Mountbatten Players’ Jack And The Beanstalk defies the January blues with some fe fi fo fun!

There’s nothing like a good panto to chase away the January blues and in Mountbatten Players’ “Jack And The Beanstalk”, 2019 got off to a glittery, toe-tapping start. The sheer scale of the story of ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ is such that even the most ambitious of theatrical productions must rely a great deal on … Continue reading Mountbatten Players’ Jack And The Beanstalk defies the January blues with some fe fi fo fun!

The Front Runner (2019) stumbles right out of the gate.

Jason Reitman’s dull but dutiful checkbox biopic rakes over the long-dead ashes of the run-up to the 1988 US Presidential election but fails to find anything to really say beyond a milquetoast critique of the current personality politics which dominates American public life. Charting the rise and fall of charismatic Colorado Senator Gary Hart (Hugh … Continue reading The Front Runner (2019) stumbles right out of the gate.

Colette (2019) sees Keira Knightly ghostwriting for Willy while enjoying fanny by gaslight.

Taking a few liberties with the Libertine life and times of celebrated French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, “Colette” is a sumptuous and sensual but occasionally aimless and indulgent biopic that’s perhaps a little too interested in signposting the contemporary resonances than in providing a wider historical context to its subject’s life. After marrying the famous Parisian … Continue reading Colette (2019) sees Keira Knightly ghostwriting for Willy while enjoying fanny by gaslight.

Zemeckis’ real life toy story lacks buzz. Welcome To Marwen (2018) Review

Inspired by the true story of Mark Hogancamp who, having suffered a horrific attack, finds solace and support in an elaborate fantasy art installation, Robert Zemeckis sets out to convey a poignant story of the healing power of art and the dangers of the artist becoming too enraptured by the art itself but never once … Continue reading Zemeckis’ real life toy story lacks buzz. Welcome To Marwen (2018) Review

Doctor Who: Resolution (S11E11) ends up a test of my Whovian resolve.

*SPOILERS* The dawn of a New Year can be a time for sober, objective deliberation. A contemplation of the year just passed; its triumphs – and its follies – and, most importantly, the chance to reflect, reconsider and refresh both yourself and your work. Not that you would glean this from the current Doctor Who … Continue reading Doctor Who: Resolution (S11E11) ends up a test of my Whovian resolve.

Holmes & Watson (2018) Review

The 1988 Michael Caine/ Ben Kingsley movie “Without A Clue” asked what would happen if Holmes was actually an idiot and Dr Watson was the genius but "Holmes & Watson" dares to ask what if they were both imbeciles, in a crass and witless farce? The answer is excrementary, my dear reader. When the trial … Continue reading Holmes & Watson (2018) Review

A Doctor Who Christmas

There may be no “Doctor Who” Christmas Special this year, but we’ve got a pretty good back catalogue to keep us occupied until New Year’s Day. So, to pass the time, while you’re letting your Christmas Dinner slowly digest and contemplating cracking open that tin of Quality Street to see if there are any purple … Continue reading A Doctor Who Christmas

The 2018 What The Craggus Saw Christmas Special: How Thanos Stole Christmas

How Thanos Stole Christmas by The Craggus & Dr Seuss Every hero in Marvel liked Christmas a lot... But Thanos who lived madly on Titan, did NOT! Thanos hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be the loss of his world’s population, Who … Continue reading The 2018 What The Craggus Saw Christmas Special: How Thanos Stole Christmas

Dundee Rep: The Snow Queen Review

I’ve long been an admirer of Dundee Rep’s Christmas productions and count many of them amongst my favourite theatrical experiences. Living down South now, I don’t get to attend as many as I would like but this year I did. If I had walked five hundred miles, I would have been more disappointed than I … Continue reading Dundee Rep: The Snow Queen Review

