Dungeons and Dragons (2000)

dir. Courtney Solomon Even though Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t have the adventurous spirit of the role-playing game it’s named after, there’s one curious way they can be compared. In the role-playing game, players are encouraged to be as creative as possible, which makes for a varied and exciting gaming experience. This movie strangely has theContinue reading “Dungeons and Dragons (2000)”

Dear Evan Hansen (2021)

dir. Stephen Chbosky Dear Evan Hansen might well be the best ever example of a film trying so hard to be seen saying something that it says nothing at all. Its musings on teen drama, suicide, mental health, love, family, and maturity are completely undermined by its tick-box approach to each of these concepts. OurContinue reading “Dear Evan Hansen (2021)”

The Magic Pudding (2000)

dir. Karl Zwicky Horrendous. It is just horrendous. The Magic Pudding is based on a beloved Australian children’s classic book, and one can only hope the source material isn’t as horrendous as the adaptation. The story is horrendous: a koala bear goes in search of his lost parents, only to encounter a magical pudding whichContinue reading “The Magic Pudding (2000)”

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Story (2007)

dir. Uwe Boll While being somewhat based on the Dungeon Siege video games, a more egregious attempt to rip off The Lord of the Rings than In the Name of the King is hard to come by. A king returning to claim his throne, hulking orc rip-offs, and ethereal wood-dwellers are but some of theContinue reading “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Story (2007)”

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2000)

dir. Phil Roman Watching this Christmas television movie is genuinely one of the most bizarre viewing experiences possible. Based on the irritating novelty song of the same name, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer manages to fit an unprecedented amount of insanity in less than an hour. When young Jake sees his grandma hitContinue reading “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2000)”

Arthur and the Minimoys / Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)

dir. Luc Besson Luc Besson wrote a series of fantasy novels for children, featuring young boy protagonist Arthur and his adventures with the miniature creatures named Minimoys. If the first film adaptation – naturally helmed by Besson himself – is anything to go by, these books simply cannot be any good. Blending live action andContinue reading “Arthur and the Minimoys / Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)”

Die Wolf-Gäng / The Magic Kids: Three Unlikely Heroes (2020)

dir. Tim Trageser A young boy joins a school for magical people and makes swift friends with an awkward ginger boy and an over-achieving smart girl. Their obstacles include a troll, a forbidden library, a chamber of magical puzzles, and bullying from their snide blonde classmate and his two hulking cronies. The extent to whichContinue reading “Die Wolf-Gäng / The Magic Kids: Three Unlikely Heroes (2020)”

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

dir. Ralph Bakshi The 1970s weren’t exactly a prolific time for animation, meaning audiences were looking for the next big thing in the medium. The Lord of the Rings was not it. Based on the Tolkien trilogy – though only going as far as part-way through the second book, with its planned sequel never comingContinue reading “The Lord of the Rings (1978)”

We Are Your Friends (2015)

dir. Max Joseph There are many films which revolve around a close-knit group of friends – it’s a fairly typical set-up. We Are Your Friends sets itself apart by containing quite possibly the most obnoxious, brash, self-entitled group of friends ever depicted in a movie before. At the centre is Cole (Zac Efron), intent onContinue reading “We Are Your Friends (2015)”

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

dir. Andy Fickman Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is pretty much identical to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, except this time he’s in a Vegas hotel instead of mall. There’s also a brief, bizarre moment of respite featuring a pianist smiling in a garden, playing serene music while Kevin James is attacked by a bird, butContinue reading “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)”

Disenchanted (2022)

dir. Adam Shankman Considering that Disney’s 2007 fairy-tale send-up Enchanted is a genuinely clever, charming film, it’s even more disappointing that its sequel is so rushed, lazy and uninspired. Set ten years after the original, fairy-tale protagonist Giselle (Amy Adams) lives happily with her family in New York, but soon after moving to suburbia, sheContinue reading “Disenchanted (2022)”

