The Highest Rated Movies I Don’t Like – Rotten Tomatoes Edition

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Greetings, Glancers! If you follow any dedicated movie blog or fan page or podcast, forum, or website regularly, you’ve probably seen various posts and comments discussing the variance between what critics say is good (or bad) and what fans say is good (or bad). This is a time honoured disparity – critics and the general public have been disagreeing about what they should consume since time began – the general consensus being that critics are snobbish and elite and only like a film if it’s old/foreign/arty/low-budget, while the general public are a bunch of ignorant sheep who only enjoy whatever the largest corporations feed to them, generally new/Hollywood only/formulaic/high-budget films. It’s a load of balls of course, with a few pubes of truth pricking out. As I’ve pointed out before, each individual viewer can be broadly categorized, but we all have our own baggage of likes, dislikes, preferences which mean that – surprise surprise – movies, music, TV, books etc are subjective.

There are key differences between the critic and the general viewer, regardless of how voracious the general viewer is. Firstly, it is historically true that critics have had greater access to a wider array of films than anyone else. With the advent of the internet and streaming you would expect that distinction to disintegrate. I assumed it would have faded more by now, but it remains true that the general public is less adventurous than the critic and sticks to what they know, or what they like. Secondly, critics get paid to watch and critique movies – the general audience pays to watch and in most cases don’t get paid to talk about them. That relates to point 1 – the general public have to part with their hard earned cash to watch a movie, so why take the risk of forking over a handful of money if there’s a risky unknown quantity? We are more likely to spend our money on something there is a high likelihood we’ll enjoy.

Thirdly, film criticism is a discipline you are taught and learn. It isn’t the case that you can simply watch a bunch of movies and call yourself a critic – no, you’re a fan. A critic begins with watching movies, with the love of doing so, but takes it multiple steps further to learn about every aspect of film-making, but also film history, and criticism itself. You can’t be a critic without gaining the relevant knowledge and experience, whether that is through a University course or some other path of education. Even then, simply completing a BA in Film Studies may not be enough – you have to be good, you have to follow the rules, or be a master of the rules so that you know how and when to bend or break them. I admit I don’t know much about Rotten Tomatoes so I can’t say for sure how good, or how accurate the actual critics whose scores are used for the site are, but I can only assume they have the skills, knowledge, and experience which the general audience does not have.

I don’t consider myself a critic, in any way shape or form. I have a degree in English Literature, and within that degree I covered multiple film modules, multiple criticism modules, read endless texts on both subjects, but that doesn’t mean I’m anything more than a fan. A knowledgeable one, sure. Most of the movie blogs I follow, some of which are claimed to be run by critics, are not run by critics – they are fans like me. Some much more knowledgeable about films and about criticism than I am, others much less so. In each case the common denominator is that we all like what we like. That’s the way it should be. Don’t think that just because a film has a super high critical or audience score that you’ll automatically like it, or that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t. Likewise, we should never feel guilty about enjoying something which is critically and/or commercially panned – like what you like. Some of the highest rated movies of all time are musicals – generally speaking I can’t stand musicals. The critical part of me can detach personal preference and speak from a technical perspective, from a perspective of cultural significance, but that’s abandoning the most important part of consuming art and entertainment – how does it make you feel? How much do you enjoy it. It’s part of the reason I don’t do scores – scores are basically meaningless – and it’s part of the reason I came up with the Nightman Scoring System (c), as an attempt to replace personal bias with a more generic critical eye while not necessary having critical skills.

All of that leads to the purpose of this post – I’m going to look at some of the most popular websites and publications of the modern age, look at their mostly highly and lowly rated films, and select a few of the ones I disagree with. Namely, those in the top 100 which I didn’t enjoy, and those at the bottom which I did. As people we like to both bitch and moan when we encounter something we disagree with, and we like to indulge in confirmation bias by seeking our and finding those lists and people who pick the same movies we would pick. That proves you’re right, right!? No, it just proves that someone somewhere likes something you do. The purpose of these posts is neither to bitch and moan nor a search for affinity in this endless void we call home. It’s scratching an itch, it’s because I’m curious to see what others think and if I’m aligned to the zeitgeist. It’s allowing me to see that zeitgeist, because usually I don’t care about what is popular or what is not and I rarely if ever look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes. They are the subject of today’s post, and I’ll be looking at their Top 100 Highest Rated Movies – all Genres – as of April 8th 2019.

At first glance the list does seem a little silly – definitely catered towards the general public rather than the critic. In over 100 years of Cinema, 47 of ‘the most highly rated films of all time’ were released in the last nine years (seven of the top ten released in the last four years). Yes, 47 of the best 100 movies of all time came out since 2010. It’s objectively false and it says more about the people who use the site than the films themselves. If you’re a regular here, you likely know my viewing habits aren’t usual – I typically only catch up to most new movies when they’re 3, 4, 5 years old. What that means is that a large chunk of those 47 movies I haven’t seen – maybe they are some of the best movies of all time, as unlikely as that seems.

Remember, if I have my critical hat on then I am dividing up a film’s score into roughly 20 categories, ranging from commercial power to cultural influence to technical skill so it is difficult to gauge how ‘good’ a film is until a certain amount of time has passed. We’re not doing that today though, so lets just take the numbers and films as they are. There are movies here I enjoyed, or even loved, but I wouldn’t consider them to be the best or most highly rated movies of all time but lets start working my way through the list to find films I didn’t like. If I genuinely find none, then it’ll be films I found average.

At number 87, we have Finding Nemo. Did I like Finding Nemo? Sure – but I didn’t enjoy it any more than any number of straight to DVD animated fare. It looks fine, I imagine when it was first released the visuals had more of an impact, but the story, the characters, the voices – none of these things captured me in the same way as my favourite Disney movies. I understand I’m not the target audience for this film and by the time all of these CG animated movies were being made I had all but stepped away from watching any animation. Once my kids were of an age where they could actually watch a movie, I was excited as I had more than 10 years worth of apparently great animated movies to catch up on, from Disney, Dreamworks, Illumination, Pixar etc. Yet many of the most highly rated ones haven’t done anything for me, beyond being a simple, happy diversion. Finding Nemo is one of those – it’s little more than just okay. For me.

