The Night Eats The World

Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend is my favourite book of all time. Beyond its influence on horror (no I Am Legend, then no Night Of The Living Dead, no Stephen King, and nothing which either of those two examples have influenced) it remains a stone-cold classic, chilling, prescient, written with a surgeon’s precision and nerve, and it is filled with horror, humour, despair, and acceptance in defeat. It’s so rarely included on any best books of the 20th Century lists as to render those lists worthless. Aside from the many films, TV shows, and books which it has spawned, there have been a few direct or pseudo direct adaptations – The Last Man, The Omega Man, and Will Smith’s I Am Legend. None of those are worth watching more than once, and none come close to the majesty of Matheson’s original. Although it is completely unofficial and not mentioned anywhere as being an influence, The Night Eats The World is the best film version of Matheson’s story we have so far. Interestingly, the movie is in fact an adaptation of a different book by Pit Agarmen/Martin Page which I have not yet read but almost certainly borrows from Matheson.

Just to expand further on that point – both works see a man left seemingly alone in the world, surrounded by the undead. In I Am Legend they are vampires, and here they are zombies, but they are fairly interchangeable – all they want is to kill the lone survivor. The survivor in each spends his days barricading himself up, scavenging for food and supplies, keeping fit, and trying to not go insane. I Am Legend has a dog, The Night Eats The World has a cat. Both are character studies on the nature and notion of survival, on humanity, on loneliness, and while Matheson goes all in on the scientific side, here director Dominique Rocher is more concerned with philosophy, with tone, with cinema. Both works discuss whether the human is now useless – a soon to be extinct relic no longer required by nature and that the undead are the new normal. Our hero in the movie, Sam, discusses this as he descends into madness with a zombie named Alfred which he traps in a lift shaft. Those viewers looking for a straight horror movie may want to look elsewhere because while there are scares – effective ones – this is not supposed to be a visceral experience and instead is a rumination on existence when there seems to be no future – an idea so horrifying you’d struggle to name one worse.

Sam is a musician living in Paris. The film begins with him visiting an ex-girlfriend to pick up some of his recorded pieces of music. Unaware that she is having a monumental party in her apartment block he struggles with the pretentious people, the strangers, the crowds, and the sheer awkwardness of being there. With little to no dialogue or interaction we are put firmly in his shoes and know pretty much everything we need to know about him. A series of unfortunate events lead to Sam falling asleep in a locked room while the camera slowly zooms towards the door as familiar sounds of carnage erupt briefly. The next morning Sam wakes, finds the apartment empty but destroyed and filled with blood. He meets his zombified ex-girlfriend, locks himself away, and soon discovers that some cataclysmic event has unfolded leaving him abandoned an alone. Cultured viewers already know the zombie tropes, so the film doesn’t need to bore us with explanations or examples of how you’re turned, how to kill them, et cetera, and Sam simply resigns himself to the facts. He is alone, he needs food, he needs water, he needs shelter. The rest of the film is a showcase for these struggles, but more importantly what to do with his time and with his existence once these struggles have been overcome.

Sam is as uncomfortable with people as he is without. His descent towards insanity is gradual, shown in clever ways such as terrifying nightmares, possible hallucinations, definite hallucinations, and other subtle and not so subtle changes in his personality and actions. I’ve often wondered how I would cope under the same strains. Part of me thinks I would have the time of my life – free to do whatever I wanted and perfectly fine with never meeting another living soul again. Then again, that was before I had a family. And I’m essentially useless at DIY, cooking, farming, and anything else needed for surviving under these conditions. And most of the things I’d want to do would be rendered obsolete by the fact that electricity would be gone and a step outside would likely lead to certain death. Like many of its ilk, the film forces these questions and assumptions upon the viewer, though this is the most effective example I’ve seen since Dawn Of The Dead. 

The film is a slow-burner. There is almost no dialogue, and any violence and action when it comes is swift and brief. For me this worked, especially knowing Sam’s character and within the self-defined constrictions of the piece, but I understand that other viewers may get frustrated or even bored by the unfolding story. A few negative reviews have gone so far as calling it dull and a few have been angered by the open-ended conclusion. This isn’t a film which has a beginning and an end. This is a few months in the life of a man trapped and buried by insurmountable odds, and the conclusion is simply one more step – a step towards more of the same, or a step towards whatever is next is down to the viewer to assess. Again, you’ve asked what you would do if faced with the same situation – what would you do faced with the ending?

Anders Danielsen Lie is an up and coming star, with a number of notable releases and performances in this and recent years. The film belongs almost entirely to him and the director, who I can only assume worked closely on most aspects. His performance is gritty and quietly powerful, avoiding many of the usual hallmarks of the ‘guy goes mad’ story. Without becoming too extreme in any single direction, he runs the gamut of emotions and remains convincing throughout. Rocher is surely a name to watch now too, the latest director to wield a more subtle approach to terrifying audiences, and I will be excited to see what her comes up with next. His camera rarely jump-cuts or moves beyond a pedestrian pace and he is more interested in how desolate a room or a city can look than how bloody a person can be when being torn to shreds. The decision to make zombies almost completely silent is more potent than it sounds and leads to some of the more frightening encounters in many years. A strong soundtrack fills out some of the empty spaces and a few supporting characters add to the overall quality and effect. Although I admit to being predisposed to loving this, it is a highly recommended voyage into the horror of solitude. Train To Busan came from nowhere and thrilled audiences and rejuvenated a genre everyone was sick with – The Night Eats The World does the same, but in an entirely different style. In a year where horror saw a number of major financial and critical successes, and in a year where I read countless best movie of the year posts featuring every Superhero movie under the sun, The Night Eats The World is not being discussed by anyone but should be leapfrogging its way onto every series movie fan’s list.

