After his premonition saves his friends and others, a student foresees the deaths of the survivors of a speedway disaster. Tatty continuation developing the foresight plotline, but with variable CG effects engineered for 3D. One sequence riffs on a notorious Chuck Palahniuk story. The least of the series, which rebounded with the superior next/last instalment.
Month: December 2019
Wolves (2014, dir. David Hayter)
A high-school quarterback becomes a drifter so he can find out the truth about his developing lycanthropy. Tatty would-be-serious take on the werewolf flick. Grimy and undernourished, with a sleazy aspect to it that makes for a bleak viewing experience. An OK cast does what they can.
Krull (1983, dir. Peter Yates)
A prince has to rescue a princess to save their world. Oddball SF/fantasy hybrid, riffing on a hundred different fairy tales and genre tropes. Its quest narrative/road movie structure means that it’s inevitably patchy; some dark ideas intrude, though the imagination and budget available are ill-matched, and it’s tonally all over the place.
Final Destination 3 (2006, dir. James Wong)
Teens who avoid a fatal theme park accident find themselves targeted by Death. This third part avoids explicit story links to the first two, but borrows a further plot point from The Omen, and is a touch grislier and more mean-spirited than its predecessors. Some dark in-jokes lurk, though, and there’s a star-making central performance.
Final Destination (2000, dir. James Wong)
After a premonition saves them from an air crash, a group of teens is targeted by Death itself. Inventive horror flick, taking the convoluted killing sequence trope from the Omen films and re-inventing it for the Scream generation. Tons of fun, a few neat in-jokes, and clever kills aplenty. The first of a series of five films.
Final Destination 2 (2003, dir. David R Ellis)
Strangers who narrowly miss being killed in a freeway pile-up find they are connected to those who died in the Flight 180 disaster aftermath. A sprightly sequel upping the first movie’s focus on blackly comic convoluted killing mechanisms, as Death seeks to restore order. Lots of fun, and contains maybe the greatest car crash in the movies.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018, dir. Rob Marshall)
A generation after the events of Mary Poppins, the magical nanny returns to the Banks family, this time to help them save their home. Despite care and affection for the original, this is a reprise rather than a sequel. Emily Blunt lacks the lightness of touch of Julie Andrews, and the songs tend to the unmemorable.
Mary Poppins (1964, dir. Robert Stevenson)
In Edwardian London, a magical nanny aids a family in need. Solid musical comedy with then state-of-the-art animation/live-action hybrid sequences and practical effects. Some great songs, a sense of playfulness, and an iconic central performance. A sequel was made in 2018.
Ma (2019, dir. Tate Taylor)
A middle-aged woman seeks revenge on those who tormented her as a teen by targeting their now-teenage children. Interesting slow-burn take on the psycho-thriller, with a decent sense of ordinariness to it and some clever casting and playing throughout. Perhaps doesn’t push its core idea to the limit, but well-executed nevertheless.
Arthur Christmas (2011, dir. Sarah Smith)
Santa’s awkward younger son has to deliver an overlooked gift so that Christmas can be saved. Excellent, quirky and gently-subversive animation with heart and brains, delivering slapstick, pathos and some flashes of dark humour. Lots to enjoy, including shout-outs to other Aardman characters.