There’s been a bit of Helen Lovejoy handwringing about the appropriateness of using young actors to anchor a crude adult-orientated comedy but while the language certainly isn’t entirely suitable for its young cast to watch, there’s nothing in the movie itself – swear words included – your average 12 year old hasn’t heard or used … Continue reading Good Boys (2019) isn’t nearly as transgressive as it wants to make out, but is still plenty funny
The Canadian stand-up comic Norm Macdonald tells long, densely packed, rambling stories that are liberally spotted with moments of surreal humour, bizarre non-sequiturs, killer mid-story punchlines and pitch-black darkness. One of his most famous gags goes something like this (not verbatim and much abridged, you understand, I’m just trying to give you a flavour): A moth walks into a podiatrist’s office and the podiatrist asks, “What seems to be the matter?” The moth replies, “Aww, man I’m not sure where to start, uh, I go to work for Gregory Illynovich and, honestly doc, I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. I’m not sure even Gregory Illynovich knows what I’m doing, all he knows is that he has power over me and that seems to bring him happiness. I go home and climb into bed and there’s this old woman laying next to me and I think back to a…
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In a summer crammed to the rafters with tentpole franchises, sequels and high concept remakes, emerging from the jungle with an irresistible charm comes this note-perfect big-screen adaptation of beloved classic kids show "Dora The Explorer". With autumn waiting in the wings and the summer days dwindling, "Dora And The Lost City Of Gold" looks … Continue reading Dora And The Lost City Of Gold (2019) es una obra maestra. Can you say una obra maestra?
“Evil Aliens” is something of a Ronseal movie: it does exactly what it says on the tin. A gleefully grisly grindhouse indie sci-fi horror movie, it’s a shlockfest that revels in its sophomoric humour and vulgar splatter-movie aesthetic. Heavily – and obviously – influenced by Peter Jackson’s “Braindead” and Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead”, it … Continue reading Evil Aliens (2006) invades your eyeballs with shock and gore!
There are a lot of firsts on offer in modest 1989 Britcom “The Tall Guy”: it’s the feature directorial debut of Mel Smith and it’s the first feature film script by Richard Curtis. It also features the theatrical film debut of Emma Thompson and, briefly, Jason Isaacs. Blogathon man of the moment, Jeff Goldblum, plays … Continue reading The Tall Guy (1989) comes up short
With the game itself fading from the zeitgeist at an ever-increasing rate, this somewhat unexpected sequel to 2016’s first movie sees the Angry Birds launch their bid for cultural immortality by trying to grow beyond its limited roots. As Red and Leonard the pig trade blows in an ongoing prank war, they are unaware of … Continue reading Birds of a feather flop together? Not quite: The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Review
The original run of the “Horrible Histories” TV series was one of those lightning-in-a-bottle shows, a perfect match between writing and casts and while this big-screen spin-off unfortunately doesn’t have any of the series main cast, it does manage to get closer to the anarchic edutainment fun of its roots than any other project has … Continue reading Veni, vidi, risi: Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans (2019) Review
There’s something giddily pure about Gurinder Chadha’s “Blinded by the Light,” a coming-of-age story about a young Pakistani Muslim boy growing up in late eighties Luton. With the country experiencing the economic and social turmoil of Thatcherism, Javed (Viveik Kalra) and his family must endure not only financial hardship but the hostility and bigotry of … Continue reading Javed learns to live with what he can’t rise above in Springsteen-powered musical dramedy Blinded By The Light (2019)
I’m not the biggest fan of zombie films, especially when they’re by-the-numbers brain-eating gore-fests, or tired re-treads of ‘humanity is the real monster’ trope (looking at you, “The Walking Dead”) so I’m pleased to say that Jim Jarmusch has avoided all of those tired clichés with his trademark mischievous wit. As the end of the … Continue reading The Dead Don’t Die (2019) brings us the most laid back end of the world ever.
There’re so many problematic aspects to “The Queen’s Corgi” it’s kind of baffling it ever made it to cinema screens. A cute cartoon fable about the Queen’s beloved pets may seem like a slam-dunk for the Saturday kid’s club crowd and, if you’re determined to see it, it’s definitely worth waiting for it to reach … Continue reading The Queen’s Corgi (2019) Review
There are great shark movies. And there are bad shark movies. And then there are great bad shark movies. Opening this year’s Shark Weak 3, we take a look at a forthcoming movie that definitely falls into that latter category. Reminiscent of Shark Weak 2’s winner of the coveted and totally not made up ‘Golden … Continue reading Bad CGI Sharks (2019) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
In 1961 Joseph Heller published a book that became the satirical bible for all armed forces regarding the futility of war and the rules applied to it. Over the years many studios have attempted and failed to adapt this previously ‘unfilmable’ novel. In 1970 a mediocre version was released but it took a further 49 … Continue reading AssHat discovers that if he requests a break from reviewing TV, that’s all the proof I need that he’s fit to keep going so here’s his take on George Clooney’s Catch-22
“Toy Story”, “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3” remain one of the finest movie trilogies ever brought to life on the big screen. “Toy Story 4”, on the other hand, feels like one of those reunion specials that seem to be so in vogue right now, getting the whole band back together only to … Continue reading For fork’s sake – Toy Story 4 (2019) asks Game Of Thrones to hold its juicebox.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten more and more into American Late Night talk shows. Not the vainglorious onanism of James Corden but the biting satire of the more political shows like “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (the host of which cameos as himself in the … Continue reading Late Night (2019) wants you to stay tuned for these important messages.
