Greta (2019) is a dark urban feminist fairy tale masquerading as a B-movie potboiler.

Greta Movie 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.

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

Star Trek Discovery Such Sweet Sorrow Part II Review

*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

Star Trek: Discovery reminds us time is the fire in which we Burnham. S2E13 Such Sweet Sorrow review

Star Trek Discovery Such Sweet Sorrow Review

*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

Missing Link (2019) is certainly lacking something.

Missing Link Review

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.

Ass-Hat enrols at The Umbrella Academy for Season 1

Netflix Umbrella Academy Review

With their recent public ‘conscious uncoupling’ from Marvel, Netflix has had to use search for different source material to satisfy the public’s current thirst for superhero stories and characters. Their first attempt comes from former Good Charlotte emo goth leader Gerard Way in the form of “The Umbrella Academy”. On October 1st 1989, 43 women … Continue reading Ass-Hat enrols at The Umbrella Academy for Season 1

Dumbo (2019) has a surprisingly metatextual moral for the House of Mouse

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

It’s more meddling and a funeral as Star Trek: Discovery reveals the identity of The Red Angel (S2E10) Review

Star Trek Discovery The Red Angel 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

On The Basis Of Sex (2019) fails to make its case

On The Basis Of Sex Review

Lightweight, superficial and oddly unfocused, this biopic of celebrated Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might qualify as a legal brief but it fails to assemble a substantive case despite the abundance of available evidence. The film charts her rise from freshman law student at Yale, through her professorship and advocacy up to her pivotal … Continue reading On The Basis Of Sex (2019) fails to make its case

Star Trek: Discovery S2E07 – Light And Shadows involves a space/ time anomaly which transports some of season one’s bad writing into the present day.

Star Trek Discovery Light And Shadows Review

*SPOILERS* With confirmation the red angel is a ‘man in a suit’ from the future, there’s a renewed impetus to find Spock so Burnham requests permission to head to Vulcan because she believes her mother may know where Spock is. Meanwhile, the Discovery is tasked with remaining in orbit around Kaminar – not, as you … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery S2E07 – Light And Shadows involves a space/ time anomaly which transports some of season one’s bad writing into the present day.

Not everything about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) is awesome but, as the movie itself is at pains to point out, that’s okay too.

Continuing the irreverent, pop-culture saturated craziness of the first movie, Emmet, Wildstyle and all your favourites from “The Lego Movie” are back picking up mere moments from the end of the first movie as the Duplo aliens attack. With the previously harmonious world of Bricksburg transformed into the post-apocalyptic wasteland Apocalypseburg by the repeated invasions … Continue reading Not everything about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) is awesome but, as the movie itself is at pains to point out, that’s okay too.

It’s the return of the braidy bunch as the Klingons finally let their hair down on Star Trek: Discovery. (S2E03) Point Of Light Review

*SPOILER* You’d be forgiven for wincing as this week’s episode begins because it brings back those pointy-clothed buzzkills from season one, the Klingons. Although it’s immediately apparent that something’s different. They’re more mobile, for one, and certainly more hirsute. And while they’re still speaking Klingon, it’s less stilted and Shakespearean now but they’re probably just … Continue reading It’s the return of the braidy bunch as the Klingons finally let their hair down on Star Trek: Discovery. (S2E03) Point Of Light Review

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

Coogan & Reilly disappear into Laurel & Hardy in the gentle biopic Stan & Ollie (2019)

Focussing in on the twilight of their illustrious careers, “Stan & Ollie” pays tribute to the beloved entertainers by taking an affectionate and bittersweet look behind the scenes at their last great collaboration: a music hall tour of the UK while trying to pull together one last motion picture deal. With the collective baggage of … Continue reading Coogan & Reilly disappear into Laurel & Hardy in the gentle biopic Stan & Ollie (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love At First Bite (1979) Dractober Review