12 Years A Slave is a movie I did like, but wasn’t in any way wowed by. I think most of that is down to how much I love Roots and this seemed like Roots-lite. Strong performances, great direction, but again it didn’t knock me over like a film considered the 45th highest rated film of all time should. I’m mainly picking it because I’m over the halfway mark and haven’t found any others I don’t like – plenty I haven’t seen and assume I won’t like, but I can’t count those. Argo jumps in at number 44, and this one I really didn’t get. It’s not an overly interesting story, it’s embellished for dramatic purposes within an inch of its life without ever becoming dramatic or tense, and it feels like ‘one of those Oscar movies’ designed for no purpose beyond winning the Oscar. It’s not bad – it’s just boring, predictable, and hits every ‘seen it all before’ box I can think of.

Singin’ In The Rain. The first musical. One of the most famous and successful musicals of all time, from the Golden Age of Cinema. But it’s balls. It’s so iconic that no-one actually remembers what the film is about – just Gene Kelly splashing about in the gutter with an umbrella. It’s actually about the film business itself, and we know Hollywood loves movies about itself. But it’s a romantic comedy, it’s a musical, and those two things almost never work for me unless there’s something unique or personal to me. I understand why so many people love it of course, I’m not that obtuse, but there’s nothing here for me beyond saying I’ve seen it.

Casablanca is heralded as one of the best movies of all time. I’m the one idiot who goes against the grain. I just don’t like it very much. I like most of the cast, but I like their other films more. I don’t like the music, I don’t think much of the story, and I can’t stand the dialogue. ‘Here’s looking at you, kid?’ What the balls does that even mean? Why does Rick say it roughly four hundred times during the film? Shots fired, eh?

Dunkirk… I really should like it, right? I do, but it’s not as good as I hoped it would be. In the end it feels more like an experiment than a movie. I’ve seen it once, and unlike most of Nolan’s other work, it’s not one I feel the need to ever watch again. The performances, in most cases, don’t get room to breathe and while I understand that it’s an ensemble about soldiers and ordinary people being forced into extraordinary acts, it strangely didn’t move me. I liked it, but more as a critic than a fan, and I value fan preference more highly.

ET strangely endures over time. It’s the sentimentality and the music and the creature design all combined with that timeless 80s quality made at a time when Spielberg was at his best. Yet, I enjoy the pretty terrible Mac And Me more. Mac And Me is not a good film, ET is, but that doesn’t change how I feel. I don’t have anything bad to say about ET – it’s just one I feel was overrated at the time and has continued to be unnecessarily successful over time.

Get Out is the sixth most highly rated movie of all time. I liked Get Out, a lot actually, but not to this extent. That’s saying it’s better than The Exorcist, The Shining, Halloween, Dawn Of The Dead, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and that’s just within the horror genre. It’s not better than any of those films, and it’s still too recent to truly gauge how good it is. Then, bizarrely at number 2, is Lady Bird. The second best movie of all time? For me it probably wasn’t even the second best movie released that month. It’s one of the few movies on the list I have reviewed on the blog and while I think it is a nice, sweet, modern coming of age story, I don’t think it comes close to films like Stand By Me or Lucas, or The Kings Of Summer. 

There we go, quite a few surprises I would assume, especially for regular visitors to my blog who may assume I love all the classics. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate any of these – life’s too short to hate movies, but neither is there any I strongly dislike. Singin In The Rain is probably the closest to a strong dislike, mainly because of my misgivings about musicals, but as I mentioned above I understand why it is so beloved, versus something like Lady Bird which I liked, but don’t understand why it has so much love. What does any of this mean? Not a lot really – it tells me that most users and reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are overly invested in new movies, which I kind of knew anyway, while reinforcing my belief that you should stretch your viewing net as far and wide as possible – backwards in time and across the globe – to find movies to enjoy.

Next time up, I’ll take a look at some of the lowest rated movies and find out if I enjoy any of those. For now, let us know in the comments which highly rated movies (according to RT or otherwise) you disagree with or don’t like!

TTT – Top 10 Wes Craven Movies

Greetings, Glancers! It’s been a minute (do the kidz still say that?) since I’ve squeezed out one of these, but luckily I’ve had a lot of fibre recently and things are moving again, if you take my meaning. Wes Craven is one of my favourite directors of all time but I’ll be the first to admit he’s made a lot of rubbish over the years. He’s one of my favourites because when his films are good, they are second to none. There’s basically three tiers to Craven movies – Iconic, okay, and crap. Most people agree on what’s iconic, everyone disagrees on what’s crap/okay. No matter where you stand, there’s no doubting his place in horror, inventing or reinventing pieces of the genre at least three times, and providing us with some of the best scares, best villains, best heroes, and best movies in horror history.

10. The People Under The Stairs

It’s true to say that most people love this more than I do. I like it, but I don’t have the nostalgic connection to it which most fans have. My favourite thing about it is the Twin Peaks connection – Wendy Robie and Everett McGill star again as another unusual pairing. The story and the film, are fairly unique, but then again we’re talking late 80s, early 90s horror – a time when anything goes, so when we’re talking about a ghetto kid trying to save his family from being evicted by a pair of murderous landlords and their cannibal children, you know you’re on safe enough territory. It’s certainly funny, it’s borders on outright weird, you’d never see anything like it getting made today, and there’s plenty of gore.

9. Swamp Thing

This little seen action/comedy/horror hybrid is well worth a watch for anyone bored with today’s superhero stories and want something a little different. This is certainly a little different, Craven this time dealing with more established stars and a bigger budget than his earlier 70s work. While campy and not going for the jugular as he had been known for, this still has plenty of violence and sexy times and features genre favourites Adrienne Barbeau and Ray Wise.

8. Red Eye

A late in the game box office and critical success for Craven, this is a surprisingly straight, taut, and effective thriller which holds up well today. Featuring reliable performers Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, and Brian Cox it is another entry in the ‘bad shit happens on a plane’ sub-genre. It has the twists of Scream without the meta stuff and plays out like a modern Hitchcock film, cranking up the tension until the climax. This gets straight to the point, plays its game with no chaff, and remains gripping throughout.

