It’s the blind leading the blind in Netflix’s post-partum apocalypse thriller Bird Box (2018) Review

What if “The Happening” but actually, you know, pretty good? That seems to be the starting point for “Bird Box”, an apocalyptic horror from producer/ star Sandra Bullock and director Susanne Bier, adapted from Josh Malerman’s novel by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”, “Lights Out”). When a malevolent force manifests on Earth, it causes a wave … Continue reading It’s the blind leading the blind in Netflix’s post-partum apocalypse thriller Bird Box (2018) Review

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

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

Mary Poppins Returns (2018) is an exercise in Lucasian poetry

Assembled more like one of Disney’s current ‘live action’ adaptations of their animated back catalogue than a genuine sequel to the 1964 original, “Mary Poppins Returns” brings back cinema’s premiere Nanny to answer another Banks crisis. In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael Banks (Ben Wishaw), along with Michael’s three children, face … Continue reading Mary Poppins Returns (2018) is an exercise in Lucasian poetry

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

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

Creed II (2018) boxes clever but it’s clear the franchise won’t make a 10 count…

Three years after his noble loss to Ricky Conlan in “Creed”, Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan) has put together a string of victories and defeats Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler (Andre Ward) to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. Engaged to be married, everything looks rosy for the new world champion until, that is, his father’s legacy … Continue reading Creed II (2018) boxes clever but it’s clear the franchise won’t make a 10 count…

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

Cinema continues to be barren ground for the seeding of new franchises. Mortal Engines (2018) Review

Despite an impeccable cast and an intriguing premise, “Mortal Engines” looks likely to follow in the tracks of “His Dark Materials” adaptation “The Golden Compass” and fail to thrive in the cinematic environment. It’s a shame, too, but it underlines the difficulties faced when adapting epic fantasy book series to the cinema, especially in the … Continue reading Cinema continues to be barren ground for the seeding of new franchises. Mortal Engines (2018) 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

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

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

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

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

#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

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

Hunter Killer (2018) Review

At last, a movie for modern day America: one where the people colluding with the Russian president are the good guys! When an American submarine, shadowing a Russian sub witness their target suffer an explosion and sink, they are themselves torpedoed by an unknown assailant before they can report home. The USS Arkansas, with newly … Continue reading Hunter Killer (2018) Review

The Hate U Give (2018) Review

Amandla Stenberg swaps the future dystopia of “The Darkest Minds” for the present-day real-life dystopia in “The Hate U Give”, an adaptation of the hugely successful young adult novel dealing with the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. Starr Carter (Stenberg) who lives in the black suburb of Garden Heights … Continue reading The Hate U Give (2018) Review

Halloween (2018) Review

Seeing as I first watched and reviewed the original 1978 “Halloween” for last year’s #MonthOfSpooks, it makes sense that I’d pick up this one for this year’s, especially as I still haven’t got around to seeing any of the other “Halloween” movies so this franchise timeline – the fifth so far – is the only … Continue reading Halloween (2018) Review

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween #MonthOfSpooks Review

There’s no rest for the Tenacious as Jack Black finds himself back amongst the spooky goings-on, although this time around, it’s Slappy calling the shots. When Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life, their Halloween horror is only just beginning. The dummy is … Continue reading Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween #MonthOfSpooks Review

Bad Times At The El Royale (2018) Review

“Bad Times At The El Royale” sees “Cabin In The Woods” writer/ director Drew Goddard indulging his inner Tarantino as he sets up this lurid, pulpy neo-noir tale of deceit, desperation and death in a faded motel, still trading on its glamorous past and novelty location. In 1959, a man arrives at the El Royale … Continue reading Bad Times At The El Royale (2018) Review

First Man (2018) Review

Opening with Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) test piloting an X-15 rocket ship so high you fear he may crash in to the orbiting Universal Logo which went past mere seconds before, Damien Chazelle’s quietly absorbing biopic is something of an antithesis to the usual stars ‘n’ stripes bombastic heroic portrayal the US space program usually … Continue reading First Man (2018) Review

Smallfoot (2018) Review

For my money, the definitive filmed adaptation of the legendary Yeti is The Goodies’ episode “Big Foot” but this tale of a tribe of Yetis living in secret on a Himalyan mountaintop might just come a close second (Wampas don’t count). Migo (Channing Tatum) is happy living in his village where all Yetis live under … Continue reading Smallfoot (2018) Review

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Review

Like the banshee of the Bond franchise, appearing whenever that storied franchise finds itself mired in a creative or legal quagmire, Johnny English is back, summoned no doubt but the ongoing dithering over Bond 25. After a cyber-attack exposes the identities of all of the active undercover British agents, MI7 is forced to turn to … Continue reading Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Review

Venom (2018) Review

The most puzzling thing about “Venom” is that if Sony was determined to make this film, this exact story, they already had a movie they could call it a sequel to without pissing away yet another of their Marvel IPs (which look increasingly like hostages rather than assets). I’m talking about “Life”, and it would … Continue reading Venom (2018) Review

The House With The Clock In Its Walls (2018) #MonthOfSpooks Review

An unexpectedly family-friendly detour from gore-meister Eli Roth, the spookiest thing about “The House With A Clock In Its Walls” is that there’s a Jack Black-starring “Goosebumps” sequel coming out this year and this isn’t it. Instead, it’s an adaptation of the novel by John Bellairs telling the story of  Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) who, … Continue reading The House With The Clock In Its Walls (2018) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A Simple Favour (2018) Review

