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?

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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!

2019 In Film – A Preview – January

Greetings, Glancers! 2018 was a year in which some movies were released. I can’t remember which, but that’s only because most of them were crap and I’m still drunk from Christmas. 2019 will see the release of even more films to be excited and bored by, and just like every other stinking blogger out there who craves the anonymous approval of people they’ll never meet, I’m here to finger the internet (look on Wikipedia) to see which upcoming movies might interest me. A lot of films won’t have been announced yet and my list most likely won’t include minor releases, straight to DVD or streaming, or foreign films (which tend to be the ones I’m most interested in). Today, it’s the first month of 2019 – Krocus (January)!

Escape Room

We kick off the year with what will most likely be a forgotten horror movie – that’s fine with me as even the most forgettable horror is more interesting to me than most of the recent Oscar Bait. Escape Rooms are all the rage these days – cheap mobile phone games turning into fully fledged hen-do entertainment. Hell, even Belfast has a few of these. Not that I’ve been to any. it was only a matter of time before someone made a movie about this fad, even though similar ideas have been shown on screen before. Best hope for this is that it becomes a Saw/Cube knockoff. The cast doesn’t really contain anyone I’m overly interested in and the director hasn’t done anything I’ve loved – he wrote the worst Paranormal Activity entry and directed an Insidious movie which I haven’t seen yet, though I did enjoy The Taking of Deborah Logan. The trailer is fairly standard as far as modern horror trailers go – it basically shows the entire movie with no spoiler warning – and what’s with the use of all the shitty old timey songs? I assume it’s meant to be creepy, but it never is and just annoys me as the songs are invariably crap. I actually like the idea behind this – mazes and puzzles have always fascinated me, and movies concerning them I’ll always give a chance, but I can’t say I have high hopes. I’ve talked enough about this movie which I probably won’t see for a few years.

A Dog’s Way Home

I’ve always wondered how these types of films get made. I mean, does anyone go and see them? January is usually a dumping ground as no-one can be arsed freezing their arse off to go and watch something which doesn’t feature a Stan Lee cameo, but these sweet and harmless movies seem more suited to the small screen. It’s about a dog who gets separated from its owner and begins a journey home. I know you read about these things in the news from time to time, but in reality 90% of these end the same way – the dog being hit by a car, starving to death, or being picked up by a warden and then euthanized after a few days of starving. Why doesn’t anyone make a movie like that? Oh, right. Lets give it some credit – it stars the great Ashley Judd for some reason, and it’s directed by Charles Martin Smith who I’ve always enjoyed as an actor (and who of course directed the pilot episode of Buffy). I can’t imagine I’ll ever see this.

The Upside

Well, it’s a remake of the hit French film so we’re already on shaky ground, and it’s an idea we’ve already seen before in films like Scent Of A Woman. I can’t imagine anything new or interesting here – it’s like a buddy cop movie without the action. And with that cast, probably without the comedy. Plus, it has been delayed for a year already, so lets not pretend this is going to be anything but balls. I like Bryan Cranston, I like Nicole Kidman, but I can’t take Kevin Hart seriously as a lead actor, or a comedian, or a human…. I think I’ll pass.

Glass

Now we’re talking. Unbreakable is my favourite Shyamalan movie and he has been on an upswing recently. I enjoyed Split and although I’m apprehensive about how this will all work as the trailer made things look too action packed, I’m still fully on board. It’ll be good to see if Willis actually pulls his fist out of his ass and does something worthwhile too.

The Kid Who Would Be King

There has been a rejuvenation of all those 80s kids adventure movies recently, thanks to the success of Stranger Things – that’s not where it started, but that’s likely what has enabled so many to go into production. It’s exactly the sort of movie I would have loved growing up so I’m hoping for some nostalgic charm here rather than generic member-berry stuff. The story and cast seem so-so, but I have always like Cornish since the Adam and Joe days. Hopefully something good here, but again I don’t have high hopes. Andy Serkis’s son is the lead in his debut – I’m generally not a fan of such nepotism but it’s ridiculously prevalent in the business and always has been. Which reminds me, I must write a post about that.

Serenity

It’s not Joss Whedon, so I’m already depressed. This sounds like one of those cheap ‘sexy’ 90s thrillers where the only thing less shocking than another hackneyed double cross was the sight of an A-Lister in a thong. I like the cast though none of them are must sees for me, though Knight is generally a talented writer. I already know I’ll probably never see this unless it hits Showgirls levels of dirt but I’m sure someone out there will get something out of it (a quick fap).

The Aspern Papers

I’ll admit I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my list. I like the idea, though the fact that it stars various socialites and members of the Redgrave clan has me on edge. Also, I’m not a big fan of costume stuff.

Sgt. Will Gardner

This looks interesting; again it’s an idea we’ve seen before – a military vet comes home only to find an internal war which affects his daily life and relationships. These films are always interesting to me though they rarely go beyond that to something more, and although it’s a subject often tackled in films it’s one that isn’t discussed enough in reality and leads to devastating multi-generational harm – something that is likely to get worse with the Warmonger-In-Chief. It also looks like a road movie, and I love me a good road movie. I do have a couple of concerns – first, that it will be too patriotic, something I can’t stand or understand (COuntry music shite in the trailer), and second that it looks like a passion project by Martini who writes, directs, and stars. Oh yeah – Martini almost always plays a soldier or military dude in movies – what’s that about? I do love the cast though – Robert Patrick, Gary Sinise, Lily Rabe, Dermot Mulroney, JoBeth Williams, Liz Rohm, are all performers I admire.