7. The Hills Have Eyes

Here’s an interesting one – I much prefer the remake of this. Craven’s ideas are solid and the story and characters all in place, but it lacks the budget and power to be executed fully. The remake has the money and conviction and it is wonderfully brutal in all the most delightful ways. Still, this is the original and therefore worth giving due attention and respect. Like his previous film, this works as a nightmare scenario of US family values, of how simply and quickly the perfect family can devolve into gruesome violence. The film follows the extended Carter family on a road trip who take a wrong turn and end up being picked off by another family – albeit deformed cannibals. The invention and wit and energy here tends to surpass most modern horror but is only defeated by the lack of money to fully pull off everything required to make it perfect.

6. Scream 3

Often seen as the weakest in the series, while that may be true it always holds a special place in my heart. It was the first in the series I saw in the Cinema and brought along my girlfriend at the time who was also a series fan. The ideas were wearing thin at this point, but there are enough trilogy smarts and in jokes to still make it a fun ride. With Neve, Courtney, David and co all returning, that affinity with the characters is still present and I enjoy the callbacks to the previous entries. The series remains one of the best written and fun in horror, and it’ll always be dear to me, even if it isn’t a patch on Part 1.

5. Music Of The Heart

I imagine I’ll get a lot of heat for this one, but for some reason I’ve always enjoyed the ‘tough kids get won over by teacher’ movies. I don’t know why, but they give me a kick. To see Wes Craven making one, to see Wes Craven directing a Meryl Streep movie, is still hilarious to me, and I think he pulls it off. Sure, there isn’t an original bone in its body, but it proves that Craven can work completely outside horror and make an effective light-hearted drama. Streep even got nominated for an Oscar, as did the title track, but it was a box office flop. It’s a little overlong and probably came out a few years too late, but it’s still one of my under the radar favourites.

4. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Craven’s first experiment with meta or post modern horror or whatever the hell you want to call it, sees him returning to his most famous franchise and ostensibly releasing his most feared creation upon the real world. New Nightmare’s set up is that Heather Langenkamp – Nancy from the original movie – is married and has a son, and that the boy’s nightmares about Freddy are somehow bringing the clawed killer into the real world. This means we have various actors, writers, and directors playing themselves while being stalked by Kruger. It’s clever, and it’s violent, with Robert Englund playing himself, playing traditional Freddy, and playing the all new, more vicious Freddy.

3. The Last House On The Left

Englund’s first impact on the horror scene was this low budget exploitation movie about a family resorting to revenge and torture upon the rapists and killers who did the same to their daughters. It’s a film of two halves, each half complementing the other while advancing the plot and showing how violence begets violence. The first half follows a couple of teenage girls heading to a concert but who are attacked by a group of killers, the second finds the killers accidentally stopping off at the parent’s house and seeing the tables turned. It’s not an easy watch and Craven doesn’t hold back in his depictions of torture, rape, and murder. The remake ups the budget and gore and makes for an interesting companion piece, but for me it lacks the gut punch and shock of the original.

2. Scream

My top two picks aren’t going to surprise anyone. Scream is a perfect film in my eyes. I understand why others will disagree with me and I’m not so blind to agreeing with its criticism, but that doesn’t change how I feel about it. It’s my generation’s horror movie and even though I was 13 or 14 when it released it still felt like it was made for me. I understood most of the references, I loved the twists, I recognised most of the characters in myself and people I knew, the dialogue was sharp, and the cast was peppered with people I either already loved or would come to. It gave us two new horror icons in killer Ghostface and heroine Sydney, played by my other world wife Neve Campbell. It’s funny, stylish, and has some great scares and kills, and it’s a movie I’ll never tire of.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street

The only film which could beat Scream is my favourite horror movie of all time. This is the one which got me into horror, even before I’d watched it. I knew Kruger, I knew the plot, and I’d seen bits of it when I was a child, and the artwork in the video stores always intrigued me. It’s one of Craven’s most successful movies, it’s his best work, his most inventive, and it is even critically acclaimed to a certain degree – not always unusual for horror, but definitely rate for one so visceral. The film and its villain gained iconic status leading to a long series of spin-offs and sequels, none of which have matched the skill and precision of the original. Langenkamp and Englund are terrific, the effects are nightmarish, and the idea of someone stalking your dreams (for the sins of your parents no less) remains potent. Horror often bleeds into fantasy, but I don’t think it was ever worked so successfully than with this undoubted masterpiece.

Let us know in the comments which movies you would include in your Top Ten Wes Craven list!

2019 In Film – A Preview – September

It: Chapter 2

One of my favourite books, I enjoyed Chapter 1, and this sequel will focus on the adult version of the kids from Chapter 1, thirty years later. The first one was quite funny, though lighter on scares than most wanted, it’ll be interesting to see how that balance works out this time around.

Downton Abbey

I don’t watch the show, I don’t do period costume dramas, I can’t stand monarchy or titled stuff, and Maggie Smith pisses me off. I’ll never see this.

Spies In Disguise

Another Blue Sky Studios animation – they’ve been successful but I cant say I’ve ever been interested in any of them. This one has Will Smith as a Man In Black or Inspector Gadget or something.

The Kitchen

If it’s not Banana Yoshimoto, I’m not interested. It’s another Melissa McCarthy movie, but wait! It’s a serious one this time, also starring Elizabeth Moss and Tiffany Hadish. Seems similar to Widows – wives of criminals take over from where the husbands left off. I’d be more keen with a different cast and I’m not a big fan of Irish crime movies anyway.

Abominable

I’m always concerned when you give your movie or book or album a name like that. It’s just begging for lazy critics to use it in a damning review, right?

The Hunt

I’ve no idea, there seems to be a tonne of different movies and shows called The Hunt coming out this year.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain

I enjoyed the book when it was released and always wondered how it could be translated to film given that it’s through the eyes of a dog. Decent cast, not a director I’m interested in.

