Scrooge (1935, dir. Henry Edwards)

A miser is haunted by a series of ghosts, so he may rethink his approach to Christmas and life. A charming adaptation of the oft-filmed Dickens novella A Christmas Carol, capturing a famous stage portrayal. Some lovely model effects and a keen visual sensibility; a touch of expressionism and a feel for the period on display here.

Dumbo (2019, dir. Tim Burton)

A failing circus buys a pregnant elephant; her baby has huge ears, allowing it to fly. Ambitious but mostly soulless attempt to make a non-musical live-action/CG remake of the 1941 original. Some heart, but this is mostly anodyne and clean, lacking the dark inventive touch of early Burton.

Brightburn (2019, dir. David Yarovesky)

An adopted boy finds out that he is an alien when his superpowers are triggered by puberty. Its neat inversion of the Superman origin story notwithstanding, Brightburn doesn’t quite know what to do with its premise, or with the horror route it takes. Nevertheless, an interesting minor film, with an eye for small-town detail.

Fancy another point of view? Here you go. Oh, and here.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019, dir. Michael Dougherty)

The Russells and others fight the emerging Titans; and work to support Godzilla. Decent if slightly over-serious continuation of the 2014 rebooted cycle with a canny cast of character actors and a genuine sense of the spectacular. Light on story, but heavy on Kyle Chandler reaction shots, plus monster-fu aplenty.

Land of the Lost (2009, dir. Brad Silberling)

A debunked anthropologist and his companions are accidentally transported to an alien world. A deliberately daft semi-spoof version of the 70s TV show, focusing on set-piece comedy, improvised moments and on some rude running gags. Not bad if you go with it, though not for everyone, the flick relying on your capacity for its star’s mugging.

Hellboy (2019, dir. Neil Marshall)

Hellboy battles an ancient sorceress from Arthurian legend. Famously-troubled shooting and post-production bedevilled this fantasy horror series reboot, which as a consequence is all over the place. Some good stuff, but its awkward storytelling is patched with flashbacks, dubbed dialogue, variable FX, overlength; the works. A shame.

Scrooged (1988, dir. Richard Donner)

A mean TV executive is visited by a series of ghosts intent on teaching him the true meaning of Christmas. A raucous, overlong, and often unfunny retelling of A Christmas Carol, overly keen to cash in on its star’s links to Ghostbusters. Inevitably, some bits work nevertheless, and the film’s become something of a Yuletide perennial despite its weaknesses.