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

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

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974) Dractober Review

There's a whole generation of film fans for whom Jack Palance is either Curly Washburn from “City Slickers” (and, to a lesser extent Duke Washburn from “City Slickers II: The Legend Of Curly's Gold”) or the excessively nasal-breathy Carl Grissom in Tim Burton's Batman and although he may seem something of an odd pick for … Continue reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974) Dractober Review

Dracula (1958) Dractober Review

Hammer Films brought Dracula bang up to date by going back to the story’s roots, adapting Stoker’s novel – with a few twists – and bringing the famed Count back to life in all his technicolour glory. When Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) accepts a position as Librarian at Count Dracula’s castle, his subterfuge is … Continue reading Dracula (1958) Dractober 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

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

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

Hulk (2003) 15th Anniversary Review

Not to be corny, but today marks the 15th anniversary of the not-so-jolly green giant’s big screen debut, Ang Lee’s underappreciated “Hulk”. It also probably marks at least ten years since I last watched it and I’d always considered it the lesser of the two Hulk movies but it really isn’t. Revisiting it now, at … Continue reading Hulk (2003) 15th Anniversary 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

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

The Alienist Season Review

It’s the late nineteenth century in New York and delinquent children are starting to go missing. Future President and newly appointed Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty)contacts criminal psychologist Dr Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans) for help to solve the case. When Dr Keizler and Mr Moore realise that the … Continue reading The Alienist Season Review

Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events Season 1 Review

The three Baudelaire children (Malina, Louis and baby Sunny) become orphaned when their parents perish in a mysterious fire. Too young to take care of themselves, the bank that manages their fortune puts them into the care of distant relative Count Olaf; an eccentric failed actor who is penniless. What becomes apparent to the children … Continue reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events Season 1 Review

Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) Review

Recently, the littlest Craggling has been tentatively spreading her cinematic wings beyond the admittedly lush and verdant shores of Disney, Pixar, Illumination and exploring other options. We’ve watched Wes Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr Fox” and, recently, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” so when we saw a trailer for “Mary And The Witch's Flower”, she was smitten. One … Continue reading Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) 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

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) Review

If you’re not one for the intergalactic cataclysms of “Avengers: Infinity War”, then you might find your local multiplex a fairly unwelcoming place this coming week. But, amidst the plethora of showings of, admittedly, one of the best films of the year so far, if you look carefully you might just uncover this cunningly counter-programmed … Continue reading The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) Review

Rampage (2018) Review

Opening with a better version of the movie “Life” than “Life” itself managed to provide, “Rampage” sees perennial box-office bester Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson take on his most difficult opponent yet: a video game adaptation. When illegal space-based genetic experimentation crashes back down to Earth, it has an immediate and unfortunate effect on the wildlife. … Continue reading Rampage (2018) Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: The Avengers/ Avengers Assemble (2012)

When Loki appears in a SHIELD facility and steals the Tesseract, Nick Fury decides its time to mobilise the Avengers. But bringing together a group of heroes is quite different from creating a team and with an alien invasion imminent, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and The Hulk will need to find … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: The Avengers/ Avengers Assemble (2012)

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Revelling in his new-found fame, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is hiding a secret: the very thing which saved his life and powers his suit is killing him. Seeking to secure his legacy in the face of ambitious rivals and a suspicious Government, Stark's behaviour grows ever more erratic and unpredictable as his penchant for … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Iron Man 2 (2010)

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)

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Iron Man (2008)

When billionaire playboy industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is kidnapped and mortally wounded during a terrorist ambush in Afghanistan, he must use every ounce of his ingenuity to survive and escape. Returning home a changed man, Stark decides to start righting the wrongs of his past and takes his first step into a larger … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Iron Man (2008)

Ready Player One (2018) Review

As Easter eggs go, “Ready Player One” is akin to one of those ones that come in a super-fancy package, with an intricate box and plenty of gold foil. Unfortunately, for large parts of the movie, it’s just as hollow and disappointing as one of those fancy eggs that promise all manner of delights and … Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) Review

Altered Carbon Season One Review

Craggus had planned for this to be my first review, but I wanted to get into the reviewing groove before tackling this. It should be apparent from what follows but if it isn’t, I want to make one thing clear: the concept of “Altered Carbon”, along with its execution, requires a considerable amount of talent … Continue reading Altered Carbon Season One Review

Red Sparrow (2018) Review

Disney and Marvel can at least rest easy: “Red Sparrow” certainly isn’t the “Black Widow” solo movie by another name its marketing might have initially suggested. Instead, it’s something of a convoluted pseudo- John le Carré caper which leans heavily on sex, nudity and violence to disguise its flimsy characters and overcomplicated espionage shell game. … Continue reading Red Sparrow (2018) Review

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

Starting with a train heist which plays out like Disney sinking all their money into a live-action remake of “Toy Story 3”, the third and final instalment of “The Maze Runner” trilogy starts with enough energy and inventiveness that it almost makes you forget it’s been three years since “The Scorch Trials”, thanks to an … Continue reading Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Review

You like it rough? Then this is the movie for you. The acting’s pretty rough and the script’s sadistically punishing too. With the everyday, relatable trials and tribulations of courtship such as romantic misunderstandings, contractual disputes over sexual obligations and helicopter crashes behind them, Anna (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) settle contentedly into married … Continue reading Fifty Shades Freed (2018) 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