Judy

If it ain’t a Twin Peaks spin off, I ain’t interested. It’s not, but it is a Judy Garland, one of the first stories of a child star’s torrid transition to adulthood. Plus she’s one of the most famous movie stars of all time. I’m not a massive Garland fan and these types of films tend to hit the same notes, pander to the Awards too much, but do offer good performances. On the casting side, Renee Zellweger would have been one of my last picks for this, but the more I think about it there definitely is a visual similarity. Recent Biopics really go all in on making the actor look as close to the real life counterpart as possible, so Renee’s resemblance will help. I like Rufus Sewell, but overall it doesn’t look like the sort of cast to make a huge splash. The Director is used to exactly this sort of thing – it just so happens that it’s not my sort of thing.

Which films are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

2019 In Film – A Preview – August

I’m back from a break from posting these – I wrote all 12 posts in December so by the time I post this I may have more information on the films below, but I haven’t updated anything from the original post.

Fast And Furious Presents: Hobbs And Shaw

Fast And Furious Presents? I’ve no idea what that means. I haven’t seen a single entry in the Fast And Furious series and I have absolutely no intention to, and I have no clue who Hobbs or Shaw are.

The New Mutants

An X-Men movie which focuses on mutants we don’t know and takes a horror-based approach? Sounds good. I’ve always felt that many of these comic book movies should be horror based – watching as your body changes in often horrific and unbelievable ways, leading to almost certain alienation from everyone and everything you’ve ever known. Sure you get some superpowers out of it, but not everyone is going to be able to fly or shoot fire from their ass. Surely most people are going to get more dubious powers like an extra four fingers, the ability to breath backwards, and the skill of seeing through (only) wood. Cast is good, director knows teen stuff.

Midsommar

Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary. All in on this one. I love Will Poulter – still waiting on the big role in a big film to cement him, and Florence Pugh is there too. Sounds like more familial/relationship tension and dread.

Boss Level

This sounds exactly like the sort of junk I love – ex soldier somehow caught in a time loop and has to avoid being killed. So, like Groundhog Day but with guns and Mel Gibson. Naomi Watts is in the cast too and the director has a history of action with thriller elements.

Good Boys

Coming of age kids story which would have worked in the 80s. These don’t always work now, but there’s always potential and they tend to have a nostalgic charm which covers any cracks for me. It’s about a group of kids trying to fix a broken toy before their parents find out, presumably getting into some scrapes along the way. Probably needs more pirates or zombies to get me fully invested, but we’ll see. Directors don’t fill me with confidence.

Dora The Explorer

The series is one of the most irritating shows ever created, but it’s for pre-schoolers. Is the same? Either way, I don’t care.

Artemis Fowl

Is this a Harry Potter character? Or some other book series? Directed by Branagh whose stuff is always worth seeing.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

I haven’t read much about this but I’m hoping it’s a genuine anthology movie because those almost never get a full widespread release. I assume they’ll go more the Goosebumps route. Lets actually try to scare the audience though.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

I’ve kind of seen the first one as my kids have watched it several times. Diminishing returns for cynical cash-ins is the norm.

Playmobil The Movie

A movie based around the toys for people who were too stupid for Lego? It’s a pretty dreadful cast outside of Anya Taylor-Joy and I can’t see this being anywhere near as good as The Lego Movie

Angel Has Fallen

Looks like another one of those Has Fallen movies – I haven’t seen any of the others, but imagine they’re passable dumb action movies featuring Gerard Butler shouting at things.

Overcomer

Another Christian Faith drama. Won’t be seeing.

Which of these will you be seeing? Let us know in the comments!

2019 In Film – A Preview – July

Annabelle 3

The first one wasn’t great and I haven’t seen the second one. These must still be making money – not a surprise when they’re cheap to make, but this will almost certainly be more loud jump-scares and little else.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

I’ve seen the Raimi trilogy, but haven’t seen any since. Was there another trilogy before this latest series? Or just a couple of films? I’m sure I’ll get to them one day.

17 Bridges

A cop thriller with a cat and mouse chase around Manhattan. They could go classy on this and make it like Sicario or more likely it could be like a TV movie or stretched TV episode. The cast is okay – only Keith David really stands out to me as someone to get me interested, and the director is mainly known for his TV work.

Stuber

Looks like a modern buddy movie – I don’t think many of these have worked recently and this will most likely go the same way. When these work they’re always entertaining, and it will be cool seeing Bautista and Iko Uwais going toe to toe. Director Michael Dowse has so far directed the sorts of comedies I actively avoid so I can’t see this being too hot.

The Lion King

Yet another Disney remake and yet another ‘why’. I’m not as precious about The Lion King as some people are, but beyond money there is no reason for this to exist. I’m sure it can’t possibly capture the magic of the original – like any of these remakes – but it’ll be pretty to look at.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The big one. Tarantino’s movies have been more on the average side for me recently, not since Inglorious Basterds. Django was okay, and The Hateful Eight was probably his weakest. This is the film he has wanted to make for years and it’s the one fans like me have wanted to see. I’d rather he made this in his early days than now, and I’d rather it wasn’t related to the Manson stuff as that seems needlessly exploitative and I’m more interested in Tarantino’s vision of 60s/70s Hollywood.

Wish Dragon

I don’t know what this is, other than it is an animation with voice work by Jackie Chan.

Is that it? Where did all the movies go? Which ones are you looking forward to?

2019 In Film – A Preview – June

Dark Phoenix

The recent X-Men movies haven’t been as strong as the first two Bryan Singer ones – they’re still watchable, but they’re fairly forgettable and incoherent. I imagine this will be more of the same. It’ll tide them over before they decide to reboot it again or merge it all into one epic Marvel/DC/Beano nuke of crap.

The Secret Life Of Pets 2

I enjoyed the first one, my kids loved it… are animated sequels ever any good though?

Flarsky

Directed by Jonathan Levine who is very much hit and miss – often decent ideas as a writer, often generic or just plain bad in execution. This time around it sounds like a bad idea – loser chases successful woman he knew as a child. Romantic comedy stuff, with probably more ‘adult’ humour.

