The Guilty (2021) – All Too OK

Released: 1st October
Seen: 27th November

The Guilty Info

While some films have large elaborate casts, there are those that are designed specifically to focus on a single performance. When these are done right, they can lead to some genuinely fascinating films with incredible central performances, we had one earlier this year with Oxygen, which bore a lot of similarities to Buried. The trick is to somehow maintain an audience’s intrigue for an hour and a half with only one performer and one location. Joining that group of films is The Guilty, a film that gives Jake Gyllenhaal a chance to show off just what he can do… interesting choice to release it around the time we’re apparently meant to hate him because a song said so, but hey that’s how things happen sometimes.

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Trust (2021) – Intriguing

Released: 12th March
Seen: 24th November

Trust Info

You know, lately we’ve had a run of seriously bad sex dramas that are less sexy and dramatic and more like painful farces designed to make us pay for our sins. 50 Shades, After, 365 Days, all of them (and their terrible sequels) sexy dramatic films designed to titillate and intrigue that mostly just get on the thinking audience’s tits. They’re not good and not fun, what ever happened to fun sex dramas? Well, looks like Trust might be just barely good enough to show that there might still be some actual creativity left in this admittedly tawdry genre.

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Paranormal Activity: Next Of Kin (2021) – Dead Boring

Released: 29th October
Seen: 23rd November

In 2009, the movie Paranormal Activity was given a wide release and signalled a change in Horror movies that would almost dictate what the upcoming decade would look like. Before Paranormal Activity, the Horror genre was knee deep in so-called “Torture Porn” films that relied heavily on shock and incredibly over the top violence and gore. 

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Extinct (2021) – Holey Moley

Released: 16th September
Seen: 20th November

Extinct Info

Sometimes you just look at a poster for a film and you just know that this is going to be a bad time, you just have that undeniable feeling that whatever you’re about to go through for the next hour and a half is going to be excruciating. Upon seeing the poster for Extinct it’s hard to deny that the feeling of “Oh god” was running rampant, and that feeling only got worse upon seeing the trailer. Well, the good news is that Extinct is not as awful as one might’ve expected based on first appearances… but that’s only because it’s so middle of the road that awfulness might be an improvement.

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tick, tick… Boom! (2021) – Explosively Great

Released: 19th November
Seen: 20th November

On January 25, 1996, the musical Rent opened to rave reviews. It was written by one Jonathan Larson who sadly would never get to read those reviews or bask in the 12 year run that Rent had because on the day Rent opened, Jonathan Larson passed away due to an aortic dissection. The only other work of Jonathan Larson’s that we know of is a piece called tick, tick… Boom! which began as a one man show in 1990 and then was adapted posthumously into a small 3 person play. Well, here we are about 30 years later and that little monologue has turned into a major movie musical and… god damn I’m so glad we’ve got people doing musicals properly again, Cats had me worried we’d never get to enjoy this genre again!

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The Night House Promo Image

The Night House (2021) – Good Night

Released: 19th August
Seen: 18th November

Haunting movies are always a tough one to pull off. They tend to be a little slower to start with and at times just get a little silly because of what’s needed visually to impart the idea of a ghost moving things around. It takes something pretty special to make this genre rise above just a bunch of loud noises and slamming doors… enter The Night House, something special that rises above loud noises and slamming doors.

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Respect (2021) – Lady Soul

Released: 19th August
Seen: 14th November

Respect Info

A little over two years ago I talked about the documentary Amazing Grace, a film that documented the recording of the greatest selling gospel album of all time by the legendary Aretha Franklin. At that time we had heard about a biopic being made with Jennifer Hudson taking on the role of the legend herself and it’s hard to deny that there was some serious excitement just from that casting. That film would come to be called Respect, released earlier this year and… yep, Respect is an Aretha Franklin biopic alright, with everything that one might think of when they hear the phrase “Aretha Franklin biopic”

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021) – Half The Battle

Released: 22nd July
Seen: 14th November

Snake Eyes Info

The G.I. Joe film franchise is honestly a little baffling, to say the least. The first two films were critical duds, barely made back their money at the domestic box office, they don’t even seem to be the sort of films that the critics hated but audiences loved. It’s a franchise that doesn’t make a buttload of money, get critical praise or have a cult following so I don’t know why it still exists… but for some reason they made a third movie around the origins of the Snake Eyes character (because as X-Men will confirm, it’s always a good idea to just make an origins movie) and… well, at least Henry Golding’s got some good footage for his reel but not sure what else there is.

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Jungle Cruise (2021) – Ship Shape

Released: 29th July
Seen: 12th November

Jungle Cruise Info

The history of movies based on theme park rides is littered with dull trash that offers nothing exciting. Think about it, with the exception of Pirates of the Caribbean and the recent Muppets Haunted Mansion, there aren’t exactly a lot of theme park movies that turn out to be passable let alone actually good. This would explain why, when the announcement of a Jungle Cruise movie was made, it was met with a collective sigh and many people preparing for it to suck… and now it’s out, up on Disney Plus without the premium price and oh my god how is this thing so good?

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Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) – Homesick

Released: 12th November
Seen: 12th November

Home Sweet Home Alone Info

In 1990 a little film called Home Alone was released. On a budget of a little under $20 million, the film went on to make about $476 million worldwide and become an instant classic that spawned exactly 1 good sequel and then 3 films that technically exist. Home Alone influenced so many other film makers who all took a shot at the “Kid makes an elaborate set of traps around the house that leads to an endless amount of slapstick” genre, which is why we have atrocities like The War With Grandpa. So many people have tried to recreate the magic of the original film and no one has pulled it off… and adding to that “Can’t pull off the magic of Home Alone” pile is Home Sweet Home Alone, a film that doesn’t even pretend to understand what made the original special and just desperately cashes in on a 30 year old property without any effort whatsoever.

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