"A weekend wasted is never a wasted weekend."
"A weekend wasted is never a wasted weekend."
D: Doug Liman
Columbia/Banner/Saratoga (Paul Rosenberg, Mickey Liddell & Matt Freeman)聽 聽聽 聽聽 聽
馃嚭馃嚫 1999
103 mins


W:聽John August
DP: Doug Liman
Ed:聽Stephen Mirrione
Mus: BT

Sarah Polley (Ronna), Desmond Askew (Simon), Taye Diggs (Marcus), William Fichtner (Burke), Katie Holmes (Claire), Breckin Meyer (Tiny), Jay Mohr (Zack), Timothy Olyphant (Todd), Scott Wolf (Adam)

American Graffiti for the 1990's, showing a drug deal gone wrong from three different points of view.
Set over a crazy night in the build up to Christmas, the first of the three perspectives is from Ronna, a young supermarket assistant who sets up her own drug deal to raise cash to avoid an impending eviction, but the deal turns sour and she ends up pursued by a vengeful dealer.
The second segment focuses on a guy's night out in Las Vegas, incurring the wrath of two gangsters who set out for blood.
The third stories reprises events from the first chapter, shown from a different point of view and ties into events from the second film, bringing the story full circle.
Go is a high-octane indie project with some highly entertaining scenes and amusing dialogue, Sarah Polley is fantastic as Ronna, but the weakest performance belongs to Desmond Askew, whose English accent jars the ear despite the actor actually being British.
Some might call this a teen-orientated Pulp Fiction, but it really doesn't deserve to be punished with comparison to Tarantino's crime classic.
"The dream begins."
"The dream begins."
D: Danny Cannon
Touchstone (Mike Jeffries, Matt Barrelle & Mark Huffam)
馃嚞馃嚙 2005
118 mins


W: Dick Clement & Ian LaFrenais
DP: Michael Garrett
Ed: Chris Dickens
Mus: Graeme Revell

Kuno Becker (Santiago Mu帽ez), Alessandra Nicola (Gavin Harris), Stephen Dillane (Glen Foy), Anna Friel (Roz Harmison), Marcel Iures (Erik Dornhelm), Sean Pertwee (Barry Lewis)

Santiago Mu帽ez (Becker) is a football rookie spotted in Mexico by talent scouts and offered a move to play for Newcastle United in the British Premier League. The only snag is that he has to leave his family behind and start life afresh on Tyneside.
While the footballing scenes are convincingly brought to the screens, the film seems like a huge product placement opportunity for the Tyneside football club with a shamelessly predictable ending.
There's dodgy Geordie accents throughout and seems to have the moral that money buys happiness rather than personal achievement and the film certainly isn't helped by embarrassing cameos by real-life football stars, including a truly toe-curling appearance from David Beckham, who can't even play himself convincingly.
Two sequels followed, the first of which took Nunez to Spanish giants Real Madrid, followed by a closing chapter where the player heads to the World Cup.
All three films were formulaic and totally unoriginal.
D:聽Francis Ford Coppola
Paramount (Albert S. Ruddy)
馃嚭馃嚫 1972
175 mins


W:聽Francis Ford Coppola & Mario Puzo聽[based on the novel by Mario Puzo]
DP:聽Gordon Willis
Ed:聽William Reynolds & Peter Zinner
Mus:聽Nino Rota
PD:聽Dean Tavoularis
Cos:聽Anna Hill Johnstone

Marlon Brando聽(Don Vito Corleone),聽Al Pacino聽(Michael Corleone),聽James Caan(Sonny Corleone), Richard Castellano (Clemenza),聽Robert Duvall聽(Tom Hagen), Sterling Hayden (McClusky), John Marley (Jack Woltz), Diane Keaton (Kay Adams), Richard Conte (Barzini), Talia Shire (Connie), John Cazale (Fredo)

The first segment of the greatest crime trilogy cinema has ever seen is absolute perfection on its own merits as a standalone film, without even bringing the sequels into the fold.
While Marlon Brando may get top-billing as Don Vito Corleone, matriarch of a mob hierarchy, the film (and indeed the trilogy) charts the rise of his son Michael to take over the family business, from a clean-cut introduction as a family man with a military background.
The Godfather was a groundbreaking film on its original release, and though it 聽received criticism for the more violent scenes, it also received many accolades, including the Best Picture Oscar, which was thoroughly deserved. The power of the film still holds strong over 40 years later and must be considered the greatest crime film of all time.

D:聽Francis Ford Coppola
Paramount (Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Fredrickson & Fred Roos)
馃嚭馃嚫 1974
200 mins


W:聽Francis Ford Coppola & Mario Puzo聽[based on the novel by Mario Puzo]
DP:聽Gordon Willis
Ed:聽Peter Zinner, Barry Malkin & Richard Marks
Mus:聽Nino Rota & Carmine Coppola
PD:聽Dean Tavoularis
Cos:聽Theadora Van Runkle

Al Pacino聽(Michael Corleone),聽Robert Duvall聽(Tom Hagen),聽Robert DeNiro聽(Vito Corleone),聽Talia Shire聽(Connie Corleone),聽John Cazale聽(Fredo Corleone),聽Lee Strasberg聽(Hyman Roth), G. D. Spradlin (Senator Geary),聽Michael V. Gazzo聽(Frank Pentangeli), Richard Bright (Al Neri)

Following on from the events in the first film, Michael Corleone tightens his strangehold on the mafia empire while the story extends its timeframe to depict his father, Vito Corleone, in his younger years, involved in a similar struggle for respect and power when he arrived in America in the early part of the 20th century.
Francis Ford Coppola's second film of his crime sage is an ambitious and complex project, presenting the stories of two Corleone's in tandem over two very different timelines, from Vito's humble beginnings of turning to a life of crime for survival, to Michael's obsession with power for power's sake, showing a huge contrast between petty crime and corporate.
Often considered the greatest sequel in movie history, it's difficult to disagree with the accolade, although the first film is certainly easier to follow with it's linear narrative and also has a much kinder length.
"All the power on Earth can't change destiny."
"All the power on Earth can't change destiny."
D:聽Francis Ford Coppola
Paramount (Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Fredrickson, Fred Roos & Charles Mulvehill)聽 聽聽 聽聽 聽
馃嚭馃嚫 1990
161 mins


W:聽Francis Ford Coppola & Mario Puzo聽[based on characters created by Mario Puzo]
DP:聽Gordon Willis
Ed: Barry Malkin, Lisa Fruchtman & Walter Murch
Mus:聽Nino Rota
PD:聽Dean Tavoularis
Cos: Milena Canonero

Al Pacino聽(Michael Corleone), Diane Keaton (Kay Adams), Talia Shire (Connie Corleone),聽Andy Garcia聽(Vincent Mancini), Eli Wallach (Don Altobello), Joe Mantegna (Joey Zasa), George Hamilton (B. J. Harrison), Bridget Fonda (Grace Hamilton), Sofia Coppola (Mary Corleone)

A disappointing conclusion to the trilogy, which may not have been so harshly criticised if it was a standalone film. Part III is incredibly well filmed and has a handful of good performances, but when compared to the first two crime masterpieces, it's incredibly flawed.
Michael Corleone is now reaching his twilight years, separated from his wife and trying to clean up his illegitimate businesses so he can leave his legacy to his children.
The first two films were always going to be a difficult act to follow and some criticism's to the final film were harsh, the plot maintains interest throughout and Andy Garcia is excellent as Corleone's violent nephew, unfortunately his hard work is undone by the wretched performance of Sofia Coppola as Michael's daughter, her attempts at acting only make a laughing stock out of what were intended to be the more dramatic scenes.

"The battle for eternity begins."
"The battle for eternity begins."


D: Alex Proyas

Summit/Thunder Road/Mystery Clock (Basil Iwanyk & Alex Proyas)

馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚘馃嚭 2016

127 mins


W: Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless

DP: Peter Menzies

Ed: Richard Learoyd

Mus: Marco Beltrami

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus), Gerard Butler (Set), Brenton Thwaites (Bek), Chadwick Boseman (Thoth), Elodie Yung (Hathor), Courtney Eaton (Zaya), Rufus Sewell (Urshu), Geoffrey Rush (Ra)

Sword & sorcery garbage in which two gods measure dicks over who gets to rule over Egypt like a king.聽

As his father abdicates the throne, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is betrayed by his uncle, Set (Gerard Butler) and left blinded and without his god-like powers.

The plot following pretty much聽聽magpies from Gladiator, Ben-Hur and throws in a little bit of Thor for the magical element, but it's nothing more than a slapdash amalgamation of ideas which don't quite come off and some truly terrible CGI.

The film received criticism for the casting, especially the portrayal of Egyptian gods by white actors. In honesty, the performances aren't all terrible. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau doesn't do a bad job, but Gerard Butler just waltzes into the film with his thick Irish accent ready for his paycheque.

It was obvious with the popularity of TV shows like Game Of Thrones and Vikings, that Hollywood was going to churn out movies like this, but they don't all have to be rubbish.


D: Nick Hamm
Lions Gate (Marc Butan, Cathy Schulman & Sean O'Keefe)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚚馃嚘 2004
102 mins


W: Mark Bomback
DP: Kramer Morgenthau
Ed: Steve Mirkovich & Niven Howie
Mus: Brian Tyler

Greg Kinnear (Paul Duncan), Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Jessie Duncan), Robert DeNiro (Richard Wells), Cameron Bright (Adam Duncan)

Poorly-scripted clone of The Omen which attempts to give a sermon about the unholiness of cloning.
Greg Kinnear & Rebecca Romijn-Stamos play a married couple who are devestated when their son Adam dies, but the grieving is cushioned when a genetics professor claims he can clone the boy.聽
Life then chirps along blissfully for the couple until 'Adam II' becomes the minion of the antichrist.
The story delivers more moments of toe-curling embarrassment rather than shocks and the fact that the DVD version has five alternative endings proves that even the screenwriters didn't have a clue what the hell they were writing.
"Size Does Matter"
"Size Does Matter"
D: Ronald Emmerich
Columbia Tristar/Centropolis/Fried (Dean Devlin)
馃嚭馃嚫 1998
139 mins

Adventure/Science Fiction

W:聽Roland Emmerich & Dean Devlin
DP:聽Ueli Steiger
Ed: Peter Amundson & David J. Siegel
Mus: David Arnold

Matthew Broderick (Dr. Niko Tatopolous), Jean Reno (Philippe Roche), Hank Azaria (Victor Palotti), Maria Pitillo (Audrey Timmonds), Kevin Dunn (Col. Anthony Hicks), Michael Lerner (Mayor Ebert)

"Size does matter" according to the movie's tagline, so director Roland Emmerich brings as much havoc as possible to New York City when the gargantuan lizard Godzilla journeys to American shores from the Pacific (surely Los Angeles would be a more likely landing spot).
Full of all the usual cliches, hackneyed dialogue and stereotypic characters, Godzilla becomes a Jurassic Park clone when little baby Godzillas invade Madison Square Garden.
None of the performances make you pray for a human victory, while Maria Pitillo seems to think she's acting in a TV sitcom.
Size may not matter, but a decent story does.

D: Gareth Edwards
Warner Bros/Legendary (Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent & Brian Rogers)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚡馃嚨 2014
123 mins

Action/Science Fiction

W: Max Borenstein [based on characters created by Toho]
DP: Seamus McGarvey
Ed: Bob Ducsay
Mus: Alexandre Desplat

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Serizawa), Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Juliette Binoche (Sandra Brody), Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivienne Graham), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody)

This 2014 remake of the Japanese monster classic returns to it's roots (kind of) in showing Godzilla's Oriental origins following pacific nuclear testing in the 1950's and has the opening scenes set in Japan. This won't do for the interest of American audiences and so the action moves swiftly along to the west coast of America where giant prehistoric bugs are tearing San Francisco a new one. Godzilla finally pops up around halfway through the movie and saves America because their military forces are clearly inept at doing so.聽聽 聽 聽
Despite some impressive special effects, this film is a gargantuan mess, throwing a load of scenes together without any cohesion in the story and amassing a wealth of talented actors only to throw most of them away after a couple of scenes without developing any characters or making them integral to the plot.
As for making Godzilla the good guy? What the hell??? The 1998 version was pretty poor, but at least it was fun!

