Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 Over

2018. What a fucking shit year that was. Absolutely shit. Fucking shit. Shit. Shit. Shit, shit, shitty, shit. If you assembled a year from ragged chunks of flesh torn from the assholes of animals, you still wouldn't get a year as bad as 2018. It was a fucking shit year. Shit.
Still got to see some good movies though.

10 Favourite New Films That I Saw On A Cinema Screen

10: Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

Shakespeare refracted through middle class family angst, elevated by Wheatley's remarkable editing work and Dance's ability to carry off that outfit.

9: One Cut Of The Dead

The 37 minute one shot zombie movie this opens with would be impressive enough, but then throw in an ingenious flip and a riotous final act and you get a lofi gem.

8: Tigers Are Not Afraid

There's a lot to love about this movie, the best part being how the children's fairytale coping mechanisms are married to their brutal reality of slum violence. This happened so acutely at one point I let out a rare audible gasp in the cinema.

7: Avengers: Infinity War

Bravely went with the idea that everything else so far was just background noise foregrounding the arrival of Thanos and his clicky fingers. Succeeded with aplomb. Marvel's greatest achievement yet.

6: Climax

Manages to generate a visceral narcotic rush through camera movement and banging tunes alone, an unsetting backdrop for Noe's provocateur antics to play out against, but that's why it's a bit ace.

5: Lords Of Chaos

Norwegian black metal biopic that shows how easily teenage posturing can sometimes tip over into suicide, church burnings or brutal repeated stabbings. Or all three.

4: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Got super-hero movies right. Got Spider-man right. Got the boom-bap hip-hop soundtrack just right. Made me use a lot of hyphens.

3: Suspiria [2018]

Slow and menacing to begin with due to an insistence on including the one thing Argento left out of the original, plotting. Ends with a gooey parade of cranial explosions. Brilliant.

2: Hereditary

Became included in a discussion on a splinter genre called post-horror, created under the misguided notion that horror movies are innately shit and therefore the good ones need a genre of their own. I prefer to just call this excellent horror.

1: Isle Of Dogs

The only film that I watched this year that made me genuinely sad when it ended, simply because I was enjoying it so much I simply wanted it to keep on going. A most rare occasion when an ending feels like a curse.

5 Favourite Films That I Saw On Netflix

Normally this would be '5 Favourite Films That I Saw On A Little Screen' but this year saw a paradigm shift that meant Netflix was suddenly putting out stuff that dominates the small screen gems I'd usually talk about here. Indeed the best film here is neck and neck with Isle Of Dogs for overall film of the year. I was calling the ongoing slow death of cinema back in 2012, here's some more nails for that coffin.

5: The Invitation

A slowburn descent through social awkwardnesses and discomforting inappropriateness into screaming insanity and raging bloodlust.

4: The Night Comes For Us

If you took the pure exaggerated carnage of something like John Woo's excessive, bullet riddled double digit body count action bonanza A Better Tomorrow 2, and then replaced everybody's gun with a knife then you'd get something along the lines of this slasher ballet.

3: The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

A more playful Coens at work with six whimsical Western tales each tonally different giving very much the feel of an adaptation of a superb short story collection.

2: Roma

In which every impeccable frame could be exhibited in a museum. A technical marvel with serious emotional heft.

1: Annihilation

A gorgeous piece of searching Science Fiction that really, really needed to be seen on a big screen to appreciate the true visual majesty of what was on display here, but we were cruelly denied. It's still fucking amazing down on the little screen though.

10 Shittest Films That I Sat Through

I've read some discussion on the internet that proposes worst film lists to be crass beause they deny the amount of love, effort and creativity that goes in to every film project no matter how shoddy the end result. At the end of the day I absolutely support the idea that individuals pour endless love, effort and creativity into every film out there, I'm not trying to take any of that away at all, but sometimes things just don't go right. And when that happens I fully support the idea that I should be allowed to call a turd a turd, and by golly there's been quite a few this year.

10: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Not just a bland sequel to a shitty reboot, but also guilty of the most heinous trailer crime this year as the money shot they used to sell the film was the last shot of the movie.

