worse, his vengeance less precise and the moral argument more personal (although I do like the irony that Willis’s character is a trauma surgeon). But ultimately, Bruce Willis and his preternatural lack of gravitas is the problem with Bruce Willis’ “Death Wish.”

What if two teenage girls nearly as dense as Forrest Gump also possessed Gumpian powers to alter history? What if their world was the Watergate complex and Nixon White House? What if the girls were played by actresses as good as Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst and the rest of the cast was packed with veteran comedy troupers? There are lots of “parodies” where just one character or one plot element is parodied and everything else is played straight. “Dick” (1999) does the heavy lifting of true parody – it creates an entire, hilariously absurd, alternate universe and makes it work.

There have been a lot of these movies. You know, pick from the following create-a-story list: the hapless protagonist, the crime, the double-cross, the mistaken identity, the triple-cross, the bigger crime, the mobsters/cartel, the feds, the plot twist, etc. It becomes a comedy of errors, on one level or another. You know. There have been a lot of them. But the films that can spin enough of those a la carte plates to keep things interesting without making a mess are really good. Like “Gringo” (2018). David Oyelowo is the perfect hapless protagonist. Please ignore the violations of car-wreck physics.

It starts out like a cliché rom-com variation in which a spurned wife goes to war against the woman who replaced her. You expect hijinks to ensue and the mismatched moms in “Stepmom” (1998) to eventually unite against some type of greater evil, with hilariously heartwarming results. However, the greater evil is cancer, an uneasy truce suffices for teamwork, sadness befalls everyone, and there’s lots of speeches that sound like they were edited by a committee of Hallmark-approved psychologists. It’s a box-of-Kleenex, pint-of-ice-cream tearjerker that will make you happy it ruined your night, if you’re into these kinds of movies.

It features robots battling reptile-looking alien thingys, but “Pacific Rim: Uprising” (2018) feels more like a St. Bernard – big, sloppy and lovable. Just like in the original, this sequel unloads a fusillade of clichés along with impressive weaponry. This time there’s even a subplot resembling “Top Gun” meets “Mickey Mouse Club.” There’s still ridiculous amounts of destruction (with very few dead bodies – unless the bodies will move the plot along) and attempts to save the world, but just like in the original, this film winks at you every once in a while, letting you know it’s in on the joke.