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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

Red Eye (2005)

dir. Wes Craven Both Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy are usually consistently brilliant performers, but there’s an exception to every rule. Murphy is especially bewildering in this film – he stars as the antagonist, blackmailing Rachel McAdams’ Lisa on a plane, and by the end he’s genuinely rasping and snarling like an angry monster that’sContinue reading “Red Eye (2005)”

The Fanatic (2019)

dir. Fred Durst The Fanatic is kind of astounding. It stars John Travolta as an autistic man who becomes obsessed with a celebrity, to the point of stalking him. Unfortunately Travolta – and Durst – seem to believe autism is most accurately conveyed by trembling, whining, hunching your shoulders, and going out of your wayContinue reading “The Fanatic (2019)”

The Last Airbender (2010)

dir. M. Night Shyamalan Avatar: The Last Airbender is a truly incredible TV show. It’s marketed as a kids’ show but has tons of appeal for kids and adults alike. Fascinating characters, a complex world, an engrossing story, beautiful colours and shots, an entrancing score. It’s an incredible feat of storytelling. The best way toContinue reading “The Last Airbender (2010)”

The Little Panda Fighter (2008)

dir. Michelle Gabriel A Video Brinquedo classic, totally unabashed about ripping off Kung Fu Panda. It was even released at the same time to try and bamboozle audiences into confusing the two. Sadly, about four seconds into the amateur animation and stilted dialogue will inform any half-awake viewer that neither DreamWorks nor Jack Black wentContinue reading “The Little Panda Fighter (2008)”

Theodore Rex (1996)

dir. Jonathan Betuel What the absolute hell even is Theodore Rex? People in this reality actually sat down together and thought, “I know what’d make a great blockbuster – Whoopi Goldberg teaming up with an animatronic dinosaur to fight crime”? The result is exactly as bewildering and surreal as it sounds. Goldberg’s valiant attempts toContinue reading “Theodore Rex (1996)”

Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)

dir. Nabwana I.G.G. In Who Killed Captain Alex‘s eternal favour, it’s obvious that everyone involved in the production had a whole lot of fun putting it together. It’s a passion project, done on a low budget purely because the crew wanted to. The action and stunts genuinely aren’t all bad. But you still can’t helpContinue reading “Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)”

Suicide Squad (2016)

dir. David Ayer It is beyond incredible that this was ostensibly DC Films’ attempt at “The Avengers, but antiheroes”. The sad thing is, the premise isn’t half-bad – it could have been fun watching a bunch of villains run rogue. But Suicide Squad doesn’t let anyone run rogue. For all their monologuing about how evilContinue reading “Suicide Squad (2016)”

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)

dir. Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez is not shy about the fact that this movie is based on the dreams of one of his children. A very sweet gesture, but also a sure-fire way to ensure your film makes no sense whatsoever. The main character is a boy called Max, who retreats into a world ofContinue reading “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)”

Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)

dir. Kevan Peterson This one is genuinely mind-blowing. In a sense it’s a typical fantasy movie for kids – an unassuming girl discovers she has magical powers. In this film, rather than a witch or a vampire slayer, it turns out she’s a mermaid. Aside from some very awkward and specific rules around how exactlyContinue reading “Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)”

Money Plane (2020)

dir. Andrew Lawrence “Hey, you know what’s interesting? Money. And you know where’s a good location? Plane.” Thus, presumably, Money Plane was born. The eponymous Money Plane is an incredibly perplexing airborne casino with no real logic to it – it’s just a casino that’s, for some reason, in the sky. People bet on illegalContinue reading “Money Plane (2020)”

Miami Connection (1987)

dir. Richard Park, Y. K. Kim Miami Connection undeniably does its damndest to furnish its audience with everything they could possibly want in an action movie, or an eighties movie in general. Ninjas? Motorcycles? Rock bands? Drug deals? A heart-warming rekindled relationship between father and son? All of this in Florida, for some reason? TheContinue reading “Miami Connection (1987)”

Knowing (2009)

dir. Alex Proyas Another excuse for Nicolas Cage to run around and grimace heavily. Knowing is an apocalyptic sci-fi drama where Cage’s professor protagonist unearths clues from a time capsule which could be predicting future disasters. As he embarks on a mission to foil the final catastrophe, the movie paints itself further and further intoContinue reading “Knowing (2009)”

Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)

dir. David Hackl Into the Grizzly Maze follows two brothers as they’re stalked by a bear. But it’s not exactly The Revenant. This movie seems to believe bears possess almost-supernatural levels of cognition, manipulation and stealth, as this particular bear constantly eludes trace or capture. Later on, it even proves itself impervious to fire. AsContinue reading “Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)”

I Am Here… Now (2009)

dir. Neil Breen In which Neil Breen plays God. Hardly a leap for Neil Breen, who quite obviously considers himself to be God anyway – this time he’s just not sugar-coating it with an alias. Coming down to Earth in human form on a journey to Vegas to punish humankind for their wrong-doing, Breen spendsContinue reading “I Am Here… Now (2009)”

Gladiformers: Robos Gladiadores (2007)

dir. Marco Alemar Video Brinquedo’s rip-off of Transformers. The entire film takes place in a single setting – a very awkward fighting ring where gladiator robots are fighting for no discernible reason at all. Said gladiator robots have names such as Julius Drive, Magnum Tutor, and Korjo Displo. Said names are yelled out with suchContinue reading “Gladiformers: Robos Gladiadores (2007)”