D:聽Leo McCarey
Paramount (Leo McCarey)
馃嚭馃嚫 1944
130 mins


W:聽Frank Butler & Frank Cavett
DP:聽Lionel Lindon
Ed: LeRoy Stone
Mus:聽Johnny Burke & James Van Heusen

Bing Crosby聽(Father Chuck O'Malley),聽Barry Fitzgerald聽(Father Fitzgibbon), Rise Stevens (Genevieve Linden), Frank McHugh (Father Timothy O'Dowd), Gene Lockhart (Ted Haines, Sr.), William Frawley (Max Dolan), James Brown (Ted Haines, Jr.)

Quite old-fashioned now, but this wonderfully light-hearted and sentimental comedy-drama gives a good showcase for some great acting talent, with young priest Chuck O'Malley joining a parish with new ideas to appeal with the churchgoers, which are met with resistance by the cantankerous, more traditional-minded Father Fitzgibbon.
Bing Crosby & Barry Fitzgerald make a great double act and there's some memorable songs, most particularly "Swinging On A Star".
Perhaps giving it an Oscar for Best Picture of 1944 was very generous (especially over Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity or Otto Preminger's Laura), but it's still thoroughly enjoyable and perfect viewing for a rainy day.


D: Charles Chaplin

United Artists (Charles Chaplin)

馃嚭馃嚫 1925 [sound version*: 1942]

72 mins / 69 mins*


W: Charles Chaplin聽

DP: Rollie Totheroh

Ed: Charles Chaplin / Harold McGhenn*

Mus: Charles Chaplin / Max Terr*

Charles Chaplin (The Lone Prospector), Mack Swain (Big Jim McKay), Georgia Hale (Georgia), Tom Murray (Black Larsen)

The Gold Rush is among Charles Chaplin's most iconic films, and it can be enjoyed in two versions. The original 1925 silent, with title cards to show the dialogue, or a 1942 re-release, complete with a new music score and narration.

The story follows the adventures of a lone prospector in the Yukon valley during the great Californian gold rush.聽

The most memorable scene, where Chaplin cooks and eats his own boots, would even be known by those who haven't even seen the movie.

On balance, the silent version is much better than the 1942 'talkie', but either version is recommended to fans of Chaplin's work or Hollywood golden age comedy.


D: Michael Ritchie
Paramount (Edward S. Feldman & Robert D. Wachs)
馃嚭馃嚫 1986
94 mins


W: Dennis Feldman
DP: Donald E. Thorin
Ed: Richard A. Harris
Mus: Michel Colombier

Eddie Murphy (Chandler Jarrell), Charles Dance (Sando Nanspa), J.L. Reate (The Golden Child), Charlotte Lewis (Kee Nang), Victor Wong (The Old Man)

Hot on the heels of Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom and Big Trouble In Little China comes another adventure-fantasy with an Oriental inspiration, starring Eddie Murphy as a social worker on the search for a mysterious Dalai Lama-like child with the power to bring peace throughout the world.
The main problem with this film is that it can't decide which genre to commit to and winds up a complete hodge-podge with an annoyingly smug performance from Murphy rather than an enchanting one. Product placement also seems rather forcibly shoed into the plot as well, especially in the scene with the dancing Pepsi can.
D: Chris Weitz
New Line/Ingenious/Scholastic (Deborah Forte & Bill Carraro)
馃嚞馃嚙 馃嚭馃嚫 2007
113 mins


W: Chris Weitz [based on the novel "Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman]
DP: Henry Braham
Ed: Peter Honess, Anne V. Coates & Kevin Tent
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
PD:聽Dennis Gassner

Dakota Blue Richards (Lyra Belacqua), Nicole Kidman (Mrs. Coulter), Daniel Craig (Lord Asriel), Sam Elliott (Lee Scoresby), Eva Green (Serafina Pekkala), Freddie Highmore (voice of Pantalaimon), Ian McKellen (voice of Iorek Byrnison)聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽

Lyra, a 12-year-old girl is assisted by an armoured polar bear in her quest to the North Pole to investigate the location of missing children.
Based on the first segment of Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy, the production didn't do itself any favours by releasing itself when C. S. Lewis' Narnia books were themselves getting cinematic adaptations, especially since the marketing appeared to tie it into the same franchise.
Visually the effects are great and the production design is very well realised, but the performances are miscast, especially Nicole Kidman as ice-cold villainess Mrs. Coulter.
Poor box office performance prevented a further two films from being green-lighted, proving the film really was the victim of a poorly-timed release date.

D:聽Guy Hamilton
United Artists/Eon (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
馃嚞馃嚙 1964
112 mins


W:聽Richard Maibaum & Paul Dehn聽[based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus:聽John Barry
PD: Ken Adam

Sean Connery (James Bond), Gert Fr枚be (Auric Goldfinger), Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore), Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson), Tania Mallett (Tilly Masterson), Harold Sakata (Oddjob), Bernard Lee ('M')

Arguably the best and easily the most memorable James Bond film, pitting the British spy against not one, but two of the franchises most iconic villains, the razor-tipped-hat throwing Oddjob and gold smuggler Auric Goldfinger, whose plans to perform a heist at Fort Knox must be thwarted by 007.
Though this was preceded by Dr. No & From Russia With Love, this was the Bond film which set up the franchise as a genre unto itself, with fantastic set pieces, stunts and visual effects, as well as introducing the "Bond song" by a world-famous singer, this time Shirley Bassey warbling the notes of the iconic title song.

D: Matteo Garrone
Fandango/RAI (Domenico Proacci)
馃嚠馃嚬 2008
137 mins


W: Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni DiGregorio, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso & Roberto Saviano [based on the novel by Roberto Saviano]
DP: Marco Onorato
Ed: Marco Spoletini

Salvatore Abruzzese (Toto), Gianfelice Imparato (Don Ciro), Ciro Petrone (Ciro), Maria Nazionale (Maria), Toni Servillo (Franco)

Based on investigating reporter Roberto Saviano's novel, Gomorrah portrays the Mafia culture so deep-rooted in the Italian city of Naples that almost every person in the populace has some link to the criminal hierarchy.
This film was marketed as the Italian version of 'Goodfellas', though this is far more gritty, almost like a docudrama, setting it vastly apart from Martin Scorsese's 1990 crime drama.
The film presents a bold statement and an important message and should be watched once, but is far too long and complex to merit repeat viewings.

"Everyone wants the truth, until they find it."
"Everyone wants the truth, until they find it."
D:聽Ben Affleck
Miramax (Sean Bailey, Dan Rissner & Alan Ladd, Jr.)
馃嚭馃嚫 2007
109 mins


W: Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard [based on the novel by Dennis Lehane]
DP: John Toll
Ed: William Goldenberg
Mus: Harry Gregson-Williams

Casey Affleck (Patrick Kenzie), Michelle Monaghan (Angie Gennero), Ed Harris (Sgt. Remy Bressant), Morgan Freeman (Capt. Jack Doyle), John Ashton (Det. Nick Poole),聽Amy Ryan (Helene McCready),聽Amy Madigan (Bea McCready)

Ben Affleck's directorial debut is a moody crime thriller, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, the same author of Mystic River, which was brought to the screen by Clint Eastwood in 2003.
In a working class Boston suburb, the daughter of a drug addict is kidnapped and the child's aunt hires a private investigator to talk to the dissolute residents who are less trustworthy of the police, leading to an intriguing mystery which leads to a complex moral dilemma in the melodramatic gripping final act.
The subject matter saw the film's release postponed in Britain, where a real-life kidnapping case was hugely publicised around the same time.
Though this story has nothing to do with the McCann investigation, it's still a narrative which cuts deep and will leave you thinking about what really is the right thing to do when an unpleasant truth rears its head.
The ensemble cast are excellent, but all the plaudits belong to Amy Ryan, whose performance as the junkie, foul-mouthed, white-trash mother is the particular standout.

D: David Fincher
20th Century Fox/Regency (Leslie Dixon, Bruna Papandrea, Reese Witherspoon & Ce谩n Chaffin)
馃嚭馃嚫 2014
149 mins


W:聽Gillian Flynn聽[based on her novel]
DP: Jeff Cronenweth
Ed: Kirk Baxter
Mus:聽Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne),聽Rosamund Pike (Amy Dunne), Tyler Perry (Tanner Bolt), Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne), Neil Patrick Harris (Desi Collings), Kim Dickens (Det. Rhonda Boney), Patrick Fugit (Officer James Gilpin)

There are three sides to every story: his side, her side and the truth, in David Fincher's thriller, all three are told.
Gillian Flynn adapts her own best-selling novel and proves herself a natural at screenwriting. The story focuses on a renowned female author who vanishes, and when the police investigating her disappearance start to suspect that the husband was involved, a media circus begins to scrutinise his behaviour, portraying him as a guilty-as-sin monster before an arrest is even made, while subsequently portraying the missing woman as America's new sweetheart when she's anything but.
As with his previous movies, David Fincher presents a wonderful work of meticulous craft, with atmospheric cinematography, brilliant editing and some eerie music from Nine Inch Nail's duo Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. The performances are also fantastic, especially from Brit Rosamund Pike as the missing wife, telling her story through a series of flashbacks until her story merges with the main thread.
Ben Affleck feels slightly miscast in this role, however he does have a slightly shifty look which the filmmaker's clearly played on when they cast him. One of the most surprising performances in the film is from Tyler Perry as a shady, urbane attorney.
Not the best choice of film for a date night, but a highly enjoyable and meticulously crafted piece of viewing.

D:聽Dominic Sena
Touchstone (Jerry Bruckheimer)
馃嚭馃嚫 2000
117 mins


W:聽Scott Rosenberg [based on the screenplay by H.B. Halicki]
DP: Paul Cameron
Ed: Tom Muldoon & Chris Lebenzon
Mus: Trevor Rabin

Nicolas Cage (Memphis Raines), Angelina Jolie (Sara Wayland), Robert Duvall (Otto Halliwell), Giovanni Ribisi (Kip Raines), Delroy Lindo (Det. Roland Castlebeck), Timothy Olyphant (Det. Drycoff), Will Patton (Atley Jackson), Christopher Eccleston (Raymond Calitri)

The title is rather apt, for if you remember anything about this film a minute after watching it, you've done well.
Nic Cage plays an ex-convict who is blackmailed into stealing 50 cars in a single night and puts together a motley crew of carjackers to assist with the criminal activity.
It's all what you'll expect from a Bruckheimer action movie, with high octane car chases, comic relief supporting characters, a smouldering love interest and a cardboard villain.
Remade from a 1974 exploitation flick, this isn't terrible and does provide ample entertainment for it's duration, but the finale must surely feature some of the worst dialogue ever spoken by a bad guy, nothing short of unintentionally hilarious.

D:聽Victor Fleming聽(& George Cukor & Sam Wood)
MGM (David O. Selznick)
馃嚭馃嚫 1939
220 mins


W:聽Sidney Howard聽(& others) [based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell]
DP:聽Ernest Haller & Ray Rennahan
Ed:聽Hal C. Kern & James E. Newcom
Mus:聽Max Steiner
PD:聽William Cameron Menzies
Cos:聽Walter Plunkett

Clark Gable聽(Rhett Butler),聽Vivien Leigh聽(Scarlett O'Hara),聽Hattie McDaniel聽(Mammy), Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes),Olivia De Havilland聽(Melanie Hamilton), Butterfly McQueen (Prissy), Everett Brown (Big Sam), Zack Williams (Elijah), Oscar Polk (Pork), Thomas Mitchell (Gerald O'Hara)

It is without question that Gone With The Wind is amongst the all-time cinema classics, but at over 3 & a half hours long, perhaps it's not one you would subject yourself to repeat viewings to (unless, of course, you absolutely adore it).
Set against the backdrop of the American civil war, Vivien Leigh is absolutely amazing as Scarlett O'Hara, a conceited Southern girl who matures over the period but fails to win the heart of the man who she loves, the dashingly suave Rhett Butler, also played marvellously by Clark Gable.
Gone With The Wind is much more than just a classic movie, it is a cinematic event to which every film buff or period drama aficionado owes themself a viewing, even if it's just the once. Adjusted for inflation, this still remains the biggest box office hit of all time, well over 75 years later.

