The Hustle (2019) delivers comedy iron pyrite

The Hustle Review

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

Pet Sematary (2019) just goes to show that when it comes to certain stories, sometimes read is better.

Pet Sematary 2019 Review

Handsomely produced and atmospherically shot, this re-adaptation of Stephen King’s powerful exploration of grief serves to underline the key message of the original novel: it’s best to let dead things rest. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), a doctor from Boston, moves to the small town of Ludlow in Maine to enjoy a quieter life and spend … Continue reading Pet Sematary (2019) just goes to show that when it comes to certain stories, sometimes read is better.

Dumbo (2019) has a surprisingly metatextual moral for the House of Mouse

There are nice nods to the twee opening of the original “Dumbo” as we’re treated to knowing shots of storks flying across the sky to portend the less romanticised arrival of baby Dumbo but in nodding to the animated classic so soon, this live-action remake tips just how weak its hand is. When circus impresario … Continue reading Dumbo (2019) has a surprisingly metatextual moral for the House of Mouse

Cold Pursuit (2019) isn’t worth following

Cold Pursuit 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

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

Flatliners (2017) Review

I’m pretty sure that, in a limbo competition, no matter how low the bar is set, it’s still considered cheating to dig your way under, but that doesn’t stop 2017’s “Flatliners” from boring straight down, aiming for rock bottom. Driven by a family tragedy, ambitious medical student Courtney (Ellen Page) seeks to find out what … Continue reading Flatliners (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

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

Arriving 56 years after the original movie, 2016’s “The Magnificent Seven” is, of course, a grandchild remake, the second generation descended from the iconic “Seven Samurai”. An earnest and lavish reimagining, it hues closer to its forefather than its genre spanning cousins such as “Battle Beyond The Stars” or “A Bugs Life”. When ruthless and … Continue reading The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Disney’s hot streak of adapting their animated back catalogue into live action movies shows no signs of abating with this deeply poignant reimagining of the 1977 musical comedy. As the local logging company moves ever more aggressively into the forests of the Pacific North West, they disturb the home of Pete, a ten year old … Continue reading Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Ghostbusters (2016) Review

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but they’ve remade “Ghostbusters” with an entirely new cast? It’s been pretty low-key and uncontroversial with almost no internet chatter around it so it might have slipped past you. Jokes. It’s been everywhere, dividing movie fandom in a way that makes the sectarian DC/ Marvel schism look like a … Continue reading Ghostbusters (2016) Review

They Live! (1988) Review

One question springs immediately to mind when watching John Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi action B-movie “They Live!”: why aren’t they remaking this right now!? Don’t get me wrong, Carpenter’s original is a great movie in its own right, but the themes of the story - its very core conceit - is so on point now, nearly … Continue reading They Live! (1988) Review

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

A reimagining of a beloved classic film. An all-CGI environment. An all CGI cast except for one role to be played by a child actor making his acting debut. It’s not a recipe which inspires confidence, is it? All the more credit, then, to Director Jon Favreau, Cinematographer Bill Pope and the rest of the … Continue reading The Jungle Book (2016) Review

Vacation (2015) Review

Aggressively stupid and often stupidly aggressive, “Vacation” is the latest RebooMaQuel™ to believe that mining our collective nostalgia and upgrading that fondness with much edgier, filthier gross-out humour and profanity will deliver something new and entertaining. Like those that have gone before it, it fails because it doesn’t understand what made the originals work.The “National Lampoon’s Vacation” … Continue reading Vacation (2015) Review

Poltergeist (2015) Review

The original “Poltergeist” is a marvellous, curious thing: a playfully upbeat and sunny film which steadily darkens, fiendishly subverting its very Spielbergian sense of wonder. The only sense of wonder here is the audience wondering why they bothered remaking it. Instead of the close knit and generally happy Freeling family of the original, the remake … Continue reading Poltergeist (2015) Review

The Final Countdown (1980) Review

Dear Hollywood, I know it's not something you would normally ever consider doing, but I'd like to suggest - nominate, if you will - the film "The Final Countdown" - as a property ripe for a reboot or reimagination or whatever you're calling it nowadays. It tells the story of the USS Nimitz which, thanks … Continue reading The Final Countdown (1980) Review

RoboCop (2014) Review

It’s curiously apt that the EM-208 robot soldiers (don't worry, there are also more ED-209's than you would be unwise to shake a stick at) which appear at the start of this new “RoboCop” look almost exactly like the Cylons from the 2004 reboot of “Battlestar Galactica” because there’s a very clear sense that ‘all … Continue reading RoboCop (2014) Review

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) Review

I’ve never been a huge fan of Ben Stiller. Of course, I’ve enjoyed films he’s been in, and even films he’s headlined. “Zoolander”, “Dodgeball”, “Mystery Men”, “Tropic Thunder” and “Starsky & Hutch” are all fun and enjoyable movies, but I just can’t warm to the guy. He’s also one quarter of the least appealing voice … Continue reading The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) Review