Bumblebee (2018) Review

It may seem something of an oxymoron, but “Bumblebee” is a genuinely good “Transformers” film. Now, I’m happy to admit I’m heavily biased, having grown up loving and watching and reading the Gen 1 toys, cartoon and Marvel comic series but my tinted glasses just make the rosy nostalgia of “Bumblebee” even rosier. With the … Continue reading Bumblebee (2018) Review

The Princess Switch (2018) Review

As Netflix continues to make its big push to become the new Hallmark, a slew of cookie-cutter Christmas movies have started appearing on the streaming network. “The Princess Switch” takes the well-worn tale of “The Prince And The Pauper” and dusts it with the seasonal covering of icing sugar in the form of a fictional … Continue reading The Princess Switch (2018) Review

Is [insert film title here] a Christmas movie? The answer is always ‘Yes!’

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Hot takes roasting on an open thread, hashtags nipping at your prose. Once a year, everybody on Twitter, Facebook and beyond come together in a grand celebration of that most joyous of events: debating whether or not "Die Hard" (or occasionally another film) is really a Christmas … Continue reading Is [insert film title here] a Christmas movie? The answer is always ‘Yes!’

Aquaman (2018) Review

Imagine, ten years ago, if someone had told you the future of the DC cinematic universe would rest on the shoulders of…Aquaman. Yeah, that Aquaman, the character who had only really made it into pop culture consciousness as a fish-wrangling joke. Fresh from the, if not triumph, then at least plummet-arresting crunching gear change of … Continue reading Aquaman (2018) Review

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse (2018) Review

Bringing the multiverse to your friendly neighbourhood multiplex, Sony have finally captured lightning in a bottle for the second time and created a great Spider-Man movie. With (literally) dazzling animation, a breezy and effervescent story and engaging character work, “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” delivers the first evidence that, with the right talent behind the camera, … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse (2018) Review

Doctor Who: The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kolos (S11E10) Review

*SPOILERS* Shirt watch: blue. Well, here we are: the season finale, the capstone to the 13th Doctor’s first set of adventures. Time to find out what ‘the timeless child’ was all about, time to see all those dangling plot threads (racist from the future, Jack Robertson) come together, time to find out if the blue … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kolos (S11E10) Review

Sorry To Bother You (2018) Review

Boots Riley’s absurdist, pitch-black satire may just end up becoming one of the most important and resonant films of our time. Not because its concerned particularly with the topical venality of Trumpism and the ongoing corruption of western political discourse but because it looks beyond these deplorable but ultimately transient phases at the bigger societal … Continue reading Sorry To Bother You (2018) Review

Robin Hood (2018) Review

Unnecessary? Yes. Historically inaccurate? Ridiculously so. Fun? Absolutely, you miserable bunch. 2018’s “Robin Hood” sets out to put a modern #OccupySherwood spin on the age-old tale of the redistribution of medieval wealth and taken on its own bonkers terms, there’s a lot of fun to have with this bombastic fast and feudal adventure yarn. Sent … Continue reading Robin Hood (2018) Review

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds (1978) 40th Anniversary Review

No one would have believed in the early years of the 1980s that young me would have been listening to this prog-rock concept musical adaptation of H G Wells’ tale of the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed I would scrutinize the album’s artwork as someone with a microscope studies creatures that … Continue reading Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds (1978) 40th Anniversary Review

Doctor Who: It Takes You Away (S11E09) Review

*SPOILERS* Shirt watch: Blue This week, it’s Doctor wHomage as we get spooky and surreal and writer Ed Hime brings us a Whovian spin on some familiar horror tropes. Having arrived back in the present, the Doctor, Graham, Yaz and Ryan find themselves in Norway. Intrigued by a nearby cottage, the gang investigate only to … Continue reading Doctor Who: It Takes You Away (S11E09) Review

Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) Review

You may think it’s a bit too early for a “Ready Player One” remake but Disney certainly don’t as they blend that movie’s exploitative nostalgia with a shameless approach to product placement so cynical, it would make “The Emoji Movie” blush. When Ralph (John C Reilly) accidentally breaks an important part of ‘Sugar Rush’, the … Continue reading Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) Review

