Christopher Robin (2018) Review

Disney’s latest live-action reinterpretation of its hallowed back catalogue is also easily one of its most muddled, despite the fact it's treading a very similar path to the one “Hook” forged nearly thirty years ago. All grown up, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is married with a daughter yet spends all his time at work, under … Continue reading Christopher Robin (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

Happy! Season One Review

Former Detective Nick Sax is an alcoholic loner who relies on narcotics to fill his life with meaning and interest, in turn relying on his skills as a gun for hire to provide for his habits. However, after having a near death experience he is visited by Happy, a small blue flying unicorn which only … Continue reading Happy! Season One Review

The Best Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Fifteen years ago, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” aired its final episode “Chosen” on Sky One here in the UK (some three weeks or so after its US airdate), so it’s the perfect time for Sweetie G – the person who introduced me to Buffy – and me to sit down and agree our Top Ten … Continue reading The Best Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Review

Not that long ago, in a studio not too far away... Turmoil has engulfed the once peaceful and proud Lucasfilm franchise. It is a period of [not so] civil war as a small band of separatist fans, feeling betrayed by “The Last Jedi”, lay siege to the latest “Star Wars” offering. Meanwhile, there is unrest … Continue reading Solo: A Star Wars Story (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

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

There was an idea: to bring together a group of remarkable franchises, to see if they could become something bigger. So when we wanted more, they could bring us the battles we never could’ve believed we’d ever see on the big screen. The Mad Titan is finally making his move and first to feel the … Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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. Returning to Asgard, Thor forces Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to reveal himself and confess to where Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is being held. But Odin’s absence has and Loki’s … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Doctor Strange (2016)

Arrogant and gifted neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is sailing through life, aloof from the world around him until he suffers a catastrophic car accident which permanently damages the nerves in his hands. Seeking a cure of last resort, Strange travels to Tibet where he encounters The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who opens his mind … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Doctor Strange (2016)

Dark Disney: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Review

Suitably Autumnal, with Halloween overtones, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” sets out to create and then subvert the Norman Rockwell archetypal small American town. The story cuts right to the heart of the fragility of the American dream and the constant paranoia that somehow, their self-evident utopian land of the free and home of the … Continue reading Dark Disney: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Review

Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Thor (2011)

After an disastrous assault on Jotunheim, the home of the Frost Giants, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is banished by Odin (Anthony Hopkins) for his recklessness. Exiled to Earth while his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stages a coup, Thor’s only chance of returning to Asgard is to prove himself worthy to wield the enchanted hammer Mjölnir which … Continue reading Craggus’ Countdown To Infinity: Thor (2011)

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)

Dark Disney: The Watcher In The Woods (1981) Review

As part of In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood’s Third Annual Bette Davis Blogathon, I’m taking a look at the 1981 family horror movie “The Watcher In The Woods” and kicking off my own mini-series looking at a strange period of movie history when Disney went dark. Towards the end of the 1970s, … Continue reading Dark Disney: The Watcher In The Woods (1981) Review

A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Buckling under the weight of its own aspirations, Ava DuVernay’s ambitious but flawed adaptation of adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle’s perennially popular sci-fi fantasy occasionally dazzles but all too often trips over its own feet. Four years after their scientist father disappeared, Meg (Storm Reid) and her adopted brother Charles Wallis (Deric McCabe) are told he … Continue reading A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Annihilation (2018) Review

The latest in a growing line of Netflix movies where the merits of the film risk being overshadowed by their path to the network, “Annihilation” gives the streaming giant arguably its highest profile ‘original movie’ to date. When a meteor crashes to Earth on the south coast of the United States, its landing site and … Continue reading Annihilation (2018) Review

The Shape Of Water (2018) Review

Guillermo Del Toro brings his trademark dark fairytale aesthetic to bear on this dreamy, beautifully realised tale, a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme: beauty and the moist. Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaning lady, found as an infant with mysterious scars on her neck works as part of the … Continue reading The Shape Of Water (2018) Review

Status Update (2018) Review

There’s not exactly a long and distinguished history of films based on mobile apps, but that didn’t dissuade the makers of “Status Update” from stepping into the cultural crater left by “The Emoji Movie” and having another try. When his parents separate and he has to move three thousand miles away from his Californian roots … Continue reading Status Update (2018) Review

Downsizing (2018) Review

Not the quirky high concept comedy the trailer promises, “Downsizing” instead sets out to suggest that no matter how small you make youself, the big problems – the really big problems – never really go away. Concerned by runaway population growth, Norwegian scientist Dr. Asbjørnsen (Rolf Lassgård) invents an irreversible process which shrinks a person … Continue reading Downsizing (2018) Review

The Greatest Showman (2017) Review

In the run-up to Christmas, I was very taken by the Sky Movies TV ad showing a mum and her daughter watching “The Sound Of Music” over and over again through the years. For me, it perfectly captured the sentimental sweet spot of Christmas, family and the magic of movies. I found myself wondering what … Continue reading The Greatest Showman (2017) Review

