Goodbye Piccadilly Tube, Farewell Odeon Leicester Square

Look on Metacritic or Apple Trailers right now and all you’ll find is a ragbag collection of B-movies elevated from direct-to-video. The only potential blockbuster being trailed is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’, only because he’s insisting it goes into physical theatres come what may. For the first and only time in its history, cinema has effectively […]

‘Get In’ – When A Critic Needs to Be A Detective

During the Lockdown I’ve been catching up on films I’ve been meaning to see, and have been transported by trash and Palme D’Or winners alike. I’ll happily overlook a film’s technical inadequacies if there’s a germ of originality. Often there isn’t. Hollywood has too much at stake to upset its audiences, so I look for […]

12 Movies Even More Locked Down Than You

So you think you’re suffocating, need to get out of your home and get away? Others have it worse in the movies. Obviously ‘Saw’ and ‘The Evil Dead’ will make you feel positively liberated by comparison but there are plenty of other Lockdown movies to choose from, if you’d care to experience some schadenfreude. This […]

What Not To Watch During Lockdown

Everyone’s telling you about the streamers you should catch up with in lockdown, but what about the heavily hyped ones you should avoid? No, don’t thank me, I’m happy to share the three claustrophobic experiences below… How many times have you asked yourself, ‘I wonder what Alien would be like if it was remade underwater […]

Films With Surprise Endings

It’s not enough for the twists in mystery novels to be unguessable – after all, there’s a frisson that accompanies the feeling that you may be able to name the murderer – the solutions to mysteries need to feel natural and unforced. Left-field answers are fun, but organically arrived-at solutions are more satisfying. This rules […]

The Baftas And Diversity

‘Where the Baftas go the Oscars follow’ parroted the journalists this week, but it’s not strictly true. For many years the Baftas could not be mentioned in the same breath as the Oscars. It was an underpowered industry closed shop. The ceremony was linked to a lengthy dinner, as in any other industry, so by […]

The Year’s Most Interestingly Strange Films

However you slice it, this was the year that movies hit a fork in the road; Big budget (tentpole or fan-service or whatever you want to call them) films no longer worked, franchises and sequels lost their grip on audiences and genuinely original one-offs started popping up, often facilitated by Netflix funding. Some made money, […]

My Best Picture Prediction

In a way all awards ceremonies are the same from the Annual Meat Supplier of the Year to the British and American Academy Awards (although the latter always had a certain arrogance – for years the media wasn’t allowed to refer to them as ‘The Oscars’). They’re not about rewarding excellence but being seen to […]

Robert Zemeckis: The Stranger The Better

These are ¬†certain left-field mid-budget movies which are slightly too clever to ever reach wider audiences. I suspect that in years to come ‘Jojo Rabbit’ will live on in this ‘Brilliant Singular Vision’ category. It’s often possible to find terrific scenes in the most wrong-headed films. I worked on the ghastly ‘Howard The Duck’, which […]

Hooray For Wakaliwood!

I’m tired of seeing worthy, earnest dramas this awards season. Sometimes you just want to see stuff blown up. After Bollywood and Nollywood (Nigerian productions) we have Wakaliwood, Ugandan productions shot on half a shoestring, which somehow capture the free spirit of the 1970s cheapies from the Hollywood independents, the kind of films they used […]