D: John Moore
20th Century Fox (Alex Young & Wyck Godfrey)
馃嚭馃嚫 2012
97 mins


W: Skip Woods
DP: Jonathan Sela
Ed: Dan Zimmerman
Mus: Marco Beltrami

Bruce Willis (John McClane), Jai Courtney (Jack McClane), Sebastian Koch (Yuri Komarov), Cole Hauser (Mike Collins), Yuliya Snigir (Irina Komarova)

AKA Hudson Hawk 2
Actually, that's mean. Hudson Hawk wasn't as bad as this.聽
The fifth instalment of the Die Hard franchise is a perfect lesson in flogging a dead horse. This movie has as much to do with John McClane & the first four movies as The Wizard Of Oz or Bambi does.
Here's a rundown of the films so far...聽
Die Hard- Bruce runs around an office building in a vest, blowing shit up to stop some terrorists
Die Hard 2- Bruce runs around an airport terminal in a range of sweaters, blowing shit up to stop some terrorists.聽 聽 聽
Die Hard 3- The vest makes a comeback & Bruce runs around NYC with a script clearly written for the Lethal Weapon movies, blowing shit up to stop some terrorists.
Die Hard 4- Bruce & geek companion run around Washington, blowing shit up to stop some cyber-terrorists
Die Hard 5- Bruce runs around Moscow, blowing shit up and acting like a xenophobic arsehole because he wants to speak to his son.
This is amongst Batman & Robin and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace as one of the worst sequels ever made. Avoid!

D: Peter Sohn
Disney/Pixar (Denise Ream)
馃嚭馃嚫 2015
90 mins


W: Meg LeFauve, Peter Sohn, Erick Benson, Kelsey Mann & Bob Petersen
Mus: Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna

voices of: Raymond Ochoa (Arlo), Jack Bright (Spot), Sam Elliott (Butch), Anna Paquin (Ramsey), A.J. Buckley (Nash), Jeffrey Wright (Poppa Henry), Frances McDormand (Momma Ida)

As it stands, The Good Dinosaur is Pixar's lowest grossing film and it's quite easy to figure out why. This is easily a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, bereft with trouble during production with different writers and directors getting involved resulting in a finished product that's all a bit of a mess.
Set in a world where dinosaurs didn't go extinct and have become the dominant species on the planet. The plot tries to inject a storyline from a Western into it, with a family of farmer dinosaurs preparing their harvest, but the runt of the litter is a coward who can't perform his tasks properly. The cowardly dinosaur would probably be a more apt title as he is forced to find his courage when he is washed up river along with a young Neanderthal and must prove his mettle by making it back to the family ranch.
As with all Pixar productions, the standard of animation is incredibly high with the backgrounds, vistas and locations which almost look photorealistic. Unfortunately, the animated characters are less convincing, especially the dinosaurs which are a mere step up from Barney.
An animated feature that falls between two stools; too boring for adults and too unsuitable for under-8's. It isn't as terrible as some reviews may say, with a well-meaning subplot about the importance of friendship and family, but considering the animation giant's usual output, it really is a dinosaur.

D: Miguel Arteta
20th Century Fox/Myriad/In-Motion/WMF (Matthew Greenfield)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚛馃嚜 馃嚦馃嚤 2002
93 mins


W: Mike White
DP:聽Enrique Chediak
Ed:聽Jeff Betancourt
Mus: Tony Maxwell, James O'Brien, Mark Orton & Joey Waronker

Jennifer Aniston (Justine Last), Jake Gyllenhaal (Thomas Worther),聽Zooey Deschanel (Cheryl), John C. Reilly (Phil Last), Tim Blake Nelson (Bubba)

Jennifer Aniston's film career was often smited with her being typecast as the same character she played in the TV sitcom Friends, but in this independent comedy her performance is quite refreshing.
She plays a supermarket checkout girl who embarks on an adulterous affair with an oddball new employee who develops an obsession with her (Jake Gyllenhaal), meanwhile, her husband, John C. Reilly, struggles to understand what made her look for love elsewhere.
Zooey Deschanel also chips in with a hilarious supporting performance as a laid back supermarket assistant.
A fine comedy with great performance and some very amusing dialogue, much better than the insipid nonsense Aniston was usually typecast in.

D: Barry Levinson
Buena Vista/Touchstone (Mark Johnson & Larry Brezner)
馃嚭馃嚫 1987
119 mins


W: Mitch Markowitz
DP: Peter Sova
Ed: Stu Linder
Mus: Alex North

Robin Williams (Adrian Cronauer),聽Forest Whitaker (Eddie Garlick), Tung Thanh Tran (Tuan), Chintara Sukapatana (Trinh), Bruno Kirby (Steven Hauk), Robert Wuhl (Marty Dreiwitz), J.T. Walsh (Maj. Phillip Dickerson)

Robin Williams truly launched his career with his performance as Adrian Cronauer, an eccentric disc jockey in 1965 wartorn Saigon who begins each broadcast with the immortal cry "Good Morning, Vietnam!"聽 聽聽 聽聽 聽
Despite being loved by the troops, he is abhorred by the superior officers who attempt to remove his show from the airwaves.
The film is worth watching merely for Williams' mesmeric performance, who ad-libbed most of the dialogue and gave arguably his most iconic screen performance.

"They took on the government with nothing but the truth."
"They took on the government with nothing but the truth."
D: George Clooney
Warner Independent/Redbus (Grant Heslov)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚝馃嚪 馃嚞馃嚙 2005
93 mins


W:聽George Clooney & Grant Heslov
DP:聽Robert Elswit
Ed: Stephen Mirrione
PD:聽James D. Bissell

David Strathairn聽(Edward R. Murrow), Patricia Clarkson (Shirley Wershba), George Clooney (Fred Friendly), Jeff Daniels (Sig Mickelson), Robert Downey, Jr. (Joe Wershba), Frank Langella (William Paley), Ray Wise (Don Hollenbeck)

An impeccably crafted political drama with superb performances from it's ensemble, set in the smoky offices of 1950's journalism, when forthright broadcaster Edward R. Morrow (Strathairn) speaks out about the scaremongering, right wing tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
In the same mould as films like Quiz Show & JFK, it really helps if you hold a little knowledge on the subject it presents, if not, it's a film which can be appreciated for its meticulous attention to detail and fine acting performances.


D: Robert DeNiro

Universal/Morgan Creek/TriBeCa/American Zoetrope (James G. Robinson, Jane Rosenthal & Robert DeNiro)


167 mins


W: Eric Roth

DP: Robert Richardson

Ed: Tariq Anwar

Mus: Bruce Fowler & Marcelo Zarvos

PD: Jeannine Oppewall

Cos: Ann Roth

Matt Damon (Edward Wilson, Sr.), Angelina Jolie (Margaret Russell Wilson), Tammy Blanchard (Laura), Robert DeNiro (Gen. William Sullivan), Alec Baldwin (FBI Agent Samuel Murach), William Hurt (CIA director Philip Allen), Joe Pesci (Joseph Balmi), Eddie Redmayne (Edward Wilson, Jr.)

Robert DeNiro directs this American political thriller charting the birth of the CIA, from its inception through to the Kennedy Administration and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Seen through the eyes of the laconic and staid head of CIA operations, Edward Wilson, throughout his own life, from his father's death, his experiences at Yale University's Skull & Bones society, a shotgun marriage and his first missions, cutting his teeth as a spy in London.

Though the performances are all excellent and the production design and photography flawless, the narrative of this film does drag, especially through the mid-section, as it attempts to be an American version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

This was a pet project for Robert DeNiro, and you can tell that a lot of care went into the production itself, but it really could have been half-an-hour shorter without losing too much narrative drive.

Fans of spy movies will certainly enjoy it, but for everyone else, you could take it or leave it.


"Evil has many faces."
"Evil has many faces."
D: Joseph Ruben
20th Century Fox (Mary Anne Page & Joseph Ruben)
馃嚭馃嚫 1993
87 mins


W: Ian McEwan
DP: John Lindley
Ed: George Bowers
Mus: Elmer Bernstein

Elijah Wood (Mark Evans), Macauley Culkin (Henry Evans), Wendy Crewson (Susan Evans), David Morse (Jack Evans)

Delayed its release in the UK because of similarities with a real-life murder of a Liverpool child made this film sound much more ominous than what's actually portrayed on-screen.
All in all, it's a rather rudimentary update on The Bad Seed, starring Macauley Culkin as a seemingly innocent but amoral & rambunctious 10-year-old boy with a desire for murder.
Supposedly, the casting of Macauley in this role was contractually tied into his reprisal in Home Alone 2, but perhaps the filmmakers would've had a chance of making a better film if they'd breached the contract. Culkin's pathetic performance is about as menacing as a thimble, upstaged by a young, angelic Elijah Wood in every single scene.
D:聽Sergio Leone
PEA (Alberto Grimaldi)
馃嚠馃嚬 馃嚜馃嚫 1966
161 mins


W:聽Luciano Vincenzoni & Sergio Leone
DP: Tonino Delli Colli
Ed:聽Nino Baragli
Mus:聽Ennio Morricone
PD/Cos: Carlo Simi

Clint Eastwood (The Man With No Name), Eli Wallach (Tuco Ramirez),Lee Van Cleef (Angel Eyes), Aldo Guiffre (Capt. Clinton), Mario Brega (Cpl. Wallace), Luigi Pistilli (Father Pablo Ramirez)

Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western trilogy concludes with this seminal piece of work, arguably the greatest Western ever made.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly are Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef & Eli Wallach, respectively, although it could be argued that all three characters have each of the three traits as they double-cross and back stab each other while on the hunt for buried fortune during the American civil war.
Eli Wallach steals the movie as the despicable villain for whom you wait in anticipation to get his comeuppance, but when he finally gets it, you can't help but feel sorry for him.
While A Fistful Of Dollars & For A Few Dollars More shaped this new genre of filmmaking, Leone's third part truly immortalised it, featuring a Mexican stand off towards the end of the film which is amongst the most dramatic scenes ever put on film, for any genre.
As well as great performances, story and direction, there's also the iconic movie score -聽Ennio Morricone's music needs no explanation as to why it's one of the all time classic movie themes.
Cinema gold.

D:聽Gus Van Sant
Miramax/A Band Apart (Lawrence Bender)
馃嚭馃嚫 1997
122 mins
W:聽Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
DP: Jean Yves Escoffier
Ed: Pietro Scalia
Mus: Danny Elfman
Matt Damon聽(Will Hunting),聽Robin Williams聽(Professor Sean Maguire), Ben Affleck (Chuckie),聽Minnie Driver聽(Skylar), Stellan Skarsgard (Professor Lambeau), Casey Affleck (Morgan), Cole Hauser (Billy), John Mighton (Tom)
Though their acting careers started many years prior, stars Matt Damon & Ben Affleck introduced themselves into the public eye with their screenwriting debut, for which they received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
While the story is rather connect-the-dots, what sets it apart is the razor-sharp dialogue, while Gus Van Sant's low-key direction and great performances gives the film it's humanity.
Damon plays Will Hunting, a closet maths genius who'd rather spend his life getting drunk with his buddies and sweeping the corridors of prestigious college, MIT.
When his gift for equations and theory is outed, professor Lambeau, a decorated tutor at the institution tries to give the boy's life some direction and arranges psychiatric help for him only for Will to make fools of the shrinks.聽
The last resort is to hire unconventional local psychiatrist Sean Maguire to make a break through and help Will discover his potential, and following a tense initial meeting, the two develop a friendship and Will receives the guidance necessary to make his life a success.
The film does suffer from a few cinematic clich茅s and a "love conquers all" ending, but the dialogue is 100% original and genius in itself.聽
The film truly achieved what it set out to do, making stars out of it's acting/writing duo. Though they never again received accolades for their writing talents since (although Affleck later turned his attentions to directing).