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor Sadly, Spirit of Vengeance isn’t quite as much fun as the first Ghost Rider. By this time they really embraced how utterly ludicrous the whole Ghost Rider concept is, and dial everything to 11. Exorcisms, demons, explosions – it’s all designed to be as outlandish as possible. But Nicolas Cage,Continue reading “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)”

Ghost Rider (2007)

dir. Mark Steven Johnson A man sells his soul, and technically gets his side of the bargain, but it’s underpinned with tragic consequences. He hurtles himself into a void of risk-taking and self-destruction, with his old childhood sweetheart being his only potential source of salvation. His old demons come back to haunt him, as heContinue reading “Ghost Rider (2007)”

Fatal Deviation (1998)

dir. Shay Casserley, Simon Linscheid Young Jimmy finds himself in a mysterious world of martial arts tournaments and drug lords. In short, it’s an Irish kung fu movie. And it’s exactly as good as that sounds. The entire film feels like one giant blooper reel, with terrible acting and shoddy fight choreography. There’s even aContinue reading “Fatal Deviation (1998)”

Fanaa (2006)

dir. Kunal Kohli Some pretty typical Bollywood shenanigans in this one. A blind girl falls in love with a man, and even sleeps with him, getting pregnant before marriage. Scandalous enough, but then the audience discover he is a terrorist. Then the man dies. Then Then the blind girl gets her lifelong blindness magically cured.Continue reading “Fanaa (2006)”

Baazigar (1993)

dir. Abbas-Mustan Baazigar as a film can be summarised quite well by its titular song. Kajol’s character has met Shah Rukh Khan’s character and, unaware that he’s currently in a relationship with her sister (Shilpa Shetty), indulges in a fantasy sequence about his many charms. During the song, he’s portrayed as a matador. He alsoContinue reading “Baazigar (1993)”

Domino (2005)

dir. Tony Scott Domino thinks it’s tough. It’s pretty unabashed about it. The entire thing is saturated in lurid yellows, with strange stuttered shots and disorienting zoom-ins. Domino, a bounty hunter played by Keira Knightley because someone somewhere thought that was a good idea, struts around pouting and frowning and muttering such “deep” lines likeContinue reading “Domino (2005)”

Birdemic 2: The Resurrection (2013)

dir. James Nguyen Sequel to the incomparable Birdemic: Shock and Terror, Birdemic 2 is still pretty enjoyable in its own right. Not least because it’s basically the same film over again. The same characters, the same terrible acting and awkward dialogue, shortly plagued by the same killer birds again. This time it’s cause by acidContinue reading “Birdemic 2: The Resurrection (2013)”

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

dir. Zack Snyder It’s boring. It’s just excruciatingly boring. Dawn of Justice takes DC’s biggest superheroes and makes them scowl and snarl at each other under dark cloudy skies. For two and a half hours. Neither Ben Affleck as Batman nor Henry Cavill as Superman seem as though they remotely want to be there –Continue reading “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)”

Sherlock Holmes (2010)

dir. Rachel Lee Goldenberg Sherlock Holmes is an adaptation of the classic sleuth mysteries, this time made by The Asylum. The very same production house behind classics like Sharknado and Age of the Hobbits as well as such mockbusters as Sunday School Musical. Naturally, this version of Sherlock Holmes contains all the effort and careContinue reading “Sherlock Holmes (2010)”

After Earth (2011)

dir. M. Night Shyamalan Although most of the promotion for After Earth desperately tried to conceal that it’s helmed by M. Night Shyamalan, the ruse fails immediately upon simply watching the movie. It so obviously embodies the worst of Shymalan: awkward close-ups, contrived plotting, characters so pretentious they refuse to ever speak in contractions. WillContinue reading “After Earth (2011)”

3rd World Cops / Fuerzas Especiales (2014)

dir. José Miguel Zúñiga The two main stars of 3rd World Cops are successful Chilean comedians, who made their name through sketch shows. It shows, as 3rd World Cops is less a movie and more an incoherent collection of random scenes. The lines are drawn fairly quickly: on one side there’s the dim-witted but good-heartedContinue reading “3rd World Cops / Fuerzas Especiales (2014)”

3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)

dir. Sean McNamara The fourth, and mercifully final, of the 3 Ninjas series, preceded by 3 Ninjas, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, and 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. God only knows what terrible sins we committed as a society to be punished with living in a world where four of these exist. Credit where credit’s due, though,Continue reading “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)”

3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)

dir. Shin Sang-ok The third of the 3 Ninjas films, preceded by 3 Ninjas and 3 Ninjas Kick Back, and followed by 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Rather disarmingly, this film was filmed alongside the first one in 1992, but released three years later – meaning the cast consists of the three originalContinue reading “3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)”

3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)

dir. Charles T. Kanganis The second 3 Ninjas film, preceded by 3 Ninjas, and followed by 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. This one sees our annoying three little boys return, although two of the actors are replaced. Their ninja grandpa also returns, although his name has been changedContinue reading “3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)”

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

dir. James Nguyen Birdemic genuinely has to be seen to be believed. It just can’t be described in mere words. Its shoddy filming, which includes a long opening credits scene where someone has seemingly set their camera on their car dashboard and just driven around for a bit. Its stilted acting, such as the mainContinue reading “Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)”