The Heiresses

At first glance I thought this was a costume drama, at least a foreign costume drama which usually trumps Hollywood’s stuff for me, but one second glance that’s not the case. It looks like a story about two wealthy friends suddenly rendered poor and how they cope. I’ll probably never see it.

An Acceptable Loss

See, the problem I have with films like this is that they feel that they could have been, and already have been covered in a single TV episode. Person Of Interest deals with stuff like this all the time. However, I’m all for keeping Jamie Lee Curtis busy as she is a vastly underrated and underused actress. Tika Sumpter I don’t know much about while director Joe Chappelle is known more for his TV work than his crappy horror movies. Actually, looking at his TV credits, that pretty much confirms my original point.

Adult Life Skills

See, the problem I have with quirky indie movies like this is that people like this don’t really exist in real life and when they do, they are seriously damaged individuals. Of course there are many people out there who like to claim they are quirky in this manner, but that’s emotional damage of another sort. I have no qualms admitting my own damage and the fact that I often hate myself for my quirks, but they I don’t go around making a show of them. That along with the fact that the humour in these films almost always doesn’t work for me is pretty much ensuring this will be a no no. The positive risk with this though is that when these films do work for me, I love them and they become an all time favourite. The fact that this was made in 2016 doesn’t bode well.

The Standoff At Sparrow Creek

Now, this is more like it. This has been getting rave reviews on the festival circuit, and it looks and sounds fantastic. It has a cast featuring non-A-Listers that I love including Patrick Fischler, Chris Mulkey, James Badge Dale, and it seems like a limited set seige thriller. That set-up is of course one of my favourites, with films like Assault On Precinct 13. Reservoir Dogs, and the original Dead Trilogy all winning examples. I have high hopes for this one, but I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near a Cinema near me.

King Of Thieves

Where siege movies are intriguing to me, heist movies usually don’t I admire the cinematic touches, but they too often follow tropes I don’t like and most annoyingly they glamourize the whole thing. Thieves are scumbags – I don’t care what the motivation is, I don’t care how stylish they make it look, or how nifty they (always) look in suits – they’re scumbags taking money from the rest of us and they don’t deserve our attention. You already know exactly what this will be like, ignoring the fact that it’s based on a true story and has the unique quality of featuring a bunch of old guys. It’s good the cast it still getting work, and most of them I like, but for me when I’ve seen one heist movie, I’ve seen them all.

The Wild Pear Tree

Another films receiving rave reviews since Cannes, this one I have no doubt will be good, but again it’s subject matter I can’t get overly invested in. It looks both gorgeous and dank, Ceylan certainly has a unique voice, and his stuff is different from the usual Hollywood fare. I just need to be in the right frame of mind for it.

Which January releases interest you? Let us know in the comments!

Horror Anthologies You May Have Missed

Greetings, Glancers! Here in The Spac Hole, a place of ambiguous terror and self-disgust, Halloween is our favourite time of the year. What could be better than lighting fireworks inside your neighbour’s house, waiting for them to run outside, and launching a live Alligator at them? It’s all in the festive spirit I’m sure you’ll agree. I admit it’s getting tiresome trying to think of interesting things to post about at this time of the year, beyond the usual lists I’ve already published and more and more horror movie reviews. I was listening to an old episode of the Shock Waves Podcast recently (it’s a podcast by four mega horror fans within the movie industry and features regular special guests) in which they discussed building the perfect horror anthology from existing movies. Each presenter picked five segments and a wraparound, and hijinks were had. At the end of the episode, they talked about possibly doing the same, but with Horror TV instead of movies.

That got me thinking about may of the shows I used to watch and continue to watch. The anthology series, even ones concerning scares, have been around since the 1950s and continue to this day. We all have our favourites, and there are many obvious ones – The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Masters Of Horror, Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Goosebumps etc. Many of these are excellent introductions to the wider genre for kids or newbs, while others are surely catered towards the hardcore fan. Today, we have the likes of The TerrorBlack Mirror, Channel Zero, and (if you’re stretching the terminology) American Horror Story, but what about the shows which may have escaped your clutches? Us horror fans are always looking for the next thrill, the next scare, and it shouldn’t matter if this involves looking across the oceans, or back in time.

As a non-American, I have been exposed to some shows which many of my readers may not be aware of, but all that is about to change. Check out the list below, or even better, find and watch the shows. Then tell your friends. Spread the disease. There’s something here for everyone – for kids and newbs, for hardcore fans, for those who love the supernatural, those who prefer their horror with a touch of realism, and those looking for something more… out there. Give them a shot.

Out There (2001-2002)

See what I did there? Almost certainly no-one outside of Britain will be aware of this, and almost certainly only about twelve people watched it – myself included (religiously). I’m cheating considerably with this entry, but it’s nevertheless a show I’d love more people to see. It is essentially a 30 minute clip show, showcasing snippets of gore, sex, and weirdness from movies and TV shows from around the world, all hosted in a non-narrative by the gorgeous animal lover Anneka Svenska and later, all round horror bad-ass Emily Booth. It was a British Elvira, but much much weirder. It was one of those shows that had me grabbing the pen and paper, taking notes of all the weird shit I had seen, then trying to hunt done the source material online the next day. There’s sadly very little of the show to be found online now, but those of us who saw it can consider ourselves both very very lucky, and quite badly scarred.

Beyond The Walls (2015)

Over to France now, for a nifty little show I believe you can catch now on Shudder. I’m being loose with the definition of Anthology again, but there you have it. It’s really a Haunted House mini-series – three episodes, meaning you can get through the whole thing in no time. And it would be a good use of your time, because aside from the interesting story (which follows Lisa – a lonely woman who inherits a house from a man who she has never met, and who has been dead for thirty years), it looks stunning and packs in a lot of ideas in its short running time.

