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  • Fire with Fire 2012

    ★½ Watched 04 Jan, 2014 9

    Every time I review a film starring Josh Duhamel I have to go to IMDb to check what his name is. He’s such a bland actor that he seems to cause temporary amnesia, as do the films he stars in. Best known for appearing in soppy romantic-comedies at least Fire with Fire is a change of direction for the impossibly dull star.

    In this uninspired Death Wish-a-thon, Duhamel stars as a fireman who is key witness in a brutal white…

  • 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded 2013

    ★★ Watched 03 Jan, 2014 5

    The original 12 Rounds was a competent action film from WWE Studios despite starring the insufferable, John Cena. So it was inevitable that the studio would want to make a sequel, this time with Mr. Mahogany, Randy Orton, in the lead role. Although featuring all new characters it is essentially the same movie as an ordinary, but incredibly muscular, man is forced to compete in the twisted games of a deranged antagonist.

    The original was directed by a hit and…

  • All the Little Animals 1999

    ★★½ Watched 03 Jan, 2014

    I always approach these forgotten films with trepidation - are they right to be forgotten or are they a long lost gem waiting to be be re-discovered? In truth, All the Little Animals is neither. Instead it’s an intriguing fable-like story that never quite comes together. Made by one time director, Jeremy Thomas, and based on Walker Hamilton’s novel, All the Little Animals, is about a simple young man who escapes his abusive stepfather to become an apprentice to a…

  • Pathfinder 1987

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Jan, 2014 18

    Loosely remade by Marcus Nispel in 2007, this Oscar nominated original is far more successful blending epic adventure, coming-of-age hardships and Nordic mysticism. Written and directed by Nils Gaup, Pathfinder tells the story of a teenage boy who avenges the death of his family at the hands of the ruthless tribe known as the tchudes.

    Set in northern Scandinavia one thousand years ago, Mikkel Gaup stars as Aigin, the young boy who flees the site of his family’s massacre. Escaping…

  • Pain & Gain 2013

    ★★½ Watched 01 Jan, 2014 45

    This ridiculous stranger than fiction tale highlights the best and worst (mostly the worst) of Michael Bay, a filmmaker now fully embracing parody. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie star as a trio of idiotic bodybuilders who chase the American Dream by kidnapping a rich businessman. Naturally, given their limited collective intelligence, their plans for a new life go horribly wrong. Frankly the film could have been called Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.

    Set in ‘90s Miami, Pain & Gain, is…

  • The Thirteenth Tale 2013

    ★★½ Watched 31 Dec, 2013 2

    I was hoping to enjoy my final film of the year a little more than this. The Thirteenth Tale, based on the novel by Diane Setterfield, tells the story of a terminally ill writer who recounts her life story to a biographer. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman this is a handsomely produced TV-movie but sadly is largely forgettable.

    It’s a story full of dark secrets and repressed childhood memories as Redgrave’s prickly author slowly reveals a secret that has…

  • Clear History 2013

    ★★½ Watched 30 Dec, 2013 11

    Clear History, a comedy centred on a disgraced marketing executive who attempts to get revenge on a former business partner, feels like a minor Larry David comedy as the Curb star wheels out his familiar schtick once again. As a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm it is always enjoyable seeing Larry play Larry but this TV-movie does feel a stretch too far.

    Where the shorter form plotless improvisation suited Larry David’s brand of comedy this longer and more conventional comedy…

  • My Name Is Bruce 2007

    ★★ Watched 29 Dec, 2013 4

    The success of My Name is Bruce is almost entirely dependent on how big a fan of B-movie king, Bruce Campbell, you are. Ever since The Evil Dead franchise, Mr. Campbell has amassed a dedicated following that has cemented his position as a cult figure amongst horror fans. Whilst I’ve loved him in some films, from the aforementioned Raimi trilogy to Bubba Ho-Tep, I wouldn’t quite declare myself as a card-carrying member of his fan club.

    It is for this…

  • Liars All 2013

    Watched 29 Dec, 2013

    Brian Brightly’s debut feature is a twisting teen thriller that throws in plenty of plot turns but fails to develop compelling characters or a coherent arc. Liars All centres around a New Year’s Eve game of truth or dare that goes horribly wrong when one of the guests winds up dead - was it suicide, an accident or murder? Should we even care?

    Set in a police interview room the story continually flashbacks as each party guest recounts a slightly…

  • Parental Guidance 2012

    ½ Watched 28 Dec, 2013 13

    Parental Guidance: Do not subject children (or adults) to this cinematic abortion.

  • The Wall 2012

    ★★½ Watched 27 Dec, 2013 4

    The Wall is a film that seems incapable of escaping its literary roots. Based on the novel by Marlen Haushofer, The Wall tells the story of a woman trapped in the mountains when a force-field cuts her off from the rest of the world as she essentially becomes a castaway on a desert mountain. She struggles to survive with her menagerie of animals as she learns to hunt and fend for herself. Told via a diary-like voice over the film…

  • The Tractate Middoth 2013

    ★★ Watched 27 Dec, 2013 6

    Mark Gatiss resurrects the BBC’s ghost story for Christmas with this latest adaptation of an M.R. James short story. The Tractate Middoth features all the familiar hallmarks of a James ghost story from the academic non-believer to the seaside retreat. Sacha Dhawan stars as a young student who gets caught up in a ghostly encounter centred around the titular book.

    The original Christmas ghost stories remain firm favourites but these more recent interpretations have been something of a disappointment. Whilst…