If you were born between the 1970s and 1990s, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without “The Muppets”. From “Sesame Street” to “The Muppet Show”, they formed one of the cornerstones of childhood pop culture and while they have endured, they’ve yet to recapture the dizzying heights of their late 1970s/ 1980s dominance. That’s … Continue reading It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to raise the curtain on The Muppet Movie’s 40th Anniversary tonight!
“Wonder Park” isn’t short of ambition but all it really ends up proving is that what Pixar do isn’t anywhere near as easy as it looks. When June’s mum falls ill, it seems to spell the end of their imagined theme park, a model of which has taken over their house but when June suddenly … Continue reading Wonder Park (2019) will have you wondering where you parked and whether anyone will notice if you nip back to the car.
Picture the scene: Illumination writing room, circa 2017. Plans are well underway for the TV spinoff of “The Secret Life Of Pets” and the team have broken down around a dozen shorts to fill up the schedules when suddenly the word comes down that the studio have decided they want a theatrical sequel instead. Writer … Continue reading The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019) is three Saturday morning cartoons mashed into one.
In terms of what you might be expecting, Disney’s live-action adaptation of their own animated take on Aladdin is much more than a diamond in the rough. Against the odds, and certainly expectations, Guy Ritchie and his likeable and talented cast have managed to deliver a cave of wonders which honours the original classic and … Continue reading A fool off his guard could fall and fall hard for Disney’s surprisingly beguiling Aladdin (2019)
Have you seen “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”? If you have, then you’ve pretty much seen “The Hustle”, a good-natured, luxuriously indulgent but unnecessarily faithful remake of the well-liked Steve Martin/ Michael Caine remake of 1964’s “Bedtime Story”. Running out of boob-job funding rubes to fleece in New York, low-level grifter Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson) heads to … Continue reading The Hustle (2019) delivers comedy iron pyrite
When police detective Harry Goodman is apparently killed in a car crash, it's up to his son Tim (Justice Smith) to find out what happened. Luckily, Tim will have the help of his dad’s Pokémon partner, a wise-cracking Pikachu who only Tim can understand. Together, the two best friends find a world they must defend … Continue reading Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Review
Long before "Movie 43", there was... “The Kentucky Fried Movie”, a zany, madcap collection of irreverent, puerile and often tasteless skits and sketches from David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, who would go on to bring us “Airplane!”, “Top Secret” and “The Naked Gun”. It would also launch the career of legendary director John … Continue reading The Kentucky Fried Movie (1979) offers a bargain bucket of bawdy comedy
In the pantheon of superb directorial debuts, you’d be hard pressed to find a more unexpected and delightful entry than “Eighth Grade”. Directed by YouTube comedian Bo Burnham, he has fashioned an achingly authentic, poignant and emotionally resonant coming of age story for the 21st Century, grasping the truth of growing up in the 21st … Continue reading Eighth Grade (2019) will make you remember what it’s like to be 14 again – and very glad you’re not!
When hot-headed young singer Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) is released from prison, she reluctantly returns to her mother’s house to be reunited with her two young children. Nursing a grudge against the world and a burning ambition to make it as a country singer, she struggles to reconcile her dreams with her reality. It’s a … Continue reading Whether or not you’re a fan of country music, Wild Rose (2019) will work hard to win you over.
Years and years ago, when Mertmas was a newborn, we’d always be on the lookout for something to watch during those early morning feeds. We’re talking way before the advent of on-demand entertainment although we did have Sky+ so we could watch previously recorded stuff but thankfully we didn’t have to. For some reason, the … Continue reading The live action Kim Possible (2019) ends up more two-dimensional than the animated original
Relentlessly charming, funny and constantly surprising, “Dave Made A Maze” mixes comedy, horror and fantasy for a richly rewarding, stylistic treat. Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a cardboard box fort in his living room while his girlfriend is out and finds himself trapped within it. Despite … Continue reading Bill Watterson boxes clever with quirky comedy horror Dave Made A Maze (2019)
A notoriously chaotic and troubled production – not that that distinguishes it particularly in Gilliam’s oeuvre – “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” saw the idiosyncratic director coming off the back of a bitter but ultimately successful battle with Universal over the release and distribution of his previous film, “Brazil”. Once again, he found himself at … Continue reading There’s no proxy for how much I love The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (1989) 30th Anniversary Review
Hardly the frozen “Taken” we were promised by the marketing, this remake of the director’s own 2014 film "Kraftidioten" has moments of sublime black humour but is too disjointed, derivative and haphazard to do justice to its cast or premise. Hard-working snowplough driver Nels Coxman (Neeson) is a pillar of the community of Rocky Mountain … Continue reading Cold Pursuit (2019) isn’t worth following
For many years Netflix has desperately sought out a “kooky” dark comedy that is smarter than the sum of its parts and with “Russian Doll” the company has finally succeeded. Created by the exceptionally talented duo of Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne, who also stars as the show’s main protagonist; Nadia Vulvokov, comes a tale … Continue reading AssHat is happy to collude with Netflix for repeated viewings of Russian Doll
Posted as part of Realweegiemidget's Adoring Angela Lansbury Blogathon Far better than the “Mary Poppins”-lite it’s often dismissed as, “Bedknobs And Broomsticks” takes the more famous nanny’s Disnified spoonful of sugar and stirs it into a shot of absinthe before knocking it back in one go and heading off to war. A curious and yet … Continue reading There’s no substitutiary for Angela Lansbury when it comes to giving Bedknobs And Broomsticks (1971) its locomotion!
