Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018, dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman)

Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers, but he’s not the only Spider-Man. Visually impressive and engaging (though overlong) comic book story that emulates the reading experience as well as offering both fan service and deconstruction. Huge fun for the most part, though.

Men in Black II [AKA MIIB] (2002, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)

Agent J has to tea up again with Agent K to fight a new alien menace. Passable SF/comedy sequel. As with its predecessor, there’s more interest in its showy make-up effects and throwaway gags than either worldbuilding or story, tho Lara Flynn Boyle has fun as a vampish villain.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019, dir. Chad Stahelski)

Wick, now excommunicado, seeks a way back. Part 3 expands on the series mythology and develops both the character’s backstory and the action choreography. Not all of the plot makes sense, but for the main part, this is exhilarating physical entertainment with some dark humour.

Maniac Cop (1988, dir. William Lustig)

A kill-happy cop returns from the dead to get revenge on the NYPD. Patchy late entry in the slasher cycle, this has some of the quirkiness of writer/producer Larry Cohen’s best work, but is let down in places by flat performances and unimaginative direction.

Ocean’s Eight [AKA Ocean’s 8] (2018, dir. Gary Ross)

A just-released thief puts together a jewel heist. Slick comedy-thriller with a few nods to the Clooney/Pitt/Soderbergh movies. Fun while it’s on, and everyone seems to be having a fine old time.

God Told Me To [AKA Demon] (1976, dir. Larry Cohen)

A religious NYPD detective investigates a series of random killings. Splendid one-of-a-kind SF/horror with a procedural aspect. Impressively shot on the sly on the streets of New York, and with some great ideas, this is one of director Cohen’s best flicks.

Elf (2003, dir. Jon Favreau)

One of Santas’s elves discovers he’s human; he journeys to New York to find his father. Generally solid Christmas comedy which keeps its single joke going for a good hour before a plot is hastily bundled in (the usual “save Christmas” one).