Men In Black International

I don’t think I ever saw the third one. Does International mean they’re looking at the different MIB agencies on each country? Does this mean Liam Neeson is going to be head of the Northern Ireland branch, headquarters in Ballymena? That would be possibly worth watching, if only to cringe at the accents.

Shaft

Seriously? Again? Why do we need this? Actually, this is sequel to the Sam Jackson one and sees all three generations of the Shaft family popping up, the story sounding like a standard murder mystery. Expect cool one-liners and the odd bit of action.

Toy Story 4

Like MIB, I don’t believe I ever saw Toy Story 3. I suppose I should. I like the other two, just not as in love with them as most people are.

Grudge

Speaking of reboots and remakes and sequels, is any franchise more confusing than The Grudge? It’s already been remade about twelve times. Shit, I still watch them, though I’m sure this is the final straw and will be rubbish.

Child’s Play

I’m not sure if we need a reboot of this especially as we have had plenty of sequels in the original series recently. I haven’t actually seen any past 3, but I always intended to. Same rules apply – kick him off a bridge and walk slowly away.

Untitled Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis Film

Oh fuck, it’s a musical, even if it is Danny Boyle. Keep it away from me. Far far away.

Ford Vs Ferrari

Remember what I said about food, horses, and dancing? The same applies for cars – don’t care.

Limited Partners

Two women from different backgrounds start a beauty company. All you need for this to be any less interesting to me would be a love for horses, food, or cars and have it be a musical. Director hasn’t made anything better than ‘just above average’ though I’ll watch Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek in any old shite. As you can guess, this is not for me.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

The first wasn’t great, but if it has sharks and people being eaten by sharks then you don’t have to tell me twice.

All You Need Is Love

Ah ha! So this is actually the Unnamed Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis musical. At least the idea is interesting, and if it is actually about Beatles music then I may give it a shot. Just when you think it might be interesting, you see Ed Sheeran in the cast and want to rip your own skin off with a skull.

Which of the above films are you interested in? Let us know in the comments!

2019 In Film – A Preview – May

The Kid

Another Indie flick directed by Vincent D’Onforio, this time it’s a Western about Billy The Kid and Pat Garrett. We’ve seen that story on screen countless times now, but it looks like here it’s viewed through the eyes of some random child. For an Indie film there are a couple of big names starring – Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt.

UglyDolls

This sounds like it could be terrible – an animation by Troublemaker Studios with voice ‘talent’ including Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, a Jonas etc, based on a toy fad from 20 years ago. The music in the trailer is atrocious…. and that’s about it. One for the kids.

The Hustle

A remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Well, I didn’t like that film and it’s being directed by a semi-popular English stand-up comedian that I’m not too interested in. He’s starred in TV shows over here too, but none I’ve seen. Looks like they’re going the Ghostbusters remake and making it about the ladies. That worked well last time. Why not just create an original story? The only reason the original was interesting was because it was about old guys. This time it’s about the young and pretty. I have no reason in the world to see this beyond saying I’ve seen it.

Detective Pikachu

This caused a bit of a ruckus though? Not sure why. I’ve never played a proper Pokemon game so I have no attachment. It’ll probably be bad, but they might go The Lego Movie route and get lucky.

My Son

French film about a man searching for his son, directed by Christian Carion. He starred in Tell No One which I liked, and he directed Joyeux Noel which I liked. Plus, Melanie Laurent is in it, along with Guillaume Canet. This is actually a 2017 film, getting a US release now.

Wild Rose

Scottish singer dreams of being a star in Nashville. No thanks. I like Sophie Okonedo, but everyone else and everything thing else about this screams ‘avoid at all costs’ for me.

The Third Wife

So, the poster is supposed to be a bleeding vagina, right? Set in 19th Century Vietnam, which is something new to me and it’s about a young girl about to be married. Don’t know anything else about anyone involved.

John Wick 3

I haven’t seen the second, I liked the first, and I’m usually up for anything Keanu wants to do. More guns, more bad guys getting blasted to pieces, what more do you need?

The Sun Is Also A Star

The synopsis simply reads ‘a teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life’. Directed, written, and starring mostly women I’m not familiar with so possibly a unique perspective or possibly more of the same.

Ad Astra

This one has been talked about for a while – a sci-fi thriller with Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland heading a large extended cast. It’s James Gray’s follow up to The Lost City Of Z which I thoroughly enjoyed so I’m hoping for more adventure and soft philosophical ruminations.

Aladdin

Another Disney remake and more howling of ‘why’ at the sky. I don’t see how they can improve upon the original, but that’s not really the point is it. This is nothing more than Disney showing off how rich they are, how fancy they can make a world look, and how much more money they can make off us. No doubt it will be perfectly serviceable, but why they would give a Muslim love story of magic and wonder to Cockney hack Guy Ritchie, who hasn’t had a hit in ever, is anyone’s guess.

Booksmart

Olivia Wilde’s feature directing debut. Unfortunately the plot sounds terrible – two smart girls realize they spent their time in school studying instead of ‘having fun’ and decide to pile in all the fun in one night. In other words – I don’t care.

Bright Burn

So, I’m writing all these Preview posts on the same day and in one of the later or earlier months there’s an X-Men spin off where I mention how superhero and horror movies seem like the perfect – no, that’s not the right word – seem like the correct crossover. It looks like we’re getting a few of these this year, with Brightburn looking like another. If studios are all playing this game then of course it means it’s going to get saturated pretty quickly, but this will be one of the first. Lets hope it’s not cheapened and they go full horror. I’m not a huge fan of Elizabeth Banks and don’t have a definite opinion on the rest of the cast, but I’m hoping for something good with this.

Minecraft: The Movie

I’ve never played the game, but you’d have to have been living under a block (heh) to know exactly what it is. I’m surprised it’s taken till now to cash in with a movie, but I’m also fairly certain there’s already been a TV series/movie on it. Surely the only question here is how bad it can actually be?

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

I need to go back and watch Godzilla and Kong Island again – I liked them at the time but can remember very little about them. A director I like, a cast I like, and the trailer makes it look huge. lets hope the story is good and not just an excuse for big beasties to knock lumps out of each other.

