Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016) Review

Okay. Enough already. This one-joke franchise has more than outstayed its welcome and this flabby, facile and unfocussed fourth outing should (but won’t) mark the end of it. From the tediously laboured “Star Wars”-themed opening, the whole thing feels tired and dated. The pre-credits sequence set in Vegas immediately underlines the cheapness of the whole … Continue reading Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016) Review

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The One I Love (2015) Review

Available now in the UK on Netflix, quirky indie sci-fi romantic drama “The One I Love” is a difficult film to describe without giving away any of its surprises. Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) are struggling with a marriage on the brink of collapse when their therapist suggests an unusual course of action. He … Continue reading The One I Love (2015) Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review

I’m not a fan of the growing trend for artificially prolonging a franchise by splitting the last instalment into two parts. There are reasons why trilogies evolved as a dominant storytelling structure rather than tetralogies, even though tetralogy sounds a lot cooler. The “Harry Potter” franchise just about got away with it (thanks to the source … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review

Interstellar (2014) Review

Mark the date. We may just have reached peak Nolan. "Interstellar" simultaneously represents the most triumphant aspects of the auteur's style as well as his follies. There's breath-taking ambition, scintillating scientific thoughts and stunning realised visuals. But all the problems that plagued "The Dark Knight Rises" are here too in abundance and without the inherent … Continue reading Interstellar (2014) Review

Doctor Who: Dark Water (S8E11) Review

*SPOILERS* I’m going to keep this as brief as I can, because it’s tricky to judge a ‘part one’ in isolation without having seen the second episode. As it was, we got a couple of answers to two questions which have run the length of the series (one we were actualy interested in and the … Continue reading Doctor Who: Dark Water (S8E11) Review

Doctor Who: Flatline (S8E09) Review

*SPOILERS* After a solid run of three really good episodes, I was ready for a bit of slide this week, especially when I read the synopsis saying that with the Doctor out of action, Clara has to become the Doctor. After all the complaining I've done about the series being too Clara-centric, how was I … Continue reading Doctor Who: Flatline (S8E09) Review

Doctor Who: Mummy On The Orient Express (S8E08) Review

*SPOILERS* This series of "Who" really seems to be hitting its stride, so the choice of song for Foxes’ smoky jazz cover couldn’t have been more appropriate. “Don’t Stop Me Now” indeed. Because we are having a good time. Capaldi is absolutely rocking the character of the Doctor now and the setting is quirkily off … Continue reading Doctor Who: Mummy On The Orient Express (S8E08) Review

Doctor Who: Kill The Moon (S8E07) Review

*SPOILERS* After last week’s episode seemed to finally get the components to click together, I had high hopes for this week’s episode, particularly after an “Alien”-inspired trailer. And you know what? By and large, I wasn’t disappointed. This was the easiest episode this season to enjoy, with my only major gripe being the facile “oh, … Continue reading Doctor Who: Kill The Moon (S8E07) Review

Guilty Pleasures: Judge Dredd (1995) Revisited

Today, Wednesday 1st October 2014 is the #Day Of Dredd 2014, where fans all over the world do everything they can to convince ‘Hollywood’ to make a sequel to 2012’s “Dredd”. And it’s well worth a sequel, so if you want to support it, you can buy it on DVD or BluRay, stream it (legally) … Continue reading Guilty Pleasures: Judge Dredd (1995) Revisited

Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Starring Karl Urban, "Dredd" is a lean, muscular, unapologetically violent thriller based on the popular '2000AD' comic character. Stripping away the excess of the previous Sylvester Stallone film, "Dredd" takes us to a grittier Mega City One, as Dredd is evaluating rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). When they are called to the picturesque in name … Continue reading Dredd (2012) Review + #DayOfDredd Competition: Win 1 of 3 Copies of the film on 3d BluRay

Doctor Who: The Caretaker (S806) Review

*SPOILERS* Okay – this, I think, is the one where I’m going to say Season 8 of “Doctor Who” has clicked, and all the pieces have snapped together in a pleasingly familiar and yet genuinely fresh and different configuration. For the first time, for a whole episode, Capaldi’s Doctor felt like the Doctor. Yes, he’s … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Caretaker (S806) Review

The Giver (2014) Review

So we find ourselves back in 'adaptation of a beloved young adult novel' territory with the long-in-development movie of Lois Lowry's 1993 novel. I like to think, in the mad scramble to snap up every halfway popular young adult novel after "Twilight" hit it big, that there was some executive who greenlit this in the … Continue reading The Giver (2014) Review

Guilty Pleasures: Congo (1995) Revisited

If a hippo took an apricot, a guava and a mango, stuck it all together and danced a dainty tango, I still doubt he and the rhino would have come up with a film quite as oddly enjoyable as "Congo", no matter how much Um Bongo they'd been drinking. Critically mauled on its release, and trapped … Continue reading Guilty Pleasures: Congo (1995) Revisited

