Until, at least, “2012” came out, “The Day After Tomorrow” was the undisputed holder of the critical-existential-threat-to-all-life-on-Earth-trivialised-by-hysterical-pseudo-science movie championship (the trophy is enormous) and while it may have added fossil fuel to the fires of ignorance over the conceptual dissonance of global warming and climate change, it also managed to tap into not just environmental … Continue reading Fifteen years ago today, or two days from now, The Day After Tomorrow (2004) was released, which made scheduling this anniversary review somewhat tricky.
Picture the scene: Illumination writing room, circa 2017. Plans are well underway for the TV spinoff of “The Secret Life Of Pets” and the team have broken down around a dozen shorts to fill up the schedules when suddenly the word comes down that the studio have decided they want a theatrical sequel instead. Writer … Continue reading The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019) is three Saturday morning cartoons mashed into one.
In terms of what you might be expecting, Disney’s live-action adaptation of their own animated take on Aladdin is much more than a diamond in the rough. Against the odds, and certainly expectations, Guy Ritchie and his likeable and talented cast have managed to deliver a cave of wonders which honours the original classic and … Continue reading A fool off his guard could fall and fall hard for Disney’s surprisingly beguiling Aladdin (2019)
The real genius of “Rocketman”, other than Elton John and Bernie Taupin themselves, is the wonderful narrative conceit of framing the story as a rehab confessional. It allows the makers or this musical fantasy to dive deep into the unreliable narration of a man who may be willing to air the dirty laundry of his … Continue reading And it seems to be, he lived his life burning candles at both ends. Rocketman (2019) Review
In a cinema in the dark there sat a Craggus. Not a nasty, dirty, fleapit cinema, filled with the ends of hotdogs and a sticky floor, nor yet a dry, threadbare cinema with lumpy seats to sit down on or only stale popcorn to eat; it was a multiplex, and that means comfort. What is … Continue reading Two wasted hours about the author of The Two Towers: Tolkien (2019) Review
They say Misery loves company and right now, Annie Wilkes has a lot of it as we hear the familiar refrain of disgruntled, entitled fan[atics] flinging their shit at the walls over the fact that “Game Of Thrones” – “Game Of Thrones” mind – has had the temerity to subvert their own personal expectations and … Continue reading When you play the Game Of Moans, you either whine or you derp
Elevating high concept to dizzying new heights, director Chad Stahelski returns us to the world of John Wick exactly where he left us last time: having broken the assassins’ creed, Wick (Keanu Reeves) faces excommunication from The High Table, with a bounty large enough to tempt every assassin between New York and Timbuktu to have … Continue reading John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019) is the Ming vase of action cinema
Have you seen “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”? If you have, then you’ve pretty much seen “The Hustle”, a good-natured, luxuriously indulgent but unnecessarily faithful remake of the well-liked Steve Martin/ Michael Caine remake of 1964’s “Bedtime Story”. Running out of boob-job funding rubes to fleece in New York, low-level grifter Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson) heads to … Continue reading The Hustle (2019) delivers comedy iron pyrite
When police detective Harry Goodman is apparently killed in a car crash, it's up to his son Tim (Justice Smith) to find out what happened. Luckily, Tim will have the help of his dad’s Pokémon partner, a wise-cracking Pikachu who only Tim can understand. Together, the two best friends find a world they must defend … Continue reading Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Review
Like its subject, “Vox Lux” is demanding, pretentious and self-congratulatory, although the film takes these traits to the point of cinematic onanism. Occasionally arrestingly shocking, it almost feels like, having grabbed your attention, it doesn’t really know what to do with it beyond hitting you over the head with its achingly obvious allegory for American … Continue reading Vox Lux (2019) kinda sucks.