From the opening strains of Jean Paul Keller’s “Ca S'est Arrange”, you can practically feel Paul Feig donning on a black turtleneck and slipping into auteurship with a mischievous sense of insouciance. He’s in playful mood indeed as he indulges his inner Hitchcock even as he can’t quite resist giving in to his quirky comedic … Continue reading A Simple Favour (2018) Review

The Predator (2018) Review

The Predator franchise hasn’t had as much bad luck as its studio stablemate the Alien. Sure they both clashed in a pair of adequate/ terrible movies but at least our favourite extra-terrestrial trophy hunter hasn’t appeared in anything as aggressively stupid as “Alien: Covenant”...until now, that is. When a renegade Predator crashes to Earth, hotly … Continue reading The Predator (2018) Review

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Review

“Crazy Rich Asians” may open with some awful British racism, but it’s an effective shorthand way of introducing fearsome matriarch Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeo) and putting us firmly in the Young family’s corner. And it’s a necessary step too because we’re about to embark on a visually lavish exploration of the trials and tribulations of … Continue reading Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Review

Mile 22 (2018) Review

“Mile 22” is a movie every bit as toxically moronic, tone-deaf and self-flagellating as a daily schedule which starts the day at 2:30am for literally no good reason. It’s a hateful, ignorant and needlessly, excessively profane geopolitical cartoon scrawled in crayon on the bathroom stall of cinema; a Neanderthal cave painting, rendered in excrement. When … Continue reading Mile 22 (2018) Review

The Nun (2018) Review

I seem to be getting into the habit of watching horror movies at the cinema, so when the fifth instalment of arguably the 21st century’s second most successful cinematic universe gave me an opportunity to start the story in chronological order (I haven’t yet seen any of the Conjuring movies or spin-offs, it was time … Continue reading The Nun (2018) Review

BlacKkKlansman (2018) Review

There’s a deep-rooted discomfort at the heart of “BlacKkKlansman” and it’s the fact that instead of being a historical, true story poking cautionary fun at the ignorance of the past, it instead feels like a howl of furious irony at the recidivism of modern-day America. In 1979, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), Colorado Springs’ first … Continue reading BlacKkKlansman (2018) Review

Searching (2018) Review

Literally bringing small screen drama to the big screen, social media POV thriller “Searching” may be the most slyly political movie of 2018. To say much more than that would be to spoil the story’s twists and turns and while they’re all Who knew that your search history would be the key to finding someone … Continue reading Searching (2018) Review

Slender Man (2018) Review

It’s not easy to ignore how crass and tasteless this film feels given the real-life incident which the infamous internet phenomenon gave rise to. It’s even harder when, with the release of this film, the creepypasta meme is now responsible for yet another real-life atrocity. In a small Massachusetts town, four friends decide to summon … Continue reading Slender Man (2018) Review

Alpha (2018) Review

What if “Ice Age” but the human kid’s a lot older and it’s not played for laughs? What if “The Revenant” but, you know, good? Delayed for over a year, “Alpha” is finally in cinemas and it’s a real treat, if not exactly what the multiplex crowd may be expecting. Left for dead after an … Continue reading Alpha (2018) Review

Nailed It! Season Two Review

Back in 1989, Kylie Minogue released a single from “Enjoy Yourself”, her second studio album, called "Wouldn't Change A Thing". It perfectly encapsulates how I felt when I learned "Nailed It" was coming back for a second season: If I had to do it all again I wouldn't change a single thing There's no questioning … Continue reading Nailed It! Season Two Review

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018) Review

Legendary animator Genndy Tartakovsky returns for a third time to bring us the further adventures of Dracula and his growing family. Although he’s often spoken about stepping away from the series, we should be thankful he’s stayed onboard because it’s his involvement that keeps this amiably undemanding series from sliding inexorably towards mediocrity. Mistaking her … Continue reading Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018) Review

The Equalizer 2 (2018) Review

I’m enough of a fan of the original TV show “The Equalizer” to wish Antoine Fuqua had found a way to incorporate Stewart Copeland’s superb synth-driven theme tune into this modern reinterpretation. But my favourite part of the TV series was always the helping out of ‘the little guy’ rather than the bigger, over-arching spycraft … Continue reading The Equalizer 2 (2018) Review

Christopher Robin (2018) Review

Disney’s latest live-action reinterpretation of its hallowed back catalogue is also easily one of its most muddled, despite the fact it's treading a very similar path to the one “Hook” forged nearly thirty years ago. All grown up, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is married with a daughter yet spends all his time at work, under … Continue reading Christopher Robin (2018) Review

The Darkest Minds (2018) Review

It’s always prudent, if you’re going to copy ideas from other films, characters and books, not to have your characters discuss those very stories right while you’re pilfering them. It doesn’t take a ‘green’ to figure that out. When a mysterious virus afflicts the children of the world, killing nearly 98%, the survivors are viewed … Continue reading The Darkest Minds (2018) Review

Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018) Review

Released as their 20th movie, in their 10th Anniversary year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that “Ant-Man And The Wasp” is reassuringly reliable entertainment, exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What may be unexpected is how well this tale works as a palate cleanser after the universe-altering … Continue reading Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018) Review