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2018 In Memoriam Part 4

Scott Wilson (March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018)

Known most widely in recent years due to his work as Hershel on The Walking Dead, Wilson career stretches back to the 1960s and covers TV and Movies. He will be remembered for works including In The Heat Of The Night, The Ninth Configuration, Junebug, The Last Samurai, and CSI. 

Will Vinton (November 17, 1947 – October 4, 2018)

Although he should be a much more famous name in the US due to his work on commercials and TV specials, his work is also universal. He won one Oscar and was nominated two others, and he worked on Moonwalker, Return To Oz, Speed Demon, and The Adventures Of Mark Twain. 

Raymond Chow (8 October 1927 – 2 November 2018)

It’s not a stretch to say that Chow was one of the most important figures in the history of cinema, creating Golden Harvest and essentially enabling Martial Arts movies and Hong Kong Cinema to exist. Without Raymond Chow, there would be no Jackie Chan, no Bruce Lee, and likely a very different approach to action cinema.

Douglas Rain (March 13, 1928 – November 11, 2018)

Rain was a respected theatre actor and appeared in various TV series and TV movies, but his most well known role was as the voice of HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey and its sequel.

Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018)

It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. The ever youthful Stan Lee worked right up until his last days and was a huge supporter of visiting comic cons and speaking with fans – only right as he essentially invented the whole thing. Much of modern pop culture in the last 10 years has been shaped by him thanks to the MCU domination, but his career goes all the way back to the 1930s and his creations have appeared on TV and movies for almost as long. If you somehow still don’t know him, he’s the man behind Spiderman, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and basically most of their surrounding cast, and as well as appearing in most of the MCU movie and TV creations he can be seen in X-Men, Deadpool, Mallrats, Teen Titans Go To The Movies, Muppet Babies, The Simpsons, and many many more.

William Goldman (August 12, 1931 – November 16, 2018)

One of the best combination screenwriter/authors of the 20th Century, Goldman was a two time Academy Award winner and created seminal works in at least four decades including Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, The Princess Bride, Misery, and Marathon Man. 

Nicolas Roeg CBE (15 August 1928 – 23 November 2018)

One of the most influential and respected British directors ever, Roeg’s films included adult and children’s horror, sci-fi, comedy, drama. Starting out as a cinematographer working on Lawrence Of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Casino Royale, Roeg found his own voice and delivered classics including Don’t Look Now, The Witches, Walkabout, and The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Ricky Jay (June 26, 1946 – November 24, 2018)

Primarily a magician, Jay’s stage presence enabled him to find a way into numerous TV shows and movies in often memorable cameos including The X Files, Boogie Nights, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The Prestige. 

Stephen Hillenburg (August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018)

It’s another name which many people won’t be familiar with, but you will certainly be familiar with his work. Hillenburg was the creator of Spongebob Squarepants which won him a couple of Emmys. Prior to that he worked on, and eventually became lead director on Rocko’s Modern Life. 

Bernardo Bertolucci (16 March 1941 – 26 November 2018)

It’s not easy being controversial, polarizing, influential, award winning, successful, and have a career lasting sixty years, but Bertolucci ticked each of those boxes thanks to films such as The Conformist, Last Tango In Paris, The Dreamers, The Last Emperor, and Little Buddha. It’s difficult to understate the loss to the film world that Bertolucci’s passing is.

Don Lusk (October 28, 1913 – December 30, 2018)

One of the last surviving animators from the Golden Age of Disney, Lusk began working for the company in 1933 and his touch can be seen on films such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, and Fantasia. Outside of Disney he also worked as an animator and director for various shows and movies including Tom And Jerry, The Smurfs, Peanuts, and The Flintstones. 

Ringo Lam (1955 – December 29, 2018)

A huge loss to the Asian movie industry and action movies everywhere, Ringo Lam was a director, writer, and occasional actor whose films had a major influence on Hollywood. He will be remembered for films such as City On Fire, Full Contact, Twin Dragons, and Maximum Risk.

Dame June Whitfield (11 November 1925 – 28 December 2018)

A stage and radio performer in the 1940s, Whitfield gained her most popular roles in a run of sitcoms in the 80s and 90s even though she had performed on TV and in films consistently in the decades between. She will be remembered for The Carry On Series, The Benny Hill Show, Terry And June, Doctor Who, Friends, and Absolutely Fabulous.

