Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark (2014) #SharkWeak2 Review

Previously, on “Mega Shark vs...”, our fishy anti-hero and his reptilian rival were poached to death by an underwater volcano, and it would appear that was indeed that. But fear not, a drought in the Mediterranean has prompted an entrepreneur to tow an iceberg to the afflicted area but – wouldn’t you know it – … Continue reading Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark (2014) #SharkWeak2 Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Far out in space, Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) – abducted from Earth when he was a young boy – steals a mysterious orb and immediately finds himself the centre of a galactic manhunt. Pursued by the evil and merciless Ronan The Accuser, he is captured by the Nova Corps and forced into an uneasy alliance … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak Review

“Avalanche Sharks” offers us a grab bag of plot elements as native American supernatural snow shark spirits come back to haunt the residents and visitors of a ski resort. The film does actually provide an avalanche but it’s not really that integral to the plot. Originally planned as a sequel to “Sand Sharks”, it’s another … Continue reading Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak Review

My Life In Movies (#ThisIsYourFilm)

So…with it being my birthday, I figured why not do a post around the Twitter hashtag #ThisIsYourFilm where you choose your favourite movie from every year you’ve been alive. Piece of piss, right? Won’t take that long. Oh boy, was I wrong. Even now, as I’m writing this opening preamble, I’m still second-guessing some of … Continue reading My Life In Movies (#ThisIsYourFilm)

The Border Season 1 Review

With bleeding edge topicality, Polish thriller “The Border” arrives on DVD this week. Previously shown on Channel 4 this year, the 2014 human trafficking drama is as relevant as it’s ever been. At the farthest frontier of Europe, on the Polish-Ukrainian border, a unit of Border Patrol guards is targeted by a bomb attack, leaving … Continue reading The Border Season 1 Review

Dracano (2014) Review

When a volcanic eruption releases ancient dragon-like creatures on the unsuspecting state of Oregon, it’s up to scapegoated volcanologist Professor Simon Lowell (Corin Nemec, “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”, “Stargate: SG-1”) to help the army prevent a chain reaction of volcanic eruptions heralding a global dragon apocalypse. A classic case of high concept, low budget, “Dracano” … Continue reading Dracano (2014) Review

Ouija (2014) Review

The film opens with two young girls playing with a Ouija board. Cue some expositive rules:  1. Never play alone; 2. Never play in a graveyard; 3. Always say goodbye. Of course, rules are made to be broken. Oh,  and you can see the entities that contact you by looking through the lens in the … Continue reading Ouija (2014) Review

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014) Review

It’s difficult to watch “Jodorowsky's Dune” and not come to the conclusion that, on balance, it’s probably a good thing that motion picture adaptation of Frank Herbert's 'Dune' didn't actually get made. Had it been made, it would have no doubt been a psychedelic, surrealist masterwork; a curate’s egg of titanic proportions which would have bestrode … Continue reading Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014) Review

Dinosaur 13 (2014) Review

Prior to 1990, there had only been 12 Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils discovered and none as large and as complete as “Sue”, the T-Rex fossil uncovered during a dig in the badlands of South Dakota. “Dinosaur 13” tells the story of not only the discovery of this unique and groundbreaking fossil but also the extraordinary events … Continue reading Dinosaur 13 (2014) Review

Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) Short Film Review

Even massive corporate conglomerates make short films! Or do they just make really long commercials? How did you feel about the announcement of "Toy Story 4"? Delighted? Or a bit wary? The "Toy Story" trilogy is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Pixar crown and many - and I count myself among them - … Continue reading Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) Short Film Review

The Hungover Games (2014) Review

You know what's funny? Mashing together a whole bunch of pop culture movie references and characters, jam them into an untidy and illogical chimera of two film franchises, one of which self-destructed thanks to its own sequels and then throw it at the screen to see what sticks. Oh wait, not funny – what’s the … Continue reading The Hungover Games (2014) Review

Third Contact (2013) Review

One of the things I love about movies is the breadth of the art form; encompassing everything from mega-budget summer blockbusters to tiny independent productions and how across that range you can find extraordinary works at every level. “Third Contact” is extraordinary. Made for a microscopic budget of only £4,000, writer/ producer/ director Simon Horrocks’ … Continue reading Third Contact (2013) Review