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.
In taking on the story of Dick Cheney, the apparently unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider turned Vice Presidential master of the universe, Adam McKay seeks to shed light on the breathtaking constitutional chicanery which saw the executive branch of the American government vastly increase its own power whilst at the same time enormously enriching those in … Continue reading Christian Bale piles on the pounds for Adam McKay’s The Waist Wing. Vice (2019) Review
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)
Move over Bess (and, I suspect, pre-emptive apologies to Margot Robbie) there’s a new award-baiting Queen on the block: oft-overlooked 18th Century sovereign Queen Anne. England, 1708. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) occupies the throne, disinterested in matters of state and instead consumed by her various ailments and an ongoing quest for distraction and … Continue reading Yorgos Lanthimos brings a sense of Blackadder to the big screen in sumptuous art house comedy The Favourite (2019)
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 1988 Michael Caine/ Ben Kingsley movie “Without A Clue” asked what would happen if Holmes was actually an idiot and Dr Watson was the genius but "Holmes & Watson" dares to ask what if they were both imbeciles, in a crass and witless farce? The answer is excrementary, my dear reader. When the trial … Continue reading Holmes & Watson (2018) Review
How Thanos Stole Christmas by The Craggus & Dr Seuss Every hero in Marvel liked Christmas a lot... But Thanos who lived madly on Titan, did NOT! Thanos hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be the loss of his world’s population, Who … Continue reading The 2018 What The Craggus Saw Christmas Special: How Thanos Stole Christmas
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
Boots Riley’s absurdist, pitch-black satire may just end up becoming one of the most important and resonant films of our time. Not because its concerned particularly with the topical venality of Trumpism and the ongoing corruption of western political discourse but because it looks beyond these deplorable but ultimately transient phases at the bigger societal … Continue reading Sorry To Bother You (2018) Review
Opening with a somewhat harrowing sequence showing the arrival and separation of a father and son pair of illegal immigrants – unhinted at by the happy-clappy trailers – “Nativity Rocks!” quickly settles down into the twee, ramshackle charm of a school nativity play given big-screen licence we’ve come to expect from the franchise. While the … Continue reading Nativity Rocks! (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
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
If Hammer House Of Horror had produced “Spaced”, the result could have been a lot like “Slaughterhouse Rulez”. A common room home brew of British Boarding School classics like “If….” and “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (the 1969 version specifically) mixed with “Ghostbusters” and dash of “Harry Potter”, this intoxicatingly lowbrow comedy horror offers a novel spin … Continue reading Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018) Review
British comedy horror is a bit of a dicey prospect at the best of times. For every “Shaun Of The Dead” there are a dozen “Lesbian Vampire Slayers”, so when “Double Date” popped up on the old Sky Q box, I was wary but willing. Jim (Danny Morgan) is about to turn thirty and his … Continue reading Double Date (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review
A blackly comic metafictional account of the making of “Nosferatu”, positing the idea that F W Murnau was prepared to go to any lengths in order to capture his masterwork, even turning a blind eye to the real-life vampire he has found to ‘play’ Count Orlok. Supported by a great performance from John Malkovich as … Continue reading Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review
It may open with a Hammer-esque galloping horse and carriage but this Mel Brooks spoof has the whole Dracula oeuvre in its sights. From Lugosi to Coppola, Brooks and his co-writers leave no coffin unopened in the search for gags. A pity, then, that they found so few. When Renfield (a wildly overacting Peter MacNicol) … Continue reading Dracula: Dead And Loving It (1995) 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
There’s no rest for the Tenacious as Jack Black finds himself back amongst the spooky goings-on, although this time around, it’s Slappy calling the shots. When Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life, their Halloween horror is only just beginning. The dummy is … Continue reading Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween #MonthOfSpooks 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
For my money, the definitive filmed adaptation of the legendary Yeti is The Goodies’ episode “Big Foot” but this tale of a tribe of Yetis living in secret on a Himalyan mountaintop might just come a close second (Wampas don’t count). Migo (Channing Tatum) is happy living in his village where all Yetis live under … Continue reading Smallfoot (2018) Review
Loosely based on the John Updike novel of the same name, George Miller’s sly satire of the gender wars brings a dusting of dark magic to the hollow lives of a sleepy New England town of Eastwick. Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) are close friends who support each other through the … Continue reading The Witches Of Eastwick (1987) #MonthOfSpooks Review