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

T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Choose a sequel. Choose mounting a follow-up to an iconic 1996 film and hope that the audience cares. Choose revisiting old favourite characters to see what new shenanigans they’re up to And choose watching history repeat itself. Choose looking to the past instead of embracing a future. Choose Renton, Sickboy and Begbie unchanged but older … Continue reading T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Silence (2017) Review

Oppressively contemplative and impassively brutal, Martin Scorsese’s religious epic sweeps us back in time to the rule of a cruel and uncompromising Japanese Shogunate. When a Dutch trader delivers the last letter from Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson) and testifies that Ferreira committed apostasy after being tortured, two of his former pupils – Father Sebastião … Continue reading Silence (2017) Review

Sully: Miracle On The Hudson (2016) Review

There’s an inherent challenge in creating films of real life events, especially when said real life events lasted for a total of just under four minutes. The trick becomes one of spinning out the story enough for a film without over padding it with filler. Thankfully, Eastwood’s economical 96 minute retelling of ‘The Miracle On … Continue reading Sully: Miracle On The Hudson (2016) Review

Inferno (2016) Review

Even a symbologist as obtuse and oblivious as Robert Langdon can’t miss the obvious signs that this franchise is dead. Bloated, boring and often incoherent, “Inferno” looks to Dante for inspiration but it’s the audience who are made to sit through nine levels of Hell. When a dazed and amnesiac Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakens … Continue reading Inferno (2016) Review

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) Review

Fresh off the triumph of “What We Do In The Shadows”, New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s follow up is a witty and heart-warming adaptation of Barry Crump’s novel “Wild Pork and Watercress”. Troubled, hip-hop-loving orphan Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is given one last chance to settle in a foster home or else he's bound for juvey. Child … Continue reading Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) Review

Swallows And Amazons (2016) Review

There’s something cosy and comforting about “Swallows And Amazons”, the latest adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s celebrated novel of swashbuckling childhood adventure. An impeccable production combined with a wonderful cast give this film a timeless quality and watching it for the first time feels brand new and like revisiting an old favourite simultaneously. When the Walker … Continue reading Swallows And Amazons (2016) Review

The BFG (2016) Review

Shining like the most gloriumptious bottled dream, “The BFG” bestrides the lacklustre summer blockbuster season like a magical Colossus of Rhodes. A welcome big screen return for the wonderful imagination of Roald Dahl and an even more welcome return for the Spielberg of old, the master of childlike wonder and spellbinding fantasy. When orphan Sophie … Continue reading The BFG (2016) Review

Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

While 2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” may have left critics unimpressed, audiences embraced its restless, kooky energy as Lewis Carroll’s mastery of the absurd and impossible was filtered through the dark kaleidoscope of Tim Burton’s vision. Six years later, “The Muppets” & “Muppets Most Wanted” director James Bobin has been tasked with delivering a sequel. Alice … Continue reading Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

A Hologram For The King (2016) Review

Culture clash dramedy “A Hologram For The King” may have taken a few of Tom Hanks’ loyal fans by surprise, or if not quite surprise then possibly left them a trifle bemused. A detached, contemplative and quirkily surreal journey through one man’s three-quarter life crisis, it provides a great platform for Hanks’ natural charisma and … Continue reading A Hologram For The King (2016) Review

Our Kind Of Traitor (2016) Review

As ably demonstrated by the recent BBC adaptation of “The Night Manager”, John le Carré's particular brand of complex intrigue and slow burning drama may be best suited to the long-form storytelling afforded by television rather than the need to wrap everything up in under three (and often preferably) two hours demanded by moviegoers. The … Continue reading Our Kind Of Traitor (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

High-Rise (2016) Review

Reportedly a passion project for producer Jeremy Thomas since he purchased the film rights back in 1975, J G Ballard’s “High-Rise” finally makes it to the big screen and it’s as if not a single day has passed since Thomas first conceived the film. In a parallel London of the 1970s, Doctor Robert Laing (Tom … Continue reading High-Rise (2016) Review

