• The Watermelon Woman

    The Watermelon Woman

    ★★★★

    The Watermelon Woman ripens New Queer Cinema with a juicy slice of autofiction where a young black lesbian filmmaker creates a documentary about an obscure 1930s black actress who played stereotypical roles of the era, and in doing so Dunye stimulates with fictitious research that hones in on marginalisations, interracial desire and film history but through witty writing that smartly sweetens same-sex romanticisms in a contemporaneous flavouring - even if the rawness of her feature (transitions, editing, performances) sours the…

  • Taxi

    Taxi

    Taxi jumps into a remade cab as a rookie officer and a speedy driver chase down bank robbers across New York, but aside from Latifah’s sassy bullying towards the intolerably unfunny Fallon - perhaps the only occasion to condone such behaviour - this mundanely repetitive remake is constantly running on flat tyres, never accelerating beyond the ferociously fun speed limit set by the French original.

  • The Damned

    The Damned

    Gallows Hill [AKA The Damned] possesses a bewitchingly wicked concept, where the usual demonic diablerie is amped up by passing on the enchantment to whoever killed the previously possessed individual, but Garcia’s direction is ridiculously tame for a horror and cluttered with uninvolved characters which consequently leaves this neat idea trapped in its own box.

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    ★★★½

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers organically copies urban America and secretes identical humans devoid of emotion to achieve a utopian extraterrestrial society, in Siegel’s thrilling sci-fi horror adaptation of Finney’s inconsistent novel that takes the titillating mystery of invasive alien spores and creepily assimilates it into a timely political allegory on postwar anti-communism paranoia, despite some shaky “pod people” performances and a wholly unnecessary prologue and epilogue.

    The 1978 remake however is more refined, with better executed moments of shock and further thematic exploration.

  • Walk of Shame

    Walk of Shame

    Walk of Shame saunters across Los Angeles when a news reporter’s one night stand goes horribly wrong, allowing Banks’ natural charm to intoxicate Brill’s incredibly lazy screenplay of repetitive farcical humour - mostly comprising of racial stereotypes and sexist labels - through her physical comedy that is only headline worthy when she’s not conforming to deafening misogyny.

  • The Hollow

    The Hollow

    The Hollow is, well, exactly that. A burning twig monster stalking three sisters around a dull island who only have the limited vocabulary of shouting each other’s names for the entire feature’s length. About as atmospheric as starting a failing forest fire.

  • Thirteen Lives

    Thirteen Lives

    ★★★

    Thirteen Lives submerges itself in the Tham Luang cave rescue of a junior football team who were trapped deep inside during a flood, with Howard retaining the awe-inspiring (and quite unbelievable!) story through an efficiently methodical dramatisation that boasts some incredibly claustrophobic underwater photography and resolute performances - particularly Mortensen and Farrell - but sedating the divers’ characterisations strongly diminished much of the emotional attachment within their selflessness.

    To release a dramatisation so close to last year’s brilliant documentary ‘The…

  • Matilda

    Matilda

    ★★★

    Matilda reads ‘Moby Dick’, answers difficult mental arithmetic and harnesses telekinesis, a manifestation of child abuse and neglect, in DeVito’s enjoyable adaptation of Dahl’s fantasy children’s book that perfectly embodies the grotesque nature of the Wormwoods and Miss Trunchbull - for example yeeting a child from her pigtails as if it was hammer throwing - even if the cartoonish oddities diverge from the original source material and rescinds the titular girl’s developed morality.

  • Day Shift

    Day Shift

    Day Shift drudges along the bloodthirsty task of slaughtering contorted vampires in the middle of midday Los Angeles to obtain enough piercing fangs for monetary gain, in Perry’s action-horror-buddy-comedy hybrid that boasts some credible butcherings against the undead - Snoop Dogg mowing vampires down with a Gatling gun was the moment - but the ceaseless focus on Foxx and Franco’s non-existent chemistry, the former absent of comedic timing and the latter exhaustingly unfunny, hugely dilutes the infrequent bloody fun coagulated by a forgettably pointless villain.

  • Moonfall

    Moonfall

    Moonfall collides with Emmerich’s God complex for disastrous stupidities where his latest copy and pasted blockbuster is as manufactured, hollow and confounding as the moon (apparently!) - even daddy Patrick couldn’t stop this digitally grotesque planetary annihilation from incinerating brain cells whenever any of the imbecilic characters opened their mouths.

    Possibly the stupidest sci-fi film I’ve ever seen. There’s not an ounce of logic or attempt at scientific accuracy spouting from these horrifically written characters. NONE!

  • Benny Loves You

    Benny Loves You

    Benny Loves You, but not me. Holt’s contagious creativity for murderous plushies who have been neglected certainly has charm, yet that initial allure consistently loses narrative polyester as the poor performances, inconsistent British humour - too reliant on references - repetitive gore and self-aware low-budget production exacerbates the cheap filmic materials woven together.

  • The Scorpion King

    The Scorpion King

    The Scorpion King crawls along the prequel deserts, assumes a goofy poisonous stance and poorly attacks action set pieces with its ineffective stinger in a spin-off to the vastly superior ‘The Mummy Returns’ where The Rock is as bland, emotionless and rigid as the geological formation - much like every character running around with him - plodding along an uneventful adventure that only comes to life in the third act.