Robert Kerman (December 16, 1947 – December 27, 2018)

A mainstay of all those porn movies from the 70s that your dad watched, Kerman was a trained actor who also appeared in a number of notable films including Spiderman, Cannibal Holocaust, Night Of The Creeps, and No Way Out. 

Donald Moffat (26 December 1930 – 20 December 2018)

Starting out with a stage career which led to a Tony nominations, Moffat remains most well known for his TV and film work including The Thing (Gary), Clear And Present Danger (The President), License To Kill (Webster), and Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. 

Peter Masterson (June 1, 1934 – December 18, 2018)

Actor, director, writer, Masterson appears in films such as The Exorcist and In The Heat Of The Night, directed The Trip To Bountiful and Lost Junction, and wrote The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. 

Penny Marshall (October 15, 1943 – December 17, 2018)

One of the first truly successful female directors in Hollywood, Marshall made her name as an actress first, earning multiple Golden Globe nominations for Laverne And Shirley while also appearing in Happy Days, The Odd Couple, The Simpsons and other seminal shows. She directed films including Big, Awakenings, and A League Of Their Own. 

Rob Deshotel

A TV producer and writer, Rob worked on That 70s Show, Fantasy Island, and Man With A Plan while also contributing to over thirty episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, including writing personal favourite episodes Killed By Death and The Puppet Show. 

Roger (2006 -2018)

Roger was that kangeroo everyone knew, shared in memes for his beast mode physique.

The Dynamite Kid (5 December 1958 – 5 December 2018)

Thomas Billington, better known as The Dynamite Kid was one half of The British Bulldogs and one of the most successful British wrestlers of all time winning multiple titles across the globe including the WWE Tag Championship.

Geoff Murphy (12 October 1938 – 3 December 2018)

One of the first majorly successful directors from New Zealand, Geoff Murphy acted as a 2nd Unit Director on the LOTR Trilogy but also directed his own films including Young Guns 2, Under Siege 2, and The Quiet Earth. 

Feel free to share any memories of those who died in 2018 in the comments.

2018 In Memoriam Part Two

Michael Anderson (30 January 1920 – 25 April 2018)

Almost reaching the age of One Hundred, Anderson had a long and varied career starting in the 1930s. Some of his many TV and Film credits include Logan’s Run, The Dam Busters, Around The World In 80 Days, and The Martian Chronicles. 

Arthur B Rubinstein (March 31, 1938 – April 23, 2018)

Another composer and another non-household name deserving of recognition, Rubenstein worked on the scores for works including WarGames, Blue Thunder, the Stakeout series, The Simpsons, and Tiny Toon Adventures.

Verne Troyer (January 1, 1969 – April 21, 2018)

Known to most as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers series, Troyer performed in a variety of other shows and movies including Jingle All The Way, Men In Black, Fear And Loathing In las Vegas and as a regular guest on popular British game show Celebrity Juice. 

Bruno Sammartino (October 6, 1935 – April 18, 2018)

Every year brings a number of deaths in the Wrestling world, but few would have the impact of the loss of Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino. Sammartino set a world record for bench pressing in the 1950s and holds the record for both longest single WWE title reign and longest time as champion at eleven YEARS. One suspects that these records will never be topped, as much as Brock Lesnar would love to try.

Pamela Gidley (June 11, 1965 – April 16, 2018)

Gidley is most widely known as the ill-fated Teresa Banks in Fire Walk With Me, but also starred in TV shows Angel Street, Strange Luck, The Pretender, and movies including Thrashin’, and The Little Vampire. 

Harry Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018)

Harry Anderson was a recognisable face on stage as a comedian and magician and on the big and small screen as an all round performer – you’ll known him from Cheers, SNL, IT, Night Court, and Dave’s World. 

R Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018)

Ermy had one of the most enduring screen voices and presences no doubt enabled by his years as a marine and drill instructor, and popularized by appearances in Full Metal Jacket, Toy Story Series, Apocalypse Now, Body Snatchers, Starship Troopers, Willard, and The Simpsons. 

Milos Forman (18 February 1932 – 13 April 2018)

One of the most successful directors from Europe who transitioned to Hollywood, Forman’s films received over 30 Oscar nominations and almost twenty wins including two wins for Best Director. He is known for films including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s  Nest, Amadeus, Man On The Moon, and The People Versus Larry Flynt.

Isao Takahata (October 29, 1935 – April 5, 2018)

One of the most famous directors of animated work whose name isn’t Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata formed Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki and worked on most of the studio’s earliest hits. He directed many classics including Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko, Only Yesterday, and The Tale Of Princess Kaguya. 

Eric Bristow MBE (25 April 1957 – 5 April 2018)

Bristow was one of the most famous Darts players in the world and one of the first to truly popularize the sport. A five time World Champion along with many other accomplishments, Bristow also worked as a TV pundit for the sport and appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. 

Joe Jackson (July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018)

Patriarch of The Jackson Family, it is fairly safe to say that without Joe there would be no Jackson Five, no Bad, no Thriller, no Rhythm Nation. Strict with his children, his training and managing of them led to some of the greatest music the world has ever heard.

Vinnie Paul (March 11, 1964 – June 22, 2018)

The older brother of Dimebag Darrell who he founded Pantera with, Paul’s drums set the tone for the groove metal band as well as their later collaboration Damageplan.