Long before "Movie 43", there was... “The Kentucky Fried Movie”, a zany, madcap collection of irreverent, puerile and often tasteless skits and sketches from David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, who would go on to bring us “Airplane!”, “Top Secret” and “The Naked Gun”. It would also launch the career of legendary director John … Continue reading The Kentucky Fried Movie (1979) offers a bargain bucket of bawdy comedy
Heavily leaning into the tone of Netflix’s “Making A Murderer”, Joe Berlinger’s shallow but still absorbing biopic of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy places us firmly into the perspective of Bundy’s long-time girlfriend Liz Kendall (Lily Collins) by using all the tricks and tropes of the ‘innocent man accused’ documentary style to constantly confound the … Continue reading Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile (2019) is extremely well acted but shockingly superficial
Eleven years. Twenty-one movies. All leading up to this. In the wake of Thanos’ victory, the remaining Avengers regroup to figure out how to live up to their name. But there are no easy paths to setting things right and its only through the unexpected return of Ant-Man that an opportunity presents itself – one … Continue reading It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for. Avengers: Endgame (2019) Review
An utterly implausible B-movie thriller transformed into an effective thriller by the power of its cast, “Greta” just wants to be liked and will go to any lengths to do it. When Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds an abandoned handbag on the subway, she resolves to return it to its owner, Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert) … Continue reading Greta (2019) is a dark urban feminist fairy tale masquerading as a B-movie potboiler.
Winner, Winner, Shawarma Dinner! Beating out its multi-franchise finalising descendant, the OG Avengers emerged triumphant from the bruising crucible of the Super-Movie Secret Wars, edging out Infinity War by a margin of 3 votes. It's been quite a tournament, with plenty of surprises along the way. The group stages - where we lost 64 … Continue reading And The Super Movie Secret Wars winner is…
So I know I usually stick to movie and TV reviews (and recently lengthy tournaments) but I thought I’d try something new by getting this idea which has been rattling around my head down on virtual paper and, after all, one of the perks of being editor-in-chief is that you can greenlight whatever takes your … Continue reading Introducing The Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Not only is the final an all-MCU affair, but it's an all-Avengers throwdown too as OG mega-crossover blockbuster with the latest iteration that took a somewhat Game Of Thrones approach to thinning out its character roster by the end. It's been quite a journey but it's not quite over yet. The 3rd place playoff will … Continue reading The Super Movie Secret Wars Final!
In the pantheon of superb directorial debuts, you’d be hard pressed to find a more unexpected and delightful entry than “Eighth Grade”. Directed by YouTube comedian Bo Burnham, he has fashioned an achingly authentic, poignant and emotionally resonant coming of age story for the 21st Century, grasping the truth of growing up in the 21st … Continue reading Eighth Grade (2019) will make you remember what it’s like to be 14 again – and very glad you’re not!
The Super Hero Secret Wars have reached the Fantastic Four, with our semi-finalists confirmed. Logan saw off diminutive giant-killers Ant-Man and The Wasp while Avengers: Infinity War brushed aside the sole remaining animated movie in the competition in a not so incredible result. In the contest of the Captains America, Civil War was frozen out … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars Semi Finals
A couple of years ago, a Twitter #ThisIsYourFilm was making the rounds where you had to choose your favourite movie from every year you’ve been alive. Well, it's come back round again so here, revised and updated, are my favourite movies from every year I've been alive. At least it’s still favourite movies and not … Continue reading Favourite Films From Every Year Of My Life (Revised And Updated)
So we're down to the final eight movies now. It's nearly the endgame, although there were probably other ways. Even if you'd gone forward in time and viewed fourteen million, six hundred and five possible outcomes, you might not have predicted that we'd have a quarter-final draw featuring no DC movies, not even The Dark … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars Quarter Finals
Sending shockwaves through the super movie world, the romance of the Super Movie Secret Wars is alive and well as X-Men: First Class pulled off the upset of the tournament, knocking out perennial favourite The Dark Knight by the narrowest of margins: a single vote. Elsewhere, all three Avengers movies made it through to the … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Fourth Round
*SPOILERS*Having teased action in the previous two episodes, showrunner Alex Kurtzman finally blows his load (and his special effects budget and, later, his remaining credibility) on an impossibly messy, Jackson Pollock-esque space battle and gratuitous hand to hand combat scenes in a frantic attempt to cover for the fact that very little actually happens in … Continue reading With an abundance of sound and fury, Such Sweet Sorrow Part II confirms that Star Trek: Discovery is a tale told by idiots. S2E14 Review