There’s something inherently funny about the idea of an individual as famously permatanned as George Hamilton portraying the notoriously sun-shy Count Dracula but it’s not quite enough to lift this dated and lightweight comedy above the ordinary. Evicted from his ancestral Castle by the Communist government of Romania who plan to turn it into a … Continue reading Love At First Bite (1979) Dractober 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

Vampira (1974) Dractober Review

Absolutely not a film to be judged by today’s neo-puritan standards, “Vampira” (released as "Old Dracula" in the US to cash in on the recent success of "Young Frankenstein") is steeped in the saucy, cheeky and, yes, casually racist and sexist humour of the early seventies but taken on its own terms, it has a … Continue reading Vampira (1974) Dractober Review

Dracula: Prince Of Darkness (1966) Dractober Review

Previously on Dracula... Having thoroughly bested the Count in his own library, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) takes his leave of Castle Dracula and ten years go past (because we’re ignoring the Dracula-less “Brides Of Dracula”. The locals still cling to their fear of vampires and Father Sandor (the excellent Andrew Keir) prevents them from disposing … Continue reading Dracula: Prince Of Darkness (1966) Dractober Review

Son Of Dracula (1943) Dractober Review

Dractober’s keeping it in the family as we follow up “Dracula’s Daughter” with another story in a filial vein. Swapping the mountains of Carpathia for the swamps of the Deep South, Count Alucard (Lon Chaney Jr) arrives to visit Dark Oaks, the plantation owned by the wealthy Colonel Caldwell (George Irving) and his two daughters, … Continue reading Son Of Dracula (1943) Dractober Review

Dracula’s Daughter (1936) Dractober Review

Two days into Dractober, and we’re still waiting for the man himself to appear. Picking up exactly where “Dracula” (1931) left off, “Dracula’s Daughter” sees the mysterious Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden) seek out the assistance of Dr Jeffrey Garth (Otto Kruger) to cure her of the curse of vampirism, bequeathed to her by the … Continue reading Dracula’s Daughter (1936) Dractober 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

Moonwalker (1988) Review

Last Christmas, a friend of the family gave us four tickets for the touring show “Forever Jackson” featuring Michael Jackson impersonator Robin Parsons, because Mrs Craggus has long been a fan of the ‘King Of Pop’. The show’s a lot of fun and Parsons pretty much nails his Jackson impersonation (as long as you don’t … Continue reading Moonwalker (1988) Review

Any Major Dude (2017) Review

Colin Combes (Scott Brindle), 42-year-old gardening journalist, is staring down the barrel of a locked and loaded mid-life crisis. He’s starting to suspect his wife, Freya (Angelique Fronike) still has feelings for her ex, the aging pop star Gordon ‘Midge’ Midgely (Rob Marsden) and as if that wasn’t enough, he’s due for a colonoscopy to … Continue reading Any Major Dude (2017) 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

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 Reef (2010) #SharkWeak2 Review

The thing I love about sharksploitation movies is they’re generally fun. Fun is a big part of the appeal, even when – or maybe especially when – they’re bad. “The Reef” is not a bad movie, but it's also definitely not a fun movie. When a group of friends find themselves stranded on a capsized … Continue reading The Reef (2010) #SharkWeak2 Review

Shark Swarm (2008) #SharkWeak2 Review

Too short to be a miniseries but too long, really, to be a movie, this Hallmark production weighs in at a whale shark-esque two hours and forty minutes, which is a long time to endure a bad shark movie, so it’s a good thing this one is – believe it or not – actually halfway … Continue reading Shark Swarm (2008) #SharkWeak2 Review

It Came From The Desert (2018) Review

Released on DVD tomorrow and based on the video game of the same name, this cheerful and peppy indie adaptation makes the most of its limited resources and makes a credible pitch for best video game movie adaptation since “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle”. When a group of teenage motocross contenders head to the New … Continue reading It Came From The Desert (2018) Review

