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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

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)”

Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (2000)

dir. Rakesh Roshan Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai is one of those Bollywood movies that they seemingly made up as they went. He’s a musician! She has a new car! They’re on a boat! They’re stuck on a desert island! He’s… dead? But it’s okay, because his exact lookalike lives in New Zealand and seamlessly stepsContinue reading “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (2000)”

The Circle (2017)

dir. James Ponsoldt At one point in this film, Emma Watson’s character (though “character” is a strong term for someone so devoid of personality) is thrown a bunch of questions by an interviewer. The Circle tries to do the same to its audience: Is technology helpful, or dangerous? Is privacy crucial, or isolating? Unfortunately theContinue reading “The Circle (2017)”

Water for Elephants (2011)

dir. Francis Lawrence This entire film can be summed up by listening to its music. Tiny little piano clinks and and lingering chords of muted wonder, i.e. a tepid soundtrack to match a tepid film. Profoundly ineffectual and forgettable. Even Christoph Waltz doesn’t seem to be sure of what he’s doing there, as the scriptContinue reading “Water for Elephants (2011)”

The Wicker Man (2006)

dir. Neil LaBute The original The Wicker Man has complex characters portrayed by talented actors; a subtle yet invasive sense of growing dread; and a climax of such viciously casual ruthlessness that it practically managed to redefine the whole genre of horror. This version of The Wicker Man has Nicolas Cage punching women, dressing upContinue reading “The Wicker Man (2006)”

Showgirls (1995)

dir. Paul Verhoeven Showgirls is unbelievable. It genuinely cannot be believed. The director of Total Recall and Basic Instinct helms while Jessie from Saved by the Bell stars as a stripper falling into the seedier underbelly of Las Vegas, soundtracked by Prince songs that characters in the movie claim they wrote themselves? It just can’tContinue reading “Showgirls (1995)”

Secret Obsession (2019)

dir. Peter Sullivan Considering the “reveal” can be seen coming from miles off, the obsession perhaps isn’t quite as secret as the movie thinks. Taking its cue from stories like Before I Go to Sleep, it hinges on the protagonist suffering from bad amnesia, and therefore having to trust that the people around her areContinue reading “Secret Obsession (2019)”

Les Misérables (2012)

dir. Tom Hooper Because of wins for Best Supporting Actress, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Sound Mixing, Les Misérables can legitimately call itself an Oscar-winning movie. It’s a real shame, because it’s really not very good. As a rule the best musicals are a bit overblown, but Tom Hooper takes this to hilarious extremes,Continue reading “Les Misérables (2012)”

Left Behind (2014)

dir. Vic Armstrong Who doesn’t want an apocalyptic thriller starring the equally impactful acting forces of Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray? This one involves half the people in the world suddenly disappearing, well before Thanos made the idea mainstream. The ultimate point of Left Behind is a difficult one to ascertain – the toneContinue reading “Left Behind (2014)”

I’m in Love with a Church Girl (2017)

dir. Steve Race If you took an average person and informed them that a film exists starring Ja Rule as a drug dealer who falls in love with a church-going woman, they simply would not believe you. If you informed them that Michael Madsen and Vincent Pastore i.e. Big Pussy Bonpensiero are also in theContinue reading “I’m in Love with a Church Girl (2017)”

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

dir. Chris Sivertson In a way, any film’s first foot forward is its title. It’s apparent quite quickly, then, that I Know Who Killed Me is pretentious, unnecessary, and makes no sense. Lindsay Lohan channels Showgirls as she pouts and lapdances while brooding over how terrible everything is. She finds herself badly injured and goesContinue reading “I Know Who Killed Me (2007)”

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)”

House at the End of the Street (2012)

dir. Mark Tonderai Jennifer Lawrence plays an emotionally intuitive teenage girl who moves to a new neighbourhood with her mother. We know she’s emotionally intuitive not because she offers clever insights or friendly support to those around her, but because she sits around playing banal songs on her guitar. She befriends the brother of aContinue reading “House at the End of the Street (2012)”