Chiller (1995)

One of the first British anthology shows I remember watching, Chiller ran for a single series and featured a mere five episodes. Luckily, each of them is strong and feature the likes of ghost babies, curses, not so imaginary friends, and serial killers. My memories of the first two episodes – Prophecy and Toby are the strongest – not bad for shows I haven’t seen in over twenty years. In Prophecy, a group of friends perform a seance and each receive a prophecy, which then start coming true in deadly fashion, while in Toby a woman loses her unborn son in a car accident but continues to display signs of a phantom pregnancy, all the way up to birth. The show features British stalwarts like Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly), Nigel Havers (Chariots Of Fire), Sophie Ward (Return To Oz), John Simm (Life On Mars), and Peter Egan (Downton Abbey). You can buy the series on DVD and catch some of them on Youtube. Incidentally, the BBC had a similar show around the same time called Ghosts, but I don’t recall it and will have to track it down.

Dr Terrible’s House Of Horrible (2001)

Once you get past the horrible, terrible name, this is a decent show. Obviously, the name is a spoof and once you realise that this is a Steve Coogan vehicle, you’ll understand we’re firmly in the comedy realm. It’s another show which only ran for one series, starring Steve Coogan as Dr Terrible (and others) who presents each tale in the vein of the Cryptkeeper. Each episode is a loving, spoofing riff on British anthology classics from the likes of Hammer and Amicus and each features actors from those classic productions, as well as modern fans like Mark Gatiss and Simon Pegg. It’s a who’s who of the last 100 years of British Cult Cinema. While it rarely gets scary or disturbing, it’s a must for horror fans – especially of those films being spoofed – the love is authentic, and the laughs are hearty.

Eerie, Indiana (1991-1992)

So, I’m guessing most of you know this. It’s ostensibly a show for kids – I watched it upon release and have loved it ever since – but there are enough knowing nods to classics for adults and experienced horror fans to enjoy. For my money, it was one of the first kids shows to also appeal to adults. Look at Cinema and TV now – almost everything is catered to such a wide audience. It’s a shame the original series didn’t run for more series – you know the writers were setting things up for future shows – recurring guest stars, expanding mythology, but sadly it was all abandoned for an ill-advised follow up series a few years later. Joe Dante’s creative touch is all over it, there are a myriad of in-jokes and guest stars you’ll recognise, but most importantly – the stories are unique, varied, entertaining, and spooky enough for kids without treating kids like idiots. We have kids being sucked into TVs, dogs trying to take over the world, sentient cash machines, other dimensions, commercialist zombies, tornado chasers, lonely artistic kids, and ghost organ transplants. Great performances all around too – a rarity for a show like this.

Fear Itself (2008)

Masters Of Horror is one of the modern titans of the Anthology with a terrific idea – take some of the world’s most renowned directors within the genre and give them free reign to create their own mini-movie. It lasted for two seasons and the DVD boxsets are some of the finest examples of the craft. It was unfortunate when the show ended (it’s surely time for a revamp now that horror on TV is more prevalent and we have a new crop of young Masters to get involved), but series creator and horror icon Mick Garris wasn’t ready to let it die yet. Fear Itself is basically the third Season of Masters Of Horror, with returning and new masters contributing again. While the quality isn’t as strong, it’s still a damn good show, pushing the envelope with what can be done with the medium and showcasing a tonne of gore and scares. For whatever reason, it wasn’t as successful as its older brother and only lasted for thirteen episodes – five of which ended up not being shown in the US. Luckily you can buy the boxset on DVD and dive back in. It’s a lot of fun, some episodes are more comedy based, some are psychological, while others go right for the jugular.

Hammer House Of Horror (1980)

Hammer is one of the most renowned producers of Horror in film history and at the end of the peak of their powers they branched into Television. It’s another show which only lasted 1 Season – thirteen episodes (what is it about that number?) – but those episodes are exactly what you would expect from the Company – sex and violence and creepy old mansions. A lot of British stars of the time show up in stories concerning time-travelling witches, Nazi experiments, upper class cannibals, human sacrifice, Pierce Brosnan, and of course, staples (Satan – one for older readers, that wee joke). There have been various DVD and Blu Ray releases, the Horror Channel in the UK shows them every so often, and a few episodes can be found lurking on Youtube, so there’s no excuse not to indulge in some classic creaky horror.

Inside No. 9 (2014 -)

I’ve spoken about this one before (in this best Christmas episodes post) but it’s a show that is still not widely seen. It’s always something which has irked me when inferior British shows get widespread publicity across the seas and stuff like this is overlooked. It’s a thirty minute anthology show – different stories each episode but with some overlapping cast members, with a focus on intelligent writing, horror, humour, and an interesting setting. The set up is that each story should be set in or based around the Number 9 – as in House #9, or train carriage #9 etc. So far there have been four seasons, and there is an upcoming Halloween Special this year – given the writers’ and performers’ love of horror and skill within the genre, it’s one to look forward to. Guest stars include – Gemma Arterton, Sheridan Smith, Jack Whitehall, Tamsin Greig, David Warner, Rory Kinnear, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Danny Baker, Peter Kay, and many many more. While most of the stories are heavily influenced by the macabre – a dying child’s last wish, a silent episode featuring bungling burglars and murder, child abuse exposed during a game of sardines, crumbling relationships – it’s the overt horror stories which horror fans will be most interested. Here you will find stories based around snuff movies, witch trials, devil worship, suicide support lines, seance, torture rooms, and Final Destination esque games of fate. If you like your humour dark and your horror original, then you have no excuse to not watch these now.