Rocketman

I never liked the original… it was boring, too nicey nice. Only joking, this is Elton John we’re talking about, not the superhero. I’m not an Elton fan either so I’ll pass. Is this going to be the next thing – bios of 70s pop rock stars – after that Queen one? How long until they get to someone I’m actually interested in, like Alice Cooper or Led Zep? Never? I’m fine with that, cheers.

The Rosie Project

This has a long history, which has become gradually less inspiring – originally Jennifer Lawrence was attached, dropped out, Linklater was due to direct, turned it down, and now it’s all people you’ve never heard of. It’s a romance based on a hit Australian novel about a scientist who is useless with women who decides to make a questionnaire to assess how suitable each woman he meets is for him. In other words, this should be a horror movie, not a romance. Then again, we already have Audition, so good luck topping that. Won’t be seeing this.

Let us know which of the above movies you’ll excited about seeing!

2019 In Film – A Preview – April

Shazam!

David Sandberg joins the comic world takeover….. I don’t really know what this is. Again I’ve heard bloggers and people on Facebook talk about it but I don’t know anything about the character. I thought he was meant to be some sort of joke? No idea, I’m sure I won’t see this for many a year.

Pet Sematary

King’s book is one of the most legitimately horrific books in history, utterly heartbreaking, bleak, and horrible. Everyone knows the original movie, with its great make-up and one-liners. I have a feeling this will be more tame, but you can be sure I’ll see it anyway. If it really goes for the throat, it could be a classic, but mainstream horror these days usually avoids going full dark, though there has been a turn in the tides somewhat. I’ve no idea who the directors are, so I don’t have high hopes.

Farmageddon

It’s Shaun The Sheep. These are usually funny and charming enough.

Hellboy

The Hellboy movies, and those comic book movies in general which don’t form part of some extended universe are always more interesting to me. There’s no concern about what’s going to happen next and no as much worry about pissing hardcore fans off. That being said, I don’t think this needs to be rebooted and even though it’s Neil Marshall directing and Milla Jovovich, I can’t get too excited. This should have been part three of the original trilogy with Perlman and Del Toro, but alas.

Missing Link

It’s stop motion animation so at least it might look different from the norm, and the cast is interesting enough, but how often are these none Disney/Dreamworks movies any use?

Breathrough

It seems to be another one of those religious movies which have been getting more popular recently. In other words – no chance I’m seeing this – not until they make a good one.

Little

Okay… ex Nascar driver directs a movie based on an idea by a fourteen year old child actress from a TV show I’ve never seen. Indeed.

The Curse Of La Llorona

I’ve kept tabs on this for a while – set in 70s LA with a primarily Latino cast, dealing with Mexican supernatural folklore – sounds right up my alley. Then again, these are rarely better than watchable… hopefully it goes for more than generic jumpscares and loud noises.

Under The Silver Lake

It’s A24, it’s David Robert Mitchell, and it concerns missing people and conspiracy theories – there’s no reason I shouldn’t like this.

After

Apparently New Adult Fiction is a thing. The purist in me is really struggling not to say something like ‘so it’s for people barely intelligent enough to graduate from YA and with the emotional maturity of a brick’ but every so often I read shite like this. If there’s zombies. This doesn’t have zombies, but it does have a story about ‘a good girl’s relationship with a bad boy’. People are idiots.

Avengers: Endgame

Haven’t seen anything past the first Avengers movie so don’t care about this, at least not until I catch up with the other four hundred Marvel movies I haven’t watched yet.

The Intruder

A couple buys their dream home, but the previous owner isn’t happy. You’ve seen it a million times, but here it’s brought to you by Dennis Quaid and Deon Taylor who always seems on the verge of making something good.

The Best Of Enemies

Normally a title like that would be enough to turn me off, but it stars Taraji P Henson and Sam Rockwell and it’s based around the relationship between a Ku Klux Clan guy and Civil Rights activist. Should be good, not sure when I’ll get to it. With North America in the state it’s in now (read – the state it’s always been but only owning up to it once again now) this should be a timely drama – lets see if it has the balls to go the distance.

Peterloo

 I’m not the biggest Mike Leigh fan, but at least he makes stuff that you don’t usually see. I’ll see it as long as it doesn’t go down the overly dry, stiff route because the cast is strong. Seems like another timely one as Britain is facing a shitstorm just as bad as whatever mess the US is in, though to be honest I know nothing of the history of this event.

Teen Spirit

On principle alone, being a huge Nirvana fan, I’m outright refusing to see this. Yes, I know it has nothing to do with Nirvana but you seriously think they didn’t pick that name by association? By all means use that title for an interesting film, but using it in what seems to be yet another story of a pop stars rise to fame? Fuck right off. Right now.

Girls Of The Sun

Yes. Sold. Mostly female cast with female director about the women fighters in Iraq? This should be on everyone’s list ahead of the latest Marvel attempt at action. Of course there’s every chance this could be terrible too, but at least it has a hook.

High Life

Claire Denis does sci-fi. Fair enough, I’ll give it a shot. Throw in Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche and I’m double sold.

Rafiki

A Kenyan movie about a lesbian relationship. Already banned in Kenya, because of course it is, this should hopefully give hope to anyone there who manages to see it. I don’t know anything else about it, but can’t say I’ll ever see it unless it does big business and gets a wider release.

Which films of April are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

2019 In Film – A Preview – March

A Madea Family Funeral

I haven’t seen any of these. I don’t think I’ve seen a single Tyler Perry movie yet. That’s who this is, right? Can’t see me starting now.

Climax

You had me at Gaspar Noe. There hasn’t been a single of film of his that I haven’t ‘enjoyed’, as much as you can use that term to describe your feelings while watching. There’s really no-one else like him. My only concern, if you can call it such, is that it’s about dancing – something I don’t care in the slightest for, or even really understand. I mean, I get wanting to leap around when your favourite song comes on, but dancing as an art and actually wanting to do it is completely foreign to me. I never said I was normal. I haven’t read anything about this, but from the trailer I’m hoping it’s his twisted version of They Shoot Horses. 