Day three of the second round delivered its share of casualties. The effortlessly charming Batman: The Movie was unable to overcome the Age Of Ultron and while Doctor Strange ultimately triumphed in a close-run race with Iron Man 2, it's safe to say The Rocketeer did nazi its crushing defeat at the hands of The … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Third Round Day 2
It was a bruising first day of the second round, as Shazam! showed it was worthy by crushing the Power Rangers and while Thor put up a valiant fight, the air was thick with his wounded screams... mainly whimpering, a great deal of complaining and tales of sprained deltoids and... gout as Ant-Man And The Wasp sealed their place … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Third Round Day 1
There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable movies, to see if they could become something more. See if they could come together and fight battles for our amusement. And from here on out, there's no safety net, no second chances. Two movies enter, one movie moves on. There are some really … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Second Round Day 4
I feel a great swell of pity for anyone who comes to the Super Movie Secret Wars looking to not vote and from here on out, there's no safety net, no second chances. Two movies enter, one movie moves on. There are some really tough draws thrown up by the system which sees the winner … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Second Round Day 3
With great voting power comes great voting responsibility, there's no safety net, no second chances. Two movies enter, one movie moves on. There are some really tough draws thrown up by the tournament structure which sees the winner of one group facing off against the runner-up from another group. Get your voting fingers ready for … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Second Round Day 2
As Doctor Strange might say, we're in the end game now and from here on out, there's no safety net, no second chances. Two movies enter, one movie moves on. There are some really tough draws thrown up by the system which sees the winner of one group facing off against the runner-up from another … Continue reading Super Movie Secret Wars – Second Round Day 1
As the dust settles on the Group Stages, sixty-four movies remain standing as surely as if Thanos had snapped his fingers. Some sailed through to the second round while some made it through by the skin of their teeth. There were tears and tie-breakers as some big hitters fell by the wayside. A billion dollars … Continue reading Super-Movie Secret Wars Group Stage Round-Up
When hot-headed young singer Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) is released from prison, she reluctantly returns to her mother’s house to be reunited with her two young children. Nursing a grudge against the world and a burning ambition to make it as a country singer, she struggles to reconcile her dreams with her reality. It’s a … Continue reading Whether or not you’re a fan of country music, Wild Rose (2019) will work hard to win you over.
Available now on Amazon Prime, “Guava Island”, the latest Childish Gambino project, is a joyous, beautiful, bittersweet gem of a movie, balancing a carefree joie de vivre with a pointed, if slightly heavy-handed, critique of the ultimately self-destructive nature of capitalism thrown in for good measure. Guava Island is a paradise but those who live … Continue reading There may be trouble ahead, but while there’s sunshine and music and love and romance…let’s watch Guava Island (2019) and dance.
Hellboy (2019) is notably the movie Ed Skrein got the best notices of his entire career for – and he’s not actually in it. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to be the only good reviews this botched, bad-faith reboot is likely to get. During the Arthurian age, Nimue the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) is betrayed just … Continue reading Well I’ll be damned. Hellboy (2019) is a special form of purgatory.
It's the last day of the Group stages and with only sixteen slots left available, it's all to play for especially if movies want to avoid a tough tie in the next round. You can vote for two from each group. The two movies with the most votes in each group will go through to … Continue reading Super-Movie Secret Wars: Group Stages Last Day
*SPOILERS* The ultimate artifice of the showrunners is revealed when yet another of the Short Treks is referenced, this time, somewhat disingenuously, as part of the ‘Previously’ montage. It does all point quite obviously to the explanation why Discovery, its technology and activity has never been referenced in the rest of Trek and also raises … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery reminds us time is the fire in which we Burnham. S2E13 Such Sweet Sorrow review
It's Day Three of the Super-Movie Secret Wars and with half the next round competitors confirmed, there are plenty of ties the remaining movies will be hoping to avoid. You can vote for two from each group. The two movies with the most votes in each group will go through to the next round, where … Continue reading Super-Movie Secret Wars: Group Stages Day 3
Perfectly charming and, as ever, exquisitely animated, the latest offering from Laika Studios (“Kubo And The Two Strings”, “The Boxtrolls”) is nonetheless feels like the lesser of their efforts so far. While it’s acknowledged inspirations include “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and the stories of Sherlock Holmes, there’s no escaping it’s an almost complete lift … Continue reading Missing Link (2019) is certainly lacking something.
