The Worst of 2017

With 2017 coming to an end, it’s that time again to look at what films bring shame to the year! This is a list of the terrible films that I watched myself,  can’t watch every movie! So if I’ve missed anything, leave a comment! 🙂

So in no particular order…..


Somethings are better left in the past, and Rings is a perfect example of this. One of the aspects that made the original so eerie was the vintage feel of the VHS tapes, with their disturbing static images. It loses this vital aspect when the story is moved into the present time of digital media. That aside, Rings was still an appalling reboot,  riddled with all the cliches that haunt many poor horror movies. With a story that becomes a random investigation, that takes way too long during the middle act, it feels all over the place. The CGI on Samara is also overdone, making her look like a video game character, when the effects looked more chilling over a decade ago, it’s not a great sign.


Following on from the lamentable Ghost in the Shell remake earlier in the year, Deathnote was the latest Manga incarnation for the West, and being produced by Netflix, fans would have hoped for a respectable adaptation.  Moving the story to America may have irked some fans, but this was not the biggest problem, moving it the US would make the film more appealing to the Western market. The issues were several fold, it ruined the main protagonist, who went from a smart calculating student, to an emotional stroppy teen driven solely by his hormones.  The cerebral nature of the source, is reduced to hardly anything,  and the directors choice to make this into some sort of tribute to Final Destination, with it gory over the top deaths made this comical.

The Mummy

A film so highly panned by critics and audience alike, it’s pretty much destroyed the hopes of Universals ‘The Dark Universe’, an extended monster-verse using the likes of The Mummy, Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, before it even began! If it felt like DC were rushing their progress to The Justice League, The Mummy attempted to do everything in one movie! Even the star power of Tom Cruise could not save a film in which The Mummy is a supporting character,  the hero and his love interest have zero chemistry and a detour in the middle of the film in which the entire movie is bought to a halt, just so they can tease future movies! A shocker!

The Snowman

This was by far the most underwhelming movie of the year for me. The Snowman is almost laughably funny, for a film that’s supposed to be shrouded in the gritty Scandinavian crime noir vibe. What we end up with is a hilariously predictable  & tepid villain (seriously, they never explain why they were obsessed with snowmans), plot lines that literally go no where (oh hey there random winter Olympics bid) and characters making shockingly bad decisions for the sake of creating any sense of drama.  Though it had a strong cast in Michael Fassbender & Rebecca Ferguson, both are utterly forgettable.  Even the talented J.K Simmons is reduced to nothing here.  Hard to see the movie follow up on a sequel, that it was teasing at the end of this dire movie.

Special mention to……


Something about Jamie Foxx being undercover for 5 years, mixed with some scenes from Taken.  Pretty much all the time I shall give to this mundane thriller!


Flatliners can’t decide if it’s a medical drama, thriller, teen dorm comedy or just everything! What starts off as a unique concept, becomes so corny, you just don’t care!


Covenant, Lacks Any Fear


The 6th instalment of the iconic Alien franchise has landed in cinemas, Alien: Covenant. Picking up following the developments from 2012’s Prometheus, is Covenant a throwback to the original horror, or a follow on from the lore heavy Prometheus.

Covenant, is the story of the Covenant, a vessel travelling to a far flung planet, its mission, to find an alternate planet for colonisation. Each ship is overlooked by an android assistant, while the human crew are in deep sleep. The android maintaining the Covenant is Walter (Fassbender), but due to an emergency, the crew are forced to wake up. Following the loss of a fellow crew member, and with the reluctance to get back inside the pods, our team decide to respond to a distress call, from another potential viable planet for life, which is far more closer to get to then the remaining 7 years left to reach their original destination.

Upon landing on the new planet, things inevitable unravel and the blood starts flowing! You don’t really need to watch Prometheus to enjoy Covenant; the movie does refer back to the prequel, and does a good job in doing enough explanation to not leave anyone who hasn’t watched Prometheus, totally out of the loop.


Director Ridley Scott has been accuse of losing his magic in recent times, but The Martian showed that he still has the ability to deliver great work.  Covanent follows that up with another strong showing here. By far the best aspect of the movie is the performance of Fassbender, who performs a dual role here. As already mentioned, he plays Walter, on board the Covenant, and also David, the older version of himself that was abroad the previous Prometheus mission. There are several scenes which involve both characters on screen at the same time, and he pulls it off with great intensity. He also plays the role of a synthetic being well enough to not sound completely wooden, which is a trap many who play robots fall into.