D: Simon Curtis

Fox Searchlight/Gasworks (Steve Christian & Damian Jones)

馃嚞馃嚙 2017

107 mins


W: Frank Cottrell-Boyce & Simon Vaughan

DP: Ben Smithard

Ed: Victoria Boydell

Mus: Carter Burwell

PD: David Roger

Cos: Odile Dicks-Mireaux

Domhnall Gleeson (A.A. Milne), Margot Robbie (Daphne de Selincourt), Alex Lawther (Christopher Robin Milne),聽Kelly MacDonald聽(Olive)

When a film claims to be "inspired by true events", it usually transpires to be mostly fictional. Goodbye Christopher Robin is a victim of its own dramatisation, but this doesn't stop it from being a pleasant film, albeit schmaltzy and a little too manipulative at moments.

The story follows the creation of Alan (A.A.) Milne's Winnie The Pooh, a beloved piece of literature for children and adults alike. Milne, an aristocratic playwright and veteran of the First World War, moves to a country retreat with his high society wife so he can cope with PTSD and write his new work, an anti-war piece. He and his wife, Daphne, also suffering from post-natal trauma, hire nanny Olive to look after their son, Christopher Robin, who they call Billy Moon as a pet name.聽

When Daphne moves back to London and Olive has to spend time with her dying mother. Alan forms a relationship with son and his toys which inspires the world of Winnie The Pooh, which comes at a price when fans of the book realise that Christopher Robin is a real person, robbing the young man of his childhood as he is thrust into a world of fame.

The film is at its most powerful when it tells a lesson of too much too soon, and the price of fame at the expense of childhood, but turns its back on this sentiment for a manipulative final act.聽

Domhnall Gleeson gives a good performance as the stuffy author, but Margot Robbie is given a very two-dimensional part as an antagonistic mother. The best performances of the film belong to Alex Lawther, whose cuteness may infuriate some, and Kelly MacDonald, who quite possibly steals the entire film as young Christopher Robin's nanny and best friend.


D:聽Herbert Ross
MGM (Ray Stark)
馃嚭馃嚫 1977
110 mins
W:聽Neil Simon
DP: David M. Walsh
Ed: John F. Burnett
Mus: Dave Grusin
Richard Dreyfuss聽(Elliott Garfield),聽Marsha Mason聽(Paula McFadden),聽Quinn Cummings聽(Lucy MacFadden), Paul Benedict (Mark Morgenweiss), Barbara Rhodes (Donna Douglas), Theresa Merritt (Mrs. Crosby)
It's The Odd Couple again, from the same screenwriter Neil Simon, and while the plot isn't completely original, the dialogue still feels fresh and the performances make a very funny and enjoyable watch.
A lettings misunderstanding over the lease of an apartment results in an up-and-coming actor (Dreyfuss) and a theatrical dancer (Mason) and her young daughter (Cummings) having to house share.聽
They despise each other at first, but a relationship soon develops between them.
The on-screen chemistry between the two leads is absolute gold, though they're both nearly upstaged by the prepubescent Quinn Cummings as Mason's daughter, who gets the majority of the funniest dialogue.
Neil Simon knows what works and what doesn't, and while the plotting isn't too dissimilar from his previous work, perhaps he also knows that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

D:聽Sam Wood
MGM (Victor Saville)
馃嚭馃嚫 1939
114 mins
W:聽R. C. Sheriff, Claudine West & Eric Maschwitz聽[based on the novella by James Hilton]
DP: Freddie Young
Ed: Charles Frend
Mus: Richard Addinsell
Robert Donat聽(Charles Chipping),聽Greer Garson聽(Katherine Ellis), Terry Kilburn (John/Peter Colley), John Mills (Young Peter Colley), Paul Henreid (Max Staefel), Judith Furse (Flora), Lynn Harding (Dr. Wetherby)
Robert Donat delivers an iconic Oscar-winning performance as crotchety schoolteacher Charles Chipping, who reflects upon his life and career, from his first job and the impact he had on scores of schoolboys, to the ill-fated marriage which initially made him an even more charismatic personality.
Though the production seems historical by today's standards, the performances still maintain it's place as a old-fashioned favourite. A classic weepie.

"Three decades of life in the Mafia."
"Three decades of life in the Mafia."
D:聽Martin Scorsese
Warner Bros. (Irwin Winkler)
馃嚭馃嚫 1990
148 mins


W:聽Martin Scorsese & Nicholas Pileggi聽[based on the novel 'Wiseguy' by Nicholas Pileggi]
DP:聽Michael Ballhaus
Ed:聽Thelma Schoonmaker
PD: Kristi Zea
Cos: Richard Bruno

Robert DeNiro (James Conway),聽Ray Liotta聽(Henry Hill),聽Joe Pesci聽(Tommy DeVito),聽Lorraine Bracco聽(Karen Hill),聽Paul Sorvino聽(Paul Cicero), Frank Sivero (Frankie Carbone), Tony Darrow (Sonny Bunz), Frank Vincent (Billy Batts)

Martin Scorsese's seminal crime masterpiece was heavily criticised on it's original release due to it's violence and industrial strength language, although it's rather tame compared to films released since (even the director's own Casino & The Departed are more gratuitous).
Based on the book "Wiseguy" by Nicholas Pileggi, Goodfellas is mostly the story of Henry Hill, who coveted a gangster lifestyle from when he was a young boy in the 1950's, and upon getting his feet in the proverbial door, worked his way up to becoming a formidable member, alongside infamous gangsters James Conway & Tommy DeVito.
All the cast are absolutely fantastic, but Joe Pesci steals the movie with his iconic, often mimicked performance as the psychotic Tommy, a short man with an even shorter temper.聽
Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar of 1990, there are many who argue this should have won, and it's a pretty decent argument.

D:聽Richard Donner
Warner Bros./Steven Spielberg (Richard Donner & Harvey Bernhard)
馃嚭馃嚫 1985
111 mins


W:聽Chris Columbus
DP: Nick McLean
Ed: Michael Kahn
Mus:聽Dave Grusin
PD:聽J. Michael Riva

Sean Astin (Mikey Walsh), Josh Brolin (Brandon Walsh), Jeff Cohen (Lawrence 'Chunk' Cohen), Corey Feldman (Clark 'Mouth' Devereaux), Kerri Green (Andy Carmichael), Martha Plimpton (Stephanie Steinbrenner), Ke Huy Kwan (Richard 'Data' Wang)

A delightful slice of 1980's nostalgia, which still holds up well with it's story, comedy and visual effects- although the PC-brigade will argue it's not suitable as a kids movie nowadays, due to drug references and the odd mild swear word (most of which wouldn't even be picked up by youngsters, who'd appreciate this for the adventure alone).
The Goonies are a group of kids from Goon Docks, a small coastal town which is set for redevelopment, sending the group of friends their separate ways.
Upon finding a treasure map in one of their attics, they go on the adventure of their young lives on a trecherous path of hidden booby-trapped filled tunnels to discover the pirate booty of "One-Eyed Willie", while criminal mother & sons outfit "The Fratelli's" want the loot themselves.
Advertised heavily as a Steven Spielberg movie, the plot and execution is very Indiana Jones-esque, but director Richard Donner & writer Chris Columbus deserve the credit much more than Spielberg, who only held executive producer duties on the picture.

D:聽Michael Apted
Universal/Warner Bros./Guber-Peters (Arnold Glimcher, Terence Clegg, Robert Nixon & Judy Kessler)
馃嚭馃嚫 1988
129 mins


W: Anna Hamilton Phelan & Tab Murphy [based on an article by Harold T. P. Hayes]
DP:聽John Seale
Ed:聽Stuart Baird
Mus:聽Maurice Jarre
PD:聽John Graysmark

Sigourney Weaver聽(Dian Fossey), Bryan Brown (Bob Campbell), Julie Harris (Roz Carr), John Omirah Miluwi (Sembagare), Iain Cuthbertson (Dr. Louis Leakey), Constantin Alexandrov (Van Vecten), Waigwa Wachira (Mukara)

Gorillas In The Mist is the true story of Dian Fossey, a research scientist who ventures into the great outdoors to study the primates, antagonising a group of poachers, who possibly contributed to her death under mysterious circumstances.
Sigourney Weaver is absolutely fantastic as chain-smoking, passionate Fossey, while the scenes in which she establishes communication with the creatures truly make the film worth viewing, with seamless integration between real-life animals and Rick Baker designed special effects. A tad overlong, but certainly not a boring film.

D: Mike Nichols
Embassy (Lawrence Turman)
馃嚭馃嚫 1967
105 mins


W:聽Calder Willingham & Buck Henry聽[based on the novel by Charles Webb]
DP:聽Robert Surtees
Ed: Sam O'Steen
Mus:聽Dave Grusin;聽Paul Simon聽
PD:聽Richard Sylbert

Dustin Hoffman聽(Ben Braddock),聽Anne Bancroft聽(Mrs. Robinson),聽Katharine Ross(Elaine Robinson), William Daniels (Mr. Braddock), Murray Hamilton (Mr. Robinson), Elizabeth Wilson (Mrs. Braddock)

A milestone of cinema, Mike Nichol's sex comedy is much more than that, featuring sublime performances from Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman & Katherine Ross.
Hoffman plays the graduate in question, Ben Braddock, who looks like a rabbit in headlights as he decides what to do with his future, led into an affair with the wife of his father's friend before falling in love with her daughter.
The Graduate perfectly captures the times of the "swinging 60's" without being tawdry or cheap, and has some very artistic mis-en-scene.
The classic songs of Simon & Garfunkel which flood the soundtrack also helped the film achieve cinema immortality, The Graduate is not only one of the best films of the 1960's, it is amongst the best movies of all time.

D: Clint Eastwood
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Malpaso (Robert Lorenz & Bill Gerber)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚛馃嚜 2008
112 mins


W: Nick Schenk
DP: Tom Stern
Ed: Joel Cox & Gary D. Roach
Mus: Kyle Eastwood & Michael Stevens
PD: James J. Murakami

Clint Eastwood (Walt Kowalski),聽Bee Vang (Thao Vang Lor), Ahney Her (Sue Lor), Christopher Carley (Father Janovich)

Almost reminiscent of a cross between Boyz N The Hood and the classic British sitcom One Foot In The Grave, although a lot of dialogue, especially in the first 20 minutes isn't quite as sharp or genuine as the aforementioned. Characters in the first act deliver lines as if they're written by a struggling screenwriter laying easy foundations. Thankfully, the dialogue and characterisation improves. Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a bigoted, prejudiced Korean War veteran set in his old-fashioned ways whose monosyllabic grunts tell you all you need to know about his dissatisfaction with his 21st Century urbanised neighbourhood. The story centres on Walt's relationship with his new Hmong neighbours after their son, Thao, attempts to steal his vintage Gran Torino automobile as part of a gang initiation. The relationship blossoms when Thao's sister, played increibly well by Ahner Her, is being harrassed by gang youths and Walt jumps to her defence. Thao then makes amends by helping the old man with chores and generally cleaning up the neighbourhood. However, the gang aren't gonna quit in their pursuit of the impressionable young Asian and blood is spilt.
Walt Kowalski is virtually a wizened, aged Dirty Harry, and who else can play that character other than Clint Eastwood? Bee Yang plays the shy teen well, but it's Ahney Her who really brings the movie to life with easily the best written character. Aside from these three characters, everyone else is underwritten and one-dimensional, which is a shame considering the potential of the movie. Still, there's some good banter between Kowalski and the other characters. A well directed film, and certain scenes deserve more than the rating I've awarded it. If the script was revised a little more on certain aspects it would have received more.