Pride (2014) Review

Despite its contentious and still controversial (sigh) subject matter, there’s a winning cosiness to “Pride” that makes sure the themes of human kindness and solidarity don’t get swamped by the angry and inflammatory historical backdrop. That’s not to say this comedy drama doesn’t have teeth, just that care is taken to ensure the film’s bark … Continue reading Pride (2014) Review

Bad Johnson (2014) Review

Retitled “Schlong Story” for the UK (like that’s an improvement), not even its zany premise and a new title is enough to save this miscast, misogynist misfire. Rich Johnson (Cam Gigandet), a serial womaniser just can’t help ruining one relationship after another. One day he glibly wishes his dick would stop getting him into trouble, … Continue reading Bad Johnson (2014) Review

The Riot Club (2014) Review

Transferring from a successful run on the London stage, “The Riot Club” brings its sneering swipe at the corrupt and privileged elite to the big screen with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Despite dropping its more on-the-nose stage sobriquet “Posh”, it nonetheless retains much of its venom as it seeks to expose the decadence which … Continue reading The Riot Club (2014) Review

Divergent (2014) Review

If anything should give studios pause for thought in their headlong rush to acquire and produce whatever super hero or comic book titles are available, it’s the troubled and distinctly patchy success rate of ‘young adult’ fiction adaptations. The film of Veronica Roth’s novel “Divergent” is, like “The Maze Runner”, one of the recent few … Continue reading Divergent (2014) Review

Finding Vivian Maier (2014) Review

Part biography, part mystery, John Maloof’s compelling documentary on hitherto unknown photographer Vivian Maier is as magical as it is enthralling. It tells the story of Maloof’s discovery of a treasure trove of photographs, negatives and undeveloped rolls of film which leads him to uncover the remarkable life and work of Vivian Maier, who in … Continue reading Finding Vivian Maier (2014) Review

The 2nd Annual Craggus Movie Awards

Last year I made a rod for my own back by putting out the “1st Annual Craggus Movie Awards” and now, on the eve of the 87th Academy Awards, here I am paying the price for saying “1st Annual”. The rules: only movies released in 2014 in the UK are eligible (including preview screenings and, … Continue reading The 2nd Annual Craggus Movie Awards

Hell Baby (2014) Review

If you’re a fan of “Reno 911!” then you’ll probably get a kick out of this reasonably amusing spoof of “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Omen”, “Devil’s Due” and a dozen other coming-of-the-anti-Christ movies. Starring Leslie Bibb and Rob Corddry (an actor I always get muddled up with David Koechner), it tells the story of a young … Continue reading Hell Baby (2014) Review

A Haunted House 2 (2014) Review

Oh boy. When will I learn? Looking back, I enjoyed the first “A Haunted House” enough to give it a (with hindsight generous) 6/10 so I was actually looking forward to this sequel. That’s the real horror of this exceedingly poor succession of hit and miss gags, most of which miss by a mile. Whereas … Continue reading A Haunted House 2 (2014) Review

Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014) Review

If the ending of the saga of Middle Earth left you pining for epic cinema adaptations of fantasy literature, you didn’t have to wait too long for the next one to come along. Sir Ridley Scott’s contribution to the Biblical cinematic oeuvre is a mediocre, overly solemn and thematically muddled retelling of elements of the … Continue reading Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014) Review

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (2014) Review

“Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb” is a curious beast. After the popularity and success of the previous instalments a third sequel is hardly a surprise. What is surprising, and perhaps a little disappointing, is that this third instalment is so thin on plot that it seems to exist merely just to let … Continue reading Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (2014) Review

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (S8E13) Review

*SPOILERS* A festive special which is unlikely to reconvert any of those who checked out during the last season, “Last Christmas” still offered us a rich and fruity plum pudding of entertainment, perfect for a Christmas Day tea time. There wasn’t, to be honest, a lot of originality in this year’s Christmas special but at … Continue reading Doctor Who: Last Christmas (S8E13) Review

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014) Review

There’s something familiar and comfortable about Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth movies by now and it’s actually a little bit poignant that this will be (allegedly) the last time we’ll get to visit his New Zealand-infused take on Tolkien’s epic fantasies. Yes, there are a number of tricks and techniques which are starting to look a … Continue reading The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014) Review

Get Santa (2014) Review

It’s not all that often you get a new Christmas movie – in the cinema at least. Direct to DVD and cookie-cutter TV movies abound but a theatrically released Christmas movie is something a bit special. When Tom discovers Santa Claus hiding in his garden shed, he eagerly agrees to help him recover his sleigh … Continue reading Get Santa (2014) Review