Nativity Rocks! (2018) Review

Opening with a somewhat harrowing sequence showing the arrival and separation of a father and son pair of illegal immigrants – unhinted at by the happy-clappy trailers – “Nativity Rocks!” quickly settles down into the twee, ramshackle charm of a school nativity play given big-screen licence we’ve come to expect from the franchise. While the … Continue reading Nativity Rocks! (2018) Review

Suspiria (2018) Review

It takes nerve and vision to remake something as cinematically revered as “Suspiria” so there’s no doubting director Luca Guadagnino’s ambition and confidence. In reimagining the sacred, Guadagnino manages to take the bones of the original and reshape them into something disturbingly new and yet primally familiar. A darkness lurks at the heart of the … Continue reading Suspiria (2018) Review

The Girl In The Spider’s Web (2018) Review

From the Bond-esque opening credits, it’s clear this soft reboot of the Millennium series is aiming for a more action-packed and adventurous take on the adventures of Lisbeth Salander than its beautiful but glacial predecessor. Contracted to steal the unstealable from the American Government, Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) finds herself caught up in an international … Continue reading The Girl In The Spider’s Web (2018) Review

Doctor Who: The Witchfinders (S11E08) Review

*SPOILERS* Shirt Watch: Blue (I’m the only person doing shirt watch, aren’t I?) If last week’s episode was a move towards Doctor Who orthodoxy, “The Witchfinders” positively revels in Doctor Who tropery and it’s all the better for it. I found myself hunting for something to snark about and being thwarted at each turn by … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Witchfinders (S11E08) Review

Possum (2018) Review

Nerve-shreddingly tense, atmospheric and exquisitely crafted, “Possum” is an artisanal horror movie, the craft of both cast and crew shining through in every detail. When a disgraced children’s puppeteer is forced to return to his childhood home, he must confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets which have haunted his entire life, personified by his … Continue reading Possum (2018) Review

Assassination Nation (2018) Review

A screeching, graphic howl of incendiary exasperation, “Assassination Nation” adds its voice to the growing chorus of furious condemnation of a society dominated by toxic masculinity, religious hypocrisy and venal depravity overseen by the ever-present spectre of a pussy-grabbing enabler-in-chief, showing in no uncertain terms what will happen when pussy grabs back. The town of … Continue reading Assassination Nation (2018) Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (2018) Review

There’s a touch of vanity to the new Wizarding World logo which follows the Warner Bros shield at the start of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Gindelwald”, equal in hubris if not in ironic overconfidence to the unveiling (and shuttering) of Universal’s Dark Universe at the star of “The Mummy”. The mission is clear: expand … Continue reading Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (2018) Review

Widows (2018) Review

With the pedigree of talent behind and in front of the camera, you’d be forgiven for expecting “Widows” to be something very special. And you’d be right, too. Director Steve McQueen, sharing screenwriting duties with Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) in adapting a 1983 British TV series by Lynda La Plante, creates a polished, compellingly multi-layered … Continue reading Widows (2018) Review

Doctor Who: Kerblam! (S11E07) Review

*SPOILERS* Shirt Watch: Blue I’ve never been a fan of the chaotically turbulent TARDIS travel that’s become a hallmark of the revived Doctor Who. It makes sense when the Doctor is trying to get the TARDIS to do something extreme, such as hopping dimensions or crossing its own time tracks or if the ship is … Continue reading Doctor Who: Kerblam! (S11E07) Review

Young Frankenstein (1974) Review

Posted as part of Moon In Gemini's 'The Greatest Film I’ve Never Seen Blogathon'. I’ve been meaning to watch “Young Frankenstein” for years. When I was younger - and more foolish – I think I was put off by the fact it was in black and white. Given how much I loved “Blazing Saddles”, “To … Continue reading Young Frankenstein (1974) Review

