Brakes (2017) Review

Endings are funny things, only coming into real focus in hindsight. Do you ever really know you’re living through the ending of something while it’s happening, or is it only in retrospect that endings reveal themselves? And if you knew how things would end, would you choose to begin them in the first place? Subverting … Continue reading Brakes (2017) Review

The World According To Garp (1982) Review

This review is being posted as part of the Robin Williams Blogathon 2018 being hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews and In Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. One of the most remarkable things about “The World According To Garp” is just how well director George Roy Hill ("Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid", "The Sting") and … Continue reading The World According To Garp (1982) Review

Coco (2018) Review

“Coco”, a vibrant and deceptively poignant exploration of the Mexican holiday the Day Of The Dead, sees Pixar once again doing what they do best: delivering a heartfelt story of family, heritage and passion in a visually stunning wrapping. 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is determined to be a musician, like his great-great-grandfather. The only problem … Continue reading Coco (2018) Review

Darkest Hour (2018) Review

A British icon. A pivotal moment in history. A desperate race against time. “Darkest Hour” sheds some light on the earliest days of Winston Churchill’s premiership as Europe faced annihilation by the Nazi horde and the British political establishment teetered on the brink of self-destruction. This is no dry history lesson, though, thanks to a … Continue reading Darkest Hour (2018) Review

Molly’s Game (2018) Review

Coming in to “Molly’s Game”, I had absolutely no awareness of the film or the true life events its based on, a rare enough occurrence these days but my ignorance quickly turned to bliss thanks to this polished production and an enthralling performance from Jessica Chastain. Molly Bloom, driven to succeed from a young age … Continue reading Molly’s Game (2018) Review

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

There was a howl of outrage heard around the world when plans were first announced to make another “Jumanji” film. Up until then, I don’t think anyone had really been aware of in what high esteem the original – albeit fondly thought of – had been held. Turns out the Robin Williams CG-heavy jungle adventure … Continue reading Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

Spaceballs (1987) 30th Anniversary Review

In all the fever pitch excitement of the countdown to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and its subsequent reception, the 30th anniversary of another space saga which took place once upon a timewarp in a galaxy very, very, very, very far away kind of slipped by. Released 30 years ago in the UK on the … Continue reading Spaceballs (1987) 30th Anniversary Review

Star Trek: Discovery – Into The Forest I Go (S1E09) Review

Apologies for the delay in getting this review out there, but as I was writing, it started out as one thing and sort became something else as I went along. Not unlike “Star Trek: Discovery”, actually, but we’ll get to that in due time. In the meantime, let’s go into the woods today, we’re sure … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – Into The Forest I Go (S1E09) Review

Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Review

Offering first class accommodation, stunning views and a fine selection of a la carte thespian talent, Kenneth Branagh’s elegant and stylish remake of Christie’s famous novel is far more than a mere replacement cast service for the lauded 1974 ‘original’. Exhausted from work and ever so slightly jaded, celebrated Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is looking … Continue reading Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Review

The Witches (1990) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Much as Ian Fleming did with “Dr. No”, Roald Dhal dismissed the film version of his novel “The Witches” as ‘utterly appalling’ and much like Fleming was, he’s was being far too harsh. When Luke’s parents are killed in a car accident, his Norwegian grandmother Helga (Mai Zetterling) accompanies him back to England, regaling him … Continue reading The Witches (1990) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

Seventeen films in, you’d forgive Marvel for resting on their laurels but there’s no sign of fatigue as Marvel closes out its Thor trilogy with “Thor: Ragnarok”. Driven by recurring dreams of the destruction of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) allows himself to be captured by fire demon Surtur in order to pre-empt and prevent Ragnarok. … Continue reading Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A family-friendly horror movie seems like an oxymoron, but it’s exactly what 2006’s “Monster House” is. It has all the hallmarks and ingredients you’d expect from a really good haunted house movie, it's structured exactly the way a 'real' horror movie would be, except you can watch it with your kids. When DJ, his best … Continue reading Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Death Of Stalin (2017) Review

There’s something deeply disturbing about the fact it’s so easy to laugh at “The Death Of Stalin”. Were it not for the fact these events all actually took place, this absurdist comedy from Armando Iannucci could be dismissed for simply being too far-fetched for its own good. When Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) suffers a devastating … Continue reading The Death Of Stalin (2017) Review

