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

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

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 Commuter (2018) Review

Mrs Craggus has a recurring complaint about Liam Neeson, specifically that in many (she says all) of his roles, he just happens to be the exactly skilled person the plot needs. When his daughter is kidnapped, he has that ‘special set of skills’, when his commercial flight is threatened by terrorists, it turns out he’s … Continue reading The Commuter (2018) Review

All The Money In The World (2017) Review

It's been almost impossible to avoid the publicity surrounding Ridley Scott's polished-to-a-dull-sheen biographical crime drama "All The Money In The World" thanks to the scandal which engulfed its would-be star after allegations of his sexual predation came to light and Scott's swift decision to excise the actor from the movie and reshoot all of his … Continue reading All The Money In The World (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

Better Watch Out (2017) Review

Beaten to the Christmas punch by Netflix’ “The Babysitter”, “Better Watch Out” is the latest home inversion thriller to try to shake up the genre, a sort of festive slasher snow globe of adolescent toxic masculinity and entitlement. In the snowy suburbs, a babysitter finds herself having to defend her twelve-year-old charge from a home … Continue reading Better Watch Out (2017) Review

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

Colin Farrell faces Rosemary’s Sophie’s Choice in “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer”, the latest movie from cinematic provoc-auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Blending classic Greek tragedy, existential horror, psychological drama and medical thriller, it’s a challengingly twisted mystery, an Art-“House, M.D.” Dr Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a renowned cardiovascular surgeon lives a seemingly perfect life with … Continue reading The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! (1988) Now And Then (Then And Now) Blogathon Review

Concluding my contribution to Realweegiemidget Reviews & Thoughts All Sorts ‘Now & Then’ Blogathon, we leap forward 32 years from the 23rd century sci-fi kitsch of “Forbidden Planet” to the mean streets of 1980s Los Angeles in hard-boiled detective spoof “The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad!”. Los Angeles Police Detective Frank Drebin … Continue reading The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! (1988) Now And Then (Then And Now) Blogathon Review

Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

For my final #MonthOfSpooks review of the year, I went to see one of the few horror movies which have been released in cinemas for Halloween this year, meaning I started with 1931’s “Dracula” and finished with 2017’s “Happy Death Day”. I ended up watching this film an hour or so after watching the latest episode … Continue reading Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Geostorm (2017) Review

Imagine if you took the MacGuffin from “Highlander 2: The Quickening” and gave it to the Kansas State Board of Education to reframe it using their expertise in science before summarising it in crayon on a children’s menu placemat and you’ll be pretty close to how I imagine the pitch meeting for “Geostorm” went. That … Continue reading Geostorm (2017) Review

The Snowman (2017) Review

With apologies to Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Kristen Bell... Do you want to see “The Snowman”? It’s not really all that good, It’s got Fassbender And Ferguson But neither’s in the nude... They adapted Nesbø’s novel And now we've got This dreary murder myst’ry Do you want to see “The Snowman”? You might not … Continue reading The Snowman (2017) Review

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

With the exception of perhaps “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, has there ever been a (belated) sequel which arrived under so much pressure of expectation as “Blade Runner 2049”? Picking up the baton from Ridley Scott’s lionised 1982 sci-fi noir, visionary director Denis Villeneuve leaps us further into the chillingly realistic dystopian future. Following the … Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) #Review

Flatliners (1990) Review

Nineties with a capital 9, stripped of the rose-coloured shroud of nostalgia, Joel Schumacher’s morbid thriller emphasises the ‘flat’ in “Flatliners”. Inspired by the near-death experiences of patients, a  group of brilliant, ambitious medical students decide to probe beyond the veil to establish empirically what happens when you die. But as each of them becomes … Continue reading Flatliners (1990) Review

Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

I vividly remember reading “Gerald’s Game” the first time, because it’s maybe the only book that’s ever made me physically jump while reading it. On first consideration, Stephen King's story of psychological survival horror, notably lacking in overtly supernatural elements, would seem unfilmable yet writer/ director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus”) has nevertheless fashioned the twisted tale … Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

