Vivarium (2019, dir. Lorcan Finnegan)

A young couple is trapped in a show home on a maze-like estate. Absurdist SF horror piece that’s well-designed and well-acted but doesn’t have anywhere to go; this may well be the point, but the film makes this (riffing on Blue Velvet) in its opening titles. 90-odd minutes might be too much of a thing for some.

Black Christmas (2019, dir. Sophia Takal)

Sorority members are attacked over Charistmas break. This second remake of the 1974 giallo/slasher classic takes only its setting, adding a new story. Unfortunately, it’s really not a good one. A shame, as the film wants to say something, but can’t find a way to. The cast – especially the reliable Poots – do what they can.

Tron: Legacy (2010, dir. Joseph Kosinski)

Thirty years later, Flynn’s son is scanned into the same computer universe his long-missing father found in the first film. Well-designed and with a super techno/disco soundtrack, this is a po-faced mess that can’t even sustain the daft people-as-programs conceit of its predecessor. Dull and overlong, though with OK support from a glam Michael Sheen.

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Tron (1982, dir. Steven Lisberger)

A hacker is scanned into his former employer’s computer network; a parallel world awaits. Odd SF/fantasy mashing up evil tech corps and voguish videogames. Simplistic and weird, with some still-stunning design and a cool mix of early CG, traditional animation, and David Warner doing his best. A sequel followed in 2010.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker [AKA Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker] (2019, dir. JJ Abrams)

Forces align for a last battle between the resistance fighters and the Empire to prevent a Palpatine victory. Patchy finale to the nine-film arc which, despite stirring stuff, plus effective comic moments and detail, fails to convince in its lack of climactic story and its course-correction rewriting of the previous movie. A shame, as the new crew have earned some affection.

Cabin in the Sky (1943, dir. Vincente Minnelli)

A shot-dead gambler tries to redeem himself, as emissaries from Heaven and Hell agree on giving him a second chance. Minnelli’s first directorial feature is a wartime Faustian black-cast curio; both of its time (at best) in representational terms yet featuring great performances and musical sequences, it’s well-worth revisiting.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984, dir. Steven Spielberg)

An archaeologist and a nightclub singer find themselves facing an ancient occult evil. Though this prequel starts and finishes well, it’s hampered by an absence of narrative causality, two annoying sidekicks, and unfortunate treatment of gender and ethnicity throughout. Some great stuff remains, but this is too awkward too often.