The Cell (2000)

dir. Tarsem Singh It is genuinely embarrassing to see how much The Cell is trying versus how little it actually achieves. The story follows child psychologist Catherine (Jennifer Lopez, about as ineffectual as you can imagine) who uses special technology to delve into her patients’ minds through a realm akin to virtual reality. Her skillsContinue reading “The Cell (2000)”

Wicker Park (2004)

dir. Paul McGuigan This should be a fairly simple, straightforward romance about a man becoming reacquainted with his lost love, but Wicker Park turns its central premise into a dizzying rollercoaster ride of insane plot twists, confusing character motivations and terrible direction. A non-linear timeline structure reveals Matt (Josh Harnett) and Lisa (Diane Kruger) brokeContinue reading “Wicker Park (2004)”

Look Both Ways (2022)

dir. Wanuri Kahiu Look Both Ways is but the latest take on the Sliding Doors concept of a person’s life branching off in different potential directions. The movie follows college graduate Natalie across two potential realities: one where she has a baby, and one where she doesn’t. Her life with her baby-daddy is more domestic,Continue reading “Look Both Ways (2022)”

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy (2022)

dir. Fumihiko Sori The Final Alchemy, in a way, achieves something absolutely spectacular. Because Fullmetal Alchemist already had very bad CGI. The Revenge of Scar continued that tradition and boasted similarly terrible CGI. But despite the bar already being so low it’s being melted by the Earth’s core, The Final Alchemy impressively manages to containContinue reading “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy (2022)”

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Revenge of Scar (2022)

dir. Fumihiko Sori Unbelievably, despite the 2017 live-action Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation being horrendously subpar, somehow it was decided that the saga would continue. The Revenge of Scar continues its predecessor’s penchant for bad wigs, underwhelming action and shoddy CGI. In this instalment we’re following the supposedly epic journey of our villain-turned-ally Scar, whose ceaseless rageContinue reading “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Revenge of Scar (2022)”

After Ever Happy (2022)

dir. Castille Landon Quite unbelievably, After Ever Happy is the fourth installment in the miserable After series, following After, After We Collided, and After We Fell. Even more unbelievably, the worst thing about After Ever Happy is not its asinine title, but the movie that comes with it, during which our star-crossed duo Tessa andContinue reading “After Ever Happy (2022)”

The Boy Next Door (2015)

dir. Rob Cohen It’s almost impressive just how little of The Boy Next Door works. Recently separated Claire (a woefully underwhelming Jennifer Lopez) finds herself seduced, then stalked, by the eponymous young lad Noah (a hilariously terrible Ryan Guzman). Calling Ryan a “boy” is laughable considering the actor is quite obviously in his late twenties;Continue reading “The Boy Next Door (2015)”

Just Like Heaven (2005)

dir. Mark Waters The set-up of Just Like Heaven shouldn’t, theoretically, be all that complicated. The movie certainly ticks a few boxes in its opening scenes: we meet our frazzled workaholic Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon), whose life revolves around her job as a doctor. Despite supposedly being an incredibly accomplished physician, she is ostensibly completely uselessContinue reading “Just Like Heaven (2005)”

Norm of the North (2016)

dir. Trevor Wall There’s a lot of really obvious stuff to despise about Norm of the North, a film about the eponymous polar bear’s wacky adventures in the course of finding his true self. There’s the lazy animation, in which characters’ textures often look stiff and rubbery, and the same boring, flailing polar bear danceContinue reading “Norm of the North (2016)”

Fatal Affair (2020)

dir. Peter Sullivan In Fatal Affair, a successful woman named Ellie meets an old college friend, David. They engage in a very brief amorous encounter before Ellie resists and returns to her life with her husband and daughter. However, David is instantly obsessed, and begins stalking Ellie, basically pursuing every available avenue to get herContinue reading “Fatal Affair (2020)”

Love Actually (2003)

dir. Richard Curtis There is very little to be said about Love Actually‘s many glaring flaws that hasn’t all been said before, but considering this vapid, cloying, frankly harmful film’s still-enduring popularity, much of it bears repeating. Love Actually is almost entirely hinged on the idea of self-deluded men being chronically arrogant, selfish, and shallow,Continue reading “Love Actually (2003)”