Blade (1998) 20th Anniversary Review

Twenty years before “Black Panther”, Marvel partnered with New Line to release a black-led superhero movie which would see them help kick-start the current superhero boom as well as changing the course of their movie adaptations to that point. Born as his mother was dying from a vampire attack, Blade (Wesley Snipes) possesses all of … Continue reading Blade (1998) 20th Anniversary Review

Demolition Man (1993) 25th Anniversary Review

It’s been a quarter of a century since “Demolition Man” first blew us on screen, licking our ass and matching our meet with its blend of high-octane action and surprisingly prescient sci-fi. With only 14 years to go until Simon Phoenix and John Spartan are thawed out, it’s time to celebrate the movies 25th anniversary, … Continue reading Demolition Man (1993) 25th Anniversary Review

Doctor Who: Demons Of The Punjab (S11E06) Review

*SPOILERS* Shirt Watch: Red Previously, on “Doctor Who”: they not only recovered the TARDIS but also tangled with the Death-Eye Turtle Army (the alternate Season 11 that we’re not being shown sounds amazing). We now return to Yaz’ Gran’s birthday party already in progress... When Yaz receives a gift of an old, broken watch from … Continue reading Doctor Who: Demons Of The Punjab (S11E06) Review

The Grinch (2018) Review

Prematurely Christmassy – and I don’t mean that in a Grinchy way – Illumination’s take on “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” is as warm and sweet and comforting as a hot mug of cocoa that’s mostly marshmallow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely feels like this is a movie that will find … Continue reading The Grinch (2018) Review

Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018) Review

If Hammer House Of Horror had produced “Spaced”, the result could have been a lot like “Slaughterhouse Rulez”. A common room home brew of British Boarding School classics like “If….” and “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (the 1969 version specifically) mixed with “Ghostbusters” and dash of “Harry Potter”, this intoxicatingly lowbrow comedy horror offers a novel spin … Continue reading Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018) Review

Overlord (2018) Review

In the build-up to D-Day, Private Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell) believe they’re the only survivors of an ill-fated paratrooper mission behind enemy lines to knock out a radar jamming post so the Allies can provide air support for the beach landings. They eventually meet up with a few more survivors of … Continue reading Overlord (2018) Review

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms (2018) Review

“The Nutcracker And The Four Realms” is chocolate box art lavishly brought to over-saturated, over-sugared, overly decorated life on the big screen. And, like the contents of that box of chocolates, there are moments of sublime deliciousness, a few over-sweet gooey confections and even the occasional nut. It’s hard to resist all the tempting treats … Continue reading The Nutcracker And The Four Realms (2018) Review

Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum (S11E05) Review

I missed watching “Doctor Who” live for the first time this series due to family fireworks commitments but having caught up now, I don’t regret my choice because there was precious little spark in this collage of half-developed sci-fi ideas and forced character moments. Injured and stranded in the wilds of a far-flung galaxy, the … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum (S11E05) Review

The Core (2003) Review

If “Battleship” is a dumb remake of “Independence Day” (itself a dumb remake of “War Of The Worlds”) then “The Core” is the dumbest possible reimagining of Jules Verne's “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”, combining ludicrously inaccurate science with terrible characters and stupefying dialogue (“Hack The Planet!”) and yet, it’s a film I’ve … Continue reading The Core (2003) Review

#Dractober Omnibus Edition

Here, for your reading pleasure, is the collected Dractober reviews, thirty-one - Count 'em - thirty-one vampiric volumes to sink your teeth into! 🧛‍♂️ Nosferatu (1922) 🧛‍♂️ Dracula’s Daughter (1936) 🧛‍♂️ Son Of Dracula (1943) 🧛‍♂️ House Of Frankenstein (1944) 🧛‍♂️ House Of Dracula (1945) 🧛‍♂️ Dracula (1958) 🧛‍♂️ Billy The Kid vs Dracula (1966) 🧛‍♂️ Dracula: Prince Of Darkness (1966) 🧛‍♂️ Dracula Has … Continue reading #Dractober Omnibus Edition

