Twin boys begin to suspect that their mother is not who she claims to be. Muted and perhaps over-respectful English-language remake of the 2014 Austrian original. The performances are uniformly good, mind, even if the reveals aren’t strong: Naomi Watts delivers another variant on her mum (or not…) under pressure specialism.
A marionette boy, if worthy, can become human. Another of Zemeckis’s CG/mocap/animation hi-tech but low-soul classic adaptations, this time a remake of the 1940 Disney classic. A few wrinkles, characters, and new songs are added, but no improvements, with some aspects toned down.
Mismatched brothers kidnap a paramedic and her cop patient as part of an LA heist getaway. A superior slice of Bayhem (remaking the 2005 Danish flick of the same name) that’s dumb as rocks, but gleeful and propulsive. An impressive commitment to vehicular destruction, and it looks great throughout. Jake Gyllenhaal clearly has a blast.
A family is invited to become caretakers of a haunted country house. Solid and entertaining second version of the story, balancing the 1972 original and Antonia Barber’s source novel The Ghosts. No surprises, perhaps, but Gatiss’s control of the material and his affection for it is well in evidence throughout.
A crime lord seeks revenge on the armed robbers who kill his son during an armoured car heist. Somewhat po-faced payback thriller, somehow cramming 85 minutes of high-octane action into 2 hours. What should be a lean killing machine gets drawn out by indulgence, Rashomonisms and Tarantinoisms. A shame, as there’s some good stuff lost in the mix.
A deskbound troubled police officer struggles to solve a possible abduction while working in an LA 911 call centre. Decent US remake of the 2018 Danish thriller of the same name. A stripped-back production that’s effective both as a drama and as a showcase for star Gyllenhaal, who’s onscreen throughout.
A theme park owner hosts a birthday party in a supposedly-haunted ex-asylum. Remake of the Vincent Price flick. More a premise than a movie, though there’s some fun to be had before it kinda falls apart, not least in Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen out-camping each other, and in some neat FX touches. A DTV sequel followed.
Long-feuding sheep-farming brothers are impacted by a virus threatening their rare breed flocks. Very pleasurable comedy-drama – a remake of the 2015 Icelandic film of the same name – which transposes its story well, and which does pretty much what you’d expect, but with confident ease. Recommended.
A former soldier hires mercenaries to help him with his revenge plan. Interesting if not wholly successful attempt to remake/localise Gareth Evans’s The Raid. It starts slow with some lazy sub-Tarantinoisms, but gains confidence and panache over time, plus Ivan Kotik is an unusual action star in the making.
An ex-forces security guard takes on hi-tech thieves during a basketball game. Straightforward DTV reprise of the 1995 Peter Hyams/Van Damme minor action classic: Michael Jai White is as charismatic as ever, and while the movie’s not great, it delivers lo-fi fisticuffs, some OK jokes, and a couple of neat ideas.