Penguins Of Madagascar (2014) Review

Spin-offs, eh? It seems like a sure thing: take a popular supporting character and give them own fully-fledged adventure but there can be hidden pitfalls. As the swaggering, cocky never-say-die plot drivers (and frequent deus ex machinas) of the “Madagascar” franchise, the team of Penguins led by were charming and hilarious but really, how hard … Continue reading Penguins Of Madagascar (2014) Review

The Pyramid (2014) Review

Cheaply made, appallingly written, terribly acted and aggressively dumb, no matter how bad you think “The Pyramid” might be, the reality is worse. When a previously unknown pyramid is discovered in the Egyptian desert during the Arab Spring uprising, the archaeological team decide to use their remaining couple of hours before they are evacuated to … Continue reading The Pyramid (2014) Review

Paddington (2014) Review

“Paddington” is a delightful film. Literally delightful. While watching it, I was acutely conscious of the fact that I was being delighted. I’m experiencing delight, I thought to myself. There’s no other way to describe the experience of watching this note-perfect adaptation of the beloved children’s character which brings him to big screen life in … Continue reading Paddington (2014) Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review

I’m not a fan of the growing trend for artificially prolonging a franchise by splitting the last instalment into two parts. There are reasons why trilogies evolved as a dominant storytelling structure rather than tetralogies, even though tetralogy sounds a lot cooler. The “Harry Potter” franchise just about got away with it (thanks to the source … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review

Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

Lacking the star laden cast, salacious subtext and tragic coda of its theatrically released cousin, BBC TV movie “Castles In The Air” was always destined to be overshadowed by “The Imitation Game”. That’s a real shame because the BBC production is just as handsomely staged, just as fascinating and tells the story of a scientific … Continue reading Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

The Imitation Game (2014) Review

Typical. You wait years for stirring tales of British ingenuity and wartime innovation and then two come along at the same time. There's a great deal of overlap between the story of Robert Watson Watt's pioneering work to create radar in "Castles In The Sky" and Alan Turing's quest to crack Nazi Germany's impenetrable Enigma … Continue reading The Imitation Game (2014) Review

Mr Turner (2014) Review

Beyond being vaguely aware he was a painter, I knew nothing of the work or life of J M W Turner. I came out of Mike Leigh’s “Mr Turner” determined to learn more about this exceptional man and keen to find out which galleries display his work so I can go and see them for … Continue reading Mr Turner (2014) Review

Doctor Who: Death In Heaven (S8E12) Review

*SPOILERS* As the brief cold open crashed into the opening credits, my heart was warmed by the thought of hundreds of bitter, angry Whovians, who were only hate watching the episode to stoke their rage about Missy’s reveal last week, doing a hilarious spit take at Clara’s declaration that she, in fact, had been the … Continue reading Doctor Who: Death In Heaven (S8E12) Review

Interstellar (2014) Review

Mark the date. We may just have reached peak Nolan. "Interstellar" simultaneously represents the most triumphant aspects of the auteur's style as well as his follies. There's breath-taking ambition, scintillating scientific thoughts and stunning realised visuals. But all the problems that plagued "The Dark Knight Rises" are here too in abundance and without the inherent … Continue reading Interstellar (2014) Review

Nightcrawler (2014) Review

Stripped of its two towering central performances, “Nightcrawler” is still a pretty good thriller about the unsavoury world of late night news and the scavenging camera crews roaming the night to film the grisly aftermath of violent crimes and accidents across the city. But thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, it transcends its sleazy … Continue reading Nightcrawler (2014) Review

The Anomaly (2014) Review

British sci-fi flick “The Anomaly” certainly lacks nothing when it comes to ambition. It even manages to find room for some intriguingly original ideas in amongst the mishmash of borrowings from “Source Code”, “The Matrix” and “Total Recall”. When former soldier Ryan (Noel Clarke) regains consciousness in the back of a van with no recollection … Continue reading The Anomaly (2014) Review

Horns (2014) Review

Although it borrows heavily from classic horror imagery, “Horns” isn’t really a horror movie and despite some clever subversion of religious faith and nifty Easter Eggs where the licence plates of the principle players’ cars point to character-relevant bible chapters it’s not really a religious satire in the vein of “Dogma” either. It works well … Continue reading Horns (2014) Review