D:聽Wes Anderson
Fox Searchlight/American Imperical/Indian Paintbrush/TSG (Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales & Jeremy Dawson)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚞馃嚙 馃嚛馃嚜 2014
100 mins


W:聽Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
DP:聽Robert Yeoman
Ed:聽Barney Pilling
Mus:聽Alexandre Desplat
PD:聽Adam Stockhausen
Cos:聽Milena Canonero

Ralph Fiennes聽(M. Gustave), F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa), Mathieu Almaric (Serge), Adrien Brody (Dmitri), Willem Dafoe (Jopling), Jeff Goldblum (Kovacs), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Jude Law (Young Writer), Bill Murray (Ivan), Edward Norton (Henckels), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Jason Schwartzman (Jean), L茅a Seadoux (Clotilde), Tilda Swinton (Madame D.), Tom Wilkinson (Author), Owen Wilson (Chuck), Tony Revolori (Zero)

The style and quirkiness that writer-director Wes Anderson brings to his films is equally as likely to infuriate as much as it will entertain and amuse.
Set in a world within a world, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a rundown, ramshackle hovel in the (fictional) Republic of Zubrowka, where two of its guests reminisce of a time when it was luxuriant palace of rich colour under the management of concierge, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes).
A flashback takes us into that time, in-between the First and Second World Wars, and the misadventures of the legendary concierge and his loyal lobby boy, Zero Moustafa.
Bequeathed a priceless painting in the will of an elderly noblewoman who Gustave occasionally romanced, he finds himself framed by the members of her greedy family for her murder. Wrongfully imprisoned, Gustave uses the help of his friend to stage a breakout, clear his name, and discover the identity of those who framed him.
Wes Anderson paints a rich tapestry of colourful characters, with production design, costumes and makeup which compliment the huge ensemble. If you're not a fan of the director's other works, it's probably best to skip this, but you'd be missing out on a quality piece of artistic filmmaking. This is much more than a series of artful pictures though, with its zingy dialogue and brilliant comic timing, it's 100 minutes of sheer hilarity.

D:聽Nick Park
BBC/Aardman/NFTS (Rob Copeland)
馃嚞馃嚙 1990
30 mins


W: Nick Park
Mus: Julian Nott

voices of: Peter Sallis (Wallace)

Nick Park's first animated short to feature the characters of Wallace & Gromit isn't quite as well-rounded or inventive as their later adventures (The Wrong Trousers, etc.) but is still highly entertaining, taking the eccentric inventor and his even cleverer dog to the cheese-surfaced moon.
The best was yet to come, but a fine first film from the animated double act with fine technical aspects from Nick Park and his production crew.


D: Jean Renoir

World Pictures/RAC (Albert Pinkovitch & Frank Rollmer)


114 mins


W: Jean Renoir & Charles Spaak

DP: Christian Matras

Ed: Marguerite Renoir & Marthe Huguet

Mus: Joseph Kosma

Jean Gabin (Lt. Mar茅chal), Marcel Dalio (Lt. Rosenthal), Pierre Fresnay (Capt. de Boeldieu), Erich Von Stroheim (Capt. Von Rauffenstein), Dita Parlo (Elsa)

Jean Renoir's 1937 classic war movie is considered a masterpiece of French cinema, and for very good reason.

During WWI, three French officers plot an escape from a POW camp, but are captured and re-sentenced聽聽at another location, deemed inescapable from and overseen by a German officer who the three men were once friends with.

Considering the film's age, the technical aspects still hold up brilliantly over 80 years later (it's certainly aged better than Hollywood movies released the same year). All the acting is excellent, particularly Jean Gabin & Pierre Fresnay, and Renoir's direction and screenplay (co-written by Charles Spaak) cannot be criticised.

The film was nominated for Best Picture in 1938, becoming the first film not in the English language to do so. The film must be considered a masterpiece, even if you are averse to World Cinema.

The title is a reference to war itself being an illusion, conflict produces no winners and no country is better off due to it.



D: Paul Weitz

Sony Pictures Classics/1821 Media (Terry Dougas, Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, Andrew Miano & Paul Weitz)

馃嚭馃嚫 2015

79 mins


W: Paul Weitz

DP: Tobias Datum

Ed: Jonathan Corn

Mus: Joel P. West

Lily Tomlin (Elle Reid), Julia Garner (Sage), Marcia Gay Harden (Judy), Judy Greer (Olivia), Sam Elliott (Karl), Laverne Cox (Deathy)

Lily Tomlin steals the show as the belligerent grandma of the title in this quirky comedy-drama.

Elle Reid is a lesbian poet who has just split from her partner when she is visited by her granddaughter, who requires money to pay for an abortion. Over the course of the day, they visit various people from Elle's past in an effort to raise the necessary money.

The low-key plot fits snugly into the modest running time, and it's made all the more watchable by Lily Tomlin's excellent performance, which saw her deservedly nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Actress.



D: John Ford

20th Century Fox (Darryl F. Zanuck & Nunnally Johnson)

馃嚭馃嚫 1940

128 mins


W: Nunnally Johnson [based on the novel by John Steinbeck]

DP: Gregg Toland

Ed: Robert Simpson

Mus: Alfred Newman

PD: Richard Day & Mark Lee Kirk

Henry Fonda (Tom Joad), John Carradine (Casy), Jane Darwell (Ma Joad), Charley Grapewin (Grandpa), Dorris Bowdon (Rosasham)

Quite faithfully adapted from John Steinbeck's literature classic, John Ford's big screen version of The Grapes Of Wrath perfectly captures the austerity and mood of The Great Depression.

Paroled from prison for a homicide sentence, Tom Joad returns to his family's Oklahoma ranch to discover they've been thrown off the land which had been in their possession for generations.聽

After reuniting with them, he joins them on a gruelling journey to California, where they hope to find work as transient migrants.聽

However, when they arrive in California, they find the attitudes and treatment towards them increasingly hostile and the conditions in the work camps equally as bad.

As a film, it's not designated to entertain, but to inform, which it does so unequivocally powerfully, with a masterclass of a leading performance by Henry Fonda and excellent support.

The film is actually a little perkier than the novel, tweaking the ending slightly for something a little more upbeat. One of the most powerful films ever made.


"Don't let go."
"Don't let go."
D:聽Alfonso Cuar贸n
Warner Bros./Esperanto/Heyday (Alfonso Cuar贸n & David Heyman)
馃嚭馃嚫 2013
87 mins

Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Alfonso Cuar贸n & Jon谩s Cuar贸n
DP:聽Emmanuel Lubezki
Ed:聽Alfonso Cuar贸n & Mark Sanger
Mus:聽Steven Price
PD:聽Andy Nicholson
Cos: Jany Temime

Sandra Bullock (Dr. Ryan Stone), George Clooney (Matt Kowalski)

On release, Gravity received very mixed reviews with many people saying it lacked bite or a narrative storyline. I honestly don't know what these people were expecting or looking for when they watched it, but it seems they missed the point completely.
If I wanted a story with dour realism I'd watch a Mike Leigh movie, Gravity delivers on the promises of what it is in spades: A visual and auditory feast and a cinematic experience unlike no other.
The story isn't over complicated or convoluted and isn't even that special to be fair, a routine mission in space goes tits up and two astronauts are left drifting in the abyss of nothingness. Their only chance of survival is to drift towards another space station where they can make their return to Earth. The plot isn't really the interesting bit. The movie is all about visuals and this is where auteur Alfonso Cuaron excels. He tears up the rule book of conventional filmmaking and presents a truly unique experience. Long takes, flowing camera movements, seamless editing and phenomenal visual effects and sound design. This movie makes you feel like you're the one trapped in space with little hope of survival.聽
Sandra Bullock carries the movie well as the only cast member on screen for the full duration of the movie, while George Clooney delivers a calming supporting role amongst the chaos going on around. 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽聽 聽 聽
At a mere 87 minutes long it's incredibly welcoming to have a great visual effects movie whose story isn't stretched out beyond breaking point for a long running time.
This movie is a masterclass in tension and a fantastic special effect extravaganza.
Those who didn't like it must think that Transformers & Armageddon are sci-fi classics. Sheesh!
D:聽Randal Kleiser
Paramount (Robert Stigwood & Allan Carr)
馃嚭馃嚫 1978
110 mins


W: Bronte Woodard & Allan Carr [based on the musical by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey]
DP:聽Bill Butler
Ed:聽John F. Burnett
Mus:聽Louis St. Louis
PD: Philip Jeffries
Cos: Albert Wolsky

John Travolta (Danny Zuko),聽Olivia Newton-John聽(Sandy),聽Stockard Channing聽(Rizzo), Jeff Conaway (Kenickie), Didi Conn (Frenchy), Jamie Donnelly (Jan), Dinah Manoff (Marty), Barry Pearl (Doody), Michael Tucci (Sonny)

Criticproof cult musical which has several bad points but still continues to amass a huge fan base over 30 years after it's original release.
Based on a stage musical, it's a rather basic boy meets girl story with some questionable morals, such as being rebellious equals being cool, and girls will get the guy if they act slutty. The soundtrack however is incredibly memorable, and the success of the film cannot be sniffed at.
John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John aren't convincing as high school students, but are still irreplaceable in their roles, although both are completely upstaged by Stockard Channing's Rizzo.
Far from perfect, but who cares? It's fun.

D: Patricia Birch
Paramount (Robert Stigwood & Allan Carr)
馃嚭馃嚫 1982
114 mins


W: Ken Finkleman
DP:聽Frank Stanley
Ed: John F. Burnett
Mus:聽Louis St. Louis

Maxwell Caulfield (Michael Carrington), Michelle Pfeiffer (Stephanie Zinone), Adrian Zmed (Johnny Nogorelli), Lorna Luft (Paulette Rebchuck), Eve Arden (Principal Greta McKee), Christopher McDonald (Goose McKenzie)

The success of the original film ensured that a sequel would materialise, although this isn't what the 1978 film deserved.
Story-wise, it's virtually a remake of the first film, although drag racing has been replaced with motorcycles, the T-Birds are turned into a bunch of uncool wimps (although the Pink Ladies are still as slutty) and it can't seem to decide whether or not it's set in the 1960's or 1980's.
It's not as bad as some of the hate it gets, although it was bad enough to ensure there wasn't going to be a part 3.


D: Charles Chaplin

United Artists (Charles Chaplin)


129 mins


W: Charles Chaplin

DP: Karl Struss & Rollie Totheroh

Ed: Willard Nico

Mus: Meredith Willson

Charles Chaplin (Herr Hynkel / A Jewish Barber), Paulette Goddard (Hannah), Jack Oakie (Napolini), Reginald Gardiner (Schultz), Henry Daniell (Garbitsch)

A Charlie Chaplin classic, although it is quite heavy-going in parts, as it pokes fun at an incredibly difficult subject (although it should be noted that the whole truth of the Nazi regime was not fully apparent when the film was released in 1940).

Chaplin does a great job aping Adolf Hitler in this satire, in which he also has a Jewish barber fighting oppression from the streets of the Ghetto.

The slapstick does work, but it's in the serious moments that the film becomes onerous, especially in the lengthy speech at the end which almost breaks the fourth wall as Chaplin instructs us all to love each other, or whatever and turns this into the very propaganda piece that it set out poking fun of in the first place.


D:聽John Sturges
United Artists (John Sturges)
馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚛馃嚜 1963
169 mins


W: James Clavell & W. R. Burnett [based on the book by Paul Brickhill]
DP: Daniel Fapp
Ed:聽Ferris Webster
Mus:聽Elmer Bernstein
PD: Fernando Carrere

Steve McQueen聽("Cooler King" Hilts), James Garner ("The Scrounger" Hendley), Richard Attenborough ("Big X" Bartlett), James Donald (Senior Officer Ramsey), Charles Bronson (Danny Velinski), Donald Pleasance ("The Forger" Blythe), James Coburn ("The Manufacturer" Sedgwick), Gordon Jackson (MacDonald)

Perennial classic wartime adventure which seems to be especially adored in the UK, possibly because it's become a staple of Yuletide TV viewing for several decades. Based on Paul Brickhill's factual account of an effort by Allied prisoners to break out of a German POW internment camp, it contains an all-star cast of memorable characters.
The build up can be quite slow, but worth watching for the final hour, containing the iconic motorcycle chase in which Steve McQueen's "Cooler King" makes his bid for freedom.
As close to perfect bank holiday viewing as you can possibly get.