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) Review

There’s no other franchise quite like “The Divergent Series”. The arrival of “Allegiant”, the third part of the now customary four-film adaptation of a trilogy of young adult books carries with it a sense of tedious inevitability and little else. If that sense of sunk cost is present in the audience, it’s nothing compared to … Continue reading The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) Review

Room (2016) Review

Adapted for the screen - from her own novel - by Emma Donoghue, "Room" is a challenging film to watch. Deeply harrowing, nerve shreddingly tense but ultimately richly rewarding; it’s a beautifully realised story of courage, love and resilience. Ma (Brie Larson) and her young son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in ‘Room’. For Jack, Room … Continue reading Room (2016) Review

The Danish Girl (2016) Review

Adapted from David Ebershoff’s 2000 novel, “The Danish Girl” brings us a fictionalised account of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The film, like its source novel, is much less an exploration of the prejudices and societal attitude towards sexuality and transgender issues … Continue reading The Danish Girl (2016) Review

In The Heart Of The Sea (2015) Review

If you created a Venn diagram of the casts of “Harry Potter”, “Game Of Thrones”, “Peaky Blinders” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the sweet spot right in the middle would read “In The Heart Of The Sea”. Ron Howard’s latest offering is a star-studded retelling of the true story of the whaling ship Essex, which … Continue reading In The Heart Of The Sea (2015) Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) Review

Weighed down by its own unbridled portentousness, the final chapter of “The Hunger Games” saga grinds into cinemas, bleaker and more brutal than anything that’s come before. Unfortunately, it also brings with it the narrative sluggishness which has plagued the franchise and its utter reliance on its leading lady almost brings the story to breaking … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) Review

The Lady In The Van (2015) Review

Adapted from his own play, based on his memoir, Alan Bennett’s “The Lady In The Van” is a wonderfully poignant meditation of the nobility of the human spirit and the importance of kindness, compassion and understanding. It tells the [mostly] true story of Bennett’s unusual friendship with an eccentric homeless woman called Miss Mary Shepherd, … Continue reading The Lady In The Van (2015) Review

24/007: The Complete Craggus’ Bond Voyage

Every Bond movie retrospective, in release order, for your reading convenience. Click on Craggus' Bond Voyage at the end of each review to return here. *SPOILERS*                                                                        … Continue reading 24/007: The Complete Craggus’ Bond Voyage

The Walk (2015) Review

Robert Zemeckis’ film retells the true story of French high wire artist Philippe Petit who realised his dream to carry out a daring (and completely illegal) high wire walk between the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. As you’d expect from Zemeckis, technical wizardry abounds in this movie, from the judicious use … Continue reading The Walk (2015) Review

Macbeth (2015) Review

Justin Kerzel’s “Macbeth” is anything but a tale told by an idiot as he brings Shakespeare’s dark fable of ambition, paranoia and madness to the screen full of sound and fury. With Scotland wracked by civil war, loyal general Macbeth leads the King’s forces in a final, decisive battle against the traitors. With the battle … Continue reading Macbeth (2015) Review

Legend (2015) Review

Based on the book ‘The Profession Of Violence: The Rise And Fall Of The Kray Twins’ by John Pearson, Writer/ Director Brian Helgeland’s “Legend” takes a look at the notorious East End gangsters from their ascent to the top of the underworld hierarchy to the events which would prove to be their downfall. Glossy, stylish … Continue reading Legend (2015) Review

The Martian (2015) Review

There comes a point in “The Martian” where you have to start reminding yourself that it’s just a movie and that this stuff hasn’t really happened. The film will inevitably draw comparisons with “Interstellar” but it shares more of its dramatic DNA with 1995’s “Apollo 13”, such is the air of authenticity and plausibility Ridley … Continue reading The Martian (2015) Review

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) Review

I’m struggling to recall a sequel which so comprehensively fails to live up to the promise of its predecessor as “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”. Maybe “The Matrix Reloaded”? After the first movie’s ballsy decision to end on a cliffhanger teased the prospect of the Maze having just been the first test within a much … Continue reading Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) Review