The Monster Squad (1987) #MonthOfSpooks Review

As the years went past and cinematic tastes changed, Universal’s Monsters found a new home as beloved perennial TV favourites, gathering new generations of fans year after year and breaking out into popular culture through Saturday morning cartoons and reinterpretations. As the cinema reinvented and reinterpreted the creations, Universal’s pantheon continued to be the benchmark … Continue reading The Monster Squad (1987) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Babysitter (2017) Review

Slashing its way onto Netflix this Friday 13th, McG’s “The Babysitter” is a Hallowe’en “Home Alone” delight. When his parents leave for a weekend getaway, 12-year-old Cole (Judah Lewis) doesn’t really mind that he’s the only kid in his class who still has a Babysitter. And, to be fair, who would if their babysitter was … Continue reading The Babysitter (2017) Review

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) #MonthOfSpooks Review

For over a decade, Universal had been content to recycle and remix their roster of monsters in increasingly crowded crossovers, even matching them up with Abbott and Costello for a fun-filled romp but the world was changing, and with it the audience’s taste for terror. The full moon might have been setting on the gothic … Continue reading Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Invisible Man (1933) #MonthOfSpooks Review

There’s a real shock right at the start of Universal’s “The Invisible Man” as it proudly proclaims its membership of the NRA. Thankfully, it’s a reference to President Franklin D Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration of 1933 and not the politicised mass murder apologists of today. Good job too, because “The Invisible Man” needs no help … Continue reading The Invisible Man (1933) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Blade Runner (1982) #Review

Back in the early eighties, giddy on “Star Wars”, I’d picked up my visual scanning for any other movies which starred my favourite heroes. “Hanover Street” cruelly tricked me – I mean, it had “Han” in the title and starred Harrison Ford so it must be great right? Not for this 8-year-old “Star Wars” fan. … Continue reading Blade Runner (1982) #Review

Star Trek: Discovery – Context Is For Kings (S1E03) Review

*SPOILERS* Oh, “Star Trek: Discovery”, you’re a cunning one. Here we are on our third date and you know what that means. Do we have a future together or was it just a brief fling? No wonder you kept the best of your new goodies until this episode. Because make no mistake, “Context Is For … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – Context Is For Kings (S1E03) Review

Dracula (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Once again, What The Craggus Saw is joining in with TheMarckoGuy’s Month Of Spooks. Last year, it prompted me to finally get around to watching the classic Hallowe'en movie, “Halloween”. This year, I’ve used it as an excuse to go all the way back to where modern cinema horror began, exploring the original Universal Monster … Continue reading Dracula (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

I vividly remember reading “Gerald’s Game” the first time, because it’s maybe the only book that’s ever made me physically jump while reading it. On first consideration, Stephen King's story of psychological survival horror, notably lacking in overtly supernatural elements, would seem unfilmable yet writer/ director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus”) has nevertheless fashioned the twisted tale … Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

Star Trek: Discovery – The Vulcan Hello (S1E01) Review

Things haven’t been great between me and “Star Trek” for some time. Oh sure, we still go through the motions, remembering birthdays, anniversaries all the while secretly reminiscing about the good old days when we were inseparable, glued to the screen as Kirk, Picard, Sisko and even Janeaway roamed the universe.  The magic died around … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – The Vulcan Hello (S1E01) Review

Borg vs McEnroe (2017) Review

Gripping, insightful and quietly powerful, “Borg vs McEnroe” brings us a thoughtful examination of sporting drive and athletic rivalry at a watershed moment for international tennis. In the run-up to the 1980 Wimbledon Championship, Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) contemplates the possibility that he could become the first person ever to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles … Continue reading Borg vs McEnroe (2017) Review

Strange Days (1995) Review

Long before she became the queen of clinically detached but nerve-shreddingly tense true life docudrama, Kathryn Bigelow directed this vastly underrated, far-sighted techno-thriller. Now finally released on BluRay, it’s time, from the bizarre present day of 2017, to reappraise the Strange Days of 1995. Lenny Nero, a former cop turned street hustler makes a living … Continue reading Strange Days (1995) Review

Logan Lucky (2017) Review

Steven Soderbergh may be returning to the Director’s chair for the first time since 2013’s “Behind The Candelabra” but “Logan Lucky” sees him settle comfortably back into his comfort zone, albeit with a sly spin on an old favourite. The Logan brothers, Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver), decide to throw off the local gossip … Continue reading Logan Lucky (2017) Review