Zombeavers (2014) Review

I had such high hopes for "Zombeavers". Okay, maybe high isn't the right word. Moderate hopes? Well, in any event I guess I was hoping for a goofy, gruesome and funny schlockfest befitting its kooky central concept. The fact that it was from the producers of "American Pie", "Cabin Fever" and "The Ring" even gave … Continue reading Zombeavers (2014) Review

The Babadook (2014) Review

I didn't quite know what to make of "The Babadook" when I first saw it and decided it was best to sleep on it, which could be seen as a fairly damning indictment of its potency as a horror film. But I have to confess, it wasn't the best night's sleep I ever had and … Continue reading The Babadook (2014) Review

WolfCop (2014) Review

When a werewolf film chooses to show its first transformation mid-urination – and cock first – you know the movie’s got no intention of dicking around. “Wolf Cop”, released in the UK on BluRay and DVD, unashamedly delivers on the promise of its title with a retro flair that makes it feel like a long-lost … Continue reading WolfCop (2014) Review

Space Station 76 (2014) Review

Welcome to the world of tomorrow…yesterday! If you’re hoping for a laugh-a-minute retro sci-fi comedy romp then “Space Station 76” is likely to disappoint. While it is an affectionate pastiche of 1970’s vision of the future, the retro sci-fi trappings and space station setting are largely ancillary to the film’s real focus: the universal trials … Continue reading Space Station 76 (2014) Review

The Book Of Life (2014) Review

When a group of reluctant children arrive at a museum for a field trip, they are taken on a secret tour by their guide Mary Beth who brings them to a lavish exhibit about the legends and myths of Mexican folklore. And so begins the real story of “The Book Of Life”, as Mary Beth … Continue reading The Book Of Life (2014) Review

Fury (2014) Review

War is Hell. “Fury” is very clear on this point and it goes out of its way to show you just how raw and primal it can be in an attempt to be a significant film. Set during the final months of World War II in Europe, “Fury” follows the fortunes of a Sherman Tank … Continue reading Fury (2014) Review

The Maze Runner (2014) Review

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Adapted from James Dashner’s bestselling Young Adult Novel, “The Maze Runner” fares far better than the rest of the recent crop of YA movies thanks to an appealing cast and script which exploits the full range of mystery and drama from the film’s sinister premise. When Thomas finds himself deposited in a community … Continue reading The Maze Runner (2014) Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Review

*SPOILERS* Producer Michael Bay and Director Jonathan Liebesman (but really Producer Michael Bay) are proud to present their bold reimagining of…”The Amazing Spider-Man”. No, seriously – it’s the exact same story and pretty much the same set pieces, only this time the mutated reptiles are the good guys. I’ve no special nostalgic attachment to “Teenage … Continue reading Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Review

The Equalizer (2014) Review

“The Equalizer” is part remake, part reimagining and part origin story. Taking its inspiration from the 1980s Edward Woodward starring TV Series, the movie dirties it up a bit and adds a hard edge of brutality, taking us back to a time before Robert McCall had become The Equalizer. Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is living … Continue reading The Equalizer (2014) Review

What We Did On Our Holiday (2014) Review

Although it starts off disappointingly similar to its TV stablemate “Outnumbered”, this quintessentially British comedy quickly and deftly becomes its own creation, weaving dark and light themes into this small scale film about life, death and everything in between. Underneath the gruff and curmudgeonly Craggus exterior, I'm a sentimental soul and so this tale of … Continue reading What We Did On Our Holiday (2014) Review

A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014) Review

This is no vacuous retread of the rambunctious “Taken” series nor is it implausible action nonsense like “Non Stop”. Neeson lays aside the superhero persona here to deliver a performance of real weight in this atmospheric serial killer drama based on the novel by Lawrence Block. When a drug trafficker’s wife is kidnapped and murdered, … Continue reading A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014) Review

Dracula Untold (2014) Review

It's become a bit of a cliché for Dracula to be given a tragic back story, some personal anguish which drives him and somehow mitigates his bloodlust and monstrous acts. While “Dracula Untold” falls victim to this trope, it does it with a bit of style and visual flair. When Prince Vlad (Luke Evans) tries … Continue reading Dracula Untold (2014) Review

Gone Girl (2014) Review

It’s nearly impossible to discuss this film without veering into spoiler territory so – reluctantly – I’m going to have to put up a precautionary *SPOILER WARNING* even though I’ll try and be as oblique as possible. When Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his home in disarray and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) … Continue reading Gone Girl (2014) Review