Star Trek: Discovery – What’s Past Is Prologue (S1E13) Review

*SPOILERS* By this point, “Star Trek: Discovery” has used more quotes as titles than you could shake a spear at (it’s also batting way above average in getting characters to announce the episode title in dialogue) and after last week’s dip into the Scottish play, this week’s is lifted from “The Tempest”: ‘What’s Past Is … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – What’s Past Is Prologue (S1E13) Review

The Disaster Artist (2017) Review

From the last days of Pompeii, through Titanic to The Hindenburg, Hollywood has a long history of adapting disasters into motion pictures, so it was only a matter of time before Tommy Wiseau’s magnificent octopus was itself finally turned into an unironically watchable movie. When aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) encounters the bizarre and … Continue reading The Disaster Artist (2017) Review

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

With the exception of perhaps “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, has there ever been a (belated) sequel which arrived under so much pressure of expectation as “Blade Runner 2049”? Picking up the baton from Ridley Scott’s lionised 1982 sci-fi noir, visionary director Denis Villeneuve leaps us further into the chillingly realistic dystopian future. Following the … Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

Frankenstein (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Universal’s 1931 production of “Frankenstein” opens with a preamble from actor Edward Van Sloan stepping from behind a curtain and delivering a brief cautionary announcement before the opening credits ‘How do you do? Mr Carl Laemmle [the movie’s producer] feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a friendly word … Continue reading Frankenstein (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Baby Driver (2017) Review

There's a refreshing swagger to Edgar Wright’s latest creation, drifting on to the screen with an irresistibly brash confidence, popping the clutch, downshifting the gears and roaring past the sluggish, lumbering summer blockbuster behemoths. Sure, “Baby Driver” could have a smug-off with Ben Wheatley's “Free Fire”, but “Baby Driver” ultimately deserves its sense of self-satisfaction. … Continue reading Baby Driver (2017) Review

Doctor Who: Oxygen (S10E05) Review

*SPOILERS* I’m always a little conflicted about voiceover narration in “Doctor Who” but it’s hard to complain here when it’s used to such cheeky effect, having Capaldi solemnly intone ‘Space: the final frontier…’. The Doctor’s feeling space sick, you see. Not in a nauseous way, but in a longing to sway amongst the stars once … Continue reading Doctor Who: Oxygen (S10E05) Review

Doctor Who: Thin Ice (S10E03) Review

Bill’s real world nous and sci-fi savvy is proving to be a real asset to the current season of Doctor Who. After last week’s detour into whimsical fairy tale storytelling, “Thin ice” brings us solidly back to a more grounded Who, and adds a dash of realism that has often been lacking in the series’ … Continue reading Doctor Who: Thin Ice (S10E03) Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Review

The weight of expectation resting on the follow-up to 2014’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a testament to just how spectacularly Marvel’s big gamble paid off. But like “Avengers Assemble” before it, the challenge of following up a nearly flawless success is a daunting one. After a spot of mischievous larceny by Rocket angers their … Continue reading Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Review

Get Out (2017) Review

Tense, gripping and deliciously, darkly oppressive, “Get Out” is a sensational directorial debut from Jordan Peele, one half of comedy duo Key and Peele. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is heading away for the weekend with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). Chris is worried how Rose’s parents will react to him being black, but when he … Continue reading Get Out (2017) Review

Moana (2016) Review

Disney’s new golden age shows no signs of slowing down as they cap an amazing animated year with the breezy, tropical feel good musical “Moana”. Drawing on Polynesian mythology, “Moana” tells the story of a young girl who longs to leave her island and explore the oceans. Encouraged by her maternal grandmother, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) … Continue reading Moana (2016) Review

Captain America: Civil War (2016) Review

The collateral damage caused by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and other sins of the past weigh heavily on “Captain America: Civil War”, the thirteenth – thirteenth! – film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Threads from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” and “Ant-Man” are woven together into the ever richer tapestry; there are … Continue reading Captain America: Civil War (2016) Review

Jessica Jones – Season 1 Review

As “Daredevil” season 2 continues to burn up the Netflix bandwidth across the globe, I take a look back at “Jessica Jones”, Marvel’s most recent new addition to its expanding MCU TV empire. While “Daredevil” felt edgy, dark and different to the Marvel Cinematic Universe we’d had to that point, it still adhered to many … Continue reading Jessica Jones – Season 1 Review

Making A Murderer (2015) Review

Have you watched Netflix’s “Making A Murderer”? Sure you have, or you’re about to, or you’re part of the way through. No, wait – scratch that. Nobody’s ‘part of the way through’ “Making A Murderer”. You’re either binge watching it, or you’ve finished it and are still trying to pick your jaw up off the … Continue reading Making A Murderer (2015) Review