Strange Days (1995) Review

Long before she became the queen of clinically detached but nerve-shreddingly tense true life docudrama, Kathryn Bigelow directed this vastly underrated, far-sighted techno-thriller. Now finally released on BluRay, it’s time, from the bizarre present day of 2017, to reappraise the Strange Days of 1995. Lenny Nero, a former cop turned street hustler makes a living … Continue reading Strange Days (1995) Review

American Assassin (2017) Review

A victim of a terrorist attack after proposing to his girlfriend, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) vows to avenge her death and sets out to track down the terrorists himself. His vendetta brings him to the attention of the CIA who induct him into the secret Orion black ops programme run by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) … Continue reading American Assassin (2017) Review

The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

On the surface, “The Limehouse Golem” seems like just another Victorian murder mystery, a Sherlockian tribute act riffing off the legend of Jack The Ripper but it’s what beneath the surface, behind the façade that drives the narrative and gives it a thematic power which helps it rise above its clichéd although handsomely executed trappings. … Continue reading The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

Iron Fist – Season 1 Review

Why can’t we have nice things? There was something almost inevitable about the pre-release critical and cultural bashing “Iron Fist” received. After a run of small screen Netflix success, I guess Marvel was due a backlash, and after constantly outgunning their rivals cinematically, the great and the good of Twitter and beyond, as well as … Continue reading Iron Fist – Season 1 Review

Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

After his star turn in “Jessica Jones”, I was looking forward to seeing Luke Cage’s solo adventures and Netflix’ latest MCU adventure doesn’t disappoint. Luke Cage (Mike Colter), an escaped convict who was left with superhuman strength and impenetrable skin after being experimented on in prison, is keeping a low profile in Harlem. But when … Continue reading Luke Cage – Season 1 Review

Daredevil – Season 2 Review

When I reviewed Season 1 of Daredevil, I dared to hope that the characters from Marvel’s Netflix MCU offshoot would make the leap to the big screen to join in the “Infinity Wars”. While it seems that’s increasingly unlikely, the disappointment is somewhat mitigated by the depth and breadth being brought to life in Marvel’s … Continue reading Daredevil – Season 2 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

Shark Attack 2 (2000) #SharkWeak Review

“Shark Attack 2”, the imaginatively named follow-up to 1999’s “Shark Attack” opens, as is traditional, with an unexpected shark attack. This time it’s a pair of scuba diving sisters and only one of them makes it back alive, albeit after managing to injure her attacker. For a brief moment, I wondered if we were in … Continue reading Shark Attack 2 (2000) #SharkWeak Review

Shark Attack (1999) #SharkWeak Review

If you’re worried that we’ve moved beyond the era of movie star led shark shenanigans, never fear: “Shark Attack” (kudos on the effort in titling this one, guys) brings us none other than Casper Van Dien and Ernie Hudson. Yes, the stars of “Starship Troopers”, “Ghostbusters” and “Congo” are giving up bugs and spooks and … Continue reading Shark Attack (1999) #SharkWeak Review

Dark Tide (2012) #SharkWeak Review

With Michael Caine added to our rogue’s gallery, we’re on a roll now. Next up, we’ve got none other than the star of “Catwoman” herself, Halle Berry as Kate, a freediving shark expert whose business is struggling to stay afloat after a tragic accident in which one of her crew died. Once dubbed a ‘shark … Continue reading Dark Tide (2012) #SharkWeak Review

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Among this movie’s few achievements is the coining of the instantly cliché tag line ‘This time it’s personal’. It also, like many “Jaws” fans, pretty much ignores “Jaws 3” completely, although not – it has to be said – to deliver a higher quality and more fitting end to the “Jaws” saga. When Sean Brody … Continue reading Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Bait (2013) #SharkWeak Review