Greta

Neil Jordan, Chloe Moretz, and Isabelle Hupert? Any one of those names is usually enough to grab my attention and the fact that it seems to be at least horror adjacent has very excited. This has vibes of the great Audition and of course Hansel And Gretal, one of my all time favourite stories.

Captain Marvel

As you know, or can at least assume, I follow a lot of other movie blogs on WordPress and I’m a member on quite a few movie groups on Facebook. I know all the Marvel and DC movies are super popular, but it really takes following these groups to appreciate just how rampant this popularity is. Every day, every hour, multiple posts about your favourite Marvel film of the year, ranking the favourites, scores and reviews etc etc. I’m constantly surprised by how high these rank because they have so far to me been distinctly average – watchable – but painfully generic and repetitive. Fair enough, I haven’t seen anywhere near all of them, but what this means is that I couldn’t care less (yes, that is the correct way of writing that phrase) anytime a trailer drops for the latest installment, or even when one of the movies comes out. I’ve yet to pay to watch a single Marvel movie at the Cinema or on streaming (unless the Netflix and Prime subscription counts). Apparently this trailer, or the fact that Brie Larson is starring, or that she’s a woman or something has pissed a lot of people off. If I’m honest, I wasn’t even aware that there was a Captain Marvel character, or if I was I forget the second my balls dropped. I have no doubt this will be more of the same – depressingly successful, frustratingly generic, yet watchable. Like the way a dog squeezing one out on the road is watchable.

Gloria Bell

Sebastion Lelio’s latest offering sees Julianne Moore, Sean Astin, Michael Cera, John Turturro arsing about and falling in love. Yes, it’s a romantic comedy and those never inspire anything within me beyond punishing indifference. I’m sure it will be much better made than most, well acted, and probably better written than most but it seems to have a lot of dancing (see above) and talk about relationships and stuff that I just don’t care about.

Us

Jordan Peele is back, and it seems pretty obvious that it’s another horror outing. I enjoyed Get Out –  I wasn’t as wowed by it as most critics and felt it was a clever, funny, good time. This will prove his worth as a filmmaker – if he can score a critical and financial success here then the world will be his. Of course at some point he’s going to have to branch out of horror to be truly accepted, but until then he’s one of us. I’d advise against watching the trailer if you don’t want any spoilers, but I imagine there will be twists aplenty.

Wonder Park

A non Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/Illumination/Ghibli animated movie. It looks like it has money behind it and if it launches at the right time it should make money. Doesn’t mean it’ll be good though. I love theme parks though, not enough movies are set in that world, but it does have that samey animation which almost all studio movies have now.

The Aftermath

It’s Keira Knightly, once again starring in clothes no normal human would ever wear. Period pieces, especially those starring Knightly don’t do anything for me. I do like Knightly, just not doing this sort of thing. Romance, lustful affairs, that ludicrous message that if you leave a woman alone for five minutes she’ll fuck the first bloke who comes along – zero shits given.

Ash Is Purest White

I don’t know anything about this, beyond it being some sort of violent gangster love story. Still, I like the director and cast so I’ll probably see it at some point.

The Hummingbird Project

I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, I don’t particularly care for the director, and the plot sounds like balls. Pass.

The Mustang

The cast looks decent – Bruce Dern, Connie Britton, Matthias Schoenaerts, but it’s about horses. Training horses, riding horses. Why’s it always horses? Why not go all in and make it about tigers? Can’t see me ever seeing this.

Five Feet Apart

Yet another romance about people with a debilitating illness. The 50s had giant spider movies, the 90s had meta self aware movies, and the whatever this decade is called has people falling in love while dying movies. Are we going to study these in twenty years time the same way people study the others? No, because every one of these so far has been wank.

Greyhound

Tom Hanks writes and stars. Doesn’t sound overly interesting from what I know so far, but it’s Tom Hanks.

Where’d You Go Bernadette

Didn’t I preview this one last year? What happened to it? It’s still Linklater so it can’t be bad, surely?

The Beach Bum

This could defo go either way – it’s Harmony Korine, it’s McConaughey dialed up to fifteen, and there’s also Jonah Hill, Zac Efron, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher. It’s more likely this will be awful, but it could be amazing.

Ramen Shop

I feel the same away about food as I do about horses and dancing; each of these things exist, but none of these things are exciting and by extension films which revolve in these worlds either do little for me or keep me at such a distance that it feels like I’m watching them on a neighbour’s television through binoculars. This one is about food.

Captive State

There’s a tonne of trailers out there for this but I don’t want to watch any others. The idea and cast are enough to sell me so I don’t want any more info – set in Chicago ten years after an alien invasion with John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, and a bunch of others.

Dumbo

The Disney money-making sham rolls on – they have about 12 of these remakes coming out this year. Dumbo was never the most interesting film to begin with and watching these remakes just makes you remember how much better the originals were. Still, people are going to keep paying to see them so I don’t expect the trend to end. Tim Burton is directing, but it looks like a for hire job instead of his own vision. To be fair, the cast is great – Eva Green, Danny Devito, Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell, Alan Arkin, but surely this can’t be anything better than average?

Hotel Mumbai

Thriller based on the real life terror attack. Dev Patel stars, Anthony Maras directs, looks cool, intense.

Chaos Walking

Doug Limon’s back, this time directing the latest YA adaptation none of us have ever heard of. It’s about a future world where there are no women, but maybe there are, and people can read each others’ thoughts, and animals too…. these rarely work anymore since around the time of the second Hunger Games movies, but there’s talent directing and starring so you never know. I probably won’t see it unless reviews are stellar.

Cliffs Of Freedom

It’s another period romance, so typically I’d be out, but check out the cast – Tania Raymonde, Patti LuPone, Christopher Plummer, Lance Henriksen, Billy Zane, Costas Mandylor, and a bunch of other eclectic faces if not instantly recognisable names. I’ve no idea what this will be like, TV movie or underrated epic, but it’s over two hours long so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Wounds

Babak Anvari’s follow up to Under The Shadow this is another horror movie seemingly about a bartender’s breakdown. You better believe I’m down for this.