Ocean’s 8 (2018) Review

Sisters are doing it for themselves, specifically Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock), in this affably slick but lightweight heist thriller, the fourth in the modern ‘Ocean’ series and the first not to be directed by Steven Soderbergh. Released from prison after being stitched up by her ex-boyfriend, Debbie Ocean has not wasted the past … Continue reading Ocean’s 8 (2018) Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Review

*SPOILERS, I GUESS (IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE TRAILERS)*I’ve long nurtured a theory about the Jurassic movie series, which is the secret ingredient to a really good “Jurassic Park” film isn’t the dinosaurs, it’s the park. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” confirms the theory by breaking the deadlock 3 to 2. The dinosaurs are the ‘wow!’ … Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Review

Safe – Series Review

Tom Delaney is a successful British surgeon who was recently widowed, leaving himself to bring up his two daughters who are becoming increasingly distanced since the tragic loss of their Mother. When Tom’s eldest daughter Jenny goes missing, whilst assisting Police in their search he discovers an intricate and tragic secret that may hold the … Continue reading Safe – Series Review

Every Day (2018) Review

Adapted from the novel by David Levithan, “Any Day” may, at first glance, look like your run of the mill young adult schmaltzy romance but lurking behind that façade is a sweet and surprisingly affecting sci-fi romance built around the charismatic performance of lead Angourie Rice. It also marks the resurrection of Orion Pictures, the … Continue reading Every Day (2018) Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

When his cover is blown thanks to an accident in a bottling plant, Doctor Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) returns to the United States to seek the help of a mysterious ‘Mr Blue’ who may hold the key to undoing his Gamma poisoning. But General Ross (William Hurt) is hot on his trail, along with Emile … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

A good voice cast and beautifully animated backdrops of the stunning geography of China are enough to lift this undemanding animated animal fable above the flock. When reckless goose Peng (Jim Gaffigan) passes up the chance to migrate with the rest of the flock, he’s left to fend for himself when an injured wing means … Continue reading Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

Zumbo’s Just Desserts Season One Review

Reality TV is an odd fit for a streaming service like Netflix, but it must help fill up those ‘original’ content quotas to buy up international shows for markets they were never broadcast in. So it is with Australian Willy Wonka-inspired “Great British Bake Off” knock-off “Zumbo’s Just Desserts”. Headed up by celebrated Australian pâtissier … Continue reading Zumbo’s Just Desserts Season One Review

Channel Zero Season Two: No-End House Review

In this age of box sets and binge marathons, one of the advantages of an anthology series is there’s no need to have seen season one to jump aboard season two because each is a standalone story. There is one actor who does return from last season but it’s not quite in the same league … Continue reading Channel Zero Season Two: No-End House Review

Citizen X (1995) Review

An HBO made for TV movie from 1995, “Citizen X” offers a fascinating glimpse behind the crumbling Iron Curtain of the 1980s, into a society where political corruption and ideological hubris led to the deaths of dozens of young men and women at the hands of the Soviet Union’s first identified serial killer. When a … Continue reading Citizen X (1995) Review

Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

It may provoke a momentary pause of incredulity to accommodate the fact Paramount have passed on the international distribution of Alex Garland’s “Annihilation” yet they’re happy to push this movie out around the globe, but raiding all the lost snark aside, there’s at least some justification for their involvement given the sheer number of Indiana … Continue reading Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

Status Update (2018) Review

There’s not exactly a long and distinguished history of films based on mobile apps, but that didn’t dissuade the makers of “Status Update” from stepping into the cultural crater left by “The Emoji Movie” and having another try. When his parents separate and he has to move three thousand miles away from his Californian roots … Continue reading Status Update (2018) Review

All The Money In The World (2018) Review

It's been almost impossible to avoid the publicity surrounding Ridley Scott's polished-to-a-dull-sheen biographical crime drama "All The Money In The World" thanks to the scandal which engulfed its would-be star after allegations of his sexual predation came to light and Scott's swift decision to excise the actor from the movie and reshoot all of his … Continue reading All The Money In The World (2018) Review