D:聽David Lean
Cineguild (Ronald Neame)
馃嚞馃嚙 1946
118 mins


W:聽David Lean, Ronald Neame & Anthony Havelock-Allan聽[based on the novel by Charles Dickens]
DP:聽Guy Green
Ed: Jack Harris
Mus: Walter Goehr
PD:聽John Bryan & Wilfred Shingleton
Cos: Sophia Harris

John Mills (Pip Pirrip), Valerie Hobson (Estella), Bernard Miles (Joe Gargery), Francis L. Sullivan (Jaggers), Martita Hunt (Miss Haversham), Finlay Currie (Abel Magwitch), Anthony Wager (Young Pip), Jean Simmons (Young Estella), Alec Guinness (Herbert Pocket)

David Lean completely captures the world of Charles Dickens with this fine adaptation of the classic novel.
The story begins in 1830, when young orphan Pip Pirrip meets an escaped convict in a courtyard and offers him a gift of food, which has consequences for the young boy later in his life, after plying his trade as a blacksmith's apprentice.
The film does simplify Dickens' source material, with some characters omitted, but there's still plenty of loyalty to the original work.
The photography and production design are impeccable, but enjoyment of the story is very much reliant on whether or not you enjoyed reading the book.

D:聽Howard Deutsch
Universal/Hughes (Arne L. Schmidt)
馃嚭馃嚫 1988
90 mins


W: John Hughes
DP: Ric Waite
Ed:聽Tom Rolf, William Gordean & Seth Flaum
Mus: Thomas Newman
PD: John W. Corso

Dan Aykroyd (Roman Craig), John Candy (Chet Ripley), Stephanie Faracy (Connie Ripley), Annette Bening (Katie Craig)

A family's holiday in the woods is disrupted by a surprise visit by their wealthy in-laws.
A rather standard John Hughes-penned comedy which isn't anywhere close to his best work, although it does contain a couple of laugh out loud moments, unfortunately not enough.


D: Zhang Yimou

Universal/China Film Group/Legendary East/Atlas (Thomas Tull, Charles Roven, Jon Jashni & Peter Loehr)

馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚚馃嚦 2016 (released 2017)


W: Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro & Tony Gilroy

DP: Stuart Dryburgh & Zhao Xiaoding

Ed: Mary Jo Markey & Craig Wood

Mus: Ramin Djawadi

Matt Damon (William Garin), Jing Tian (Lin Mai), Pedro Pascal (Pero Tovar), Willem Dafoe (Sir Ballard), Andy Lau (Wang), Zhang Hanyu (Shao)

Matt Damon, sporting a ridiculous ponytail, protects Ancient China from terrible CGI dragons. That's pretty much the long and short of this film.

Zhang Yimou was once among China's most highly respected filmmakers, but his English-language productions have not been as impressive as those in his native tongue.聽

The film isn't quite as bad as some reviews would suggest, it is entertaining enough to pass time adequately, but Matt Damon is hugely miscast and the visual effects look 20 years old.


D:聽Cecil B. DeMille
Paramount (Cecil B. DeMille)
馃嚭馃嚫 1952
153 mins


W: Fredric M. Frank, Barre Lyndon & Theodore St. John
DP: George Barnes, Peverell Marley & W. Wallace Kelley
Ed:聽Anne Bauchens
Mus:聽Victor Young
PD: Hal Pereira & Walter Tyler
Cos: Miles White, Edith Head & Dorothy Jeakins

Betty Hutton (Holly), Cornel Wilde (The Great Sebastian), Charlton Heston (Brad Braden), Dorothy Lamour (Phyllis), Gloria Grahame (Angel), James Stewart (Buttons the Clown)

Monotonous melodrama set at a circus, where various personal dramas come to a head.
Cecil B. DeMille's profligate white elephant may have won the Best Picture Oscar, but it is perhaps the worst film to ever achieve the accolade. The dialogue is stilted, the acting is unremarkable and the whole thing is a bit of a train crash. It has some effective moments, but not very many.


D: Michael Gracey

20th Century Fox/TSG/Seed (Laurence Mark, Peter Chernin & Jenno Topping)

馃嚭馃嚫 2017

105 mins


W: Jenny Bicks & Bill Condon

DP: Seamus McGarvey

Ed: Tom Cross, Robert Duffy, Joe Hutshing, Michael McCusker, Jon Poll & Spencer Susser

Mus: John Debney

PD: Nathan Crowley

Cos: Ellen Mirojnick

Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum), Zac Efron (Phillip Carlyle), Michelle Williams (Charity Barnum), Rebecca Ferguson (Jenny Lind), Zendaya (Anne Wheeler), Keala Settle (Lettie Lutz)

"The critics got it wrong" screamed the many moviegoers who not only enjoyed this movie, but called it one of 2017's best.聽聽These polarising views happen from time to time, but since enjoyment of anything is subject to opinion, it's impossible to please all of the people all of the time.

Personally, I really didn't enjoy this film. As a biopic it takes way too much creative licence with the truth about P.T. Barnum, sugarcoating the truth to the point where this film would become hazardous to diabetics. As a musical, I liked it even less, feeling this was more High School Musical at the circus than anything with any substance. In fact, the 1989 farce The Tall Guy (qv) features a musical parody of The Elephant Man, which was intended to poke fun at Lloyd-Webber productions. It seems that 28 years later, someone in Hollywood didn't understand the joke and made this instead...

I'm not a fan of musicals anyway, especially the garish, gaudy, in-your-face variety like Moulin Rouge, 2013's The a Great Gatsby and this, which feels as though the virtue-signalling moral of equality and acceptance is so blatantly shoved down your throat, it's actually quite choking.

Though the costumes and production design are decent, the CGI visual effects are incredibly poor and many of the songs are bland, except perhaps the showstopper "This Is Me", an Oscar nominee for a Best Original Song.

Yes, it may have been popular with people, but so is McDonalds, and it will be a cold day in hell when a restaurant critic writes about them serving the best food in town.

I'd like to give this film less than the rating below, but I can't really call it a terrible film, it just wasn't my cup of tea.


D:聽Michel Gondry
Columbia (Neal H. Moritz)
馃嚭馃嚫 2011
119 mins


W: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg [based on characters created by George W. Trendle & Fran Striker]
DP: John Schwartzman
Ed: Michael Tronick
Mus: James Newton Howard

Seth Rogen (Britt Reid / The Green Hornet), Jay Chou (Kato), Christoph Waltz (Benjamin Chudnofsky), Cameron Diaz (Lenore Case), Tom Wilkinson (James Reid)

Amongst the poorest superhero movies of recent years, starring a very miscast Seth Rogen (who also co-wrote the script) playing the same character here as he does in, well, every other movie he's ever been in.
Whether or not you're a fan of the Green Hornet comics, chances are you'll be disappointed by this transition, which seems happy to settle on being another stoner comedy.

"In brightest day, in blackest night."
"In brightest day, in blackest night."
D: Martin Campbell
Warner Bros./DC (Greg Berlanti & Donald DeLine)
馃嚭馃嚫 2011
113 mins

Fantasy/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim & Michael Goldenberg [based on characters created by John Broome & Gil Kane]
DP: Dion Beebe
Ed: Stuart Baird
Mus: James Newton Howard

Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan / Green Lantern), Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), Peter Sarsgaard (Dr. Hector Hammond), Mark Strong (Thaal Sinestro), Angela Bassett (Dr. Amanda Waller), Tim Robbins (Robert Hammond)

Not to be confused with The Green Hornet, released in the same year, which may have been rather awful, but this was much, much worse.
If you're unfamiliar with DC's Green Lantern comics, this film won't really help you out as far as origin stories are concerned, in fact, you may know even less. In a nutshell, the superhero isn't that super at all, gaining his powers from a magical ring from a distant alien planet.
Ryan Reynolds' performance is about as lousy as the CGI effects, which are overused throughout, and are more distracting than they are immersive.聽

"Paul Edgecomb didn't believe in miracles... Until he met one"
"Paul Edgecomb didn't believe in miracles... Until he met one"
D:聽Frank Darabont
Warner Bros./Castle Rock (Frank Darabont & David Valdes)
馃嚭馃嚫 1999
187 mins


W:聽Frank Darabont聽[based on the novel by Stephen King]
DP: David Tattersall
Ed: Richard Francis-Bruce
Mus:聽Thomas Newman
PD: Terence Marsh

Tom Hanks (Paul Edgecomb), David Morse (Brutus 'Brutal' Howell), Bonnie Hunt (Jan Edgecomb),聽Michael Clarke Duncan聽(John Coffey), James Cromwell (Warden Hal Moores), Michael Jeter (Edouard Delacroix), Graham Greene (Arlen Bitterbuck), Doug Hutchinson (Percy Wetmore),聽Sam Rockwell聽('Wild Bill' Wharton), Barry Pepper (Dean Stanton), Gary Sinise (Burt Hammersmith), Harry Dean Stanton (Toot-Toot)

Although he's mostly known for his horror novels, Stephen King has also written a few prison dramas, two of which have been adapted for the screen and directed by Frank Darabont, 1994's The Shawshank Redemption & this, The Green Mile, which has much more of a fantasy element flowing through it.
Set mostly in a death row prison ward during the depression, the guards have their day-to-day activities distrupted when gentle giant John Coffey arrives on the block, sentenced to the electric chair for the murder of two little blonde girls.
Though massive in stature, head guard has doubts over the man's guilt when it emerges that the simple giant has the miraculous gift of healing powers, but his doubts aren't enough to stop Coffey from walking the mile (prison slang for the walk to the execution chamber).
The entire work is a Christlike allegory, very well done and though it has much sentimentality and whimsical fantasy, it's a powerful, emotional piece of work. Not quite as magnificent as Darabont's previous Stephen King prison adaptation, but it's a faithfully-made, endearing piece of work with a great ensemble cast.

"Stand your ground and fight."
"Stand your ground and fight."
D: Lexi Alexander
Universal/Oddlot (Gigi Pritzker, Deborah Del Prete & Donald Zuckerman)
馃嚞馃嚙 馃嚭馃嚫 2004
109 mins


W: Dougie Brimson, Joshua Shelov & Lexi Alexander
DP: Alexander Buono
Ed: Paul Trejo
Mus: Christopher Franke

Elijah Wood (Matt Buckner), Charlie Hunnam (Pete Dunham), Claire Forlani (Shannon Dunham), Marc Warren (Steve Dunham)

Elijah Wood swaps Hobbiton for Hooliganism as a journalism student who visits his sister in London, only to get drawn into the world of West Ham United football club, becoming associated with a group of 'ooligans led by dodgy-accented Charlie Hunnam.
Like the same year's 'The Football Factory', it depicts "lad culture" and glorifies football violence without really saying anything or being even the least bit intelligent with its presentation.
Known as Green Street Hooligans in the US, a few sequels followed, to very little success.

D: Bill Forsyth
Lake/NFFC/STV (Clive Parsons & Davina Belling)
馃嚞馃嚙 1981
91 mins


W:聽Bill Forsyth
DP: Michael Coulter
Ed: John Gow
Mus: Colin Tully

Gordon John Sinclair (Gregory), Dee Hepburn (Dorothy), Jake D'Arcy (Phil Menzies), Claire Grogan (Susan)

A coming-of-age tale from a small Scottish town at the turn of the 1980's, where a teenage goalkeeper for the school team becomes attracted to the new female addition, who is also a talented player.
Bill Forsyth's film tackles sexual equality at the same time it does the pangs of adolescence, with charming performances from its leading actor Gordon John Sinclair and Dee Hepburn as the object of his affection.
The film became an unexpected worldwide success on the back of appreciative word of mouth.聽
A sequel, Gregory's Two Girls, emerged in 1999, but failed to capture the essence of this first film.