Fear of Rain (2021)

dir. Castille Landon 17-year-old Rain is suffering from early on-set schizophrenia. A new boy at school seems to develop a spontaneous interest in her, but while she’s suffering with chronic delusions, how can Rain know whether he exists or not? This is the premise of an insufferably predictive movie which is far, far less cleverContinue reading “Fear of Rain (2021)”

The Perfect Date (2019)

dir. Chris Nelson High school student Brooks Rattigan is absolutely obsessed with the idea of going to Yale University, but is worried he can’t afford it. He therefore gets his geeky best friend to set up an app, essentially pimping Brooks out as an escort (but a nicely sanitised, teen movie-friendly one who’s never onceContinue reading “The Perfect Date (2019)”

The Dish & the Spoon (2011)

dir. Alison Bagnall It is genuinely difficult to sum up The Dish & the Spoon in mere words, but some options would include: hideous; disgusting; offensive; baffling; infuriating. The story – far too kind a word – follows late-twenty-something Rose, played by mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig, who’s just discovered her husband has been having anContinue reading “The Dish & the Spoon (2011)”

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004)

dir. Peter Winther The Librarian might well be one of the all-time oddest franchises to ever exist. The so-called “Librarian” is actually a retriever and keeper of a series of magical historic artifacts – in this inaugural feature these are revealed to include Pandora’s Box, Excalibur, and the Golden Fleece, among many others. Our newlyContinue reading “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004)”

Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

dir. Tim Hill This imagining of Alvin and the Chipmunks came to the fore during a peak period for terrible children’s films. In this one, our vacuous protagonist Dave meets Alvin, Simon and Theodore – our titular chipmunks, digitally added in so badly that it’s regularly extremely obvious the live action actors are speaking toContinue reading “Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)”

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)

dir. Peter Hedges What an utterly bizarre idea for a story. Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgerton) are unable to conceive, and in their grief, they write a bunch of notes describing their dream child and bury them in the garden. Soon, an unfamiliar boy with leaves growing on his legs has popped upContinue reading “The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)”

Psycho Stripper / Stripped / Bridal Nightmare (2019)

dir. Jake Helgren It’s seldom a good sign when a movie can’t even decide on its own name, but Psycho Stripper is still pretty straightforward. It’s exactly what its title(s) say it is. Our sweet boring protagonist Amber meets a stripper on her bachelorette party who winds up harbouring a dangerous obsession with her. There’sContinue reading “Psycho Stripper / Stripped / Bridal Nightmare (2019)”

The Sky Princess (2018)

dir. Dara Harper The Sky Princess is, frankly, a shame. There are some real glimmers of potential in it, here and there. Parts of the animation, like a patterned headdress here or a gleaming jewel earring there, look incredible. Some of the mythological concepts seem interesting, including the interplay of the sun and moon tribes,Continue reading “The Sky Princess (2018)”

A Wrinkle in Time (2003)

dir. John Kent Harrison Presumably the 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time has some real merit to it, especially considering it spawned a big budget adaptation in 2018. Before that, there was this 2003 made-for-TV version. But whatever impressive features the novel may have, it’s difficult to imagine considering the poor qualityContinue reading “A Wrinkle in Time (2003)”

365 Dni: Ten Dzień / 365 Days: This Day (2022)

dir. Barbara Białowąs, Tomasz Mandes This sequel to the abominable 365 Days is, quite frankly, remarkable. Not because of its central toxic relationship, in which abuse, coercion and manipulation are cast as sexy and desirable. Not because of the silly mobster antics in the background which sometimes seem more like kids play-acting at gangsters thanContinue reading “365 Dni: Ten Dzień / 365 Days: This Day (2022)”

The Kissing Booth 3 (2021)

dir. Vince Marcello Exactly how and why two sequels to The Kissing Booth got made is anyone’s guess, but this third film is probably the worst of the lot. What little story there is once more revolves around Elle (Joey King), her creepy whiny incel best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), and his brother who’s alsoContinue reading “The Kissing Booth 3 (2021)”