Well, this is unexpected. Often found lurking in bargain bins or the same ‘you may like’ suggestions as “Sharknado” and “Sharktopus”, “Bait” is actually a pretty decent film. The opening scenes feature a beach that actually looks like a beach (and not a scrubby waterfront). There’s actual cinematography and decent acting. I’m all in on … Continue reading Bait (2013) #SharkWeak Review

Deepwater Horizon (2016) Review

If there were such a thing as a ‘True Story’ shared cinematic universe (okay, I guess technically there is), the authorities of that universe would no doubt be monitoring Mark Wahlberg very closely indeed. His presence at the sites of natural disasters or terrorist attacks is becoming so common, he’s almost the Stan Lee of … Continue reading Deepwater Horizon (2016) 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

Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

Do you think that somewhere, there’s a Twentieth Century Fox Executive kicking himself for not just giving Ridley Scott the money he wanted to make a sci-fi movie about the origin of intelligent life and the concept of meeting one’s creator? Maybe then we wouldn’t be here now, watching him tank the “Alien” franchise into … Continue reading Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

I.T. (2017) Review

If you thought lacklustre 2006 Harrison Ford cyber-thriller “Firewall” was just too action-packed, then have I got a movie for you. As self-made aviation millionaire Mike Regan (Pierce Brosnan) prepares to launch a new App (Uber for private jet billionaires) and take his company public, he asks an IT intern to come to his home … Continue reading I.T. (2017) Review

The Belko Experiment (2017) Review

There’s a refreshingly straightforward brutality to “The Belko Experiment”, a darkly comic beat-‘em-up from writer James Gunn (“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”) and director Greg McLean (“Wolf Creek”). In an isolated American office building in rural Bogota, Colombia, the working day starts much like any other for the ex-pat employees, even if security seems … Continue reading The Belko Experiment (2017) Review

Fast & Furious 8 (2017) Review

The Fast & Furious franchise continues to surprise and delight in equal measure as it resumes its metamorphosis into a Saturday morning cartoon brought to lavish live-action life. When his honeymoon is interrupted by the appearance of the notorious cybercriminal Cypher (Charlize Theron), Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) finds himself blackmailed into betraying his team and … Continue reading Fast & Furious 8 (2017) Review

Ghost In The Shell (2017) Review

If it wasn’t for the overblown ‘controversy’ over casting, the live-action remake of “Ghost In The Shell” might have struggled to generate much attention at all. In the not too distant future, cybernetic enhancements are almost universal, blurring the lines between humanity and robots. Major (Scarlett Johansson), a human mind inside an entirely robotic body, … Continue reading Ghost In The Shell (2017) Review

Life (2017) Review

If there’s one thing you can say about the movie “Life”, is that it answers the question ‘Is there life on Mars?’ fairly quickly. In fact, it answers it in the trailer so there’s little time wasted in getting to the ‘good’ stuff. When a returning probe from Mars returns with a sample of a … Continue reading Life (2017) Review

Get Out (2017) Review

Tense, gripping and deliciously, darkly oppressive, “Get Out” is a sensational directorial debut from Jordan Peele, one half of comedy duo Key and Peele. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is heading away for the weekend with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). Chris is worried how Rose’s parents will react to him being black, but when he … Continue reading Get Out (2017) Review

Patriot’s Day (2017) Review

It’s been less than four years since the Boston Marathon Bombings and I went into “Patriot’s Day” wondering what the film, made so soon after the saturation news coverage, hoped to achieve. Director Peter Berg, of course, is no stranger when it comes to adapting true life events and, after an awkward opening, he manages … Continue reading Patriot’s Day (2017) Review

A Cure For Wellness (2017) Review

There’s no denying Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure For Wellness” oozes forebodingly Gothic style. It starts conventionally enough, picking out the theme of the callous emptiness of the rat race and a mysterious Swiss ‘wellness’ clinic which offers respite and rejuvenation in its secretive mountain retreat. When amoral and ambitious young executive Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is … Continue reading A Cure For Wellness (2017) Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Review

