A bullied horror-obsessed teen conjures a trickster demon who promises to grant him his revenge wishes. By-the-numbers Halloween-set teen-oriented flick that’s keen to pay homage in different ways to early John Carpenter movies. Well-enough done within its limitations, even if it offers nothing new.
A reactivated assassin is killed; then brought back from the dead with a 24-hour lifespan. Gleeful medium-budget SF actioner, directed in the manner of John Woo by a seasoned stunt coordinator. Well-cast and made; a superior genre entertainment for high-concept gunplay fans.
A bereaved student in a failing relationship becomes part of a group visit to a Scandinavian commune. Contrived but watchable Kubrick-does-The-Wicker-Man folk horror. Does exactly what you’d expect, at some length, but has mesmerising sequences even if you might not quite buy what’s going on.
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A biography of Rudy Ray Moore, focusing on the making of his film Dolemite. A swaggering movie with a heart, focusing – like its scriptwriters’ Ed Wood – on an upbeat try-hard outsider – with affection for the exploitation underbelly of Hollywood. As a star showcase, it reminds us how good Eddie Murphy is when he’s backed with the right material.
A presidential hopeful’s nomination campaign is derailed by his philandering. Smart observational true-life political drama clearly in love with the likes of All The President’s Men. While it doesn’t quite grapple with its protagonist’s weaknesses, the film is nevertheless professional, skilful and well-crafted throughout. Recommended.
Searching for their college professor, a group of students find themselves lost in a cave system where spacetime is distorted. Solid-enough low-budget SF/horror that grounds itself with location shooting. Some variable scripting and acting, perhaps inevitably, but the film doesn’t overwork its premise.
A trio of disgraced academics working on the paranormal turn to the private sector. Still-effective horror-comedy balancing New York snark, slapstick, and Lovecraftian interdimensional terror. Great city cinematography, and some lovely delicate moments to counterbalance the widescreen mayhem. Both sequel and reboot followed.
A widow investigates an insurance company; a complicated web of financial fraud unravels. Superficially similar to The Big Short and Vice in its mix of drama, comedy and mockumentary, The Laundromat offers a clear and accessible primer to the Panama Papers scandal, and to Mossack (Oldman) and Fonseca (Banderas), both gleeful at its heart.
A veteran cop is determined to bring a multiple-murder suspect to justice. Lumpen sub-Dirty Harry horror-thriller, blending police procedural with slasher pic. Despite an interesting approach to its villain, this is straightforward exploitation fare, its director’s and star’s former glories notwithstanding.
Max Rockatansky encounters a fledgeling civilisation in the desert. The third (though chronologically fourth, after Fury Road) Mad Max flick is glossier, talkier and generally lighter than its predecessors, but nevertheless works as a hugely detailed action fantasy riffing on Peter Pan and Riddley Walker while delivering a fantastic chase sequence.