Dracula 2000 (2000)

dir. Patrick Lussier A group of thieves infiltrate a highly secured underground vault, expecting to find valuables. Instead, they discover a coffin. Dracula has been restrained here, but now he’s been unleashed upon the world again. So far, so Dracula – but Dracula 2000 takes the story of the famous vampires to absolutely ludicrous places.Continue reading “Dracula 2000 (2000)”

Love and Gelato (2022)

dir. Brandon Camp In Love and Gelato, high school graduate Lina grants her deceased mother’s wishes by visiting Italy the summer before she starts college. Cue a clichéd, cloying adventure in which she finds herself, and quite possibly true love too. Lina is the absolute peak the of frazzled rom-com “every girl” heroine archetype: sheContinue reading “Love and Gelato (2022)”

365 dni / 365 Days (2020)

dir. Barbara Białowąs, Tomasz Mandes Fifty Shades of Grey really does have a lot to answer for. Had it never existed, perhaps we wouldn’t be saddled with the likes of 365 Days, a movie based around the idea that kidnapping, abuse and coercion aren’t immoral, abhorrent, or harmful – they’re sexy! Our protagonist Laura isContinue reading “365 dni / 365 Days (2020)”

The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding (2020)

dir. Richard Rich How 1994’s underwhelming animated movie The Swan Princess became a fully-fledged franchise is a mystery lost to the ages. Regardless, with A Royal Wedding they made it to the tenth instalment. The original film’s central couple, Princess Odette and Price Derek, are now having adventures in historic China alongside their talking animalContinue reading “The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding (2020)”

Scottish Mussel (2015)

dir. Talulah Riley The mere existence of Scottish Mussel beggars belief. Talulah Riley, star of St Trinian’s and twice ex-wife of Elon Musk, decided to write, direct, and star in a romantic comedy about a Glaswegian slacker and his zany sidekicks who enter the high-stakes world of illegal mussel pearl theft. Our protagonist falls hopelesslyContinue reading “Scottish Mussel (2015)”

Pinocchio: A True Story (2021)

dir. Vasiliy Rovenskiy The USA English-language dub of Pinocchio: A True Story achieved online fame when the trailer was widely shared by disbelieving viewers. “Father,” intones Pauly Shore in a robotic monotone, before culminating in a lilting whinge with “when can I leave to be on my ooowwwn? I’ve got the whole worrrld to see.”Continue reading “Pinocchio: A True Story (2021)”

The Truth About Emanuel (2013)

dir. Francesca Gregorini Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario) is a supposedly edgy – indicated by how much she likes to roll her eyes and yell about jerking off – teenager, who has never truly dealt with her feelings of guilt over her birth coinciding with her mother’s death. When Linda (Jessica Biel) moves in next-door with herContinue reading “The Truth About Emanuel (2013)”

The Water Man (2020)

dir. David Oyelowo The strange thing about The Water Man isn’t that somewhere in there, there’s a half-decent film. It’s more that somewhere in there, there are several different half-decent films. There’s a half-decent coming-of-age movie about a boy facing his understanding of mortality. There’s a half-decent movie about the boy exploring his life andContinue reading “The Water Man (2020)”

The King’s Daughter (2022)

dir. Sean McNamara The King’s Daughter is ostensibly based on beloved 1997 fantasy novel The Moon and the Sun, but it’s extremely difficult to place the two in the same regard. The book, for example, delved into immersive plotlines to forage meaningful character arcs and relationships. Meanwhile, the film portrays the extent of our heroineContinue reading “The King’s Daughter (2022)”

Basmati Blues (2017)

dir. Danny Baron When an American rom-com musical elects to call itself Basmati Blues, there’s no pretending it’s going to be anything other than insipid racist garbage. Perhaps there’s a noble intent somewhere in there to emulate the spectacle and glamour of Bollywood, but Basmati Blues trades in any mere hope of spectacle or glamourContinue reading “Basmati Blues (2017)”