Welcome back to the second day of the group stages of the Super-Movie Secret Wars. There are some proper clashes of the Titans in store today, although Clash Of The Titans (1981) isn't actually in the competition... You can vote for two from each group. The two movies with the most votes in each group … Continue reading Super-Movie Secret Wars: Group Stages Day 2
Welcome to the first day of the Super-Movie Secret Wars. We've got some mouthwatering match-ups for you today. You can vote for two from each group. The two movies with the most votes in each group will go through to the next round, where winners from one group will face off against runners-up from another. … Continue reading Super-Movie Secret Wars: Group Stages Day 1
Handsomely produced and atmospherically shot, this re-adaptation of Stephen King’s powerful exploration of grief serves to underline the key message of the original novel: it’s best to let dead things rest. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), a doctor from Boston, moves to the small town of Ludlow in Maine to enjoy a quieter life and spend … Continue reading Pet Sematary (2019) just goes to show that when it comes to certain stories, sometimes read is better.
Years and years ago, when Mertmas was a newborn, we’d always be on the lookout for something to watch during those early morning feeds. We’re talking way before the advent of on-demand entertainment although we did have Sky+ so we could watch previously recorded stuff but thankfully we didn’t have to. For some reason, the … Continue reading The live action Kim Possible (2019) ends up more two-dimensional than the animated original
BEHOLD! I am the Craggonder and I have scoured time and space to gather together 128 of the finest Super Hero Movies Earth has to offer. Here, in my Battle Blog, they will fight each other until only one emerges triumphant – but which movie that may be...will be up to you! My Super-Movie Secret … Continue reading Behold! The Super-Movie Secret Wars are about to begin!
Starting with arguably one of the darkest openings of any DCEU film to date, it initially looks like “Shazam!” is charting a path back to the bad old grimdark days of the DCEU but, it’s not too long before someone says the magic word and a brilliant bolt of magical lightning illuminates the path to … Continue reading The Shazam! (2019) movie is the Billy Batson of the DCEU
*SPOILERS* Kicking off what seems to be a loose three-part season finale, we start with a new episode of Michael Burnham’s ‘My Two Moms’ before we plunge right into the action and by action, I mean a meeting. Having decided not to join Georgiou in hunting for Ctrl+Alt-Leland, the crew of Discovery have turned their … Continue reading Yea, though I sat Through The Valley Of Shadows, I will hear no more of time crystals: for thou art peak Discovery; thy plot and thy writing staff they discomfit me. Star Trek: Discovery S2E12 Review
Creepy, disturbing and deliciously, irresistibly open to multiple interpretations, Jordan Peele’s follow up to “Get Out” brings us another mischievously deep dive into the shameful psyche of America with a psychological sci-fi thriller of identity politics through the looking glass. As a young child, Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o) wandered away from her parents on the … Continue reading If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make that change. Start with the man in the mirror. Us (2019) Review
There are nice nods to the twee opening of the original “Dumbo” as we’re treated to knowing shots of storks flying across the sky to portend the less romanticised arrival of baby Dumbo but in nodding to the animated classic so soon, this live-action remake tips just how weak its hand is. When circus impresario … Continue reading Dumbo (2019) has a surprisingly metatextual moral for the House of Mouse
*SPOILERS*After the tawdry torture porn of last week's denouement, we open with a flashback to Burnham’s happy childhood where this exceptionally gifted and inquisitive child was apparently completely oblivious to her parents’ line of work in their secret laboratory home. But it turns out it’s only a near-death experience for Burnham as she wakes in … Continue reading Mum’s the word on a tautologically titled episode of Star Trek: Discovery. S2E11 Perpetual Infinity Review
Once in a while, there comes an idea so 'good', Hollywood does it twice. But does this presage double trouble or a two-for-one treat? Which of these famous accidental double-bills do you prefer? Deep Impact (1998) v Armageddon (1998) Volcano (1997) v Dante's Peak (1997) White House Down (2013) v Olympus Has Fallen (2013) A … Continue reading The Movies Came Out Two By Two…
The film which saved Disney Animation Studios (it would go on to need saving again, cyclically, in the future) after the unprofitable indulgences of “Fantasia”, “Dumbo” - released in 1941 mere weeks before the United States would find itself dragged into the Second World War – is a charming if slight fable of exceptionalism, a … Continue reading There’s no ignoring this elephant in the room. Dumbo (1941) Review
*SPOILERS* The episode opens with the funeral of cybernetically enhanced Lieutenant Airiam, which means that the crew did nothing at all to try to save her once she had been blown out of the airlock. Instead, in a collective attempt to exorcise any guilt over their inaction, we’re treated to not one but many eulogies … Continue reading It’s more meddling and a funeral as Star Trek: Discovery reveals the identity of The Red Angel (S2E10) Review