Mr Biffo’s Found Footage (2017)

You may not be prepared for this. In fact, I know for a fact that you are not. I’m going to give a link to the first one – they’re all on YouTube – and you can decide for yourself if it’s for you. It’s definitely for me, but unfortunately that means only about twelve other people will find it ‘suitable’. No spoilers – just watch.

Night Gallery (1969 – 1973)

I’ll again assume that most people reading this actually know this one, but it’s still not as well or widely known as The Twilight Zone, even though it’s essentially a sequel to that grandest of shows. While it wasn’t as successful or as culturally significant, it still lasted for three seasons and featured Rod Serling presenting more stories to keep you awake at night. While still morality and twist based, Night Gallery tended towards a horror slant while The Twilight Zone’s scary episodes were sporadic. As you would expect, the prolific Serling wrote many of the stories but it also featured adaptations of Lovecraft, Bloch, and Matheson. There’s a great selection of tales here, expertly acted out by many familiar faces like Edward G Robinson, Carl Reiner, John Carradine, Leslie Nielsen, David McCallum, Adam West, and other big names of the time. While time has proven that the stories may not be as immediately terrifying as they once were, they’re perfect for cuddling up on the sofa for family viewing to introduce a younger audience to the genre’s classics.

Shockers (1999-2000)

Full disclosure – this entry is the main reason for writing this post. As I was listening to the Shock Waves podcast earlier (along with others, and blogs, and discussions) I remembered this show – and one episode in particular. I think when it comes to anthologies, we all have that one entry which sucks us in and makes us lifelong fans of the format, whether that be Burgess Meredith breaking his glasses in The Twilight Zone, Karen Black being terrorized by a dummy in Trilogy Of Terror, or even the monkey’s paw from The Simpsons. I was a fan of the format long before I saw Shockers, but it was the episode named Parent’s Night which has stayed with me perhaps more than any other segment I’ve ever seen. If there’s any purpose to this post, it’s a hope that someone will go online and watch this episode – consider it my seal of approval, but also beware that it may fuck you up.

Shockers is a show you never hear of or read about in any anthology discussions. While none of the episodes are on par with Parent’s Night, a few of them are very good and all are watchable. There isn’t any linking or central theme or premise behind the stories, aside from them all being set in a modern, realistic Britain and them being presented as written by future stars. As for the cast – you’ll recognise a few of them – Daniel Craig, Lennie James, Kerry Fox, Ashley Walters, and a host of other British familar faces. As far as I can tell, there were only six episodes – if you live in the UK you can catch them all on Demand 4, if you’re outside of the UK some of them are on YouTube, including (most importantly) Parent’s Night. As there’s only six, I can give a a rundown of each:

In Cyclops, a prisoner has a camera implanted in his eye upon release to watch his every move. In The Visitor, a charismatic stranger turns up at the house of a couple and their friend, while in The Dance a widower falls for a younger woman at a dance class who may not be what she seems. Deja Vu is about a husband and wife who lost their son in a car crash, but then another car crash changes things, while Ibiza sees a typical lads holiday to the island turn to a deadly game of mystery and murder. Yet it is Parent’s Night that I want everyone who reads this to watch. It’s…. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was released when I was still in school and when certain recent school shootings were still in the public eye. It’s a vital piece of art which is sadly all the more powerful now, especially in the US. Although the climates and cultures of our two nations are very different, bullying and anger are universal. In my country, we have several groups who have no issue, at least historically, in blowing each other to hell yet thankfully guns in schools are not really a problem. We may live in a warzone, but at least we don’t go that far. Still, when I watched Parent’s Night, I was blown away and it remains the only time I’ve ever stood up and applauded something I’ve seen on TV. I hadn’t seen it in 17 or 18 years – since it was released, but in preparation for this post I watched it again, and it is still as haunting, stomach-churning, horrible, and sadly realistic as ever. It’s a near perfect view of what School could sometimes be like. I should stop prattling on about it – if you’ve ever valued my opinion on TV or Movies, then when I say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen, you should know to check it out. Click right here to watch on YouTube.

The Nightmare Room/The Haunting Hour (2001 – 2014)

We need something to calm us down after that. When I was a kid in the 90s we had Goosebumps and Are You Afraid Of The Dark? It turns out R.L Stine kept ’em coming, and in The Nightmare Room he made a follow-up series. It only lasted one season, but its thirteen (of course) episodes feature many a big name – Shia Labeouf, Frankie Muniz, Robert Englund, Angus Scrimm, Ken Foree, Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Bynes, and um… Allison Mack. Not content, Stine returned with The Haunting Hour which was more successful and ran for four seasons. The cool thing about The Haunting Hour is that it is much darker and graphic than the other two – it’s still for kids, older kids, but it definitely has an edge. Once again, a bunch of pretty teens who have gone on, or are currently on the hunt for greater fame, make an appearance, but I’m not as au fais with this bunch.

Thriller (US and UK 1960s and 1970s)

Two unrelated shows here, and neither have anything to do with Michael Jackson prancing his way up into yo’ bidness. The US show was a response to The Twilight Zone and saw Boris Karloff in the Serling role. While it’s not as strong as TTZ, it thankfully does feature stories written on directed by Ida Lupino, Robert Bloch, Arthur Hiller, Richard Matheson, and has many of the biggest stars of the time and the future (past) such as Shatner and other TTZ stalwarts. The British show came around a decade later and ran for six seasons. As with almost all these shows, it has a semi-iconic intro theme and title sequence. This show focused less on the supernatural and more on murder and mystery with people such as Robert Powell, Dennis Waterman, Helen Mirren, Haley Mills, Jenny Agutter, Francesca Annis, Stephen Rea, Denholm Elliot, Bob Hoskins, and many many others popping up.