The Possession of Hannah Grace / Cadaver (2018)

dir. Diederik van Rooijen The worst thing about The Possession of Hannah Grace isn’t its cheap scares. Yes, the movie primarily deals in shrieks and underwhelming body horror more likely to provoke shouts of laughter than of terror – but this isn’t the worst thing. And the worst thing about it isn’t its ill-defined, boringContinue reading “The Possession of Hannah Grace / Cadaver (2018)”

Christmas is Cancelled (2021)

dir. Prarthana Mohan In Christmas is Cancelled, twenty-something-year-old Emma is appalled to discover her fifty-something-year-old widower father Jack has been dating her former neighbour, high school classmate and “frenemy”, twenty-something-year-old Brandy. Rather than treating Emma’s shock with sensitivity and patience, Jack and Brandy instead practically bludgeon her over the head with this new state ofContinue reading “Christmas is Cancelled (2021)”

The Haunting (1999)

dir. Jan de Bont Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has proved itself successful fodder for screen adaptations, from the 1963 movie The Haunting through to the 2018 TV series The Haunting of Hill House. Unfortunately, 1999’s cinematic iteration managed to produce the antithesis of these retellings: it is devoid of likeable characters, devoidContinue reading “The Haunting (1999)”

Father Christmas is Back (2021)

dir. Philippe Martinez and Mick Davis Classic Christmas films, from It’s a Wonderful Life to Home Alone, are centred around the joy and warmth of family. After all, Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving, goodwill, and love. So why Father Christmas is Back decided to base a Christmas film around the mostContinue reading “Father Christmas is Back (2021)”

The Dog Who Saved the Holidays (2012)

dir. Michael Feifer Quite how this dog has managed to spawn an entire series is anyone’s guess, but thus far he has managed to save Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Halloween, Easter, and Summer, as well as simply the Holidays (which, yes, is just Christmas again). Joey Lawrence provides the whiny inner monologue of the pooch, Zeus,Continue reading “The Dog Who Saved the Holidays (2012)”

Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)

dir. Mark Jean Inexplicably, this is but the first of a series of Murder, She Baked movies. And despite the titles, chocolate chip cookies have nothing whatsoever to do with the story. Baker Hannah utilises her amateur detective skills after her friend and delivery driver is murdered outside her bakery. Of course, none of theContinue reading “Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)”

The Love Guru (2008)

dir. Marco Schnabel This is a 2008 film starring Mike Myers as an Indian sex and relationships guru. Was it ever going to go well, in any conceivable reality? Even if Mike Myers himself wasn’t so corrosively irritating – lisping in a pseudo-Eastern European accent which doesn’t sound remotely Indian, and talking at the cameraContinue reading “The Love Guru (2008)”

After We Fell (2021)

dir. Castille Landon One begrudging point of credit must go to After We Fell: it’s marginally less annoying than its predecessors After and After We Collided. Sure, our star-crossed lovers Tessa and Hardin still don’t seem to have worked out that deceit, sexual manipulation and aggression aren’t the healthiest foundation for a relationship. And sure,Continue reading “After We Fell (2021)”

Lady in the Water (2006)

dir. M Night Shyamalan The Lady in the Water is but a simple fairy tale. It follows a water nymph Narf – in this case the almighty Madam Narf, named Story – in her quest to find the Writer, or Vessel, so that she may inspire his work of great political change (incidentally, this nobleContinue reading “Lady in the Water (2006)”

Afterlife of the Party (2021)

dir. Stephen Herek Victoria Justice stars as Cassie – a twenty-five-year-old woman who speaks, dresses and behaves like a girl ten years younger – whose life meets with an abrupt end after she somehow drunkenly slams her head on the toilet. She wakes up in the afterlife, is greeted by a guardian angel, and isContinue reading “Afterlife of the Party (2021)”

The Tomorrow War (2021)

dir. Chris McKay Time travel is extremely difficult to tell a coherent story about. Even the best attempts, like Donnie Darko, Palm Springs, Terminator, or Your Name begin to fall apart as soon as underpinning logic is thought about a bit too much. All of those movies work well, though, because of their internal consistencyContinue reading “The Tomorrow War (2021)”

