There are a lot of firsts on offer in modest 1989 Britcom “The Tall Guy”: it’s the feature directorial debut of Mel Smith and it’s the first feature film script by Richard Curtis. It also features the theatrical film debut of Emma Thompson and, briefly, Jason Isaacs. Blogathon man of the moment, Jeff Goldblum, plays … Continue reading The Tall Guy (1989) comes up short
Although it opens like “America’s Next Top Model: The Movie”, Luc Besson’s latest action-fest plays out more like a poor carbon copy of last year’s “Red Sparrow”. It’s certainly more fun than “Red Sparrow”, but that’s not a particularly high bar to clear. Anna (Sasha Luss) is a KGB honey trap agent working in Paris … Continue reading Luc Besson’s lacklustre spy thriller Anna (2019) offers little more than a vanilla Villanelle knockoff
In following up on “Hereditary”, Ari Aster’s sophomore effort “Midsommer” was almost predestined to become the latest yardstick by which that most rarefied strata of cinephiles would embrace to prove their bona fides. A pity, then that he has delivered a glacial two-and-a-half-hour Instagram filter with ill-founded pretentions of psychological profundity. A group of friends … Continue reading Ari Aster’s Swedish folk horror Midsommar (2019) combines the existential terror of a trip to IKEA with the crushing tedium of a trip to IKEA
It’s clear from the moment the opening credits start that something has gone very wrong with the “Jaws” franchise. Everything instantly looks cheaper as the new production team bring in a tackier, naffer aesthetic to the whole set-up. Director Joe Alves is certainly no Steven Spielberg and he’s not even a Jeannot Swarzc but then … Continue reading Jaws 3-D (1983) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Far from the high concept carcharodon carry-on of the likes of “6-Headed Shark Attack” or “Sharkenstein”, “Shark Lake” sets out to position itself as a gritty and grounded shark thriller. A gritty and ground shark thriller which begins with Clint Gray (Dolph Lundgren), a rare animal smuggler, going on the run with a bull shark … Continue reading Shark Lake (2015) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
When “Jaws” shattered box office records and blew minds in 1975, it inspired countless imitations but maybe none took as long to swim their way into cinema screens as India’s 1996 epic “Aatank”. Started in the early 1980s, it went through a couple of directors, various producers, rewrites, reshoots and even body doubles to finish … Continue reading Aatank (1996) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
“Deep Blue Sea 2” is a movie that poses a lot of questions. Not just the obvious ones like what? or why? But also 'what if the raptors from “Jurassic World” but sharks'? And what led Warner Bros to value this IP so lowly they rented it out for this generic, cheap sharksploitation flick? But … Continue reading Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Having consulted Google Maps and confirmed that, yes, a shark in the Ozarks in technically possible, let’s dive head first into not horror fiction, but horror fact as a family vacation to the Ozarks takes a bloodthirsty turn when killer sharks invade the picturesque waterways. “Ozark Shark” doesn’t start well. The initial bloodless shark attacks … Continue reading Ozark Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
To the surprise of literally nobody, rising with an entirely unmerited sense of entitlement from the ashes of “X-Men: Apocalypse”, writer/ director Simon Kinberg has only managed to conjure a turkey from the flames. In the 1990s, the X-Men are enjoying a golden age of public and governmental approval. The President even has a brand … Continue reading X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) offers us the chance to dine on ashes while flipping us the bird.
Today, 31st May 2019, marks the 25th anniversary of the one and only screening of Roger Corman’s infamously unreleased “The Fantastic Four”. Tax write-off? Copyright obligation? Shits ‘n’ giggles? Whatever the reason, this million-dollar movie was apparently never meant to see the light of day, but then again if you want to find it, it’s … Continue reading It’s clobberin’ time for your eyes and ears: celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four (1994)
“Wonder Park” isn’t short of ambition but all it really ends up proving is that what Pixar do isn’t anywhere near as easy as it looks. When June’s mum falls ill, it seems to spell the end of their imagined theme park, a model of which has taken over their house but when June suddenly … Continue reading Wonder Park (2019) will have you wondering where you parked and whether anyone will notice if you nip back to the car.
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
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.