Urban Gothic (2000)

My final choice popped up around the same time as Shockers – this being Channel 5’s attempt at late night anthology horror. The problem with the show was always that the running time didn’t allow the ideas to be fully fleshed – some ideas seemed ripe for either better writing or a 60 minute show instead of the 30 given. The cool thing about some of the stories though was that they had sequels or featured overlapping characters – it would have been nice to see this expanded beyond the two seasons which we ended up with. Once again you can catch these on DVD or some on YouTube to find out for yourself. Some highlights include Ingrid Pitt playing herself, Dirty Den essentially playing himself, necromancy, vampires, gangsters, zombies, serial killers in reality shows, all set in a by and large realistic view of British City life. My person favourite was always Be Movie, in which a group of school kids in detention find themselves stalked by a killer, yet if they try to leave the school… their heads explode. Just like my school then.

Which of these are you going to check out? Are there any forgotten anthology shows you want to raise awareness on? Which shows and episodes are your favourites? Let us know in the comments!

2018 In Film – A Preview – July – September

Popcorn

Lets see what the rest of the blockbuster season has to offer us in the upcoming year.

The Purge: The Island

As much as The Purge series seems, on the surface, to be right up my street, at the time of writing I still haven’t seen any of them. How good can a fourth entry be? Fourth entries are rarely good, but often enjoyable nonetheless. I’ll get to this once I get through the first three, and hopefully before the inevitable The Purge In Space comes along. I don’t know the director or the cast, with DeMonaco stepping back to only fulfill writing duties.

Ant-Man And The Wasp

You already know I haven’t seen Ant-Man yet. I do like Paul Rudd, and the trailer (for the original) seemed like lighter, less serious Marvel affair. Once again, I’ll get to it some day.

The Nun

A spin-off of The Conjuring series, this is sure to make a load of money, but I can’t imagine it being as successful as the core movies. I liked the first movie, wasn’t amazing, but I like how James Wan works and I like the cast – haven’t seen the second one yet. I love how this stars Taissa Farmiga, younger sister to Vera – Taissa is a very gifted actress too. This time Corin Hardy directs – he has one credit to his name so far, but it is a respectable one.

Hotel Transylvania 3

I’ve watched most of the first one – the same parts multiple times – due to my kids liking it. I think they have watched the second one, and I may have seen snippets of it. I assume this will be more of the same with diminished returns, though if it introduces more kids to horror then I’m all for it.

Skyscraper

The Rock continues his one man army romp through every action sub genre you can think of. This time he’s a former hostage negotiator and building security guy, so I’m assuming this is Die Hard again. But wait, Neve Campbell is on board. Regular Glancers will know that I’m actually (not) married to Neve, so you can be sure I’ll be seeing this. Thurber has worked with The Rock before, and I quite liked We’re The Millers, though that makes me think this could be more comedy than action.

Alita: Battle Angel

Isn’t this something that Jimmy Cameron was once involved in? Robert Rodriguez is now directing, and he’s always good for plenty of stylized action, even if he hasn’t had a major success story for a while. Look at the budget of this thing… it could be a mess, but I hope it’s good.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

No, we’re not going anywhere. The first one was fairly awful, so this will undoubtedly be worse.

Gaugin: Voyage De Tahiti

No idea, but Vincent Cassel is on board, and that’s usually enough for me.

Mission Impossible 6

It must be high time that someone else takes over the MI reigns from Tom Cruise. I love him in the role, and the movies are always enjoyable, but to turn the movie series into a full blown, long-lasting franchise, they’ll need to Bond it up and let someone else take over when Tom gets too old. I’ve only seen the second one in the cinema, but I’ll catch this on streaming.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

I was genuinely bewildered when I read a few posts saying people don’t enjoy this show and don’t have high hopes for the movie. The show is great! Clever, quirky, and a lot of fun. I mean, I don’t know if the rapid-fire style will work for a feature length, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin was always a bit of a dweeb. This Disney re-imagining focuses on him as a washed up grown up who has lost his imagination. Good director, good cast, but the Winnie The Poo series was always fluff so I’m not sure how much they can get out of this.

The Equalizer 2

I haven’t seen the first one and I didn’t really watch the series. Denzel hasn’t really convinced me as an action guy, but fine. Ah well, killing baddies is always good so I’m sure I’ll catch it late some night when I’m old and deformed.

The Predator

Given that Predator is one of my favourite films of all time, it’s a guarantee I’ll be seeing this. I’m not sure about the premise – being set in suburbia and all, but Shane Black is involved, and I’ve pretty much loved or enjoyed everything he’s ever touched (including Predator). I like the sequel, the spin-offs are mostly muck, and Predators was decent fun. If Arnie had been nailed down for this, it would be my most anticipated movie of the year.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Is this another Austin Powers? No. It’s an action comedy from Lionsgate with Mila Kunis and a few other random big names. How good can it possibly be? I’m all for the female director and apparent focus on women, but I can’t say I have high, or any, hopes.

Barbie

I’m a dad to two girls. Lets not pretend that there aren’t already a million Barbie movies. And the Life In The Dreamhouse series. I’ve seen most of the straight to DVD efforts, but this is of course going to be a big release. Hold on, this has mysteriously moved out of 2018 to 2020. Oh well, I’ve typed it here now. Regardless, there should have been a Barbie live action movie in the 90s with Stacey Keibler. You know it.

The Meg

I love shark movies. I just do. Even when they’re not good, I’ll still watch, and almost all of them are not good. I haven’t read the books that this is based on, but it’s sharks and Jason Statham, so I’ll be seeing it. Jon Turtletaub as director doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence – Cool Runnings is awful… yeah, most of his movies have not been good, but I did like While You Were Sleeping for some reason, and he has some decent TV credits. I’m sure this will be crap, but hopefully good crap.

