James vs. His Future Self (2019, dir. Jeremy LaLonde)

A socially-awkward physicist is visited by a future version of himself. Smart little romantic comedy with SF elements. Crucially, it doesn’t overplay the time travel elements, but uses them to tell a straightforward but charming story. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer:

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020, dir. McG [Joseph McGinty])

Two years after the traumatic events of the first film, Judah finds himself still struggling to be believed. Zippy sequel that expands on, rather than rehashes, its predecessor (which it’d be useful to see immediately prior). More gore slapstick than horror flick, this is a fun and pleasantly inconsequential ride.

Here’s the trailer.

Corporate Animals (2019, dir. Patrick Brice)

A team-building weekend goes awry when colleagues are trapped in a cave. Poor entry in the office politics horror-comedy sub-genre, with a decent cast struggling with under-powered scripting, direction, and lighting choices. There’s nice Gary Sinise and Britney Spears running gags, but that’s about it.

Here’s the trailer.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015, dir. John Madden)

Sonny and Sunaina are to be married, but complications arise when an expansion plan is threatened. With the hotel residents’ stories pretty much told in the first movie, this sequel struggles to justify itself, lifting instead the plot of a Fawlty Towers episode. Still, fans won’t complain, plus Richard Gere twinkles in support.

The Debt Collector 2 [AKA Debt Collectors] (2020, dir. Jesse V Johnson)

French and Sue go to Las Vegas on the promise of a payday. DTV martial arts comedy-thriller sequel that’s a cut above. The mix of bickering and bar fights as before, though there’s some panache in the direction, the action choreography, and the chemistry between the leads. Recommended for genre fans.

The Banana Splits Movie (2019, dir. Danishka Esterhazy)

Animatronic children’s TV characters from a long-running series come to murderous life during a show recording. A couple of plot niggles aside, this is generally a fun revisiting of the 60s show, updated a la Fantasy Island via Westworld. Could be darker in places, but matters are set up well for sequels.

Two Heads Creek (2019, dir. Jesse O’Brien)

Adopted twins flee Brexit Britain searching for their birth mother, apparently living in a remote Australian township. Scattershot horror-comedy in need of a second script-editing opinion. Competently made, and with glimmers of focus and satire, making the film all the more frustrating to sit through.

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018, dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

Fin and crew journey through time to prevent the sharknados from ever beginning. The sixth and final instalment of the trash franchise tests the tolerance of the most indulgent fan, though has three good jokes among the dross. A low strike rate, but sometimes you take what you can.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011, dir. John Madden)

British senior citizens relocate to India, where they find themselves in a dilapidated retirement hotel. Slight but fun romantic comedy aimed directly at Mamma Mia! fans. A strong cast helps; the film decides this isn’t the place to schematically engage with the negative impacts of colonialism, going instead for crinkly and twinkly. A sequel soon followed.

Being Human (1994, dir. Bill Forsyth)

Five iterations of the same man – from prehistoric to contemporary times – lose then attempt to regain themselves. The studio-imposed release cut disowned by its director, this is an awkward though fitfully fascinating film; ambitious though meandering, occasionally beautiful, and with a great cast in depth.