Alien 3

The human crew on-board though, are a very mixed bag, and a majority of them come off as pretty unlikable. Katherine Waterston is Daniels AKA New Ripley, but she simply doesn’t have the presence to play a role such as this, she looks lost and confused for large parts of the movie, and being the supposed lead human, is overshadowed by Fassbender’s presence. The captain of the crew, Oram (Billy Crudup) is written to be somewhat antagonistic, and his traits are very dis-likeable, not even allowing his crew to mourn the loss of a colleague! It was strange to make him somewhat of a secondary antagonist, as the aliens are enough of a threat as it is. Everyone else of the team is largely bland or unremarkable, and make several stupid decisions throughout the film! The only real endearing figure is Tennessee (Danny McBride) as the pilot of the Covenant, surprising, as McBride isn’t usually known for these kind of roles!


It’s down on the planet where the film really shines though, the opening 3rd seems to drag on for a long time, before we get into the nitty gritty, the Aliens! One thing to understand, is as this is a prequel to the original, this is the story of how the fiends known as the Xenomorphs came into existence, so the threats don’t look like what you expect them too! The film does not hold back on the violence and blood! It’s not just the chest the aliens surprise us from, and some of the deaths our crew suffer are pretty graphic. It may be slightly over the top, but it also empathises how destructive these creatures are. One of the criticisms of Prometheus was that it was very dialogue heavy, and didn’t have enough Xenomorph action, fair enough; as they are the main reason we go to watch these movies! Having watched Prometheus may help you enjoy the film more, but not watching it won’t ruin the experience. The alien saga is explained with careful detail, and it does get us curious in seeing where the next movie goes with all the revelations unearthed here.

The film though does lack the feel of the originals, there isn’t that build up that tension, that feeling of being alone and trapped. The film is very linear in that regards. It is very obvious which character will bite the dust, and the twist reveal at the end is so, so predictable, that it disappointed me they actually went ahead at did it! Also, the trailer pretty much revealed all the set pieces, a damaging habit most trailers seem to fall into nowadays. . It’s a shame that the movie just isn’t as scary as it could have been, as it’s all so telegraphed in its story. Yes some of the scenes can be rather brutal, but is it scary? Not really.

Covenant is no way a bad movie, if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, or Sci-Fi is generally, it’s an entertaining ride, which gives more plot into how the Xenomorphs came to be, and has the usual Alien tropes. On the other hand there’s isn’t anything new and original to shout about. The film does have some homage to the original movies, but it very much feels like a part of the new trilogy, and not the old.




Assassin’s Creed……Needs more Assassins!

Assassin’s Creed marks the latest Hollywood foray into the world of Video Games. A genre that has long been much maligned with dire releases, but with a powerful cast including the likes of Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard, can this movie finally break the mold?

 Though I am a fan of video games, I haven’t played the Assassin’s Creed series, so I’m not entirely familiar with this franchise, but I shall review it as a standalone movie, rather than simply comparing it to the source!

 The film revolves around Callum Lynch (Fassbender), a prisoner who is saved from execution by the Abstergo Foundation, a group claiming to have links to the Templers. Their goal is to retrieve the mythical ‘Apple of Eden’, an item which is said to possess the genetic code for free will, and vital in their mission to eradicate violence from society. The key to their mission is Callum, who by using their Animus Machine can use his genetic memories to relieve the events of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha, to hunt down clues to the location of the apple.


 The films main strengths lie in all the scenes taking place during the flashbacks, which occur during The Spanish Inquisition in 15th century Andalucía. These are the scenes that fans were looking forward too, and it’s here that the film delivers. The intensity in there scenes is fantastic, and the action is relentless. You also get a Game of Thrones vibe from here, which is always a promising sign! The rooftop chases are a series trademark, and they are executed with great precision, even featuring the infamous ‘Leap of Faith’.

 Sadly, this is the highlight of the movie, and for some reason, the Assassin scenes are very limited, on my count, there were 3 scenes in the Iberian. The film mostly focuses on the present day, and the events that take place at Abstergo. How Abstergo are under pressure from above to fulfill their mission, to a messy story line regarding Callum’s father. This is where the film slows down to a horrible crawl, the scenes are too long, and very dialogue heavy.

The supporting cast is supremely talented, Cotillard as the head scientist at Abstergo. Jeremy Irons as the chief of the foundation, and Micheal K Williams as one of the fellow assassins held captive. But they don’t really add anything, none of the characters are charismatic, nor do you really care about them. If anything, the film should have been set in the 15th century, with occasional cuts to present day. Of course you require some back story, but it shouldn’t be taking precedence over the action in such a film! The final act of the movie takes place in modern London, where an epic Assassin showdown would have been more climatic and fitting.


The violence was also toned down, with rarely any bloodshed, the games are targeted towards mature fans, but it’s obvious to see that the film was toned down for a more lucrative 12A rating. Considering the nature of the fights, the scenes are rather tame. You can’t help but feel that the rating was one of the key reasons why the action scenes are so infrequent and lacking any real brutality.

 Overall, the film isn’t in the same league of Street Fighter or Doom, in regards to disappointing video game adaptations. It’s still an adequate movie, but with the cast on hand, and a compelling source material, it’s a shame they couldn’t produce a film to rival the games. In this regards, definitely needed less talk, more action!