2019 In Film – A Preview – February

Jacob’s Ladder

As is often the case with these remakes, my foremost reaction is ‘why?’ Jacob’s Ladder is one of the most unique movies of the nineties and I can’t see anyone remaking this while retaining that level of weirdness. I can only assume it’s going to be generic horror with expensive generic visuals to compensate for the lack of true oddity. I don’t care about any of the cast and I don’t care about the director. Why?

Miss Bala

Another remake, another ‘why’. The original is good, this looks like a much glossier version which panders to the white audience while still featuring a mainly Latino cast. Still, it should have a bunch of guns and stuff blowing up.

Arctic

Similar to how I have spoken about siege movies, I enjoy movies in limited settings or with a limited cast. There’s something about setting limitations which allows creativity to flourish. This stars Mads Mikkelsen as a man stranded in the Arctic…. and that’s about it. Mikkelsen is great, but the fact that it’s the debut movie by a Youtuber has me worried. That’s not to say it can’t be great, but still…

Cold Pursuit

It’s Liam Neeson’s latest revenge thriller. That’s all you need to know, right? They’re always pretty rubbish but always entertaining. It’s another remake, but at least it’s being directed by the same guy.

The Lego Movie 2

I still haven’t seen the first one – to be honest I thought there had already been a second one. I’m sure I’ll get to this at some point.

The Prodigy

It’s ‘not The Exorcist’. No-0ne in the cast excites me, I enjoyed director Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact but haven’t seen his follow up. This is his third.

What Men Want

So this is What Women Want, but with the sex and race flipped. I’m not a fan of romantic comedies at all as I never find them funny and rarely find them charming or sweet or worthwhile in the slightest. That said, I love Taraji P Henson and the cast has some interesting choices and while I’m sure the director is a great guy, he hasn’t directed a single movie I would ever choose to watch.

Everybody Knows

It’s Penelope Cruze, Javier Bardem, and Asghar Farhadi which should be enough for any movie fan. His films never sound like something I want to watch, but they’re always good.

Lords Of Chaos

This should be right up my ally, given that I’m a huge horror fan, an outre fan, and a metal fan. I know a lot of the music and performers which the story talks about (the birth of Norwegian Black Metal) and if you’re not familiar with the true details of what happened I’d encourage you read. It’s all true life horrific stuff and not for the faint-hearted. The problem with all of this is that almost everyone involved is a total bag of dicks – quite a few of them are murderers, most of them are hate-filled racists, homophobes, and xenophobes,  and… well that’s really all that needs to be said.

Under The Eiffel Tower

Looks like one of those mid-life crisis Romantic Dramas, so you can guess I’m already out unless the cast has some surprises….. nope. Guess that’s a no all round then.

Isn’t It Romantic

Billed as a fantasy comedy, this is is just another romantic comedy in time for Hallmark Money Day. I’m conflicted though, because there is talent involved – I can’t stand Rebel Wilson, but Liam Hemsworth is there along with Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Saunders. The writers haven’t done anything which has really excited me, but director Todd Strauss- Schulson made The Final Girls which I loved. This sounds that it will pretty meta and invert a lot of tropes like The Final Girls did, so it could be a surprise hit for me.

Birds Of Passage

On the surface this looks like another crime saga, but the directors did Embrace Of The Serpent which was certainly unique and this has so far been picking up a lot of positive reviews so I have no doubt this will offer something different in the usual rise and fall of organised crime stories.

Alita Battle Angel

Speaking of sagas, this one has been on a bit of a journey. No need to cover old ground – all you need to say to get me in the chair is that James Cameron was involved. Or that Robert Rodriguez is directing. Sure, both of those guys appear to be past their best, but you always hold out hope for one more hit. I’m not yet a big fan of the whole CG human CG world thing, and I’m far more invested in a film if it has a good story and characters – how it looks is the icing on the cake. I don’t know anything about the story or the manga but those generally follow similar ideas. Some decent names in the cast too, with Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jackie Earle Hayley, Michelle Rodriguez, and Casper Van Dien – props to crafting a diverse cast.

Fighting With My Family

It’s another one I’m conflicted by – wasn’t this meant to come out last year? I’ve seen it advertised for almost a year it seems like. Wrestling origin stories are something almost never explored on the big screen, though I can think of a hundred other wrestling bios I’d want to see before Paige’s. One the plus side, the cast is pretty good with The Rock as himself, Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, and Vince Vaughn, but on the downside it’s directed by Stephen Merchant and I haven’t liked a single thing he has written or directed yet.

Happy Death Day 2U

I haven’t seen the first one yet – I will – and heard mixed reports about it. I’ve no idea if this is a direct sequel, a spin off, or a new story with new characters, but usually sequels of surprise hits are bad. Still, it’s horror so I’ll get more out of it than the usual comic book adaptations and big name dramas.

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

I haven’t seen a single entry of this series yet, so no idea what this is about. Presumably there are dragons.

The Rhythm Section

This one could be interesting, though likely not. It’s being produced by the Bond team which is what has me interested – not necessarily in seeing it, just in how it came about. Was it a cancelled Bond story? It’s about a spy. More likely they’re trying to cash in on the Bond audience. It stars Blake Lively and is directed by a woman known for her work as Cinematographer on a bunch of movies and shows – some I’ve seen, some I haven’t, but those I have seen have been decent. Jude Law is also there, I can take or leave him. Sounds like it could be a VOD action mess or underground hit.

The Turning

This one has had a long history too… not sure why when it’s just another Adaptation of The Turn Of The Screw which I have read. It’s directed by Floria Sigismondi who I know more for her stylish music videos rather than her TV or Film work. It was originally meant to be made by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, whose work I am familiar with and love. I can’t imagine this being anything we haven’t seen before though the cast is strong enough to warrant a watch.

Styx

A German drama set mainly on the ocean (sea?) about a sailor encountering a boat of refugees? That’s unique enough to get me on board.

The Informer

Sounds like a straight forward enough action crime movie, continuing Rosamund Pike’s trend to becoming an action heroine. Clive Owen and Joel Kinnaman also star – cool, and it’s directed by actor Andrea Di Stefano. This could go either way.

Which films of February are you keen on seeing? Let us know in the comments!