Murder On The Orient Express

Released 9th November

Seen 18th November

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Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Written by Michael Green
Produced by Twentieth Century Fox, Kinberg Genre, Mark Gordon Company, Scott Free Productions, Latina Pictures & The Estate of Agatha Christie
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, Miranda Raison.

The modern murder mystery owes a great debt to Agatha Christie’s work Murder on the Orient Express. Easily one of the most popular novels of all time, it’s a work that continues to inspire artists over 80 years later since it’s publishing and has been adapted into radio plays, TV episodes, games and even Anime. It also had a celebrated adaptation in 1974 by Sydney Lumet and now it’s Kenneth Branagh’s turn… just such a pity for him that those 80 years have worn the edges off this tale.

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Cult Of Chucky

Released 2nd November

Seen 16th November

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Directed & Written by Don Mancini
Produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment
Starring Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Alex Vincent & Jennifer Tilly

The Child’s Play series is one that’s gone through many variations. The original 3 movies were all focussed on Andy Barclay and had a serious tone to them despite the admittedly silly concept. Bride & Seed of Chucky took the series in a more comedic direction, which culminated in the underappreciated Seed (Which I once wrote about my love of). When Seed didn’t do quite as well as they expected at the box office the series went straight to DVD and straight to the darkest it’s ever been with Curse Of Chucky. Now we have Cult of Chucky, the culmination of decades of building and they’ve built up to something glorious.

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Justice League

Seen 16th November (Opening Day)

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Directed by Zach Snyder
Written by Chris Terrio & Joss Whedon
Produced by Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC, Lensbern Productions & Warner Bros.
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa & Ray Fisher

In 2012 the long awaited movie The Avengers was released to rave reviews. It was a movie that took years to set up, build an entire universe, introduce a ton of superheroes to this new cinematic entity that was created and was one of the highlights of the 2012 film scene. Marvel proved that you could create an amazing superhero team up movie and, in the process, cemented their place as a company that would define how superhero movies were going to look for the next decade… DC would like to do that, but it sounds hard!

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Jigsaw

Released 2nd November (Australian release)

Seen 15th November

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Directed by Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig
Written by Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg
Produced by Serendipity Productions, Twisted Pictures & A Bigger Boat
Starring Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson & Laura Vandervoort

In 2004 a couple of Aussies changed the world of horror cinema with nothing more than a handsaw, a bathroom and Westley from The Princess Bride. It went on to become one of the biggest horror series of all time raking in around half a billion dollars with its annual releases until the series came to an end with Saw 3D in 2010. The series was considered long dead until this year when Jigsaw revived the franchise and let the games begin again… sadly, much like when you play any game multiple times, you know all the moves by now and after a while, the game stops surprising you.

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The Babysitter

Released 13th October

Seen 14th November

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Directed by McG
Written by Brian Duffield
Produced by Boies/Schiller Film Group, New Line Cinema & Wonderland Sound and Vision
Starring Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee, Bella Thorne & Andrew Bachelor

The character of the babysitter in a horror film is one of the more common tropes. Usually, the babysitter is the victim of the crazy man going around the town killing people. This was the case in the classics like Halloween or When A Stranger Calls where the main protagonist of the film was a babysitter. The Babysitter asks a very simple question, “What would happen if the babysitter was the antagonist instead of the protagonist?”. Turns out the answer, much like an overused Facebook status, is “It’s complicated”

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Released 18th May (Australia)

Seen 14th November

King Arthur

Directed by Guy Ritchie
Written by Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram
Produced by Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Weed Road Pictures, Safehouse Picture, Wigram Productions , RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law & Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

The tale of King Arthur and the Knights of Camelot is one that has been told hundreds of times throughout the ages. It’s been a musical, a cartoon, a TV series, a Disney Channel Original Movie… hell, it was literally the starting point of the last Transformers movie. Arthurian legend is a tale as old as time and now it’s Guy Ritchie’s turn to have a stab at the well-told tale. Many critics seem to really hate this film… I am not ‘many critics’, despite what my talking scale might tell you.

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Sleepless

Released 16th February (Australia)

Seen 13th November

Sleepless

Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Andrea Berloff
Produced by FilmNation Entertainment, Open Road Films, Riverstone Pictures & Vertigo Entertainment
Starring Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Scoot McNairy & Dermot Mulroney

In the 1990’s, the drug Ambien rose to prominence as a form of sleep aid. It was a branded version of the zolpidem class of drugs that would aid someone in going to sleep, even though it had adverse side effects such as causing people to sleepwalk and being a very addictive substance. I think I found a really good substitute for that drug that has no adverse side effects. I’ll take my Nobel prize in medicine now for discovering this brilliant alternative, thank you.

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Snatched

Released 11th May (Australia)

Seen 12th November

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Directed by Jonathan Levine
Written by Katie Dippold
Produced by Chernin Entertainment, Feigco Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Amy Schumer & Goldie Hawn

Between the years 1970 and 2000, one of the biggest film comedy stars was Goldie Hawn. She hasn’t been in a major motion picture since The Banger Sisters in 2002 so seeing her back in a film is one hell of a treat… and thank God because she saved this movie.

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The Lego Batman Movie

Released 30th March (Australia)

Seen 11th November

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Directed by Chris McKay
Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern & John Whittington
Produced by DC Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Lin Pictures, Lord Miller, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment, Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Bros
Starring Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson & Ralph Fiennes

Earlier this year I saw Lego Ninjago, a movie that was clearly spewed out to capitalize on the cinematic success that was The Lego Movie. At the start of that review, I mentioned that “Lego Batman… showed you could play around in multiple established universes and still tell your own story”. I knew this because my younger brother told me the basic storyline of the Lego Batman movie and, at that point, I hadn’t seen Lego Batman. I’ve now rectified that and somehow, it makes me think Lego Ninjago was actually worse.

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Monster Trucks

Released 12th January

Seen 10th November

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Directed by Chris Wedge
Written by Derek Connolly
Produced by Disruption Entertainment, FortyFour Studios, Nickelodeon Movies & Paramount Pictures
Starring Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon, Danny Glover & Rob Lowe

One of the classic film tropes that have been a major part of cinema is known as the “A Boy and His Dog” trope. The idea is that the story revolves the bond between the boy (Usually our main character) and his dog (Though this can vary). Monster Trucks is absolutely a Boy and his Dog kind of film… it’s just that I don’t care about either the boy or his dog/giant-alien-truck-controlling-creature.

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