ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?
Lacklustre doc on the unsolved murder of the Run DMC founding member.
The Lego Movie
Thoroughly enjoyable madness, with a CGI animation of a fully-fleshed out universe populated by a plastic building toy range come to life and zipping in and out of other cultural franchises (DC, Star Wars) as well as meatspace stuff and yet still making more sense and serving up more enjoyment to the audience than most ‘serious’ films. Top voice cast, top ideas, top direction by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
The Lego Batman Movie
Nice little sidequel/spin-off of the above, with Will Ferrell firming up his perfectly pitched Dark Knight, this time under direction from Chris McKay.
The Lego Ninjago Movie
I totally have a soft spot for the silly Ninjago/Spinjitzu telly show; here it gets a nice feature length outing in the slipstream of its bigger sibling. Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan.
Impeccable low budget, high ambition serial killer shenanigans, in a very recognisable, grimy-but-not-cartoonishly hell-like London. A family affair, with Gerard Johnson the writer-director; his brother-in-law Peter Ferdinando totally believable as the sad-sack protagonist, not all there and trying so hard to reach people, to make human connections, but never quite making it; and his brother Matt (The The) Johnson providing a mesmerising score. All the better for not imposing resolution on the story.
Shock And Awe
So-so, bit worthy and old fashioned ‘this is how it happened’ drama, describing how all through the build up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq – and after it – a group of journalists at the Knight Ridder news agency doggedly challenged the claims made by the Bush administration of collusion between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, which formed the pretext for war. Rob Reiner directs and stars, alongside Woody Harrelson, James Marsden (the dude with the cheeks like a baby’s slapped arse) and Jessica Biel.
The big Netflix post apocalyptic thriller which seemed just a bit too close to the premise of the relatively recently released A Quiet Place, with Sandra Bullock trying to get to a possible sanctuary with her partner and children amidst a world where sight has become a dangerous encumbrance. Absolutely fine stuff from Susanne Bier, with a nice cast (Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, Tom Hollander), just the ring of an 80s/90s Stephen King TV movie.
The first Bond I ever saw, I think – staying up late with my dad to watch it on ITV I think – and TBH the plot never really stuck. But it’s got great moments, even if we have it to thank for the franchise’s obsession with really fucking long underwater combat scenes.
You Only Live Twice
Used to really love this one, but for some reason wasn’t feeling it so much this time, despite the BOND DIES! hook, and Roald Dahl’s dark humour, and the peerless assault-on-the-villain’s-lair set-piece.
Rise Of The Guardians
Recommended by a work colleague – DreamWorks CG animated comedy about a crew of universal childhood fantasy characters (Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman) who reluctantly take on the rather rubbish Jack Frost as they battle against the dastardly Pitch Black in a battle for the hearts and minds of the world’s kids. But frankly rather lacklustre. Strong voice cast (Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine) is squandered. Directed by Peter Ramsey.