Bright (2017) Review

There are times when you just need to take a step back and acknowledge that a paragon has been reached and there's absolutely nothing you can contribute, no new perspective or trenchant insight you can add to what's already been done that would move it even a nanometer closer to perfection. So it is with … Continue reading Bright (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

Justice League Of America (1997) Review

As long-time readers will be aware, I’ve not been overly impressed by the efforts of the DCEU thus far. What better way, then, to cleanse my cinematic palate before “Justice League” than by taking in the 1997 failed pilot “Justice League Of America”, a film that sets the bar so low, it buries it? When … Continue reading Justice League Of America (1997) 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

The Road To Ragnarok: Hulk Vs (2009) Review

Marvel has long lagged behind DC when it comes to animated fare, both in terms of features and TV series. This grudge match between the God of Thunder and the Green Goliath, forming part of a double bill with “Hulk vs Wolverine” (unfortunately, the three of them don’t get together to duke it out at … Continue reading The Road To Ragnarok: Hulk Vs (2009) Review

Descendants 2 (2017) Review

Stretching the definition of ‘Original’ almost to breaking point, Disney Original Movie “Descendants 2” takes us back to the world where all the Disney Classics have been reimagined and remixed into a glossy tween fantasy soap opera. As Mal (Dove Cameron) struggles to acclimatise to a life of being good, back on the Isle of … Continue reading Descendants 2 (2017) Review

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) Review

It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time, not so long ago, when toy companies would licence out their IPs to animation studios to crank out a quick cash-in feature film, caring less for the quality of the end result than they do now. In 1986, having seen the success enjoyed by … Continue reading My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) 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

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

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) #MonthOfSpooks #Review

Having pioneered the 'shared universe' concept by producing a slew of crossover monster movies, Universal decided to go one meta step further and crossover movie genres as well. Tempting Bela Lugosi back to arguably his most famous role as "Dracula", as well as Lon Chaney Jr as "The Wolf Man" and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's … Continue reading Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) #MonthOfSpooks #Review

The Wolf Man (1941) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Universal originally tried to introduce werewolves to its roster of monsters in 1935’s “Werewolf Of London” but the film flopped at the box office and it would be another six years before Universal would shoot for the moon once again. After learning of the death of his brother, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) returns to … Continue reading The Wolf Man (1941) #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

Guilty Pleasures: My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988) Revisited

Court is back in session and first in the dock is jolly 1988 sci-fi romantic comedy “My Stepmother Is An Alien”. When a Klystron tube experiment conducted by Dr Steven Mills (Dan Aykroyd) runs out of control and sends a radar beam to a distant galaxy, the inhabitants send Celeste (Kim Basinger) on a secret … Continue reading Guilty Pleasures: My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988) Revisited

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

A Ghost Story (2017) Review

Poignant, reflective and dreamily melancholic, "A Ghost Story" offers, at first glance, a simple story of a soul anchored in space but not time. When a musician (Casey Affleck) is killed in a car accident, he returns to the home he shared with his wife (Rooney Mara) as a ghost and must watch as time … Continue reading A Ghost Story (2017) Review

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) Review

As I hope #SharkWeak has proved, I’m a  huge fan of Shark movies, be they the prime cuts like “Jaws”, the gourmet burgers such as “Deep Blue Sea” or the dirty kebab van sustenance of SyFy original movies. I can tolerate wooden acting and look past the occasionally shoddy special effects (I grew up watching … Continue reading Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (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

Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak Review

“Avalanche Sharks” offers us a grab bag of plot elements as native American supernatural snow shark spirits come back to haunt the residents and visitors of a ski resort. The film does actually provide an avalanche but it’s not really that integral to the plot. Originally planned as a sequel to “Sand Sharks”, it’s another … Continue reading Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak 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

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

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

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

The Mummy (2017) Review

Released in the UK the same day another leader saw plans to increase her power and turn the world to her will falter, “The Mummy” suggests Universal’s “Dark Universe” gambit will meet a similarly ignominious fate. Again. When solider-of-fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) stumbles across an Egyptian tomb after an air strike, he unwittingly releases … Continue reading The Mummy (2017) Review

Wonder Woman (2017) Review

It’s hard to remember a movie making its debut under such pressure as “Wonder Woman”. Not just the pressure of expectations for a new superhero movie debut but also the white hot crucible of gender politics, unfair financial expectations and the absolute last-chance saloon necessity to salvage the DCEU from its own self-inflicted tailspin. With … Continue reading Wonder Woman (2017) Review

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

Dead men may tell no tales but dead horses are still ripe for flogging it seems as Disney cranks out yet another sequel to the surprise 2003 smash hit based on a veteran theme park attraction. When a down-on-his-luck Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) trades his precious magical compass for a bottle of rum, he unknowingly … Continue reading Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017) Review

Guy Richie wears his influences on his sleeve in Galfridian geezer romp “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword”. He’s clearly seen “The Lord Of The Rings”, kept up to date with “Game Of Thrones” and avidly watched BBC TV’s “Merlin”. He’s even found time to take in Queen’s classic “Radio Ga Ga” video. All of … Continue reading King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017) Review