Koko (July 4, 1971 – June 19, 2018)

Arguably the most famous Gorilla not named Kong, Koko was famous for her relationships with humans, cats, and her seemingly amazing ability to learn, understand, and use sign language. Not only could Koko respond accurately to questions using sign language, she could ask her own, hold conversations, train other gorillas in its usage, and every so often merge signs to deceive or make jokes as well as creatively making up her own combinations of signs to describe objects or feelings she had not been taught the signs for. The star of many viral videos and documentaries, Koko was also known for caring for and loving cats.

Vader (May 14, 1955 – June 18, 2018)

The Wrestling world suffered another major loss this year, one I was much more familiar with. Vader was one of the biggest and best super heavyweight wrestlers in the world. As with most wrestlers he worked in multiple promotions around the world, including WCW, TNA, and WWE, his monster style no barrier to his aerial stunts and speed.

Leslie Grantham (30 April 1947 – 15 June 2018)

I’m conflicted in talking about Grantham, given his shady past – he served ten years in prison for murder – and the man he killed (Felix Reese) likely never gets spoken of. Grantham was a mainstay on British Television thanks to his role as Dirty Den on Eastenders, but also appeared in Doctor Who, Cleudo, and Urban Gothic. 

Eunace Gayson (17 March 1928 – 8 June 2018)

The first Bond girl, appearing in the first two movies in the series as Sylvia Trench, Gayson’s career started in the 40s, preferring to work on Stage but nevertheless also appearing in Carry On Admiral and The Revenge Of Frankenstein.

Nikolai Volkoff (October 14, 1947 – July 29, 2018)

Yet another major Wrestling loss, Volkoff was known for partnering/feuding with the likes of Sgt. Slaughter, Million Dollar Man, and The Iron Sheik, becoming one of the most popular villains of the 80s and 90s, winning the Tag Belt at the first Wrestlemania.

 

2018 – In Memoriam Part One

It’s that time of the year again, when we look forwards, backwards, and under (the tree). We are thankful for who and what we have, and remember those we’ve lost. In the last twelve months or so, I’ve lost a Grandmother to old age, an Aunt to Cancer, a friend to depression and addiction, and a friend’s kid to murder. I set up this blog primarily to post my old movie reviews from IMDB but as I just can’t help myself, it grew into other movie posts, music reviews, lists, and assorted crap, though I have always kept it as a secret space away from my personal life. With this yearly post I take a look at those famous faces who died in the year and who meant something to me – whether it be a movie they were involved in, because of a ball they kicked well, or because they played a mean guitar. I’m writing this on 11/28/2018 – these posts usually take a few weeks to write, so between now and then the Reaper’s Scythe will likely fall again. I will update as I go along, but I plan to post as close to the end of the year as possible – I’m sure I’ve missed some, but feel free to add anyone important to you in the comments.

John Morris (October 18, 1926 – January 25, 2018)

John Morris was one of the many composers in the movie industry whose name is not instantly recognizable, yet whose music will be familiar to many. Starting out composing successfully for Broadway, Morris wrote and produced his own musical before meeting Mel Brooks and heading to Hollywood. There he would write the scores for The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The Elephant Man (Oscar Nominated), Clue, Spaceballs, Dirty Dancing, and more.

Jack Ketchum (November 10, 1946 – January 24, 2018)

As a life long horror fan, I somehow only made my way to Jack Ketchum in my late twenties. Like many writers of genre fiction, Ketchum was an anti-social imaginative child but it was his meeting with Robert Bloch which cemented his path. Ketchum would be known for his highly controversial and bloody tales such as Off Season, The Girl Next Door, and many short stories such as The Box many of which have been adapted to film.

Moya O’Sullivan (8 June 1926 – 16 January 2018)

Unless you’re Australian or a fan of Neighbours you probably won’t recognise the name. Moya appeared on TV for over 60 years but I know her as Marlene Kratz from Neighbours – a character I admit I never liked but hand the credit for that to O’Sullivan’s acting.

Dolores O’Riordan (6 September 1971 – 15 January 2018)

Although I was never a fan of The Cranberries, there’s no doubting the impact and influence Dolores and her band had on other artists and my friends, and for a number of my teenage years you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing her voice.

Hugh Wilson (August 21, 1943 – January 14, 2018)

If you know me or follow the blog you’ll know that The Police Academy series is one of my favourites – completely brilliant in its juvenile silliness. Hugh Wilson co-wrote and directed the first and best movie in the series as well as working on The Bob Newhart Show, Rough Riders, The First Wives Club and others.

Eddie Clarke (5 October 1950 – 10 January 2018)

The last surviving member of the original Motorhead lineup passed this year, guitarist Fast Eddie following bandmates Lemmy and Phil Philthy Animal Taylor. Clarke started out as a Blues guitarist but provided much of the pace and venom for Motorhead’s early hits.

Tommy Lawrence (14 May 1940 – 10 January 2018)

Lawrence was the goalkeeper for Liverpool FC at the start of their first Golden Age, playing for the club over 300 times in a twenty year period, winning the league twice and the FA Cup once before handing over to the young Ray Clemence.