9: Solo: A Star Wars Story

"You're going to make a film about who? Well OK, as long as it's a thrilling new story that fleshes out the character whilst giving me a whole new cast of Star Wars characters to fall in love with. What? The story is based entirely on three facts we already knew about him? Well what about my loveable cast of new characters? A screechy robot? Fuck off."

8: The Predator

Full points for trying to take a tired franchise in new directions. But an autistic kid understanding alien technology? Unsure of what the fuck everybody was thinking here.

7: Tau

When things happened like an angry man pressing a button on a remote control whilst yelling at a screen above a fireplace, which was yelling back in pain because the man was stripping out random chunks of code that had taken him *fucking years* to program just to teach the AI a lesson, then it was laughably bad. The rest of the time it was just bad.

6: Gods Of Egypt

A miserable collision of heavy handed CGI, atrocious acting, a piss poor script and everything Gerard Butler chose to bring to the project.

5: Seeds

Bravely attempts a storyline that demands precision film making to avoid muddying waters that shouldn't be muddied, ends up at flat tedium. Inexcusable.

4: Mute

I almost feel sorry for Mute. I'm sure there's an amazing idea at its core that makes total sense in the head of its creator, a place it has clearly gestated so long that it no longer makes sense to anybody else.

3: ATM

I get that sometimes events in a script have to be contrived to make a story work. And I get that if you're attempting something audacious like a one location thriller then contrivance fuels your script. But you can't contrive against basic physics, WET THINGS DON'T BURN, that's why your script is shit.

2: All the Puppet Master movies (except The Littlest Reich which was OK)

I had to bunch them all together, otherwise this years worst film list would be just a series of juvenile insults aimed at all the various flavours of outright Puppet Master bollocks. Special shout out to part seven - I've never before heard somebody do an an accent that's so fucking bad it made my eyes water. Hats off.

1: Robin Hood

When you're watching The Crusades made to look like The Hurt fucking Locker with bows and arrows, you know you're at a particularly special level of blithe stupidity and rank awfulness, something that this atrocity continues to deliver over and over and over and over again. Worse than every episode of Puppet Master, even the one that recycled bits from other ones and somehow made them shitter, films like this are why endings are truly a blessing.

And that concludes a decade of The Ape. Remarkable. Onward to more movies, more swearing  and more pithy sarcasm.

Sunday, 30 December 2018


Alfonso Cuaron's Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror.
And every bit the technical marvel such a description would suggest.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Despite the illusion of free will that tries to convince otherwise there's a distinct beginning, middle and end here so it's a movie. A movie about the illusion of free will. Clever.

Thursday, 27 December 2018


It's become something of a Christmas tradition to scour the local DVD shelves for the maddest thing that rural Shropshire can offer up. This years success comes from this demented insanity about a samurai born without any body parts and who must murder 48 demons in order for them all to grow back.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Cannibal Apocalypse [Apocalypse domani/ Cannibals in the Streets/ Invasion of the Fleshhunters]

An incredibly tame Italian cannibal effort about ex soldiers in New York who occasionally feel the need to nibble on folk. Very low on apocalypse type behaviours.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Red Christmas

An aborted feotus with Down's Syndrome goes on a kill crazed axe rampage in revenge for his own abortion twenty years earlier. Nope, even written down, it doesn't strike me as a very good idea for a Christmas movie but a bunch of people out there clearly thought it was. They were wrong.

Sunday, 16 December 2018


Attempts to be a clever one location thriller set after a fun Christmas party, succeeds at being a repugnantly stupid one location thriller set after a shit Christmas party.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

A dizzying visual sugar rush spat out at such a hectic pace my brain was battered into a child like state of glee. It clearly had a similar effect on the teenager who, within seconds of the end credits hitting the screen, turned and yelped "Who was your favourite Spider-person?" like she was five again.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Silent Night, Zombie Night

An utterly failed attempt at being both a Christmas movie and a half decent zombie movie. And it's set during the day, not at night.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Ralph Breaks The Internet

A sequel with a better story, better gags and more impressive animation,  but gaudily smothered in brand name propaganda balancing it out to 'good' at best.