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.
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
Hardly the frozen “Taken” we were promised by the marketing, this remake of the director’s own 2014 film "Kraftidioten" has moments of sublime black humour but is too disjointed, derivative and haphazard to do justice to its cast or premise. Hard-working snowplough driver Nels Coxman (Neeson) is a pillar of the community of Rocky Mountain … Continue reading Cold Pursuit (2019) isn’t worth following
There’s a laziness to “Escape Room” that’s hard to shake off. From its cookie-cutter characters to its predictable checkbox approach to disposing of its cast, it can’t seem to find the will to try and differentiate itself from its obvious influences. When six strangers receive mysterious invitations to participate in an Escape Room, they quickly … Continue reading Escape Room (2019) will have you searching for the nearest exit too.
It’s someone disingenuous for something this uninspired to proclaim it's ‘inspired by a true story’ but that doesn’t seem to discourage notorious empty chair haranguer Clint Eastwood from making a film for reactionary old men who like to yell at clouds. It’s a wannabe “Sicario – The Greatest Generation”, or the demographic antithesis of “Black … Continue reading The law may be an ass, but The Mule (2019) is a real donkey.
In taking on the story of Dick Cheney, the apparently unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider turned Vice Presidential master of the universe, Adam McKay seeks to shed light on the breathtaking constitutional chicanery which saw the executive branch of the American government vastly increase its own power whilst at the same time enormously enriching those in … Continue reading Christian Bale piles on the pounds for Adam McKay’s The Waist Wing. Vice (2019) Review
*SPOILERS* The third Short Trek brings us a pre-USS Discovery glimpse into the life of one of the series’ standout characters: Saru (Doug Jones). In doing so, it brings to light the weird contradictions in the species’ origins, especially in the Star Trek universe. On the planet Kaminar, Saru feels unfulfilled by Kelpien life, living … Continue reading Star Trek: Short Treks – The Brightest Star reminds us Kelpians are friends, not food.
*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.
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
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
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
*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
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
Those of you who prefer to refer to “The Witch” as “The VVitch” will be delighted to know that you can refer to this curate’s egg of a horror movie as “Blood For Dracvla” if you wish. Be warned, though, that may be the sole appeal of this pretentious, weirdly bucolic spin on the legend … Continue reading Andy Warhol’s Blood For Dracula (1975) Dractober Review
*SPOILERS* There’s no face in the new opening titles and no cold open – although I guess we’ll have to wait for next week to find out if that’s just because of the cliff-hanger or if that’s the new normal. Given how prevalent her face was in the series’ advance marketing, it’s a little odd … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Ghost Monument (S11E02) 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
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 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
“Beware the Slenderman” is a 2017 documentary which examines the real-life incident in which two girls attempted to murder one of their friends, to appease the Slender Man, a fictional creepy past monster who was created in 2009 as part of a photoshop contest on somethingawful.com. Using real-life footage of court proceedings, various YouTube videos, … Continue reading Beware The Slenderman (2017) Review
So it’s come to this: The Last Sharknado. Can I get that in writing? Me and the Sharknado films have had quite the trajectory. At first I was like: ‘this is a joke’. Then I was like, ‘No, seriously, is this a joke?’ And then I was like ‘okay, that was actually pretty funny’ followed … Continue reading The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018) #SharkWeak2 Review
“Empire Of The Sharks” scores an early win with a mention of ‘trained ninja sharks’, a formidable weapon on a post-apocalyptic, flooded ecosystem. A biosphere covered entirely in water. An oceanic globe. An aquatic planet. Hmm. If only there was an easy way of saying it... On a future earth where 98% of the surface … Continue reading Empire Of The Sharks (2017) #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
“Swamp Shark” sees us returning to the safe waters of the insert-unusual-place-in-front-of-the-word-‘shark’ format and this time we return to the Louisiana bayou for a third time, once again in the company of Kristy Swanson, this time tackling our first proper cryptid critter of #SharkWeak2. When an animal smuggler accidentally releases a rare and exotic shark … Continue reading Swamp Shark (2011) #SharkWeak2 Review