Lewis Gilbert CBE (6 March 1920 – 23 February 2018)

Gilbert was one of the key icons of the Swinging Sixties, though many people today would not recognise his name. Directing Alfie in 1966 may have been his commercial and critical peak, though beforehand he had directed many successful films including HMS Defiant and Sink The Bismark, and afterwards he continued this trend with hits such as Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita. I will remember him most fondly for directing three James Bond films, including my favourite from the Connery era – You Only Live Twice. 

Johan Johannsson (19 September 1969 – 9 February 2018)

Johannsson was always interested in music from an early age and experimented with a wide array of genres, working with different artists and having a notable solo career. Most people known him from his film work as he was nominated for an Academy Award on Sicario along with composing on Mandy, Arrival, and Prisoners.

John Gavin (April 8, 1931 – February 9, 2018)

Bond fans may know him as the man who was going to take over from George Lazenby, but a huge offer encouraged Connery to return and that was that. Nevertheless, Gavin maintained a success appearing in films as varied and successful as Psycho (Loomis), Spartacus (Caesar), and Thoroughly Modern Millie while also acting as the US Ambassador to Mexico for a number of years.

John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018)

A former Vet and English teacher, Mahoney didn’t begin acting until his late thirties before appearing, usually as authority figures, in TV and movies. His most widespread role was as the sardonic sports fan ex-cop father in Fraiser, but also had an extensive career on screen and as a voice performer in works including The Iron Giant, Tin Men, Barton Fink, and The Simpsons.

Stephane Audran (8 November 1932 – 27 March 2018)

Though she primarily starred in French Productions, Audran was known to international audiences due to her performances in critically acclaimed films and every so often popped up in a US piece – Babette’s Feast, The Big Red One, The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, and the recently released The Other Side Of The Wind are some of her more notable appearances.

Debbie Lee Carrington (December 14, 1959 – March 23, 2018)

Suffering from dwarfism, Carrington became one of the most famous and popular actresses and stuntwoman with the illness, appearing regularly in a string of hits including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Return Of The Jedi, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Total Recall, Titanic, and Dexter. 

Jim Bowen (20 August 1937 – 14 March 2018)

Bowen always seemed to me to be one age – old. I don’t mean that as an insult – growing up on in the 80s and seeing him on TV every week, he always looked old and yet never seemed to age. A natural comedian, it wasn’t until his late twenties that he began stand-up routines which led to friendships with established comedians (such as the next guy on the list) who recommended him for TV roles. Most will know him as the long-serving host of the hit game-show Bullseye, but he also appeared in Phoenix Nights, Last Of The Summer Wine, and continued his stand-up shows.

Sir Ken Dodd (8 November 1927 – 11 March 2018))

Dodd began delivering stand-up shows in the 1950s, merging traditional music hall stylings with more surreal and rapid-fire delivery, becoming on of the most popular entertainers on the circuit. This popularity saw him transition to radio and television where his popularity soared, gaining him many spots on The Royal Variety Performance. One of his many specialties was introducing songs into his comedy routines and these were so successful that he had a music career too – his cover song Tears remains one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Aside from his own shows, which ran for seven decades, he also appeared in Branagh’s Hamlet, and Doctor Who. 

Michael Gershman (June 17, 1944 – March 10, 2018)

Not a name familiar to most, Gershman was a TV Director and Cinematographer known mainly for Crossing Jordan and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was DP on over 80 episodes of BTVS including most season openers and finales and many visually memorable episodes such as Hush. His finest moment was as a Director on the show, directing my favourite episode Passion, along with taking the lead on Seeing Red, This Year’s Girl, and others.

David Ogden Stiers (October 31, 1942 – March 3, 2018)

A prominent voice actor, Stiers was also known for his on screen work in shows such as MASH, Perry Mason, Stargate Atlantis, North And South, The Majestic, but it was his relationship with Disney which he is likely most popular for – voicing in films such as Beauty And The Beast, Lilo And Stitch, Pocahontas, and many more.

Frank Doubleday (January 28, 1945 – March 3, 2018)

Again, not a name most will know, Doubleday is one of those people you’ll recognise from a host of cult films. Often appearing as a bad guy, Doubleday is recognisable in Assault On Precinct 13 the ice cream killer), Escape From New York, Broadcast News, and Nomads. 

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!

2018 In Film – A Preview – January – March

insidious-chapter-4-last-key.jpg

So, I never really do these preview posts. I tried doing the whole reviewing trailers things and I have a bunch of unpublished posts on those. Still, I thought I’d give this a try as I do always look forward to the new year’s movies and in the past I would send work emails around saying ‘Look, look at these movies coming out in a few months – it’s going to be EPIC’. As this could be a lengthy one (matron), I’m going to be as quick as possible (matron?) and give brief thoughts on every single film Wikipedia currently lists for a 2018 release and whether I think I’ll see it or not. Most of these entries I’ll be basing purely off the wiki entry, unless I happen to have some prior knowledge of the films (which will be unlikely in most cases).

