• That Thing You Do!

    That Thing You Do!

    ★★★½

    Tom Hanks directorial debut always reminded me too much of the Beatles to actually watch it. I'm glad I did eventually get around to it though. That Thing You Do is a feelgood movie about overnight success and how different people deal with fame. The scene where the song makes it onto the radio is pure, unadulterated joy.

    It's perhaps not a surprise that Hanks' debut as a director is pure Americana. The girl next door, the family models etc.…

  • Bend It Like Beckham

    Bend It Like Beckham

    ★★★

    Almost ashamed to admit that I've never watched Bend it Like Beckham before. Since I've moved over to the world of football as a major hobby I guess I'm playing catch up on such art. Bend it Like Beckham is about girls football, which 20 years on is an actual professionally organised sport in the UK. In 2002? Less so. The fortune and glory came from the United States.

    Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is a Hindu teenager who loves a…

  • Home Sweet Home Alone

    Home Sweet Home Alone

    This is a complete disaster. The only decent parts of the film are the booby traps/home defence bit but putting that in with no real context around it is completely misunderstanding what made the original Home Alone a good film. In Home Alone they got away with Kevin being an irritating little shit because in Macauley Culkin they had someone who could turn it around in the third act and make you smile. They don't have that here. Also, in…

  • The Harder They Fall

    The Harder They Fall

    ★★★½

    I would have preferred if the Harder They Fall was able to stick to a morally grey area throughout. It certainly felt in the first act that, in spite of Nat Love's drive for revenge, both rival gangs had elements of good and evil. This was most prevalent in LaKeith Stanfield's Cherokee Bill. A dubious quick-draw rumoured to have shot more men in the back. They layer character onto him and then he just turns out to be a dick.…

  • Red Notice

    Red Notice

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I was quite enjoying this. It has some decent action sequences but unfortunately director Rawson Marshall Thurber decided it was going to be a 'con' movie instead of an art theft movie. As soon as you know it's a con movie then the twist ending isn't a twist at all as it's telegraphed from miles out.

    The three stars are all good but don't gel. Dwayne Johnson's FBI agent John Hartley (the least likely looking profiler you'll ever see) has…

  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    ★★★

    As someone who hates Disney, hates musicals and hates Bill Condon...I probably shouldn't have watched this. But I keep telling people that you need to see something before formulating an opinion on it. And you know what? I actually liked it.

    Beauty and the Beast is a lavish live action remake of the animated classic. As with almost every film studios release now there's way too much CGI but it would be tricky to make Ewan McGregor play an actual…

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

    Marvel has expanded beyond it's wildest dreams. Since Guardians of the Galaxy was a hit, it seems any Marvel property is potentially a franchise. Shang-Chi is another demonstration of that. It's also a prime demonstration of Marvel formula. Introducing a hero character and pitting them against some sort of evil, along with a wise-cracking sidekick.

    I don't have a problem with Marvel's way of making movies, aside from a massive overreliance on CGI. The CGI really hurts Shang-Chi because it's…

  • Jungle Cruise

    Jungle Cruise

    ★★

    Good lord this is a dumb film. Equal parts Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and Aguirre: The Wrath of God and despite how awesome that sounds it has this additional layer of dumb, pointless, childish slapstick slathered all over it. Emily Blunt, The Rock and Jack Whitehall give it the old school try but there's no disguising the final product is a bust. It's a pity because it has the bare bones of a good film but it lacks…

  • The Little Mermaid

    The Little Mermaid

    ★★

    I was 12-13 years old when Little Mermaid came out so it wasn't my time for such a venture. I imagine the only classmates in my year to watch it were the little girls. Little Mermaid is that sort of Disney feature. Targeting one gender wholesale. It's all princess dreams and sing-a-long business. So until today I'd not seen it. I wasn't missing much. Ariel, voiced by Jodi Benson, longs to become human so she sells out to evil sea…

  • Bloodshot

    Bloodshot

    ★★

    In defence of Bloodshot, I really like Valiant Comics and their successful rebooting of multiple franchises in 2012 to turn everything into a Marvel-esque Universe created one of the better multiple runs of comic book properties in recent years. I was reading X-0 Manowar, Harbinger, Quantum & Woody and Bloodshot.

    Bloodshot is supposed to be the launch of a Valiant film universe, which is going to be expanded to include Harbinger and hopefully Archer & Armstrong or Quantum & Woody, which could be…

  • 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

    47 Meters Down: Uncaged

    ★½

    Part of this year's Halloween season with sharks

    I don't remember seeing 47 Meters Down. I have a sneaking suspicion that I've not seen it at all but that doesn't really matter. The cast is completely different. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (aka 48 Meters Down) sees two sisters and their collateral friends going diving in an ancient Mayan city, which just happens to have been flooded by rising sea levels etc. It reminded me a little bit of the Descent…

  • The Thing Below

    The Thing Below

    ½

    It's Halloween baby!

    The Thing Below, aka Sea Ghost, is an embarrassingly poor outing from breast enthusiast/director Jim Wynorski (credited as "Jay Matthews" but not fooling anyone). Wynorski steals wholesale from other, better, movies including but not limited to The Thing, Die Hard, Predator, Aliens etc, etc.

    Everything is bad. The dialogue, acting, CGI, lighting, blocking, script, timing, delivery and everything in between is so shambolic I legitimately thought it was a parody. And that's the best way to watch…