Detroit (2017) Review

With serendipitous timing and real world resonance that borders on opportunistic, “Detroit” arrives in cinemas to emphasise the perilous nature of present day America and it’s far too recent shameful past. Detroit, 1967. The city is in the grip of growing discontent which is spilling over into racially-charged rioting driven by large scale disaffection and … Continue reading Detroit (2017) Review

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) Review

Sometimes, all you need to do is get the right cast in front of the camera and let them do their thing. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is one of those times. With the trial of notorious war criminal Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) desperate for witnesses, the authorities turn to notorious contract killer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L … Continue reading The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) Review

Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

After his star turn in “Jessica Jones”, I was looking forward to seeing Luke Cage’s solo adventures and Netflix’ latest MCU adventure doesn’t disappoint. Luke Cage (Mike Colter), an escaped convict who was left with superhuman strength and impenetrable skin after being experimented on in prison, is keeping a low profile in Harlem. But when … Continue reading Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

Atomic Blonde (2017) Review

Edgy, brutal and achingly stylish, Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” should be enough to scare the living daylights out of the Bond producers as they continue to pull together the follow-up to SPECTRE. In cold war 1989 Berlin, in the days leading up to the fall of the wall, a British agent is killed after retrieving … Continue reading Atomic Blonde (2017) Review

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017) Review

Luc Besson’s Space Oddity opens with a suitably inspirational opening as the story of Alpha (the eponymous City Of A Thousand Planets) is told through an evolutionary montage which nods to both Kubrick and Zemeckis. En route to Alpha to begin his next mission, Agent Valerian (Dane DeHaan) experiences a vision of the destruction of … Continue reading Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017) Review

Wakefield (2017) Review

Available now on VOD and DVD, “Wakefield” provides a compelling account of a man who finds his nervous breakdown may actually offer him the opportunity to break free. Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is a successful businessman with a wife, two daughters and a lovely home in the suburbs. But arriving home one day, the daily grind … Continue reading Wakefield (2017) Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Review

There’s clearly a lot of love for the source material in DreamWorks’ adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” children’s book series. Bright, breezy and unashamedly childish, it’s potty humour fashioned into fantastic family entertainment. George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a pair of imaginative elementary school best friends who like nothing better than pulling pranks … Continue reading Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Review

The previous “Amazing Spider-Man” movies showed us that Spider-Man’s most implacable foe was studio interference and while I personally enjoyed what Marc Webb and Andree Garfield were trying to do, there’s no denying “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was a convoluted and overstuffed mess of studio-mandated world building which makes “Iron Man 2” look streamlined and … Continue reading Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Review

Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls (S10E12) Review

*SPOILERS* Oh, of course we don’t address the cliffhanger immediately. Instead, we’re treated to a healthy dose of bucolic nightmare fuel as would-be Cybermen scarecrows come to shambling life and attack an isolated farm homestead somewhere halfway up the ship. Admittedly, the annoyance of this discontinuity is ameliorated by the instantly iconic sight of a … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls (S10E12) Review

Doctor Who: The Eaters Of Light (S10E10) Review

*SPOILERS* So…here we are, the calm before the storm; the deep breath before barrelling downhill towards the 12th Doctor’s finish line with only the two-part finale and a Christmas special to go. The last ‘ordinary’ episode of Capaldi’s era. And what better way to honour an era which has shown such reverence to the classic … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Eaters Of Light (S10E10) Review

Gifted (2017) Review

Perhaps stung by the unfairly hostile reception to his “Amazing Spider-Man” movies, Marc Webb returns to cinemas with “Gifted”, a decidedly smaller scale and more intimate movie about a child genius. Frank (Chris Evans) looks after his 7 year old niece Mary (Mckenna Grace), a mathematical prodigy. Frank has cared for her since her mother … Continue reading Gifted (2017) Review

The Belko Experiment (2017) Review

There’s a refreshingly straightforward brutality to “The Belko Experiment”, a darkly comic beat-‘em-up from writer James Gunn (“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”) and director Greg McLean (“Wolf Creek”). In an isolated American office building in rural Bogota, Colombia, the working day starts much like any other for the ex-pat employees, even if security seems … Continue reading The Belko Experiment (2017) Review

Doctor Who: The Pilot (S10E01) Review

After an absence so long it almost qualifies for the sobriquet the Fourth Great Doctor Who Hiatus (especially if one understandably overlooks the forgettable “Return of Doctor Mysterio”), proper “Doctor Who” is back on telly for a tenth [thirty-sixth] season. So what does mischievous showrunner Steven Moffat call this overdue return? “The Pilot”, obviously. The … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Pilot (S10E01) Review