Howard The Duck (1986) #Rediscovered

When he popped up in the end of credits stinger on “Guardians Of The Galaxy” (I’m not posting a spoiler warning for that because any right-thinking person has already seen that movie at least twice by now, and if you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and go watch it right now) , I knew it was time. … Continue reading Howard The Duck (1986) #Rediscovered

Doctor Who: Into The Dalek (S8E02) Review

Oh look – they’ve done a remake of “Dalek” from series one.With the post-regeneration shenanigans of last week behind us, this was our first chance to see the new Doctor in business-as-usual mode. Unfortunately, what we got was a lot of set-up for the series (re-introducing Coal Hill School, introducing Danny Pink, a curious reappearance from … Continue reading Doctor Who: Into The Dalek (S8E02) Review

Lucy (2014) Review

In “Lucy”, Luc Besson has crafted an experimental 45 minute film, an art house meditation akin to “Under The Skin” on the nature of intelligence, awareness, interconnectedness and what it means to be human. Unfortunately, to stretch out the running time he’s wrapped it up inside a really dumb action movie that’s crashed into a … Continue reading Lucy (2014) Review

Doctor Who: Deep Breath (S8E01) Review

*SPOILERS*Post-regeneration stories are always a bit of a mixed bag. There's a lot of heavy lifting to do: setting up the new Doctor, giving the general tone of the new era (although this usually only kicks in by the second or third adventure) and they need to restate the basic premise of the series to … Continue reading Doctor Who: Deep Breath (S8E01) Review

Earth To Echo (2014) Review

Shot in the ‘found footage’ style, this is no tweenage “Blair Witch Project” and it would be more appropriate to call it a ‘selfie movie’ as the main characters themselves do the filming and are hyper aware of the camera. Liberally borrowing from cherished classics such as “The Goonies”, “Flight Of The Navigator”, “Batteries Not … Continue reading Earth To Echo (2014) Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) Review

Do you remember when summer SciFi blockbusters were unashamedly fun? Do you remember how you felt watching “Return Of The Jedi”? Before you got all old and cynical and ironic. Before your “Star Wars” heart was hardened by special edition vandalism and successive soulless prequels? Before the angry words and bitter sentiment of a million revisionist … Continue reading Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) Review

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Review

Where “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” was a pleasant much-better-than-expected surprise, it’s sequel (the sequel to the prequel after the [failed*] reboot of the franchise) has a much higher standard to live up to. Set ten years after the events of the previous film, “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” picks up … Continue reading Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Review

Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014) Review

In tribute to Michael Bay, this review is bloated, overlong and hopelessly self-indulgent, taking far too long to get to the point which is to review “Transformers: Age Of Extinction”. But let’s get one thing straight: I don’t love to hate the Michael Bay “Transformers” films. I hate to hate them. Seriously: I want to … Continue reading Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014) Review

Snowpiercer (2013) Review

Infamously the best film that hasn’t had a proper worldwide release yet, Bong Joon-ho’s English language debut “Snowpiercer” has been a hit in his native South Korea and France and is well worth seeking out as and when it gets released wherever you are. Adapted from a French graphic novel, “Snowpiercer” is set in the … Continue reading Snowpiercer (2013) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek: From Motion Into Darkness (Omnibus Edition)

If you've only just discovered Craggus' Trek Trek or missed a few, to save you having to scroll through and search for the relevant posts, I've collected them here in one handy compendium. So here you are: twelve Treks, no waiting! STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE I guess I would consider myself a lapsed Trekkie (I … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek: From Motion Into Darkness (Omnibus Edition)

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) Review

If, like me, you made the switch from going to see a movie because Tom Cruise was in it to going to see a movie despite Tom Cruise being in it a while back, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in “Edge Of Tomorrow” (not least of all the many, many times his character meets … Continue reading Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) Review

After the franchise-stabilising success of “Star Trek: First Contact”, fans were once again eager to see the next adventure of the intrepid crew of the Enterprise-E. Never a studio to let a good thing go untampered with, Paramount in its infinite wisdom decided it was time for a change of pace. Perhaps, emboldened by the … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: First Contact (1996) Review

There’s a commonly held belief that even numbered “Star Trek” films are better than the odd numbered ones. This is a spurious correlation. In actual fact, the true axiom is that “Star Trek” films which involve Nicholas Meyer are better than those that don’t. “Star Trek: First Contact” is the film which gives rise to … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: First Contact (1996) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: Generations (1994) Review

The original series of “Star Trek” lasted for only 79 episodes and by the time it returned to the big screen there hadn’t been any new live action adventures for Kirk and Co for ten years. The intervening years had seen massive improvements in the areas of special effects, and of course the crew of … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: Generations (1994) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) Review

When it came out, I went to see “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” five times in the cinema. Five. It wasn’t because I loved it so much, it was because it niggled at me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I should and I was convinced I’d missed something. After the … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Review

Spock is dead (although he got better); Kirk’s son is dead and the Enterprise has been destroyed. So far, the “Star Trek” films have been heavy with drama and conflict but for the fourth installment, it's time for a change: a time to return to the “Star Trek” of ideas and challenges. Returning from Vulcan … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) Review

