The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, dir. Wes Anderson)

An aged hotelier recounts his life story. If Keaton and Kubrick ever teamed up to make a deadpan farce prequel to The Shining, then this’d be it. Beautiful to look it, gorgeously designed and presented, with a cast in depth happy to help out. Lots of fun, basically, with Ralph Fiennes on fine form.

Here’s the trailer.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, Dir. Philip Kaufman)

A group of friends become suspicious when mysterious seed pods grow everywhere and the people they know start to act strange. Brilliant remake of the 1956 sci-fi classic, this is well crafted, genuinely disturbing in places and remains remarkably tense and downbeat.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, Dir. Philip Kaufman)

Hotel Artemis (2018, dir. Drew Pearce)

One night in a gangsters-only private hospital in riot-torn near-future LA. Derivative but fun low-budget cyberpunk thriller, with elements of the Purge and John Wick movies. The budget’s wisely spent on strength in depth in the casting.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, dir, Steven Spielberg)

A rescue mission to a second island – where the original film’s dinosaurs were engineered – goes awry. Patchy sequel to the original, stronger on set-pieces than on logic or story, with borrowings from a dozen monster movies.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, dir Taika Waititi)

Thor and Loki must battle their forgotten sister to regain Asgard. Hugely entertaining and impressively throwaway piece of popcorn tosh. Everyone is having a whale of a time, even if there’s minimal actual story or incident. Lots of fun all round though, especially in the details.

Another perspective? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s take.

Independence Day (1996, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Aliens invadeĀ Earth. Patriotic, team-oriented, and generally satisfactory War of the Worlds update which shoehorns in Wells’ ending and makes space for an ensemble cast having fun plus then-state of the art effects work. Slyly tongue-in-cheek throughout.

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016, dir. Roland Emmerich)

20 years after Independence Day, the aliens return. Sequel/reprise of the 1996 original, taking a lighter, space operatic tone. ID4:R works because it plays as B-movie fodder, and is less interested in plausibility than in creating fun moments.