The second chapter in the saga of “John Wick” is a curious beast. In many ways, it feels like the third part of a trilogy rather than the sequel to a surprise break-out hit and it's in trying to make the leap from one hit wonder to franchise that the film loses its way. Having … Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Review

Split (2017) Review

Yet another director seemingly completing his comeback, “Split” sees M Night Shyamalan building on the momentum of "The Visit" and nearing a return to his best form as he once again explores the boundary between psychological fact and science fiction. When three young girls are kidnapped, it’s just the beginning of their nightmare. Their kidnapper … Continue reading Split (2017) Review

xXx: Return Of Xander Cage (2017) Review

We may be marking the return of Xander Cage, but did anyone really notice he was away? 2002’s “xXx” was a dumb but fun extreme action adventure, a 90’s ‘attitude’ hangover given a last millennial hurrah. Cage never felt as iconic as the film believed him to be, hence his easy replacement by Ice T’s … Continue reading xXx: Return Of Xander Cage (2017) Review

The Bureau Season 1 Review

A slick French TV thriller in the vein of “Spooks”, “The Bureau” – a Canal+ production – centres around the lives and missions of the operatives of the DGSE (General Directorate for External Security, the French equivalent of MI6) as they coordinate the covert activities of agents around the world. When one of the DGSE’s … Continue reading The Bureau Season 1 Review

Arrival (2016) Review

If alien invasion movies exist on a spectrum where, say, “Independence Day” is the median point and down one end of the spectrum you have the likes of “Battleship” and “Independence Day: Resurgence”, “Arrival” finds its place at the opposite end of the scale. When twelve alien objects appear on Earth simultaneously, the various governments … Continue reading Arrival (2016) Review

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Review

2012’s “Jack Reacher” was something of a pleasant surprise. Although on paper a mismatch for Lee Child’s burly protagonist, Cruise’s screen presence was enough to pull off the role of the muscular and relentless investigator. Unfortunately, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is just a ruthlessly efficient in justifying its own title. Framed for a crime … Continue reading Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (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

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) Review

Breathing new life into the rotting husk of the zombie genre, “The Girl With All The Gifts” bites off far more than the usual undead apocalypse. It’s a horror movie with more than just a culinary focus on braaaaains. In the near future, British society has collapsed following an outbreak of a fungal infection which … Continue reading The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) Review

War On Everyone (2016) Review

“War On Everyone” sees acclaimed director John Michael McDonagh taking a leaf out of Tarantino’s book and nearly everything but the front and back covers from the Shane Black playbook to bring us a profane and anarchically violent comedy so dark is rivals Vantablack for pitch blackness. Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña) and Terry Monroe (Alexander … Continue reading War On Everyone (2016) Review

Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

An often tense and claustrophobically clever thriller, a little more humility would have done “Don’t Breathe” the world of good. When a gang of three opportunistic burglars get a tip off about an easy mark, it seems like their ship has come in. One easy job and they can escape their dead end Detroit lives … Continue reading Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

The Border Season 1 Review

With bleeding edge topicality, Polish thriller “The Border” arrives on DVD this week. Previously shown on Channel 4 this year, the 2014 human trafficking drama is as relevant as it’s ever been. At the farthest frontier of Europe, on the Polish-Ukrainian border, a unit of Border Patrol guards is targeted by a bomb attack, leaving … Continue reading The Border Season 1 Review

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review

Rivalling “Suicide Squad” for worst editing of 2016, “Mechanic: Resurrection” is a confused and underwhelming mix of lush location footage and studio bound cut scenes which feel more “That Riviera Touch” than a modern action thriller. The pseudo-Bond exotic location hopping feels arbitrary and slapped together in service of a plot which promises much more … Continue reading Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review