A movie so non-union equivalent it could have been directed by Senor Spielbergo himself, “Shark In Venice” dives deep into classic Spielbergian action adventure (in ambition if not quite execution) and boasts a cast led by undeniable Hollywood A-list-adjacent talent. When his father disappears while diving in the city of Venice, David ([Stephen] Baldwin) travels … Continue reading Shark In Venice (2008) #SharkWeak2 Review
We’re back in the realms of mad science with 2005’s “Sharkman” (the internet’s most often confused movie. It’s sometimes called “Hammerhead” and not to be confused with the apparently unavailable (believe me I tried) 2001 film “Sharkman” from which I think the poster I’ve used is taken but plenty of other sites credit this to … Continue reading Sharkman (2005) #SharkWeak2 Review
*SPOILER WARNING* Donna is dead to begin with. As dead as a doornail. It’s just one of the many, many ways this sequel unpicks all the happy endings of the first movie to cynically give itself a reason to exist. Preparing for the grand opening of the Hotel Bella Donna, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is working … Continue reading Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) Review
What better viewing choice on the 4th of July than the latest instalment in the satirical horror series, one that goes back to the beginning and commemorates the very start of the decline of the land of the so-called free? “The First Purge” sets out to explain just how a society could come to adopt … Continue reading The First Purge (2018) Review
It’s impossible to view “Sicario 2: Soldado” in isolation from the current real-world events along America’s southern border. Indeed, the film finds itself cruelly separated from the comfort of director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins' reassuring presence. Also discarded is Emily Blunt’s FBI agent Kate Macer and with her any shred of conscience “Sicario” … Continue reading Sicario 2: Soldado (2018) Review
After the expertly curated, nerve-shredding trailer, I went into “Hereditary” with a great deal of trepidation (I’m a little bit of a horror wuss) but of all the myriad emotional states I was nervously anticipating, I never expected to be bored. Following the death of her estranged mother, Annie (Toni Collette) is forced to confront … Continue reading Hereditary (2018) Review
It’s not often that Sweetie G and I disagree strongly about a movie, except of course for “World War Z” but we don’t have time to get in that here. Suffice to say, when we were asked to take a look at independent Canadian horror who could have guessed it would bear comparison to that … Continue reading Dark Forest (2015) Review
Following in the footsteps of the Man Of Steel and Captain America, Gnomeo and Juliet become the latest characters to have their sequel hijacked by a bunch of different characters as the franchise tries to position itself as a vehicle to reimagine classic British literature, a sort of anthology of garden toy stories. When garden … Continue reading Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review
Staggering its way into cinemas, “Blockers” strikes a clumsy blow for equality by showing that dumb, crass, tasteless teenage sex comedies aren’t just for boys anymore. Yay, equality? Three friends make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night but when one of their parents accidentally intercepts a text conversation, their parents band together … Continue reading Blockers (2018) Review
In “Captain America: Civil War”, when discussing the Sokovia Accords, Vision concedes that ‘Our very strength invites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict breeds catastrophe.’ If the MCU's strength is undeniable, “Guardians” is the catastrophe. During the Cold War, a secret Soviet Army division called Patriot conducted genetic experiments on citizens, creating mutations with dangerous … Continue reading Guardians (2017) Review
The original “Pacific Rim” was a deceptively simple rock-‘em, sock-‘em giant robots versus giant monsters movie, blessed with a sumptuous visual elegance, an ocular feast of inky darkness and shadows and iridescent neons and a sly, witty self-awareness that knew just how to push its outlandish premise. It’s sequel, on the other hand, drags the … Continue reading Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Review
Given the escalating events over the past few years involving the treatment of young black men in the United States, “Seven Seconds” is a show that feels like it’s been a long time coming but, hopefully, will not age well as time goes by. Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp), a young white cop starting out as … Continue reading Seven Seconds Season One Review
Beaten to the Christmas punch by Netflix’ “The Babysitter”, “Better Watch Out” is the latest home inversion thriller to try to shake up the genre, a sort of festive slasher snow globe of adolescent toxic masculinity and entitlement. In the snowy suburbs, a babysitter finds herself having to defend her twelve-year-old charge from a home … Continue reading Better Watch Out (2017) Review