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

dir. Malcolm D. Lee The tragedy of Space Jam: A New Legacy (and many sequels of its ilk) isn’t just that it’s an awful movie. It’s that it so entirely misses the point of what made the original a beloved classic. Gone are the wry self-referential jokes, the world-building, the clever fusion of animation andContinue reading “Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)”

Wicked (2021)

dir. Taryn O’Neill Passionflix’s Wicked somehow manages to be so generic and so derivative that it becomes its own bizarre phenomenon. Tropes are shamelessly stolen from pretty much all fantasy stories ever: as our heroine Ivy battles nefarious beings in the night, it’s an obvious attempt to emulate Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her burgeoning romanceContinue reading “Wicked (2021)”

Āya and the Witch / Earwig and the Witch (2020)

dir. Gorō Miyazaki Studio Ghibli has undeniably had its ups and downs. For every heart-rending masterpiece like Grave of the Fireflies, there’s also a mediocre foray into sheer silliness like The Cat Returns. There are amazing spectacles like Laputa: Castle in the Sky or The Tale of Princess Kaguya; there are also more underwhelming talesContinue reading “Āya and the Witch / Earwig and the Witch (2020)”

That Awkward Moment (2014)

dir. Tom Gormican That Awkward Moment follows Jason (Zac Efron), a smug chronic bachelor who has his world turned upside-down when he meets his very own manic pixie dream girl, Ellie (Imogen Poots). It’s about as clichéd as every single other male-led rom-com in the world, except That Awkward Moment‘s desperation to distinguish itself isContinue reading “That Awkward Moment (2014)”

Shark Tale (2004)

dir. Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman As an animated underwater adventure with talking fish, Shark Tale was very obviously DreamWorks’ attempt at Finding Nemo. Yet to draw any further comparison between the two would be insulting to Pixar’s masterful craft. Where Finding Nemo is magnificently animated with immersive seascapes and compellingly lively characters, SharkContinue reading “Shark Tale (2004)”

After We Collided (2020)

dir. Roger Kumble After ends on our star-crossed lovers reuniting. The opening of After We Collided reveals this never actually happened after all, and the star-crossed lovers did not, actually, reunite. After We Collided then goes on to recount how the star-crossed lovers did, in fact, reunite. After We Collided and indeed the whole sorryContinue reading “After We Collided (2020)”

Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (2010)

dir. John Dunson & Sean Dunson Even the title is way off, because this story about an aspiring pop star has very few, if any, parallels with the Cinderella fairy tale. Does our plucky heroine Elle live with her evil stepmother and stepsisters? No, she lives with a man constantly referred to as “Uncle Allen”Continue reading “Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (2010)”

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

dir. Victor Salva Easily the most terrifying thing about Jeepers Creepers is the notion that it’s meant to be taken even remotely seriously. Siblings Trish (a terrible Gina Philips) and Darry (an even worse Justin Long) find themselves stalked by a sinister supernatural entity which consumes its victim’s body parts. The plot is primarily propelledContinue reading “Jeepers Creepers (2001)”

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

dir. Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84) doesn’t feel like it has anything even slightly to do with 2017’s Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was a rare success for the DCEU, managing to tell a story with a compelling protagonist, strong emotional stakes, blistering action and just the right level of humour. Fundamentally, it straddled aContinue reading “Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)”

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (1982)

dir. Çetin Inanç Popularly referred to as “Turkish Star Wars”, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam is a baffling experience. It lifts footage from Star Wars without batting an eye, as well as its music. Music is also blithely stolen from other movies like Ben-Hur and Flash Gordon; many action sequences are set to the main theme fromContinue reading “Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (1982)”

Anastasia: Once Upon a Time (2020)

dir. Blake Harris Fox Animation Studios’ 1997 Anastasia is justifiably derided for taking a serious and significant historical event, and turning it into a dumb kids’ film complete with basic “good versus bad” dichotomy, magic spells, and animal sidekicks. But Anastasia: Once Upon a Time provides some real perspective on Fox’s efforts. The 1997 AnastasiaContinue reading “Anastasia: Once Upon a Time (2020)”

