A doctor and family settle in a New England community with a secret. Okay second adaptation of the Stephen King novel, itself an extended riff on WW Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”. Adds some folk horror moments and enough third act story alterations to differentiate it sufficiently from the serviceable 1989 movie version.
An astronaut is marooned alone on Mars; he develops a plan to survive. Smart, funny and upbeat space peril movie with winning ensemble performances, clean visuals, and a diligent script from the Andy Weir bestseller. A thoroughly professional and entertaining job all round.
A Philadelphia cop becomes obsessed with a recurring series of crimes, and with the person committing them. Excellent time-travel serial killer cop drama from director Jim Mickle, that touches on all manner of interesting material. Recommended.
The first Mars mission returns an alien infection to Earth. Trashy and at times bad taste sequel which – a couple of knowing/funny moments aside – focuses on female nudity, cut-price creature effect-based gore, rape fascination, and shouty characters doing dumb things. For Martian completists only.
An astronaut finds that his long-lost father may be alive on a deep-space vessel now threatening Earth. Defiantly odd Freudian space opera, part First Man, part 2001 wannabe, part Moonraker. And all the better for it, even though the story doesn’t stack up. Glorious-looking throughout, and with mesmerising sound design and soundtrack.
A Vietnam veteran seeks revenge on the cartel that kidnapped a daughter figure. Hints of a more elegiac contemporary Western linger, but the released cut is a lumpy body-count flick with linear plotting and an oddly perfunctory attitude to the staging of its many kills. Best thing is the end credits, which strike the right tone.
A young nobleman turns to crime to thwart a local administrator’s lust for power. Messy (like the 2017 King Arthur) ahistorical retelling, pillaging from other versions and franchises such as The Hunger Games, Assassin’s Creed and The Matrix. Even the casting echoes other, better movies: Star Wars: Rogue One and The Name of the Rose included.
Three adaptations of Stephen King short stories: “Old Chief Woodenhead”, “The Raft” and “The Hitchhiker”. Cut-price anthology sequel that short-changes the viewer (there were five tales in Part 1), making up in rubbery gore for what the yarns lack in comedy and chills. A couple of oddly-effective moments, but that’s about it.
An escaped prisoner holds his gangster brother’s criminal friends hostage. Superior DTV violent martial arts action, with a career-best performance from Adkins and a keen sense both of the strengths and limits of the genre.
The now-adult Losers’ Club return to Derry to face Pennywise again 27 years later. Oddly baggy second half; the adults don’t get enough attention, and the resolution still doesn’t work. Pennywise turns out to be a lot less scary when facing down grownups. Gives the impression there’s a better miniseries-length edit of the movies somewhere.