Argento’s Dracula 3D (2012) Dractober Review

What better way to close out #Dractober than with a brand new interpretation of the legend of Bram Stoker’s celebrated vampire from the visionary director of “Suspiria”? Well, as it turns out, probably quite a few things. During the Walpurgis Night celebrations in the Carpathian village of Passo Borgo, a young couple sneak off into … Continue reading Argento’s Dracula 3D (2012) Dractober Review

Double Date (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

British comedy horror is a bit of a dicey prospect at the best of times. For every “Shaun Of The Dead” there are a dozen “Lesbian Vampire Slayers”, so when “Double Date” popped up on the old Sky Q box, I was wary but willing. Jim (Danny Morgan) is about to turn thirty and his … Continue reading Double Date (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Batman vs Dracula (2005) Dractober Review

“The Batman” is one animated incarnation of Batman which passed me by, but he seems to have been the only one I can find who tangled with the Prince Of Darkness himself. Walking a slightly darker path than the more kid-friendly TV series did, this feature-length direct-to-DVD spin-off features not only the title combatants but … Continue reading The Batman vs Dracula (2005) Dractober Review

Van Helsing (2004) Dractober Review

Universal have been trying to resurrect their Dark Universe for a lot longer than you may think. Back in 2004, emboldened by the quick one-two hits of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns”, they decided to give director Stephen Sommers the whole Universal Monster toy box. Unfortunately, what he came up with was a textbook … Continue reading Van Helsing (2004) Dractober Review

Doctor Who: Arachnids In The UK (S11E04) Review

*SPOILERS* The Doctor has finally managed to get her friends back to Earth (and has changed back into her blue t-shirt, which means we’re counting down to red shirt/ blue shirt significance conspiracy theories in 3...2...1...). It’s not the only conspiracy that’s on offer, though, as an invitation to tea leads to a conspiracy which … Continue reading Doctor Who: Arachnids In The UK (S11E04) Review

Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 (2001) Dractober Review

A reimagining before reimaginings were ‘cool’, “Dracula 2000” – released a mere nine days before the end of the year 2000 in America and therefore in 2001 everywhere else brings the myth of Dracula into the modern millennial age, without a smashed avocado or deconstructed cold-brew oat-milk latte in sight. When a group of thieves … Continue reading Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 (2001) Dractober Review

Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review

A blackly comic metafictional account of the making of “Nosferatu”, positing the idea that F W Murnau was prepared to go to any lengths in order to capture his masterwork, even turning a blind eye to the real-life vampire he has found to ‘play’ Count Orlok. Supported by a great performance from John Malkovich as … Continue reading Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review

Dracula: Dead And Loving It (1995) Dractober Review

It may open with a Hammer-esque galloping horse and carriage but this Mel Brooks spoof has the whole Dracula oeuvre in its sights. From Lugosi to Coppola, Brooks and his co-writers leave no coffin unopened in the search for gags. A pity, then, that they found so few. When Renfield (a wildly overacting Peter MacNicol) … Continue reading Dracula: Dead And Loving It (1995) Dractober Review

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review

You may be expecting a story of the notorious Singer whose controversial behaviour and alleged sexual predilections and hedonistic bacchanalia have become the stuff of rumour and innuendo legend, but we’re not here to talk about the Director, we’re here to find out what the movie is like. A rambunctious, mischievous and unexpectedly moving celebration … Continue reading Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Dractober Review

Having secured the title rights to the name “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, Francis Ford Coppola set out to bring his vision of the Dracula legend to unlife, the first straight ‘Dracula’ adaptation for thirteen years. Believing the fiancée of young solicitor Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) to be the reincarnation of his dead wife, centuries-old Count Dracula … Continue reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Dractober Review