Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012, dir. Molly Bernstein & Alan Edelstein)

Documentary on the late American magician, his inspirations in magic and his place in contemporary close-up magic. A fine career overview and just enough of a glimpse into the man to reveal his complexities as a person. Highly recommended.

Winchester (2018, dir. The Spierig Brothers)

A widowed doctor is hired to prove that the eccentric owner of a weapons company is insane. Handsomely-mounted jumpscare horror that doesn’t find much to do with its based-on-a-true-story premise, so settles for a few boos and no eews. Disappointing, given the talent involved.

Prometheus (2012, dir. Ridley Scott)

A deep space mission to engage with humanity’s distant ancestors finds more than it bargained. Great-looking but ultimately dumb and pretentious Alien prequel, with a fine cast largely wasted on a grab-bag script of variable ideas. Alien: Covenant followed in 2017,

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968, dir. Sergio Leone)

A revenger, a robber baron, a bandit, and a mail-order bride coincide on the same remote farmhouse. Genius Western, distilling the last three decades of genre filmmaking into a single movie. Elegaic, definitive, and unmissable. Recommended,

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation [AKA The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre] (1994, dir. Kim Henkel)

Four students leave their senior prom and get lost in the woods, happening across the Sawyer clan. Again, there’s interesting stuff among the scream and chase stuff, not least an odd wider story, and some smart production design. Patchy, though.

The Crazies (2010, dir. Breck Eisner)

A viral outbreak in a small Iowa town leads to a zombie-like infection and a military lockdown. Effective and well-sustained remake of the 1973 George Romero flick of the same name. Cynical, paranoid and subversive within its now-familiar genre framework.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017, dir. Patrick Hughes)

A down-on-his-luck bodyguard has to escort his former nemesis to a court hearing. Passable road movie / action comedy with a game cast doing its best with average material. Some fun bickering and fighting though, and a weird sense of UK geography.