Christmas Wonderland (2018)

dir. Sean Olson There is truly nothing that can be said about Christmas Wonderland that hasn’t already been said about all the generic Hallmark Christmas films. Our heroine Heidi returns to her quaint little home town which she left behind to pursue her big city dreams – in this case, being an assistant at anContinue reading “Christmas Wonderland (2018)”

Khraniteli (1991)

dir. Natalya Serebryakova This Soviet-era adaptation of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring aired on Soviet television once. Just once. Then it was considered lost, until almost thirty years later, when it was rediscovered and posted on YouTube for all the world to enjoy. With the caveat that the productionContinue reading “Khraniteli (1991)”

Nest of Vampires (2021)

dir. Chris Sanders Nest of Vampires follows Kit Valentine, an MI5 agent pursuing a human trafficking ring which has kidnapped his daughter. Said human trafficking ring thrives on selling young girls to Satanic cult members for some generic ritualistic butchering, for which there is apparently a large market yet barely any police investigation into beyondContinue reading “Nest of Vampires (2021)”

The Jungle Book (1994)

dir. Stephen Sommers The world is, bizarrely, saturated with live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book. This one from 1994 is technically Disney’s first live-action iteration of one of its own animated works, although it has extremely little to do with the 1967 animated adaptation. Jason Scott Lee stars as Mowgli, embarking on his very ownContinue reading “The Jungle Book (1994)”

Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-Day Tale / Belle and the Beast: A Christian Romance (2007)

dir. B.J. Alexander, Brian Brough We’ve had the sulky YA version of Beauty and the Beast, with Beastly. We’ve had the shiny rom-com version of Beauty and the Beast, with Beauty and the Briefcase. Now, we get the preachy Christian version of Beauty and the Beast, with Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-Day Tale. InContinue reading “Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-Day Tale / Belle and the Beast: A Christian Romance (2007)”

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

dir. The Wachowskis Jupiter Jones is a janitor who nearly gets killed by aliens masquerading as hospital staff but she’s rescued by Caine Wise, an intergalactic soldier who has orders to kidnap Jupiter so Titus of the royal Abrasax family can marry her, but Titus’ sister Kalique and brother Balem also want to kidnap her,Continue reading “Jupiter Ascending (2015)”

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

dir. Fumihiko Sori The really disappointing thing about the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist is the fact that the source material is amazing. The 2000s manga and anime series told the tragic tale of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric with beautiful visuals, complex character development, and meticulous storyline pacing. That last one is especially crucial when youContinue reading “Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)”

Vampire Dog (2012)

dir. Geoff Anderson Vampire Dog is about as stupid and insane as you’d expect a film called Vampire Dog to be. Twelve-year-old Ace inherits his dead grandfather’s pet dog Fang, and swiftly discovers the canine’s supernatural abilities. He can move super fast. He can hypnotise people. He talks, in the slightly pained tones of NormContinue reading “Vampire Dog (2012)”

Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas (2018)

dir. David Winning In 2001, we were given The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by its sequels in 2002 and 2003. Overall, they gave audiences an epic adventure. Well, in 2018, audiences were finally given the start of what no one demanded, the Time for X to Come Home forContinue reading “Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas (2018)”

Time for You to Come Home for Christmas (2019)

dir. Terry Ingram The second instalment of the trilogy no one ever asked for, preceded by Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas and followed by Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas. Again, this one has completely different characters and a completely different story. Someone cynical might even say these movies haveContinue reading “Time for You to Come Home for Christmas (2019)”

Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas (2020)

dir. David Winning Part three of the inexplicable trilogy of Christmas films with fundamentally nothing to do with one another, preceded by Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas and Time for You to Come Home for Christmas. In this one, Lacey Chabert plays Sarah, who’s torn away from her high-flying corporate life toContinue reading “Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas (2020)”

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

dir. Rachel Talalay A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting quite possibly has the most childish title of all time. Go figure – it’s a kids’ movie, following a young babysitter who goes on a magical quest to save the boy she was supposed to be looking after. He’s been kidnapped, which would pretty much renderContinue reading “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)”

Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

dir. John Patrick Shanley Wild Mountain Thyme got a lot of bad publicity before its release, primarily due to its performers’ terrible Irish accents as showcased in the movie trailer. The accents are certainly bad, but they’re probably the least egregious part of the entire film. This love story between neighbours Rosemary (Emily Blunt) andContinue reading “Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)”

Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018)

dir. Don McBrearty Anyone going into this film would assume it’s a modern take on the Jane Austen classic novel, with a Christmas twist. They would be wrong. Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe, aside from calling its protagonist “Darcy”, has basically nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice. It doesn’t even really involve very much mistletoe.Continue reading “Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018)”

A Shoe Addict’s Christmas (2018)

dir. Michael Robison The title is all about the protagonist’s shoe addiction, yet they seem to forget about it for massive stretches of the film. And when they remember it, the shoes she wears are so hideous that it’s hard to fathom why she’s so keen on them. In this movie, the shoes are magicalContinue reading “A Shoe Addict’s Christmas (2018)”

Love Wrecked / Temptation Island (2005)

dir. Randal Kleiser The title(s) make it sound like a hit reality TV show where bland people flirt with each other on a beach, but it’s actually a fictional rom-com film where bland people flirt with each other on a beach. Amanda Bynes and Meadow Soprano vie for the attentions of a generic pop-rock superstar.Continue reading “Love Wrecked / Temptation Island (2005)”

Monte Carlo (2011)

dir. Thomas Bezucha Three gal pals run around Monte Carlo pretending to be wealthy socialites, after it’s discovered that the generic heroine played Selena Gomez bears an uncanny likeness to a spoiled British heiress played by Selena Gomez. Inevitable hijinks ensue. It throws in a prince, because teen rom coms like to have a prince.Continue reading “Monte Carlo (2011)”

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)

dir. Jonathan Newman The Adventurer is unbelievable. It simply cannot be believed. Starring the likes of Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Keeley Hawes and Ioan Gruffudd, in 2013 it was heralded as the next Harry Potter. A heroic young man discovering magical objects and fighting nefarious forces. Based on the first of a trilogyContinue reading “The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)”

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

dir. Harald Zwart Big shock that they had to cancel the cinematic sequels they’d planned for this one. Maybe the original book series works, but this movie has absolutely no idea what it’s doing. It tries to incorporate every YA trope in the book: magic, vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, demons… It’s difficult to believe thereContinue reading “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)”

Movie 43 (2013)

dir. Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly, Will Graham, Steve Carr, Griffin Dunne, James Duffy, Jonathan van Tulleken, Elizabeth Banks, Patrik Forsberg, Brett Ratner, Rusty Cundieff, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Baker, Damon Escott Movie 43 is an absolute marvel. This anthology “comedy” is a genuine contender for being the worst film of all time, and notContinue reading “Movie 43 (2013)”

Ninja: Silent Assassin (1987)

dir. Godfrey Ho A Godfrey Ho masterclass. Like Ninja Terminator and a bunch of his other productions, Ho took his own film and a pre-existing film, then mashed them together and pretended there was a coherent story to be told. In trademark Ho style, the dubbing is absolutely hideous, for the English and non-English speakersContinue reading “Ninja: Silent Assassin (1987)”

The Oxford Murders (2008)

dir. Álex de la Iglesia The Oxford Murders doesn’t just think it’s smart. It thinks it’s the smartest movie ever known to humankind. It thinks no one can handle just how smart it is. Unfortunately, no matter what The Oxford Murders thinks of itself, the truth is it might be one of the stupidest filmsContinue reading “The Oxford Murders (2008)”

Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (2002)

dir. Colin Slater A short 3D animated feature about the magic of Christmas, introducing a brand new gang of adorable kids, and starring voice acting legends such as Paige O’Hara, Jodi Benson, Nancy Cartwright and Mark Hamill. Released seven years after Toy Story, so the world’s already aware of the wonders 3D animation can achieve.Continue reading “Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (2002)”