What’s Out in November?

It’s the start of the month (give or take few days!), so what films should we look out for this month in the UK?

The Light Between Oceans



Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Based on the book of the same name which was released back in 2012, this period drama stars Micheal Fassbender & Alicia Vikander as a couple who live at lighthouse, who one day discover a baby floating in the seas off the coast of Australia. After raising the child, they eventually discover the true parentage of the child, and face a moral predicament on what to do. Also starring Rachel Weisz


The Accountant



Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Following his debut as Bruce Wayne, this film also sees Affleck play a character who is not as he seems. Christian Wolff (Affleck) is maths genius who happens to also work as an accountant for some of the worlds most nefarious criminals. Hot on his trial are the US Treasury Department, who want to see him taken down. If you’re looking for a thrilling action film this month, this is for you! Also starring Anna Kendrick & J.K Simmons


Nocturnal Animals



Directed by Tom Ford

If you’re looking for something a bit more dark and psychological, Jake Gyllenhaal & Amy Adams lead a star studded cast in this melancholic thriller. We follows the trials of Susan Morrow (Adams) who is sent a disturbing novel, by her ex-husband. A book containing violent and threatening material. Also starring Isla Fisher, Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Michael Shannon.



Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



Directed by David Yates

The massive box office release of the month, and one for the fans of Harry Potter. Based on the spin off novel written by J K Rowling, the HP will continue to grow past the core novels! We cross over the Atlantic, with the film being set in America. Newt Salamander (Redmayne) gets caught up in a conflict in 1920s New York and it’s down to him to save the day! Also starring Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston & Ezra Miller


Your Name



Directed by Makoto Shinkai

As a fan of Anime, it’s always interesting when I see one get a box office release over here in the West. Unless it’s bound to be a success, they don’t usually get seen over her. Your Name sees two teens, who lead two different lives, having switched bodies overnight. The film follows their journey on finding each other, and how they effect the lives of others. The film has garnered excellent reviews so far in Asia, so it will be intriguing to see how it preforms here.



Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Brad Pitt isn’t a stranger to war films, previously appearing in Fury & Inglourious Basterds. This time, Pitt plays Canadian intelligence officer Max Vatan, who was stationed in Africa. Based on the true story of two people, working for different sides, who fell in love during their time working together in World War 2. Marion Cotillard plays the French fighter who our protagonist falls for. But back home, the French operative faces execution after facing accusations of being a German spy, and it’s down to Vatan to clear him name. Also starring Jared Harris & Lizzy Caplan



‘X-Men : Apocalypse’ Review

The X-Men series has been on a long road to recovery. The Last Stand was an underwhelming ending to the original trilogy. Since then, the success of ‘’First Class’’ & ‘’Days of Future Past’’ have seen the fortunes of the franchises improve, the latest chapter to the saga looks to seal the revival.

Apocalypse picks up following the events of DOFP. Magneto is trying to reintegrate into a normal human life secluded away in Europe. Mistique is now seen as a hero to many mutants, and Professor X’s school is up and running.

The story follows the return of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). The ‘’original’ mutant, dating back to the Egyptians.

Following Civil War, this is another ensemble cast, with various characters getting show time.  The lead duo of McAVoy and Fassbender are fantastic as they have proven before. The chemistry between to two works well, and they have become a capable replacement for Stewart & McKellen from the original trilogy.  This film also sees characters such as Cyclops (Tye Sherian), Jean Grey (Sophia Turner) & Storm  (Alexander Shipp) all get recast.  This gives all the characters a second chance, one which Cyclops most definitely needed.  The supposed leader of the X-men played second fiddle in his previous incarnation.  Quicksilver once again returns, and his cameo is even better than his set piece from DOFP. Nightcrawler’s (Kodi Smit-McPhee) addition also worked really well, and provided moments of comic relief, especially his interaction with the fellow young X-Men students.

The main part of the plot was that Apocalypse will recruit 4 warriors, he so called ‘4 horseman of the Apocalypse’ to be by his side during his reign.  It’s here where the film loses some of its edge. Apart from Magneto, the rest don’t really have a serious agenda. Storm,  & Angel all seem unnecessary, and compared to Magneto, a real step down. They spend most of the film posing by the side of Apocalypse. The main antagonist himself is a bit one dimensional, he is just evil for the sake of being evil. No real reason to why to wants to rule the world.  The role of Mistique is also a bit perplexing; it looks like they forced Mystique into being one of the main characters, solely down to Jennifer Lawrence’s name. Her attempt to lead the X-men feels much like her character in The Hunger Games!

Overall Apocalypse is a thoroughly entertaining film, the set pieces are amazing, the characters are mostly well done, and there are several humorous moments. The cameo from a certain X-Men was good to see, although it was spoiled in the trailers! If your after a great popcorn flick, this certainly delivers.

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