June this year will mark the 30th Anniversary of the release of “Star Trek III: The Search For Spock”, but is it a landmark worth celebrating? It was always going to be a tricky prospect, creating a follow up to the critically and commercially successful “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan”. After all, when … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) Review

While I’ve seen “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” more times than I would probably have chosen to, thanks to it being one of the few sci-fi titles available when VHS rental was starting to be a thing, any opportunity to watch “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” is always a delight. When Admiral Kirk’s … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) Review

In Your Eyes (2014) Review

The second production to come from Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures (following last year’s “Much Ado About Nothing”), “In Your Eyes” is a modest, sweet, gently paced romance which may ultimately be more interesting as an experiment in motion picture production and distribution than for its storyline or performances. Not that both the story and performances … Continue reading In Your Eyes (2014) Review

Transcendence (2014) Review

If it wasn’t for Johnny Depp’s involvement, this very, very ordinary thriller would likely have been a direct to DVD release. In the nineties. Marking the directorial debut of cinematographer (and frequent Christopher Nolan collaborator) Wally Pfister, “Transcendence” is a clichéd, poorly structured and ultimately nonsensical techno thriller. On the cusp of a major breakthrough … Continue reading Transcendence (2014) Review

Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

I guess I would consider myself a lapsed Trekkie (I was never that bothered about the difference between Trekkie and Trekker), losing my faith somewhere between the last couple of seasons of “Star Trek: Voyager” and the launch of “Enterprise”. I loved, and still love, the original series and I was really into “Star Trek: … Continue reading Craggus’ Trek Trek – Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) Review

It may just be coincidence but it feels like I’m witnessing the creation of a new cinema movement: the British toilet-based sci-fi/ horror genre. After yesterday’s “Stalled”, “Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel”, is a compact, lightweight and deceptively clever comedy which deals with the problems caused by time leaks in a pub’s toilets. It … Continue reading Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) Review

Europa Report (2013) Review

2013 was a pretty good year for proper, grown-up sci-fi. In amongst the blockbusters and true stories, we were treated to the astonishing “Gravity” and the faithfully-made but underperforming “Ender’s Game”. Overlooked in all the folly and grandeur of a great cinematic year was a little gem of a movie called “Europa Report”. A smart, … Continue reading Europa Report (2013) 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 Regeneration Game (1966-2010)

I’ve been a fan of “Doctor Who” since I can remember, and certainly way, way back before it was cool to like Doctor Who. I followed it from its Saturday teatime slot, through experimental Monday Tuesday scheduling and suicidal Wednesday showdowns with soap operas to cancellation. Through the wilderness years I waited, had my hopes … Continue reading The Regeneration Game (1966-2010)

Gravity (2013) Review

With “Gravity”, Alfonso Cuarón, director of the first really good Harry Potter film, has delivered the definitive 21st Century space movie. This is not science fiction, this is scientific fiction and it’s all the more awe-inspiring and deeply terrifying for it. Taking as few liberties as it can with the laws of physics, “Gravity” delivers … Continue reading Gravity (2013) Review

Ender’s Game (2013) Review

I’d heard of “Ender’s Game” before but never got around to reading it. When I learned they were making a movie of it, I figured I should probably check it out before I saw the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was curious about how it would be adapted for the screen given the … Continue reading Ender’s Game (2013) Review

Brazil (1985) Review

How on Earth has it taken me so long to get round to watching Terry Gilliam’s classic dystopian Sci-Fi comedy? To paraphrase Admiral Kirk from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn” (stay with me): I’ve managed to see just about every film it’s influenced but like a poor marksman, I’ve kept missing the target. … Continue reading Brazil (1985) Review

Riddick (2013) Review

***POSSIBLE MILD SPOILERS*** The Chronicles Of Riddick* (encompassing “Pitch Black”, um, “The Chronicles Of Riddick” and now “Riddick”) are the closest thing we’ve currently got to the pulpy, black and white Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials of the 30’s and 40’s, so it’s with that narrator’s voice that I want you to read the … Continue reading Riddick (2013) Review

The World’s End (2013) Review

The posters for “The World’s End” outside my local cinema contained something I’ve never seen before. There, right across the top of the poster ,was a stark warning that showings of this film were being specially monitored for recording equipment (including mobile phones!) to prevent unauthorised copying. Not only did it spoil the look of … Continue reading The World’s End (2013) Review

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Review

This is a long one, so if you just want to get to the score, I give it 7/10. Sticking around for the rest of my musings? There are possible spoilers, I guess.... Okay, I admit it. I went into "Star Trek Into Darkness" actively wanting to dislike it. After JJ Abrams' previous soulless entry … Continue reading Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Review

Cloud Atlas (2012) Review

It's taken me a bit of reflection to gather my thoughts on "Cloud Atlas". I found the first five minutes baffling, then it was intriguing and, ultimately, mesmerising. At a sprawling 2 3/4 hours, it's not for the faint-hearted or fidgety-bottomed but it's a richly rewarding experience. It weaves a number of deceptively complex intertwined … Continue reading Cloud Atlas (2012) Review