Doctor Who: Hell Bent (S9E12) Review

*SPOILERS* I’ve taken the luxury of watching “Hell Bent” a few times now, savouring its courage and ambition. As a season finale it’s a curious beast, lacking the overt bombastic urgency of a universe-ending threat, instead underplaying the threat of a threat from the ill-defined ‘hybrid’ and allowing character driven action to take centre stage. … Continue reading Doctor Who: Hell Bent (S9E12) Review

Star Wars (1977) #Rediscovered

*SPOILERS* Rediscovered? Yeah, right. An old geek like me had forgotten “Star Wars”. Of course not, I still remember the giddy, obsessive adoration “Star Wars” produced. I remember buying a copy of The Sun on the way to school in late 1982 because it had an article about what was rumoured to happen in the … Continue reading Star Wars (1977) #Rediscovered

Doctor Who: Face The Raven (S9E10) Review

*SPOILERS* Brushing off the experimental disappointment of last week, “Face The Raven” sees the superlative ninth season of “Doctor Who” soaring back to the top of its game on black and deadly wings. In a season which has already seen atmospheric homages to the eras of previous Doctors, “Face The Raven” tipped its hat to … Continue reading Doctor Who: Face The Raven (S9E10) Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review

After the bloated extravaganza that was “Die Another Day”, the franchise had crashed back down to Earth. But for once, the behind the scenes legal wrangling would work to Bond’s advantage as a series of trades, deals and mergers finally unified the Bond film rights under a single studio. With Brosnan nearing his 50th birthday … Continue reading Casino Royale (2006) Review

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015) Review

Whether or not you engage with “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl” will depend a lot on how receptive you are to its twee, ironic hipsteresque conceits and the energetic, restless camera work of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss it as a semi-pretentious Instagram filter brought to glorious four-dimensional … Continue reading Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015) Review

Mr. Holmes (2015) Review

It’s mortality rather than Moriarty who stalks the world’s greatest detective in “Mr. Holmes”, Bill Condon’s quietly engrossing portrait of a legend in decline. Based on Mitch Cullen’s novel “A Slight Trick Of The Mind”, “Mr. Holmes” finds Sherlock retired and living is seclusion in a remote Sussex farmhouse, caring for his bees and attended … Continue reading Mr. Holmes (2015) Review

Jurassic World (2015) Review

Resurrecting an extinct franchise is a tricky prospect. Can you preserve the DNA of the original to satisfy long-term fans while splicing in enough fresh ideas to delight audiences anew? By honouring the spirit of John Hammond, Steven Spielberg and even Michael Crichton, director Colin Treverrow has…uh…found a way. Twenty-two years after John Hammond’s first attempt … Continue reading Jurassic World (2015) Review

Kīlauea – The Fire Within (2015) Short Film Review

Lava, along with quicksand and icebergs, forms a trinity of natural wonders that depressingly end up being far less of an everyday hazard than you expected as a child. Icebergs were mighty ocean tyrants, seeking out unwary ships and luring them to their doom with their deadly secret mass hiding below the waves while any … Continue reading Kīlauea – The Fire Within (2015) Short Film Review

Goldfinger (1964) Review

It’s still not Sean in the opening gun barrel sequence but pretty much everything else which makes a Bond movie a Bond movie crystallises here, setting a template and a benchmark which the series would follow for the next forty years. For the first time, Bond appears in the pre-credits teaser and what a teaser … Continue reading Goldfinger (1964) Review

Kung Fury (2015) Short Film Review

Back in December 2013, Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce his all-encompassing tribute to 1980’s action movies, “Kung Fury”. While the Kickstarter fell short of its feature film goal, it far exceeded its initial $200,000 and the result - 30 minutes of gloriously insane, gratuitously over the top … Continue reading Kung Fury (2015) Short Film Review

From Russia With Love (1963) Review

Although initially written by Ian Fleming as an intended ‘final’ novel killing off James Bond, “From Russia With Love” was chosen to be the second Bond movie after United Artists, pleased with the performance of “Dr. No” greenlit a sequel with double the budget. Their confidence was well placed. “From Russia With Love” not only … Continue reading From Russia With Love (1963) Review

Whiplash (2015) Review

Released this coming Friday, “Whiplash” tells a story you will have seen before. The story of a young and talented protégé who is taken on by an unconventional and driven mentor determined to propel them both to greatness whatever the cost. It’s the well-worn trope of a dozen sports movies and even more army boot camp … Continue reading Whiplash (2015) Review

Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 21: Arthur Christmas (2011)

By the end of my first time of watching “Arthur Christmas” in the cinema, I’d already welled up a couple of times and my excuse of having ‘something in my eye’ was starting to wear thin. Essentially the story of one child’s gift being missed on Christmas Eve, most of the action focusses on the … Continue reading Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 21: Arthur Christmas (2011)

Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 7: Bad Santa (2003)

A Christmas movie to watch once the kids are safely tucked up in bed, “Bad Santa” is not for the easily offended. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Willie Soke, a washed up, bitter con man who spends his Christmases working as mall Santa so that he and his heist partner Marcus (Tony Cox) can rob … Continue reading Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 7: Bad Santa (2003)

Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 2: Scrooged (1988)

Reinterpretations of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” are almost as old as the original story itself. Indeed, it’ll crop up in various forms three or four times before The Craggus’ Christmas Countdown comes to an end. By lucky dip, we’re starting with one of the best riffs on the theme, 1988’s “Scrooged”. Bill Murray stars as … Continue reading Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 2: Scrooged (1988)

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

Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Starring Karl Urban, "Dredd" is a lean, muscular, unapologetically violent thriller based on the popular '2000AD' comic character. Stripping away the excess of the previous Sylvester Stallone film, "Dredd" takes us to a grittier Mega City One, as Dredd is evaluating rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). When they are called to the picturesque in name … Continue reading Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Boyhood (2014) Review

Epic in endeavour but intimate in scope, “Boyhood” is a mesmerizingly gentle, deceptively intelligent drama charting 12 years in the life of a family, seen from the perspective of the younger of the two children, Mason. The film starts when Mason is six years old, living with his sister and his mother an indeterminate number … Continue reading Boyhood (2014) Review

22 Jump Street (2014) Review

The first "Jump Street" movie was a textbook example of how to take an old TV property and transfer it to the screen. Simultaneously respectful of its source material while also irreverently mocking the premise, the knockabout, shameless comedy powered through thanks to a knowing script and the terrific chemistry of its two leads. It's … Continue reading 22 Jump Street (2014) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) Review

Coming off the back of the creative and box office misfire of "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier", the franchise was in the doldrums as it headed towards its 25th Anniversary. Paramount itself was on an austerity drive due to a series of high profile flops ("Star Trek V" wasn't actually one of them. Although … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) Review

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) #Rediscovered

I’d been toying around with an idea for an occasional blog feature called #Rediscovered where I’d sit with Mertmas and we’d watch films that I loved when I was around his age but I haven’t watched in years, sometimes decades – possibly even unearthing forgotten gems I’d never even seen the first time round. I'd … Continue reading Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) #Rediscovered

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Review

What are we now, nine films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is there any other franchise where the ninth film can stake a pretty good claim to being the best one yet? While Warner Brothers and DC are fussing and fretting around their Batman focussed Superman ‘sequel’, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is Marvel Studios … Continue reading Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Review

Her (2013) Review

Set in the near-future, from the first moments of "Her" it's clear that two significant changes have occurred in society. The first is that the much anticipated Singularity has occurred and the second is that Simon Cowell has won the argument over the height of trouser waistbands. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a writer going … Continue reading Her (2013) Review

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Review

Is there any other actor who has achieved the kind of credibility comeback that Matthew McConaughey has in the past couple of years? Okay, maybe Ben Affleck, but he had to step behind the camera to do it and the recent "Batman" furore shows that while he’s carved out a respected reputation as a director … Continue reading Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Review

Captain Phillips (2013) Review

When I first saw a trailer for “Captain Phillips”, I wasn’t bowled over. I only had a passing familiarity with the real events the film was based on, and the lacklustre title combined with an underwhelming trailer gave me the impression of a Discovery Channel special with talking heads and stagey reconstructions, stretching out thirty … Continue reading Captain Phillips (2013) Review

Cloud Atlas (2012) Review

It's taken me a bit of reflection to gather my thoughts on "Cloud Atlas". I found the first five minutes baffling, then it was intriguing and, ultimately, mesmerising. At a sprawling 2 3/4 hours, it's not for the faint-hearted or fidgety-bottomed but it's a richly rewarding experience. It weaves a number of deceptively complex intertwined … Continue reading Cloud Atlas (2012) Review

Django Unchained (2012) Review

Tarantino's pseudo-western is a film brimming with so much confidence that it almost swaggers across the screen. Jamie Foxx turns in a good performance but Cristoph Waltz steals the whole picture from him. As much as he chilled you in "Inglorious Basterds", he will charm you in Django. Add into the mix firing-on-all-cylinders performances by … Continue reading Django Unchained (2012) Review

Les Misérables (2013) Review

"Les Misérables" is, without a doubt, the most musical musical I've ever seen - all singing, no talking! It was...astonishing. Grand in scale, but powerfully, emotionally intimate. The cast is as near perfect as possible but everyone is eclipsed by Anne Hathaway, whose heartbreaking rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" literally moved me to tears. … Continue reading Les Misérables (2013) Review