Scarface

Why? Apparently Diego Luna and The Coen Brothers are involved, so that’s good. But why?

The Nightingale

Australian period revenge thriller, for the ladies? Cool. I loved The Babadook, so lets hope this is good too.

My Son

No clue, but Melanie Laurent is usually enough for me. Canet is cool too, and Carion’s Joyeuz Noel was pretty good.

Crazy Rich Asians

As much as I’m happy for a mainstream American movie with an Asian cast, it’s a romantic comedy based on a book being directed by a guy who does dance and Beiber movies. So I think I’ll pass.

White Boy Rick

Now we’re talking – Yann Demange’s follow up to the fantastic ’71 – a film close to my heart… and house, this has a great cast – Piper Laurie, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Matthew McConaughey. I don’t know anything about the plot but this all points towards potential greatness.

Captive State

Is this the American District 9? Set in Chicago about citizens after colonization by aliens, so this stinks of politics. Vera Farmiga and John Goodman, and Rupert Wyatt’s three filmd so far have been strong. Hopeful.

The Happytime Murders

This is the puppet one, right? It’s unfortunate then that the cast is populated with, well, puppets. It’s every comedian from those films I don’t like very much. Could still be good though, cos it’s puppets. It ain’t no Farscape though. Seriously – watch Farscape. 

Three Seconds

Crime thriller with a good cast… these can be fine or forgettable, but they rarely make a huge impact on me unless they’re exceptional.

Cadaver

No clue about the plot or director, and a cast of youngish pretty people. It’s horror. As it’s horror I’m always hopeful, and I’m always going to see it, but with the details above I’m sure it won’t be anything special.

Replicas

Keanu Reeves sci fi? Naturally I’m in. The plot seems interesting enough – a futuristic Pet Sematary but with some sort of Handmaid’s Tale twist. Nachmanoff has had successes as a writer, less so with his movie directing.

Kin

Brothers on the run from baddies and monsters and something about a mysterious weapon – sounds like a nonsense, but exactly the sort of nonsense I love. Some biggish names here.

The Little Stranger

Lenny Abrahamson’s latest appears to be a haunted house movie. Good good, but again these have a a habit of focusing on fashion and setting rather than plot or scares. Good cast too so I’ll hope for good reviews.

New Line Horror Film

Is it a new Elm Street?

The Darkest Minds

Based on a YA series I’ve never heard of. So I assume lots of teen romance. Probably guff, but again I’ll take a look if reviews and trailer are good.

Alpha

A boy and a wolf, thousands of years ago. Cool. Lets hope it’s not a CG wolf. The Hughes Brothers haven’t made enough movies over the years, but they are generally strong and interesting when they do.

Fighting My Family

I don’t like Stephen Merchant. I find his humour as funny as… well, Ricky Gervais. However, this is a wrestling movie featuring some wrestlers, based on the true story of… wait for it… Paige. As a pretty big wrestling fan I’m sure I’ll see this, but this has several WTFs… why isn’t Paige just in this as herself? She’s only 25, yet here she is being played by a 22 year old. Is it because Vince McMahon owns her? And what about the whole sex tape business – did that throw a spanner in the works? Does a 25 year old really merit a biography, especially when most of the world have no clue who she is? Will WWE start making films about all of their superstars? This could be the weirdest film ever.

Johnny English 3

Yay? Rowan Atkinson is a God. I mean, I’d much rather have a new Mr Bean series, but I’ll take what I can get. Kerr is a fellow Northern Irish guy, so I suppose I should support him? Fuck that, I don’t give a shit about such things – he has been involved in some good shows though. No Natalie Imbruglia again 😦

The House With A Clock in Its Walls

Is this Eli Roth putting all his cards on the table and going all in? I can’t think of any more poker metaphors, but you get the idea. This seems to be a big budget Del Toro style movie rather than his usual grindhouse fare. Big cast too – Kyle Machlachlan, Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Colleen Camp returning after Knock Knock. I know nothing of the story it’s based on.

Robin Hood

Seriously, how many of these do we need? Have we had a Detroit based one where Robin Hood is a gangsta? The Ridley Scott was wank, and its attempt at being gritty has ticked that box, so what’s left?

Night School

I read that name and guessed it would be another one of ‘those comedies’. That’s it, purely based on the name. Of course I’m right. Keith David is in it…. that’s maybe my only reason to watch.

Smallfoot

Is this another Land Before Time? Yeah, I know that was Little Foot. Hold on, is this seriously another Land Before Time? No, but it is some sort of prehistoric animated thing. The cast is a mess, and the director is Disney-lite, so this will be balls. In fact, there will probably be a joke about (snow) balls in the trailer.

The Kid Who Would Be King

Joe, of Adam And Joe (and laughing at Taffin) fame follows up Attack The Block with what appears to be a retelling of The Sword In The Stone. As I mentioned above for Robin Hood, we’ve already had the gangsta, ‘gritty’ retelling, so what’s left? This seems more like a coming of age comedy, so could be good.

Boy Erased

Speaking of coming of age, this looks like a Joel Edgerton passion project. I prefer coming of age films to be universal, and this seems to focus on a gay kid in a religious small town. Having said that, I generally like these films and the cast and director are all strong, so hoping it’s good.

Let us know in the comments which films you’re looking forward to!

 

2018 In Film: Preview April – June

Popcorn

The first three months were… underwhelming for me? As we near blockbuster season, there’s likely more films I’d be keen on being released in this quarter so lets take a look.

