Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman)

A detective is assigned a new partner in the aftermath of a Jigsaw copycat beginning to target dirty cops. Okay series reinvention: the procedural approach is a neat shift, and Rock is having fun, but the predictable villain and unlikable victims mean that we tend to side with the antagonist, if we invest at all.

Here’s the trailer.

Roald Dahl’s The Witches [AKA The Witches] (2020, dir. Robert Zemeckis)

An orphan is raised by his grandmother, who warns him about witches who are all-too-real. This second version is less spiky than the 1990 Nic Roeg-directed attempt, but still balances child-centric adventure and a dark sensibility: the Americanisation works well, even if the story’s still a touch contrived.

Here’s the trailer. And here’s another review.

The Witches (2020, Dir. Robert Zemeckis)

New likeable version of Roald Dahl’s story. A change of setting and Anne Hathaway heading up a cast having a lot of fun. Some great moments, occasional poor VFX, but otherwise fun family territory. I prefer the 1990 version but this is still worth a watch!

Dolemite Is My Name (2019, dir. Craig Brewer)

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.

Madagascar (2005, dir. Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath)

Four New York zoo animals find themselves accidentally marooned in the wilds of Madagascar. Fast and funny CG animation, with enough going on by way of slapstick, good gags, pop culture references and keen voicework to keep all ages entertained.

Comedian (2002, dir. Christian Charles)

A documentary chronicling Jerry Seinfeld’s return to stand-up, and the life of an up-and-coming┬ácomic, Orly Adams. Decent doc that’s strong on the challenges of stand-up, the self-doubt and uncertainties that come with playing comedy clubs.