D:聽Joe Dante
Warner Bros./Amblin (Michael Finnell)
馃嚭馃嚫 1984
106 mins


W:Chris Columbus
DP: John Hora
Ed: Tina Hirsch
Mus:聽Jerry Goldsmith

Zach Galligan (Billy Peltzer), Phoebe Cates (Kate Beringer), Hoyt Axton (Randall Peltzer), Frances Lee Cain (Lynn Peltzer), Corey Feldman (Pete), Polly Holliday (Mrs. Deagle), Dick Miller (Murray Futterman)

Joe Dante's classic creature feature is a throwback to the B-movies of the 1950's, with some superb animatronic effects from special effects designer Chris Walas.
Set in a small town over the Christmas holidays, an eccentric inventor finds a new pet for his son, picked up from a mystical thrift shop in Chinatown.
The Mogwai creature itself is a sweet bundle of joy, but when it gets wet and multiplies, its offspring are far more vicious and mischievious, even more so when they eat after midnight.
Gremlins is one of the true 80's classics and while the cartoon violence might be a little too much for young children, the film is more of a comedy than it is a horror.

"Here they grow again."
"Here they grow again."
D:聽Joe Dante
Warner Bros./Amblin (Michael Finnell)
馃嚭馃嚫 1990
105 mins


W:聽Charlie Haas [based on characters created by Chris Columbus]
DP: John Hora
Ed: Kent Beyda
Mus:聽Jerry Goldsmith
PD: James Spencer

Zach Galligan (Billy Peltzer), Phoebe Cates (Kate Beringer), John Glover (Daniel Clamp), Robert Prosky (Grandpa Fred), Howie Mandell (voice of Gizmo), Christopher Lee (Dr. Catheter), Dick Miller (Murray Futterman)

Horror is cast aside for this comedy-driven sequel, packed with in-jokes and even more cartoonish shenanigans.
Following the death of his Chinese master, Gizmo the Mogwai finds his way back to Billy (his owner in the first film), who now works for a big corporation headed by media mogul John Glover and the building soon becomes overrun with mischevious Gremlins, causing havoc and taking over the TV channels, where they conduct their usual misbehaviour.
As far as sequels go, this isn't bad. The original film just couldn't be bettered, and it's a huge shame that Chris Walas passed the creature design reins over to Rick Baker, who opts for a more OTT, eye-popping, cartoon style of monster, rather than the cheekily evil beasties in the original 1984 film.

"Live or die on this day."
"Live or die on this day."
D: Joe Carnahan
Universal/Open Road/LD/Scott Free (Jules Daly, Joe Carnahan, Ridley Scott & Mickey Liddell)
馃嚭馃嚫 2011
117 mins


W: Joe Carnahan & Ian Mackenzie Jeffers [based on the book "Ghost Walker" by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers]
DP: Masanobu Takayanagi
Ed: Roger Barton & Jason Hellmann
Mus: Marc Streitenfeld

Liam Neeson (John Ottway), Frank Grillo (John Diaz), Dermot Mulroney (Jerome Talget), Dallas Roberts (Pete Henrick), Joe Anderson (Todd Flannery)

The Grey is a rather apt title for this story, concerning a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness and the survivors having to brave both the elements and giant wolves which are much scarier to hear than to see.聽 聽 聽
It's Alive meets Deliverance in a way, but the majority of the film was the characters simply walking from place to place and making campfires. 聽
As a thriller, it isn't completely bad, but the ending seems to question the entire point of the film.

D: Hugh Hudson
Warner Bros. (Hugh Hudson & Stanley S. Canter)
馃嚞馃嚙 1984
130 mins


W: Michael Austin & P.H. Vazak (Robert Towne) [based on the novel "Tarzan Of The Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs]
DP: John Alcott
Ed: Anne V. Coates
Mus: John Scott
PD: Stuart Craig
Makeup:聽Rick Baker

Christopher Lambert (John Clayton / Tarzan), Ralph Richardson (The Earl of Greystoke), Ian Holm (Capt. Philippe d'Arnot), Andie MacDowell (Jane Porter), James Fox (Lord Charles Esker), Ian Charleston (Jeffson Brown), Nigel Davenport (Maj. Jack Downing)

Following decades of comic book hokum, Edgar Rice Burrough's famous literary character gets some serious treatment with this noble, but meandering adaptation.
Following a shipwreck in the 19th century, a newborn child's mother dies and the baby is raised by apes as one of their own. Later found by explorers deep in the jungle, it is discovered that Tarzan is a lord of noble birthright and he is taken back to Victorian England, where he struggles to adapt to the society around him.
Visually, the film is stunning to look at, with picturesque cinematography and particular focus on extravagant sets and excellent ape prosthetics (courtesy of makeup wiz Rick Baker). The story itself does become a bit of a bore and could have been much worse considering the original cut was close to four hours, because of this, a lot of big name actors are relegated to bit parts.聽
One fun bit of trivia to note is that original screenwriter Robert Towne was unimpressed with changes made to his script and requested that he be credited under the name of his pet dog, P.H. Vazak. The dog was subsequently nominated for an Academy Award.
Ponderous and far too long, but it can be appreciated for its intentions of making a more realistic film from rather unfeasible source material.

"Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's conning who?"
"Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's conning who?"
D:聽Stephen Frears聽
Palace/Cineplex Odeon (Martin Scorsese, Robert A. Harris & James Painten)
馃嚭馃嚫 1990
113 mins


W:聽Donald E. Westlake聽[based on the novel by Jim Thompson]
DP: Oliver Stapleton
Ed: Mick Audsley
Mus: Elmer Bernstein
PD: Dennis Gassner
Cos: Richard Hornung

Anjelica Huston聽(Lilly Dillon),聽John Cusack聽(Roy Dillon),聽Annette Bening聽(Myra Langtry), Pat Hingle (Bobo Justus), J. T. Walsh (Cole Langtry)

It may look and feel like a Martin Scorsese film, but the director only held producer duties on the picture, handing the directorial reins over to Brit Stephen Frears, who does an absolutely fantastic job with a rather perverse story.
Anjelica Huston & John Cusack are mother and son, both confidence tricksters, Cusack small-time with his girlfriend Bening, while Huston gets bigger slices of the wedge, ripping off her mobster boss.
The trio of performances are perfect, while the film resembles a dark, austere update of film noir, brilliantly written by Donald E. Westlake (from Jim Thompson's novel).聽

"One secret agent. One complete idiot."
"One secret agent. One complete idiot."


D: Louis Leterrier

Columbia/Village Roadshow/Working Title/Lstar (Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Ant Hines, Nira Park & Todd Schulman)

馃嚞馃嚙 馃嚭馃嚫 2016

83 mins


W: Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston & Peter Baynham

DP: Oliver Wood

Ed: Jonathan Amos, Evan Henke & James Thomas

Mus: Erran Baron Cohen & David Buckley

Sacha Baron Cohen (Nobby Butcher), Mark Strong (Sebastian Graves), Isla Fisher (Jodie Figgs), Rebel Wilson (Dawn Grobham), Penelope Cruz (Rhonda George), Gabourey Sidibe (Banu), Ian McShane (Cmmdr. Ledford)

Having made a mockery of Kazakhstan in the 2006 film Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen turns his attentions to mocking the coastal British town of Grimsby in this lowbrow Bond spoof.

Football hooligan Nobby Butcher (Cohen) discovers his long-lost brother Sebastian Graves (Mark Strong) is a secret agent for MI6 and the two of them have to foil a terrorism plot during the 2016 World Cup football final.

The jokes are largely dick and fart jokes, with some bestiality thrown in with fat girl humour.

There are a couple of moments which may make you chuckle, dependant on how puerile your sense of humour, but Cohen's main focus here is to cause shock rather than make jokes.


D: Ron Howard
Universal/Imagine (Ron Howard & Brian Grazer)
馃嚭馃嚫 2000
105 mins


W: Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman [based on the book by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Gisel)]
DP: Don Peterman
Ed: Dan Hanley & Mike Hill
Mus: James Horner
PD:聽Michael Corenblith
Cos:聽Rita Ryack

Jim Carrey (The Grinch), Jeffrey Tambor (Mayor Augustus May Who), Christine Baranski (Martha May Whovier), Bill Irwin (Lou Lou Who), Taylor Momsen (Cindy Lou Who), Anthony Hopkins (narrator)

Jim Carrey is completely unrecognisable beneath Rick Baker's amazingly designed makeup effects, and the fantasy world of Whoville is brilliantly brought to the screen from the imagination of Dr. Seuss.
The Grinch is what he is, a moody, miserly creature who despises Christmas and decides to steal it from the cheery folk of Whoville, only to grow a conscience and give it back.
Unfortunately, the film settles too much on cutesy saccharine and ghastly songs rather than magical fantasy, although young kids will absolutely love this around the holiday season.
"An American Corporation. The Mexican Cartel. Chances Are This Won't End Well."
"An American Corporation. The Mexican Cartel. Chances Are This Won't End Well."


D: Nash Edgerton

Amazon/STX/Denver & Delilah/Blue Tongue (Nash Edgerton, Rebecca Yeldham, Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, A.J. Dix & Anthony Tambakis)

馃嚭馃嚫 2018

110 mins


W: Anthony Tambakis & Matthew Stone

DP: Natasha Braier & Eduard Grau

Ed: Luke Doolan, David Rennie & Tatiana S. Riegel

Mus: Christophe Beck

David Oyelowo (Harold Soyinka), Joel Edgerton (Richard Rusk), Charlize Theron (Elaine Markinson), Amanda Seyfried (Sunny), Paris Jackson (Nelly), Sharlto Copley (Mitch Rusk), Thandie Newton (Bonnie Soyinka)

Gringo is a rather muddled attempt to emulate the style of Quentin Tarantino, pitting an American business empire against a Mexican drug cartel, with David Oyelowo as the African-American stranded between both parties.

The film opens with a telephone call to seedy businessman Richard Rusk, leading us to believe that his assistant Harold Soyinka (Oyelowo) has been kidnapped and held for ransom in Mexico. There's a set up that the company they work at is producing a new medicinal drug, utilising the vast cannabis crop south of the border. What follows is an over-convoluted affair with a lot of obnoxious, unlikeable characters. Far too many of them, in fact.

The underlying message that nice guys finish last is shoved down your throat in a very obvious way, and although David Oyelowo gives a good performance in the lead, every other character in the film are simply way too repugnant.聽


"Even a hit man deserves a second shot."
"Even a hit man deserves a second shot."
D: George Armitage
Hollywood/New Crime/Caravan (Susan Arnold, Donna Arkoff Roth & Roger Birnbaum)
馃嚭馃嚫 1997
108 mins


W:聽Tom Jankiewicz, D. V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink & John Cusack
DP: Jamie Anderson
Ed: Brian Berdan
Mus: Joe Strummer

John Cusack聽(Martin Q. Blank), Minnie Driver (Debi Newberry), Alan Arkin (Dr. Oatman), Dan Aykroyd (Mr. Grocer), Jeremy Piven (Paul Sperick), Hank Azaria (Steven Lardner), K. Todd Freeman (Ken McCullers), Barbara Harris (Mary Blank)

John Cusack is perfectly cast as the ice cool hitman in this brilliant black comedy.
Invited to his 10 year high school reunion, he revisits his home town and discovers much change, his old house is replaced by a convenience store, his mother is in a care home and the ex-girlfriend he left stranded on prom night wants answers... He also has an assassination to carry out while a rival has also put out a hit on him!
Packed with a brilliant 80's soundtrack and subtle one-liners, Grosse Pointe Blank isn't a film which will appreciated by everyone, but those who do will love it.