Insidious: The Last Key

I loved the first film, the second I thought was just okay – it expanded the universe, but it became a little convoluted – the whole further stuff was the stuff I liked least in the original. You know, I don’t believe I’ve watched the third one yet, but I will, and I will get around to this eventually too. The trailer looks fine, and while I love Lin Shaye, this looks too much like it’s focusing on her character and the further, neither of which I’m too interested in. Hopefully this isn’t just a cash in, but with new director Adam Robitel (whose Deborah Logan I did like) this could be a dud.

The Strange Ones

I don’t know the Director (s) and I don’t care about the cast and wiki tells me nothing about this aside from it’s a drama – it seems unlikely I’ll see this.

Stratton

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be set in Northern Ireland, but it says it was filmed in Italy – two countries which couldn’t be more different in appearance. It also says this has already been released in the UK. Simon West can be hit and miss when it comes to action movies, but they’re generally entertaining – the cast here is okay, but no-one leaping out at me to give me the impetus to watch. I’ll see it at some point.

The Commuter

It’s Liam Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra once again, so you know it’s going to be both great and terrible. These are always good for a laugh – my father in law went to school with Liam and they have a best friend in common (so I get to hear all the gossip) and it has become a New Year’s Eve tradition in my house to watch a Liam Neeson action movie so my father in law can comment on how ridiculous it all is. This has a great all round cast – Vera Farmiga can do no wrong and I like Patrick Wilson, Sam Neill, Banks, and McGovern. I’ll see this, though probably not until some New Year’s Eve in the future.

Proud Mary

This will probably be terrible, but it has the hallmarks of a future cult favourite with some Blaxploitation roots. I’ll see this if it gets good reviews, but that seems unlikely.

Freak Show

Some sort of teen balls and based off a book I haven’t read. I think the Young Adult bubble burst a few years ago, but they’re still churning them out. It has an interesting cast but I don’t think there’s anything here to make me watch. I should really check out the trailers for each of these or research a bit more… but what are you gonna do?

Humor Me

It’s Eliot Gould and one of those Concordes people from that show I didn’t watch. This reeks of hipster, so I’ll be avoiding it.

Vazante

A Brazilian period adventure about a cattle farmer? I think I’ll wait for reviews on this one.

Mary And The Witches Flower

You know I love the anime and this looks like an updated Kiki’s Delivery Service which I love, so you can bet I’ll see this at some point.

12 Strong

An epic war film set after 9/11 – this doesn’t have the sort of cast which screams out classy movie, but it nevertheless has Hemsworth, Pena, and the wonderful Michael Shannon. Again, I’ll wait for reviews, but don’t have high hopes.

Den Of Thieves

I don’t think there’s much more mileage in the heist movie to be fair, and the cast looks terrible. It’s Gudegast’s first movie as director, so things don’t look good.

The Leisure Seeker

A road movie about a runaway couple – fine, I usually enjoy road movies. Oh wait, it’s Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren as the couple, and they’re running away from their kids? Didn’t The Simpsons do this already? Doesn’t seem like something I’ll be seeing.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

I read an early proof of the first Maze Runner before it was released and touted it as the next big thing (though I thought it would suit a TV show rather than a movie). I haven’t read the other two books, I enjoyed the first movie, but haven’t seen the second. I’ll probably get to this at some point.

Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad

It’s a terrible name, firstly, and it’s not Dreamworks or Disney or Pixar. It does have a decent cast though. I’ll see it if my kids show interest.

Forever My Girl

First off, it’s called Forever My Girl. Secondly, it’s a romance. Thirdly, it’s based around Country music. Finally, I don’t care about the cast. If there was a ever a film I was never likely to see, this is it.

The Insult

I have no idea.

God Particle

It’s the next movie in the Cloverfield series, now they’ve decided to expand that universe. I loved the other two movies, so hopefully this will be good too. I know nothing of the director, but the cast seems good.

A Fantastic Woman

This has already been critically acclaimed, but sounds like something I’d never be interested in.

Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built

It’s another film with an awful name – why are there so many of these? Based on the life of Sarah Winchester who built that wacky house with wacky rooms and stairs, this a a Helen Mirren horror movie. As you don’t get too many of those, I’ll be giving this a shot, though I can’t imagine it’ll be very good.

Armed

An action movie starring and directed by Mario Van Peebles and also featuring a bunch of other familiar faces. This looks like straight to DVD/VOD so I’ll listen for reviews, but I tend to enjoy these for what they are.

The 15:17 to Paris

It’s directed by Clint, so yeah… maybe? However, this has flag waving wank squirted all over it so I hope it doesn’t go down that road. Interestingly, it stars the three guys who were involved in stopping the actual attack, so I guess that’s cool too. I’m not sure why you would ever want to revisit something like that, but fine. It’s rare I don’t have high hopes for a Clint movie, but this looks dubious. Again, terrible name.

Fifty Shades Freed

How many of these books were there? They are all unequivocally terrible and I have no interest in seeing any of the films. Boobies! Cocks! Soft core bumming! I’ll stick with Shannon Tweed, cheers.

Peter Rabbit

My neice and nephew love the show, but my girls aren’t interested. Neither am I. Is this based off the series or a separate entity going back to the book? No idea.