Ferdinand (2017) Review

Adapted from Munro Leaf’s beloved 1936 children’s book, Blue Sky Studio’s “Ferdinand” is also a remake of Disney’s 1938 Silly Symphony short of the same story. In light of the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney, this movie offers an interesting example of the differences between the two studios. Ferdinand (John Cena) is different from … Continue reading Ferdinand (2017) Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Review

There are two perennial tales we turn to at this time of year. One, The Nativity, may carry the self-righteous gravitas of religious dogma but it doesn’t really speak to the modern reality of Christmastime. For that, we turn to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which, by its collection and curation of traditions, conventions and practical … Continue reading The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Review

Jungle (2017) Review

There’s no doubt that since he graduated from Hogwarts and hung up his wand, Daniel Radcliffe has made a point of searching out challenging and different roles although here, in tackling the remarkable true-life tale of Israeli backpacker Yossi Ghinsberg, he finds himself once again playing a ‘boy who lived’. Available On Demand from Amazon … Continue reading Jungle (2017) Review

Paddington 2 (2017) Review

With the original having been an unexpected delight, anticipation for “Paddington 2” was sky high. Could the little bear from Peru pull off the ‘difficult’ second movie? The answer is an unqualified ‘yes’. Determined to get his Aunt Lucy a special present for her 100th birthday, Paddington (Ben Wishaw) sets his heart on a unique … Continue reading Paddington 2 (2017) 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

The Road To Ragnarok: Planet Hulk (2010) Review

Our road to Ragnarok concludes with an adventure which doesn’t feature Thor but still provides a great deal of material and inspiration for the forthcoming MCU movie: “Planet Hulk”. With the Hulk’s rampages becoming more and more dangerous, the Illuminati decided to exile Hulk to a peaceful, barren world in a spacecraft. However, the Hulk … Continue reading The Road To Ragnarok: Planet Hulk (2010) 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

To The Devil A Daughter (1976) #MonthOfSpooks Review

I’ve often used @TheMarckoGuy’s #Month Of Spooks as a chance to catch up on classic horror movie’s I’ve never seen before but this year, I decided to revisit a film which freaked me all the way out when I first saw it at probably far too young an age. John Verney (Richard Widmark) is an … Continue reading To The Devil A Daughter (1976) #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

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

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

It (2017) Review

I remember when I first saw “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone” in the cinema, it was one of the strangest cinema experiences of my life. I didn’t feel like I’d just watched a film of the boy wizard’s adventures, I just felt like I’d re-read the first book in two and half hours, so … Continue reading It (2017) Review

It (1990) Review

A lot of people have been going back to rewatch (or maybe watch for the first time) the 1990 TV movie adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” in anticipation of the forthcoming feature film remake. And why not? Dated as it is, there’s a lot to like but it’s almost solely renowned for one central performance: … Continue reading It (1990) Review

The Dark Tower (2017) Review

I’m a pretty big Stephen King fan, although admittedly I’ve been a bit lax in keeping up with the prolific author’s output since around “Cell”. The first time I read “The Stand”, I did it in one sitting, forgoing sleep to finish it sometime in the early hours of Sunday morning (having started it on … Continue reading The Dark Tower (2017) 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

Assassin’s Creed (2017) Review

The last collaboration between Director Justin Kurzel and Michael Fassbender left me feeling cheated that they’d cut too much out of the Scottish Play, rushing through it for the film adaptation, so it’s with not a little irony that I had the exact opposite experience with this polished but ponderously dull video game adaptation. For … Continue reading Assassin’s Creed (2017) Review

The Circle (2017) Review

Available right now on Netflix, this 2017 techno-thriller seems to have a lot going for it: a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Karen Gillan, John Boyega and Bill Paxton in his final role and a plot focussed on subject matter lifted directly from news headlines. So it’s something of a surprise that it … Continue reading The Circle (2017) Review

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) Review

Hello cupcakes, remember me?  I know, I know!!  It’s been a while… Anyway, now that I’m back I want to talk to you about “Harry Potter”. Twenty years ago today, Bloomsbury published “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone”, so I thought it would be fun to go back and rewatch that first Potter film once … Continue reading Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) Review

The Boss Baby (2017) Review

Not since Disney/ Pixar’s “Cars” has an animated movie presented such an incoherent and illogical fictional world as “The Boss Baby” does. Facing an existential threat, Baby Corp sends an undercover operative (Alec Baldwin) to live with the Templeton family to find out what the Templeton parents know about Puppy Co’s plan to launch a … Continue reading The Boss Baby (2017) Review

Beauty And The Beast (2017) Review

Did you ever watch Disney's 1991 animated classic "Beauty And The Beast" and think, 'wow, that script was really missing something'? The original, animated, Best Picture Oscar-nominated “Beauty And The Beast” had a running time of 84 minutes. This new live-action adaptation clocks in at 129 minutes and adds little but padding with the extra … Continue reading Beauty And The Beast (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

Fifty Shades Darker (2017) Review

Soulless, mechanical and delivered with a sense of resigned obligation second only to the “Divergent” franchise, “Fifty Shades Darker” skulks into cinemas with all the romance and fantasy of a discarded Mills & Boon paperback fished out of a sewer. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is living her life when Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) returns to … Continue reading Fifty Shades Darker (2017) Review