Film Diary

Here’s everything I’ve watched at the cinema since I obtained my shiny local equivalent of a Cineworld Unlimited card. Well, I say “card” — it’s a QR code that also gives me 15% off coffee and nachos…

Summer 2022

Summer 2022

DC League of Super-Pets. Let the record show that my first cinema date involved a talking superhero dog voiced by The Rock. Me and my BGB loaded up on the expensive snacks, reclined in fancy chairs and had the most wonderful time together. Cute, funny, sweet, gorgeous to look at — the film wasn’t bad either. (August 1st; 8/10)

Where the Crawdads Sing. Weird how an international bestseller has been used as a two-hour trailer/contextualisation for the new Taylor Swift song. It’s an okay adaptation of a decent summer read. Filtered through the young adult romance lens, these marsh dwellers are generically beautiful people — the two male rivals could pass as twins. (July 27th; 6/10)

The Gray Man. James Bland. At least I got the full Netflix experience: alone, in a darkened room, pissing about on my phone while content played as background noise. (July 25th; 4/10)

Brian and Charles. An unreality so cringingly quirky and saccharine, my teeth floated into space. (July 21st; 5/10)

Thor: Love and Thunder. Less Guns N’ Roses, more Steel Panther. Superhero films should be campy; …Love and Thunder comes close to the 1997 peak - ridiculous dialogue, a GOAT running joke, Mr Freeze (played by Marilyn Manson?!), a misguided cancer subplot - and as such I found it hilarious. Just a little undercooked, that’s all. (July 15th; 7/10)

Tigers. A bleak exploration of the professional and personal pressures bestowed upon young footballers and the dark behaviour it can induce. The only difference between these athletes and animals in a travelling circus is hyper-capitalism. (July 6th; 8/10)

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Sex! Now that I’ve got your attention, I recommend this charming little should-be stage play. (June 30th; 7/10)

Elvis. Engaging if hellishly flawed and over-directed. Austin Butler embodies Presley. Tom Hanks, though, is such a pantomime villain, I’m surprised the Colonel didn’t tie Elvis to railroad tracks before twiddling his moustache and manically laughing. (June 30th; 6/10)

The Thing - 40th Anniversary. John Carpenter’s body horror masterpiece of terror, fear, isolation, madness and paranoia in the endless Antarctica snow. The timeless special effects, claustrophobic visuals and soundtrack, and subtle hints casting doubt in the viewer’s mind create a repeatedly thrilling experience. The best horror remake ever, and up there as the best horror film outright. (June 29th; 10/10)

The Black Phone. An intense, damn fine take on the Stranger Things ‘kids on bikes’ genre that exploits fairly conventional horror tropes to their fullest potential. Can’t wait to review its six awful sequels for CineMortuary. (June 29th; 8/10)

Spring 2022

Spring 2022

Lightyear. A slight disconnect here in how a film “released in 1995” contains very 2022 characterisation — would Andy, as a totally rad 90s kid, have latched onto such an introspective Buzz Lightyear? Nonetheless, Buzz’s origin story is a straightforward space adventure; disposable like many of latter-day Pixar’s efforts, but spirited and fun. And, yes, I fell in love with Sox the cat. (June 20th; 7/10)

Jurassic World Dominion. After digging up fossils from the old trilogy, the 29 or so main characters with contrived motivations realise the biggest dinosaur of them all is this franchise. (June 15th; 3/10)

Robocop - 35th Anniversary. Glorious, blood-splattered violence on the big screen. I prefer The Running Man a smidge in the ‘meat-headed dystopia’ category, but both nail the coked-up lack of subtlety by our modern day oppressors. Always forget how tightly scripted Robocop is too; as lean as his suit is bulky. (June 6th; 9/10)

Men. A visceral piece on man’s worst traits and the dangers of letting Rory Kinnear loose in a sperm bank. Ouch on the metaphors, though — the first scene has a lady eating an apple from the forbidden tree FFS. (June 6th; 6/10)

Top Gun: Maverick. Old school cool with CGI, Cruise-Generated Imagery. (June 1st; 8/10)

Psycho - 60th Anniversary. Still imitable after all these years. Nothing else has come close to the tense soundtrack, the parentally-warped villain, or that shower scene, has it? (May 30th; 10/10)

Everything Everywhere All At Once. A chaotic, visual feast that’s equal parts absurd, blisteringly funny, existentially sad, and more sincere about the human condition than ten Academy Award winning films combined. Plus, googly eyes. The greatest post-pandemic cinematic experience yet. (May 23rd; 9/10)

Firestarter. Perfunctory, woodenly acted, badly lit for that retro atheistic. The biggest scare comes from Zac Efron being old enough to play a Dad now. (May 18th; 4/10)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Entertaining enough but Sam Raimi’s auteurship was overblown by the Disney PR machine. Infinite possibilities in Kevin Feige’s Multiverse of Corporate Blandness means making New York a bit greener and road testing some crappy IPs. (May 11th; 7/10)