Star Trek Into Darkness (2013, dir. JJ Abrams)

Attacks on Starfleet propel Kirk and crew into a manhunt in Klingon territory. Second of the alt-timeline reboot film series works fine as a pacy SF adventure with plenty of comedy to counterpoint the action, though struggles – as before – with its villainy and a need to over-reference its predecessors. A third movie followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian [AKA Night at the Museum 2] (2009, dir. Shawn Levy)

Larry and friends fight a reanimated pharaoh intent on conquering the world. Second and best of the family adventure flicks, not being saddled with set-up, and having confidence to play with its premise in fun and inventive ways. Highlights include Amy Adams and Hank Azaria, both revelling in their roles.

Here’s the trailer.

C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989, dir. David Irving)

Teenagers steal a cadaver, and unwittingly cause a zombie outbreak. Generally sprightly loose sequel, played squarely for laughs this time out. A surprising amount of it works, even if the loose plot is little more than a frame for gag sequences. Contains one of the few John Huston jokes in horror cinema.

Here’s the trailer.

C.H.U.D. (1984, dir. Douglas Cheek)

A cop, a photographer, and a charity worker each investigate the disappearances of New York street people. Quirky horror-comedy with an anti-authoritarian streak. Benefits from location shooting and a solid cast in depth, even if the story is slight. A sequel followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Cannonball! [AKA Carquake] (1976, dir. Paul Bartel)

Various racers compete – and cheat – in a trans-American car race. Enjoyably ramshackle road comedy typical of the subgenre packed with lo-fi vehicle stunts, sly humour, and cameo appearances from Roger Corman’s phone book: everyone from Martin Scorsese to Sylvester Stallone shows up.

Here’s the trailer.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014, dir. Shawn Levy)

Larry, his son, and their museum friends go to London to return a magical talisman. Third time out and there are signs of franchise fatigue setting in: the new additions work best (Dan Stevens and a cameoing Hugh Jackman). Series fans won’t be disappointed, though it’s the same film as twice before in essence.

Here’s the trailer.

Love and Monsters (2020, dir. Michael Matthews)

A young man journeys across giant creature-infested territory to reunite with his former girlfriend. Derivative but fun post-apocalyptic survival flick with a little heart. It borrows from everything from A Boy and his Dog to Mad Max 2 via Tremors, but still works. Michael Rooker offers serio-comic grizzle in support.

Here’s the trailer.

Palm Springs (2020, dir. Max Barbakow)

A man is resigned to being stuck in a temporal loop at a wedding. Solid SF/fantasy comedy with sharp edges. Smart playing, a fine soundtrack, and enough diversion from the Groundhog Day template all helps, as does a pleasingly amoral streak. JK Simmons and Dale Dickey are along for the ride.

Here’s the trailer.

Thunder Force (2021, dir. Ben Falcone)

Mismatched former best friends become superheroes after a laboratory mishap. Perhaps the most perfunctorily-plotted movie in recent history. McCarthy reprises her brash/embarrassed working class schtick, and there’s a few decent song-based jokes. A strong cast helps: Jason Bateman’s enjoying himself.

Here’s the trailer.

Carry On Screaming! (1966, dir. Gerald Thomas)

A missing person case leads a detective to a mysterious house and its alluring resident. Generally effective and accurate parody of Hammer’s gothic adaptations (touching on Frankenstein, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll/Hyde and Mummy pics, with wax museum antics thrown in. Guesting stars Harry H Corbett and Fenella Fielding add some variety too.