Blockers

It’s called Blockers and there’s a picture of a cockerel on the poster. It’s American Pie 12! This seems to be the same premise as American Pie but more from the girls’ perspective as a group of young ladies aim to get their first stiff one at the Prom. The cast doesn’t look promising and it’s directed by writer of those dreadful Pitch Perfect movies. I’ll pass.

A Quiet Place

A horror movie with a sort of interesting premise – a family is haunted by some evil entity which is attracted to sound… so Tremors but without the soil penis monsters. They apparently use sign language… but what if they sneeze? Or fart?

Show Dogs

This sounds like another one of those weird movies where they CG the mouths of various animals or children to make it look as if they are talking. Maybe they will just make it more like Look Who’s Talking. Either way, this looks terrible, with rappers and ex-sports men propping up the voice cast, although the director has a history in average, yet successful family movies.

You Were Never Really Here

This one looks interesting and could be one of Amazon’s first success stories. I don’t know much about the source material, but the film has received strong early positive feedback and Joaquin Phoenix is always good. Director Lynne Ramsey is someone who gets childhood and doesn’t gloss over the fear and distress of that part of our lives.

Chappaquiddick

This appears to be a political drama getting released at the optimal time for fiery debate. I don’t care about US Politics, or know much about it, but this is based on that time Ted Kennedy crashed his car, killing the girl who was with him, and apparently tried to cover it up or at least save his own ass. The lesson here is – all politicians are scumbags, every single one. Good cast, decent director.

The New Mutants

An XMen spin off, this seems to focus on a group of youngsters. Historically, when you put the word ‘New’ in front of an existing franchise it becomes the death knell of said franchise. The Director has done sucky teen romance till now, so you can be sure there’s going to be a lot of sucky teen romance in this. Then again, Buffy is the best thing ever and it did teen romance the right way, so I’ll give this a chance. I haven’t loved an X-Men movie since the second one, but this features Alice Braga who I will watch in anything.

The Rider

Chloe Zhao’s second film hopefully will provide her more exposure – however I have no idea what it’s about based on the wiki entry alone. It seems to star real life siblings and two people playing themselves, so presumably there’s a focus on family, friendship…. who knows?

Beirut

There was a joke when I was growing up in war torn 1980s Northern Ireland… ‘at least we don’t live in Beirut’. Anytime someone was shot or a place was bombed, we’d say something like that. This has an interesting enough cast and Brad Anderson’s films tend to be taut and dark which will hopefully raise this above a mere by the numbers thriller. I’m not sure I buy Rosamund Pike as a CIA action hero type though.

The Miracle Season

It’s a sports movie. Moreover, it’s an American sports movie. I watched NBA in the late 90s, early 2000s, so outside of that the only American sport I watch is WWE and TNA. McNamara makes family movies, and the cast includes a couple of upcoming youngsters… is this going to be about little league? Netball? Either way, you can almost guarantee I won’t see this unless reviews are outstanding.

Sgt Stubby: An American Hero

Animated movie about a dog who did some heroic stuff in WWI. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I doubt I’ll see this.

Dolphins

I’ve never actually watched anything like this on the big screen. I love nature and animal documentaries, not so much a fan of the stuff Disney has done, more the Attenborough style.

Rampage

The Rock sure loves getting stuck into these existing IP doesn’t he? I think we all know this is going to be a CG messfest, but The Rock is always watchable. I imagine I’ll catch this on streaming at some point in the future, depending on reviews.

Tully

We’ve had Bully, Sully, and now Tully. How about a Krull sequel – Krully? No? This is Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, so should be good. Decent cast, but I have no idea what it’s about.

Overboard

Why? Why in Gandalf’s name does this need to be remade? It was crap first time around and absolutely nothing and nobody involved here makes me think it’s going to be any different. Still, it’ll make more money than you’ll make in your lifetime.

Super Troopers 2

I always got Super Trooper mixed up with Reno 911! I never watched either, but I saw a few scenes from one of them and laughed…. This appears to have the same director and cast as the first movie, but it’s seventeen years later. Usually stuff which comes back so much later is depressing.

Duck Duck Goose

I think the most notable thing to say about this is that the great Carl Reiner is in it – still going at 95. Jenkins has some pedigree in the animation business having worked on a number of classics, but how good can a cartoon about a goose really be?

The House Of Tomorrow

Wiki has no synopsis aside from saying it’s a drama. Ellen Burstyn is there.

Truth Or Dare

On name alone this is either a teen horror or sex comedy. I was never popular enough to play such things. Or stupid enough, thankfully. It’s a horror, with college students, so I’ll say I was right. The director has done a variety of films, none of which I’ve seen, and it stars a bunch of pretty young singers and performers who have mostly appeared in crap. You can see where this is going….

Traffik

I don’t know what this is, but the director’s previous films have mostly earned negative reviews.

Disobedience

Based on a book I’d never heard of, about a lesbian woman who is the daughter of a rabbi as she… does stuff? Not normally the sort of thing to leap out at me, but it has received great reviews till now. Lelio makes interesting films and I like Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.

Godard Mon Amour

A documentary. Presumably about Godard.

Selfie Dad

Wikipedia doesn’t have a synopsis, but it’s listed as Comedy/Drama/Faith. No-one in the cast I care about, sounds like a disaster all around.

Avengers: Infinity War

So, I recall last year the internet going buck nuts when this trailer dropped. Why? Because it has all the people from all the different (same) movies appearing for about three seconds – which is likely half the time each of them will appear in the final product? Fine, I can appreciate that, I understand it’s cool all these people meeting and showing up in the same movie. But the trailer looked like every other Marvel movie, with lots of ‘splosions, some Iron Man quips, and… that’s about it? I haven’t seen the second Avengers movie yet but I suppose I’ll get to that and this at some stage. I’d be more excited if the films weren’t so generic and forgettable. Can’t anyone make decent, exciting action movies anymore?