Fast & Furious 8 (2017) Review

The Fast & Furious franchise continues to surprise and delight in equal measure as it resumes its metamorphosis into a Saturday morning cartoon brought to lavish live-action life. When his honeymoon is interrupted by the appearance of the notorious cybercriminal Cypher (Charlize Theron), Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) finds himself blackmailed into betraying his team and … Continue reading Fast & Furious 8 (2017) Review

Kong: Skull Island (2017) Review

In an age of shared blockbuster universes which take themselves terribly seriously, “Kong: Skull Island” is a breezy and brazen breath of fresh air. Preposterous in its premise, it's not afraid to embrace its silliness and, as a result, is more fun than any of its Hollywood kaiju predecessors. In the early 1970’s, an expedition … Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017) Review

Patriot’s Day (2017) Review

It’s been less than four years since the Boston Marathon Bombings and I went into “Patriot’s Day” wondering what the film, made so soon after the saturation news coverage, hoped to achieve. Director Peter Berg, of course, is no stranger when it comes to adapting true life events and, after an awkward opening, he manages … Continue reading Patriot’s Day (2017) Review

Moonlight (2017) Review

Beautifully structured and elegantly restrained, Barry Jenkins’ deceptively simple three act coming of age drama packs a powerful emotional punch as we follow Chiron, a disaffected young black man growing up and struggling with his identity and sexuality in suburban Miami. Throughout each of the acts, assaying a different period of Chiron’s life, we’re treated … Continue reading Moonlight (2017) Review

Logan (2017) Review

Much has been made of “Logan” being a hard-R superhero movie and it’s certainly in a hurry to prove its adult credentials, opening with a sequence which is almost custom designed to make a certain class of comic fans jizz their pants. There’s even an unnecessary shot of breasts within the first fifteen minutes. For … Continue reading Logan (2017) Review

Hidden Figures (2017) Review

Set at a time when humanity looked to the stars with hope rather than around the world with fear, “Hidden Figures” is an uplifting true-life drama set during the space race at the height of the cold war. It’s 1961 and NASA is lagging behind the Russians in the race to get a man into … Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) Review

Trainspotting (1996) Review

Shot on an indie budget, “Trainspotting” was a brash, foul-mouthed, grotty little movie with blockbuster sized ambition. Wilfully anarchic and wildly spirited, it proved to be a real shot in the arm for a British film industry pigeonholed by Merchant Ivory dramas and sickly sweet rom-coms. The story of four junkies: Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sickboy … Continue reading Trainspotting (1996) Review

Split (2017) Review

Yet another director seemingly completing his comeback, “Split” sees M Night Shyamalan building on the momentum of "The Visit" and nearing a return to his best form as he once again explores the boundary between psychological fact and science fiction. When three young girls are kidnapped, it’s just the beginning of their nightmare. Their kidnapper … Continue reading Split (2017) Review

Lion (2017) Review

A fascinating and compelling true story of survival and serendipity, “Lion” delivers the best cinematic advert for Google since “The Internship”. Finding himself utterly lost after accidentally falling asleep on an out of service cross country train, five year old Saroo finds himself alone on the streets of 1980s Calcutta. Eventually he is taken in … Continue reading Lion (2017) Review

Hacksaw Ridge (2017) Review

Apparently completing the rehabilitative arc of Mel Gibson’s Hollywood career, “Hacksaw Ridge” is a powerful, if uneven, examination of the horrors of war and the demands of true moral courage. The fact it’s based on a true story just makes it all the more incredible. Desmond T. Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist, decides to enlist … Continue reading Hacksaw Ridge (2017) Review

The American President (1995) Review

Before the dignity and prestige of the office was befouled and irreversibly tarnished by a bloviating titian demagogue, there was a time when America had fallen madly back in love with their Commander In Chief and Hollywood was falling over itself to ingratiate itself with the occupant of The White House. 1990s films such as … Continue reading The American President (1995) Review

The Bureau Season 1 Review

A slick French TV thriller in the vein of “Spooks”, “The Bureau” – a Canal+ production – centres around the lives and missions of the operatives of the DGSE (General Directorate for External Security, the French equivalent of MI6) as they coordinate the covert activities of agents around the world. When one of the DGSE’s … Continue reading The Bureau Season 1 Review