"He's having the day of his life... Over and over again."
"He's having the day of his life... Over and over again."
D:聽Harold Ramis
Columbia (Trevor Albert & Harold Ramis)
馃嚭馃嚫 1993
103 mins


W:聽Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis
DP: John Bailey
Ed: Pembroke J. Herring
Mus: George Fenton
PD: David Nichols

Bill Murray聽(Phil Connors), Andie MacDowell (Rita), Chris Elliott (Larry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned), Brian Doyle-Murray (Buster), Marita Geraghty (Nancy), Angela Paton (Mrs. Lancaster)

Bill Murray is back to his best as cynical weatherman Phil Connors, who covers the Groundhog Day festivities in a small Pennsylvania town for his network, even though he despises the picket fence community. Trapped in town by a freak blizzard, he stays another night in town only to wake up and discover it's the same day again (and again and again).
Forced to spend an eternity in his own personal hell, he begins to develop a fondness for the winter wonderland and becomes romantically attracted to his producer who is initially spurned by his cynicism.
One of the best comedies of the 1990's, Groundhog Day is a brilliantly fun film,聽but you may not choose to watch it every day for the rest of your life.

"He's having the day of his life... Over and over again."
"He's having the day of his life... Over and over again."
D:聽Harold Ramis
Columbia (Trevor Albert & Harold Ramis)
馃嚭馃嚫 1993
103 mins


W:聽Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis
DP: John Bailey
Ed: Pembroke J. Herring
Mus: George Fenton
PD: David Nichols

Bill Murray聽(Phil Connors), Andie MacDowell (Rita), Chris Elliott (Larry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned), Brian Doyle-Murray (Buster), Marita Geraghty (Nancy), Angela Paton (Mrs. Lancaster)

Bill Murray is back to his best as cynical weatherman Phil Connors, who covers the Groundhog Day festivities in a small Pennsylvania town for his network, even though he despises the picket fence community. Trapped in town by a freak blizzard, he stays another night in town only to wake up and discover it's the same day again (and again and again).
Forced to spend an eternity in his own personal hell, he begins to develop a fondness for the winter wonderland and becomes romantically attracted to his producer who is initially spurned by his cynicism.
One of the best comedies of the 1990's, Groundhog Day is a brilliantly fun film,聽but you may not choose to watch it every day for the rest of your life.

"Boys will be boys... Some longer than others."
"Boys will be boys... Some longer than others."
D: Dennis Dugan
Columbia/Relativity Media/Happy Madison (Jack Giarraputo & Adam Sandler)
馃嚭馃嚫 2010
102 mins


W: Adam Sandler & Fred Wolf
DP: Theo van de Sande
Ed: Tom Costain
Mus: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Adam Sandler (Lenny Feder), Kevin James (Eric Lamonsoff), Chris Rock (Kurt McKenzie), Rob Schneider (Rob Hilliard), David Spade (Marcus Higgins), Salma Hayek (Roxanne Feder), Maya Rudolph (Deanne McKenzie), Maria Bello (Sally Lamonsoff)

Grown Ups is one of them movies which looks like it was a lot more fun to make than it is to actually watch, starring Adam Sandler and his buddies as characters which represent themselves, meeting for a reunion following a funeral for a weekend at a lakeside cabin they stayed at in their younger days.
That's pretty much the story, grown men reminiscing on their childhood and getting up to mischief while their spoiled children pine for expensive coffees and their computer consoles.
There's a noticeable lack of plot and the comedy is nothing more than occasional sight gag or outburst of profanity. The biggest crime of all is that the characters don't even remain consistent in consecutive scenes, especially Rob Schneider's, who claims to be a strict vegetarian in one early scene but reaches into a KFC bucket not even two minutes later (ah, product placement).
The flaws mean nothing though, and with Adam Sandler's fanbase it was bound to be such a big money-spinner that the comedian treated himself to four new cars with the profits. What a lucky chap.

D: John Michael McDonagh
Studio Canal/Element Pictures/Irish Film Board/Reprisal/Crescendo (Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez-Marengo, Ed Guiney & Andrew Lowe)
馃嚠馃嚜 2011
92 mins


W: John Michael McDonagh
DP: Larry Smith
Ed: Chris Gill
Mus: Calexico

Brendan Gleeson (Sgt. Gerry Boyle),聽Don Cheadle (Agent Wendell Everett), Mark Strong (Clive Cornell), Liam Cunningham (Francis Sheehy-Skeffington), Fionnula Flanagan (Eileen Boyle)

A mismatched cop caper with a twist.聽
In rural Ireland, Brendan Gleeson plays one of the Irish guard, a hard-drinking, heavy-cursing, prostitute-shagging policeman who speaks his mind, even if some of his views cross the borders if casual racism.聽
Investigating a drug trafficking operation, he is partnered with American FBI agent Don Cheadle, who is the fish-out-of-water in this darkly comic thriller.
Had American shores produced this, the focus would have been on Cheadle's character, but Gleeson is without doubt the star of the show here, with an excellent central performance.

"Tonight, while the world is asleep... An ancient evil is about to awaken."
"Tonight, while the world is asleep... An ancient evil is about to awaken."
D: Alan Von Smithee (William Friedkin)
Universal (Joe Wizan)
馃嚭馃嚫 1990
93 mins


W: Stephen Volk & Dan Greenburg [based on the novel "The Nanny" by Dan Greenburg]
DP: John A. Alonzo
Ed: Seth Flaum
Mus: Jack Hues

Jenny Seagrove (Camilla Grandier / Diana Julian), Dwier Brown (Phil Sterling), Carey Lowell (Kate Sterling), Brad Hall (Ned Runcie)

William Friedkin returns to Exorcist territory with this rather by-the-numbers horror about a satanic child carer.
Jenny Seagrove delivers a decent performance, but the film is neither scary nor particularly memorable.
Friedkin subsequently disassociated himself from the project, with the director credited as Alan Von Smithee when it was broadcast on television.

D: James Gunn
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
馃嚭馃嚫 2014
122 mins

Science Fiction

W: James Gunn & Nicole Perlman [based on characters created by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning]
DP: Ben Davis
Ed: Craig Wood, Fred Raskin & Hughes Winborne
Mus: Tyler Bates

Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (voice of Groot), Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Michael Rooker (Yondu Udonta)

One of the most successful summer movies of 2014 and easily one of the most fun.聽
Based on a rather obscure series of comics from Marvel, you'd be forgiven for not being too familiar with the source material (I wasn't), but it doesn't matter too much as the film doesn't take too long to immerse you into the universe of it's original characters.
The plot itself may as well be Star Wars: a power-hungry dark lord wants to assume power over the galaxy and is in possession of a secret weapon with the power to destroy entire planets. Meanwhile, a rag-tag group of misfits, including a talkative raccoon and a not-so-talkative tree, escape from a prison installation and put in place a plan to thwart the bad guys plans.
Comedy weighs into the film just as much as action and science fiction and it's a thoroughly enjoyable watch. Rocket the Raccoon may well be one of the coolest movie characters of the year and the film was nominated for two Oscars (Makeup, Visual Effects), a rarity for a movie with comic book origins. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that the director, James Gunn, used to cut his teeth on Troma productions. This is a massive step up.


D: James Gunn

Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)

馃嚭馃嚫 2017

136 mins

Science Fiction

W: James Gunn [based on characters created by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning]

DP: Henry Braham聽

Ed: Fred Raskin & Craig Wood

Mus: Tyler Bates

Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord); Zoe Saldana (Gamora); David Bautista (Drax); Vin Diesel (voice of Baby Groot); Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket); Michael Rooker (Yondu Udonta); Karen Gillan (Nebula); Kurt Russell (Ego); Sylvester Stallone (Stakar Ogord)

The Guardians of the Galaxy return for this sequel which ups the comedy and action quota, but the story isn't quite as good as the original film.

Recognised as heroes, the Guardians are separated as Star-Lord learns the truth about his parentage, and a new enemy arises for revenge for what they consider betrayal.

As with the original film, the visual effects are top notch and excellent makeup effects & CGI bring the weird and wonderful to life on the big screen.

All the cast are as good as can be, though Sylvester Stallone is wasted in a needless cameo.聽

The soundtrack is also worth a listen to on its own merits.聽


D: Stanley Kramer
Columbia (Stanley Kramer)
馃嚭馃嚫 1967
108 mins


W: William Rose
DP: Sam Leavitt
Ed: Robert C. Jones
Mus: Frank DeVol
PD: Robert Clatworthy
Cos: Jean Louis & Joe King

Spencer Tracy聽(Matt Drayton),聽Katharine Hepburn聽(Christina Drayton),聽Sidney Poitier聽(John Prentice), Katharine Houghton (Joey Drayton),聽Cecil Kellaway聽(Monsignor Ryan), Roy E. Glenn, Sr. (Mr. Prentice),聽Beah Richards聽(Mrs. Prentiss), Isabel Sanford (Tillie)

Critically acclaimed on it's original release but is a melodramatic dirge by today's standards. Would've worked much better as a stage play but not with this script!
The main plot sees the immature, presumptuous, whimsical spoilt princess Joey Drayton bring home her fianc茅 to meet her parents. Here's the clincher... It's Sidney Poitier, a literate professional doctor from a respectful upbringing, but Hey! Because he's black this film says something about racial acceptance and issues concerning mixed race relationships.
Utter tripe! Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn as the WASP Drayton parents are taken aback by having this man in their home, but who wouldn't be with the news that their daughter is calling all the shots over who they'll be entertaining in their own home unannounced and that she's marrying a man whom she's known little more than a week.聽
The racial issues are all cosmetic here. This is more a commentary on a generation gap and is nowhere near as powerful as it could've been or should've been. There is no real prejudice or bigotry from Katherine Hepburn or Spencer Tracy's characters, especially not in comparison to Rod Steiger's turn in In The Heat Of The Night also released the same year.
There's also a lot of unrealistic incidental characters who drift in and out (the dancing delivery boy, for example) for no reason whatsoever other than to provide some ham-fisted comic relief and the only real prejudice and bigotry comes from Isabel Sanford as the housemaid who takes offence at a black man being a doctor with no particular reason why. More resistance is met from the older Mr. Prentiss, again though this is little to do with race but more to do with the tenet of his generation.
The majority of the acting, however, can't be faulted. Spencer Tracy looks very tired and drawn-out in his final performance, squirming and sweating out a performance incredibly well through all the pap & Katharine Hepburn's performance sees her blithely resolute, dewey-eyed and as magnanimous as her usual work but it wasn't quite good enough to get a Best Actress Oscar (especially over Anne Bancroft in The Graduate).
As a window into the attitudes of the time it serves its purpose reasonably well, but I certainly wouldn't watch it again.


D: J. Lee Thompson

Columbia (Carl Foreman)

馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚞馃嚙 1961

148 mins


W: Carl Foreman [based on the novel by Alastair McLean]

DP: Oswald Morris

Ed: Alan Osbiston

Mus: Dimitri Tiomkin

Gregory Peck (Capt. Keith Mallory), David Niven (Cpl. Miller), Anthony Quinn (Col. Andrea Stavrou), Stanley Baker (Pvt. 'Butcher' Brown), Anthony Quayle (Maj. Roy Franklin), Irene Papas (Maria Pappadimos)

One of the classic war movies manages to convey a powerful anti-war message along with it as well as being a wonderfully entertaining adventure.

A small group of commandos are given the mission of sneaking into the impenetrable fortress of Navarone on a (fictional) Greek island, where Nazi soldiers harbour the powerful guns of the title.

Considering the age, the special effects are quite masterfully done, with exceptional model-work and some impressive stunts.

The ensemble cast are all perfectly placed in their roles, especially Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quayle.

The film was deservedly nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and won the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Film of the year.


D: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer
Universal/Studio Canal/Working Title (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner & Michael London)
馃嚞馃嚙 馃嚭馃嚫 馃嚝馃嚪 2002
95 mins


W: Tracey Jackson & Shekhar Kapur
DP: John de Borman
Ed: Cara Silverman & Bruce Green
Mus: David Carbonara

Jimi Mistry (Ramu Gupta), Heather Graham (Sharonna), Marisa Tomei (Lexi), Michael McKean (Dwain), Christine Baranski (Chantal)

Feeble attempt to make a movie star out of a soap actor who was quite popular in Britain at the time of the film's release.
The story follows an Indian actor failing to crack Hollywood but finds himself involved in the pornography industry and eventually achieves huge success as a sex guru.
This culture clash comedy plays it safe throughout, as though not wanting to offend anybody with a joke about pornography, Bollywood or anything which is either side of the fence it sits on.