Permission

A romantic comedy, so I’m instantly out unless it has an interesting director or performer. Hall, Stevens, Gershon… fine, but again this looks like something I’ll never want to see.

Monster Family

It’s an animation with some people I like (Emily Watson, Nick Frost) and some I don’t (Catherine Tate). I’ve no idea what it’s about.

Black Panther

I’ve seen maybe… six Marvel movies so far? I don’t know, they’re all basically the same film over and over again, with a new goodie and a new baddie. They’re all fairly boring and generic too. I don’t know much about the character, but I have started watching (or planned to start watching) the MCU movies in order, so I’ll get to this one day.

Early Man

It’s an Aardman Animation, so I’ll see this at some point. I don’t love them like some people do, but they’re always enjoyable.

Loveless

Leviathan was great, this is Andrei Zvyagintsev’s follow up. It has already received acclaim at Cannes and I can see it getting an Academy nod. It doesn’t sound great on paper, but I’ll be giving it a go.

The Party

Another 2017 release, WTF Wikipedia. I haven’t seen it yet anyway. I’m usually not a fan of British film comedies, but this could be an effective political satire. I probably won’t see it, but we’ll see.

Nostalgia

It’s a great cast and I’ve liked some of the director’s previous work, but on the surface this sounds like standard naff indie fare.

Samson

A weird cast makes me think this is going to be a low budget streaming affair, which is strange given everyone’s love for bad Biblical epics – studios tend to throw millions at these things, even though they’re almost never good.

Game Night

This has a cool poster, but… what is it. Wikipedia says it’s an Action Comedy Crime Horror Mystery Thriller movie, so that narrows it down. At least it’s not a fucking musical. The cast is hit and miss for me – more miss than hit to be honest, and I’m not convinced by the writers and directors. If reviews are good I’ll give it a go.

Annihilation

Alex Garland, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh in a sci-fi action horror mess? Yes please. I haven’t read the book, but the trailer looks like a female only Predator mixed with some sort of inter-dimensional balls. I’ll give this a shot.

Every Day

It’s YA time again, but this one sounds particularly bad and none of the cast or crew interest me.

The War With Grandpa

How many films is De Niro going to make like this? Have any been good yet? I liked Grudge Match, but that was a little different. Great cast, but it sounds like Home Alone where the burglar is your own grandfather.

Hannah

It stars Charlotte Rampling… that’s all I know… but sometimes that’s all you need to know.

The Lodgers

A rural horror set in early 20th Century Ireland – so far, so interesting. They’ll lose me if they try to bring in politics, but this seems interesting and the director’s Let Us Prey was decent.

Red Sparrow

It’s not another Marvel movie, is it? Francis Lawrence directs… I hated Constantine, I Am Legend was fine but I have ill feelings towards it given it’s my favourite book of all time, and The Hunger Games movies are okay, but bloated. Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian Spy (because Russia doesn’t have any actresses?) who falls for a CIA guy. Decent cast, guessing this will be generic.

Pickings

Neo-noir? Yes please, and the fact that I know nothing of the cast or the director gives me hope this could be a new and original piece.

Death Wish

Eli Roth has never lived up to his potential. His movies tend to have good ideas but are each very flawed and usually fall away in their second half. The world is nicely set up for a new Death Wish but I’m not sure Eli Roth is the right man to takes things forwards. Based on what I’ve seen this doesn’t look or sound good, but we’ll see.

Foxtrot

An Israeli movie which shows the life an death of a soldier, generating some controversy about it possibly criticizing the military. Yeah, it’s not like their army hasn’t committed atrocities – just like every other army. Admit it, own it.

Alpha

This sounds interesting, a boy and a wolf roaming the wilderness is usually the sort of thing where you can let your imagination run wild and make for stunning cinematography. Easy to slip up here though.

Gnome Alone

Wasn’t there another (or other) Gnome animations recently? Is this related? Sounds like a straight to streaming movie.

A Wrinkle In Time

This will either be a beast, or a monstrous flop. I like the idea, even if it’s been done a hundred times, but the cast has me worried – no-one exciting here. Directed by Ava DuVernay, always good, and written by Jennifer Lee of Frozen fame, based off a book I haven’t read. I hope it’s good and I hope it’s successful, but I probably won’t see it for a while.

The Upside

Bryan Cranston is rich and crippled, and Kevin Hart is Kevin Hart. A buddy movie, a remake of a massive French success story, but I can’t see this being any good. There’s fodder for laughs, but seriously….

Gringo

A renowned stuntman turns director of this action comedy… potential to be good from someone who understands the business. Good cast too, but I know nothing else about it.

Thoroughbreds

There’s a likeable cast here, but I have no clue what this is about. From the name and the poster… something about rich white people being better than the rest of us, or slavery or sexy slavery?

The Hurricane Heist

Rob Cohen makes average action movies, generally a step above straight to DVD stuff, though some have been better that that. The budget for what appears to be a disaster movie is relatively small, which doesn’t inspire confidence, and the cast are okay but not A-Listers. Likely bad.