Her Best Move (2007)

dir. Norm Hunter A teenage girl has to balance sports, friends, family, romance, and education. That’s the movie. Just, y’know, life. Despite the central conceit of – gasp! A girl playing football – the film is pretty generic, with each character stepping into their moulded place: Encouraging Best Friend, Eager Father, Sympathetic Mother, Boyfriendy Boyfriend.Continue reading “Her Best Move (2007)”

Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars (2010)

dir. Ron Oliver Anyone even vaguely acquainted with Harriet the Spy will immediately wonder what the hell it has to do with blogging. This version ages Harriet up to 16; one would think she’d be over the fairly childish spy games by this age, but ostensibly not. Therefore her “spying” just comes across a lotContinue reading “Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars (2010)”

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)”

Fateful Findings (2012)

dir. Neil Breen A Neil Breen classic. One of the Neil Breeniest films to ever Neil Breen, perhaps only outclassed by Twisted Pair. The plot, if it can even be called that, is about as mental as can be expected from Breen: the hero is a hacker-novelist (standard) who unearths government secrets, while also reconnectingContinue reading “Fateful Findings (2012)”

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)”

Cyberbully (2011)

dir. Charles Binamé Where to even start with Cyberbully? It demonstrably believes itself to be a feature-length PSA, one which tugs at the heartstrings and imparts a valuable lesson. That lesson? Cyberbullying is bad. The thing with Cyberbully is, as it features vapid teenagers catfishing and slinging insults on some Facebook rip-off called Cliquesters, itContinue reading “Cyberbully (2011)”

Burlesque (2010)

dir. Steven Antin So much of Burlesque, from the title to Alan Cummings’ shameless Emcee character, is obviously lifted from Cabaret. Yet it would be difficult to find a movie further away from the intelligent style and substance of Cabaret. Christina Aguilera plays Ali, a woman who perfects her burlesque performance skills seemingly by wanderingContinue reading “Burlesque (2010)”

Breaking Dawn (2004)

dir. Mark Edwin Robinson Not to be confused with Breaking Dawn. Ahem. This non-vampire Breaking Dawn follows a medical student exploring the murder of a mental patient’s mother. Predictably, the patient’s psychosis begins to affect the medical student, as she finds herself wondering whether the supernatural figures she starts seeing are real, or whether she’sContinue reading “Breaking Dawn (2004)”

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)

dir. Sam Firstenberg The title that launched a thousand memes. Three street dancers attempt to stop the demolition of a local community centre that the big bad establishment want to turn into that hive of greed and vice, a shopping mall. Obviously this is a standard tale of the little guy facing the man, andContinue reading “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)”

Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 (2017)

dir. Justin MacGregor Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 is quite, quite mad. It was always going to be. It’s the first time Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero starred in a movie together, 15 years after The Room. Sestero plays a homeless drifter who meets a peculiar mortician – played by Tommy Wiseau, he sort of looksContinue reading “Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 (2017)”

Best F(r)iends: Volume 2 (2018)

dir. Justin MacGregor Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 manages to strike the right tone between compelling and offputtingly insane. Unfortunately, Volume 2 begins veering more decisively towards the latter. Greg Sestero spends much of it frowning or staring vacantly, as deception after deception by the people around him is unveiled. Turns out he perhaps should haveContinue reading “Best F(r)iends: Volume 2 (2018)”

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)”

A Dangerous Method (2011)

dir. David Cronenberg Such an intriguing premise, yet such an idiotic film. A Dangerous Method explores the relationship between Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. Whilst Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen turn in solid performances as the former two, any of Keira Knightley’s efforts as Spielrein are kind of lost in her dreadful RussianContinue reading “A Dangerous Method (2011)”

Fifty Shades of Grey

dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson Everyone already knows how awful Fifty Shades of Grey is. The book; the movie franchise; even the franchise it was based off, Twilight. It’s terrible. This inaugural cinematic instalment is just as stupid, just as manipulative, just as pathetic as everything else with the Fifty Shades label on it. Dakota Johnson playsContinue reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”