Animal Crackers

This could be a mess, but at least it sounds more interesting than some, with Stallone, McKellen, Blunt, De Vito and others in the voice cast. It’s about a family who inherit a zoo and find magical animal crackers which turn you into whatever animal they depict. WTF.

The Guardians

French drama. No idea what it’s about, but the director has made some decent movies. Stars mother and daughter in Nathalie Baye and Laura Smet.

Life Of The Party

Starring and written by Melissa McCarthy, so we already know what this is going to be. Looks like a mainly female cast, fair enough. The Director has made a bunch of McCarthy movies, so expect more of the same.

Action Point

An action comedy about a theme park, starring Johnny Knoxville and Party Boy. The kicker is that it’s directed by Tim Kirkby who directed Look Around You – one of the best things in human history. Still, this is probably going to be crap, but you know I’ll be seeing it.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

I was all ready to destroy this based on the name alone, then I saw it was Richard Linklater who generally doesn’t make bad movies. Listen to the first part of the synopsis ‘Bernadette hates people, she hates leaving the house, and more than anything, she hates the other parents at her daughter’s school’. I am Bernadette. Good cast… highish hopes for this one.

Slender Man

I mean, I guess the character and story of Slender Man are creepy if you’re twelve years old and telling stories around the campfire. This follows a group of ‘teenagers’. Why not actually make the creature stalk kids – like no older than twelve, but make it a serious horror movie, or at least something like IT? Because then we couldn’t have bewbs, and bewb associates. Expect crappy jumpscares, though the director does have some pedigree.

Solo, A Star Wars Story

See, the problem I have with this is… I was always much more of a Luke fan, but A New Hope is essentially the start of Luke’s life – we don’t need anything more beyond that. Do we need a Leia origin story? Probably not. So we’re left with Han. I think we already know everything we need to about his character – charming rogue, gets into scrapes, hangs with Wookies. I’m not sure we need this. I’ll be first in line though.

Deadpool 2

I still haven’t seen the first one. I still can’t get around the fact that it’s Ryan Reynolds as he has been barely better than terrible in almost anything I’ve seen him in. But for all intents I should love the first Deadpool. You know the drill – I’ll get to it.

Ocean’s 8

I haven’t seen any of the bloke Ocean’s movies (aside from the 60s one) and I’ve never had any particular urge to do so. This one is presumably the same as those, but with women.

Breaking In

McTeigue is known more for his assistant work rather than his own directorial efforts right? Everything he’s worked on though has a clear, visual, cinematic flair. I wasn’t a fan of V For Vendetta and haven’t seen his other work as a director. This seems like a more down to earth affair – no ninja’s, or futures, or sci-fi stuff here, just a mother and her kids. I like home invasion type movies, but they never make me run out to the cinema. One more thing – this poster, like many many others (and trailers too) promotes the good old ‘from the Producer(s) of’. What does that even mean? I don’t give a damn about Producers. This is basically saying, for the less cine-literate, ‘remember that movie that made a bunch of money – we had nothing to do with its success but our name was attached so you might like this one too’. It’s the equivalent of sticking some lifeless supermodel into one of those horrible adverts for aftershave.

Tag

So, I guess I like the idea of this, but I know exactly how it will be executed, given the writer and cast. Still, could be good. On a personal note – I used to do this all the time when I was young. We would have games of tag which would spread out all over town and through the countryside. I even made it to Scarborough once, which is a different fecking country, so I already have this movie beat. And I was fourteen.

On Chesil Beach

So… directed by a CBE theatre dude, written by one of Britain’s most revered authors, and starring some of Britain’s most respected performers? I couldn’t be less interested though – I didn’t like Atonement and Ronan has a habit of appearing in starchy dramas that I can do without. It’s about a man, or a couple, looking back over their lives and separation and wondering ‘what if’. Fair enough, but not my thing.

Paved New World

This is a Disney, presumably non-animated, comedy. I have no idea because when I click on it in Wiki, it takes me to someone called ‘Tilky Jones’ who was in something called ‘Take 5’. In other words, I will never see this.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The trailer for this seemingly saw saw negative reaction… though I’m not sure why. it has dinosaurs, and running away from dinosaurs, and…. what else do you need? It certainly had me more interested than ‘generic Marvel superhero mashup #15’. I don’t expect this to be as good as Jurassic World or of course Jurassic Park, but if there’s dinosaur action without the wanky wankiness of Part 3, then I’m all in.

Sicario 2

Sicario was great. We can’t hope that this will be in the same league, but with the cast and director, surely it can’t be awful.

Valley Girl

Unless this is about slaying vampires, I don’t think I’ll care. I see Marti Noxon is invovled, so maybe it will be! Ahhh right, it’s a(nother) remake, this time a cheesy Nic Cage movie. Why isn’t Nicolas Cage in this again? It can’t be much worse than anything else he’s doing these days. This is going to be a complete piss-take, right?

I Feel Pretty

Yeah? Well you look like shit. Someone’s going to say that line, or some synonym of it. Some woman bangs her head and believes she’s awesome. Methinks there are lot of people who have bumped their heads in the world.

Uncle Drew

A comedy about basketball or something. Plenty of basketball stars in the cast. Don’t care.

Incredibles 2

It was only last year, maybe the year before, that I saw the first Incredibles. I quite liked it, but I think it was the sheer pace and energy I appreciated rather than the humour or characters or story. I hear this is going to focus more on Jack Jack, who was my daughters’ favourite character. This will be one to stream.

Let us know in the comments which movies being released from April – June you’re looking forward to most!