The Strangers: Prey At Night

I never saw The Strangers. Why would I when I’ve seen Ils? Don’t tell me The Strangers isn’t a remake, when it clearly is. The horror community does seem to like The Strangers so I’ll get to it at some point, this one has a new cast and director, so doesn’t sound like it will be any good.

Tomb Raider

I was never a fan of the games, the boobs, and I never saw the other two movies. All that being said it doesn’t seem like I’ll see this any time soon. By all accounts it looks like they’ll be taking a gritty approach.

I Can Only Imagine

A film based around the song of the same name, which is apparently the most played Christian song of all time – can’t say I’ve ever heard of it. It stars Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman – yes, she’s still alive. This will be bad.

Love, Simon

Another YA entry about a kid trying to balance his life as a gay kid, with school, friends, family etc. Some notable names, but nothing I’ll ever see.

Entebbe

Daniel Bruhl seems to be getting plenty of work in 2018 – good, as I’ve always liked him. This is a retelling of a hostage crisis by Jose Padilha, so is sure to have some authentic tense moments – could be good, but doesn’t leap out at me.

What They Had

Doesn’t sound like my sort of thing, but it does have a terrific cast so I may get around to this if it gets good reviews.

Untitled A24 Horror Movie

They haven’t gone wrong yet, so whatever this is, I’m down for it. And up for it.

Flower

The Fonze’s son directs another film – I haven’t seen his first. Based entirely on the poster and synopsis this screams indie and hipster, but once again I’ll wait for reviews.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

I haven’t seen the original, but given that Del Toro isn’t Director here I’ll assume this will be a step down. Then again, Steven DeKnight has worked on some good shows, including my beloved Buffy, and the cast is filled with likeable people, so we’ll see. Naturally, I need to watch the first one before I’ll see this.

Isle Of Dogs

Wes Anderson stop motion. I enjoyed Fantastic Mr Fox and this seems like it will be similar. I’m not as much of an Anderson fan as most people, but he hasn’t made anything I haven’t liked yet. As expected, there’s a great cast and the fact it is set in Japan increases my  interest.

Sherlock Gnomes

Wait a second… didn’t we already do this? So we have two animated gnome movies coming out this year. Apparently this one is a sequel, continuing our recurring theme I haven’t seen the first one. Despite the cast, I don’t see me getting to this any time soon.

Unsane

I was about to rip this one for having such a terrible name, but then I saw it was directed by Steven Soderbergh who tends to not make bad movies. It’s a horror movie with Amy Irving and Juno Temple too, so I’m curious about how this will go. The single line plot synopsis sounds like a hundred other horror thrillers – The Ward, Shutter Island etc, but I’m optimistic.

Final Portrait

I don’t believe I’ve seen any of Stanley Tucci’s other films as a director, but I’ve liked him as an actor. He’s written this one too, concerning a painter I’m not familiar with and his final work, taking on board an old critic friend to act as a model. On the surface it doesn’t sound like anything I’d be interested in, but there’s a lot of talent involved and room for interesting character study.

Midnight Sun

Well, this sounds terrible. It’s a romance involving some teen with a weird disease and the hipster things she gets up to. Bella Thorne seems to be in everything these days, but I don’t think I’ve actually seen her in anything, and Patrick Schwarzenegger needs to buff up those arms and get into the jungle for some Predator hunting before I’ll ever care about him. The director has made movies about kids and dancing. Also, there is a character called Katie Price. I will never see this.

Paul, Apostle Of Christ

This doesn’t have a page on Wikipedia, but there’s a fair amount of talent in the cast. I can’t be arsed going to IMDB to investigate further, but wasn’t Jim Caviezel killed off in his last outing to Biblical times, in rather violent scenes?

Ready Player One

It’s Spielberg, so you know you and I will both see it. The trailer looks buck nuts, but I don’t know anything about the source material. I’m happy to see Spielberg return to what appears to be fantasy/standard entertainment as he’s had a few films now based entirely in the real world.

Mary Magdalene

It’s yet another Biblical epic. How many of these do we need? Oh, I’m still waiting for a proper re-telling of the entire Troy saga – The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. A trilogy for each. Someone, get on that. It’s Garth Davis and a terrific cast including Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix but it screams Oscar bait. Also, it’s Weinstein Oscar bait which was mysteriously pushed back from 2017 to 2018 in the midst of Harvey’s antics. This will release once that has all hushed down… by the way, don’t let that EVER hush down.

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

I haven’t seen a single Tyler Perry thing. The fact that this has some Medusa creature on the poster and is listed as a psychological thriller may make this my first Tyler Perry thing.

Lean On Pete

Andrew Haigh seems to be have been sniffing on the door of great success for a while now – his previous films all critically acclaimed. This one looks set to be another critical success, but I can’t see it doing much business. Props to making films and subject matter which most people don’t go near, and doing it with dignity and respect – I have no doubt this will be great.

God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness

What is this? There’s three of these things? And look how much money they made!? I assume 100% of the takings were in the US. I won’t be seeing this.

That’s January – March sorted. Next time I’ll look at April – June. Let us know in the comments which movies you’re looking forward too!