Aquaman (2018) – It’s Better, Down Where It’s Wetter

Released: 26th December
Seen: 26th December

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DC has really had something of a bad time with their attempt at a cinematic universe. While the hardcore DC fan base have enjoyed the films so far, with general audiences they’ve been critically panned and have such a horrible reputation that the massive team up movie Justice League is the worst performing film in the franchise. That’s almost impossible to contemplate, the film where every major DC superhero was meant to team up in an event that we have been building too for four movies and it didn’t make as much money as Suicide Squad. The audience is effectively done with what the DC universe is offering now. There were serious talks for a while that the upcoming Flashpoint movie might be used just to try and erase the entire franchise and start again from scratch, it’s not looking good for the DCEU who not only have a failing franchise on their hands that can barely bring them a return on investment, but the franchise is now so far behind the juggernaut MCU that it seems unlikely they’ll ever catch up. For this franchise to still have legs it needs this film to be good. All they had to do was make something that didn’t hurt to watch and they might actually put themselves on the right track… and oh thank god they pulled it off.

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Once Upon A Deadpool (2018) – Once More, With Savage

Released: 12th December
Seen: 19th December

One of the most infamous bad horror movies of the ’80s was a film called Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. The internet knows it mostly because of the infamous “GARBAGE DAY” scene that was a meme a while ago. The movie itself is a barely repackaged copy of the original movie, edited down with interstitial scenes featuring the brother of the main character from the first movie and a psychiatrist who literally go over the events of the original film in detail before moving onto a new story in the second half of the film. Beyond the Garbage Day sequence, there wasn’t much about it that was memorable. At best it was a mediocre cash in that barely tried to differentiate itself from the original and was trying to bank on the media uproar that surrounded the original film in the franchise… so, what if someone took the “Repackage an old movie” idea, used a good movie to do it, but didn’t bother to add any new story elements of any kind and just relied on a marketing gimmick in order to make some money? Turns out, that might work but only up to a certain point.

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Bumblebee (2018) – More Than Meets The Eye

Released: 20th December
Seen: 14th December (Advanced Screening)

Last year the film Transformers: The Last Knight was released to cinemas on June 20th. On July 3rd I walked into a cinema and saw it and I can safely say it was the worst cinematic experience I had in 2017. I hated so much about it, I hated its drab colour scheme and shoddy editing. I hated its stupid dialogue and insipid story. I hated its stupid attempt at using Arthurian mythology. I hated how it wasted legendary actors, and also Mark Wahlberg. I raged about the aspect ratio and the transitions and every aspect of the filmmaking. I raged about that so much that I literally stated that Michael Bay does not know how to make movies. I labelled it the second worst film of the year, and I STILL think I was being very generous when I gave it that title because I don’t know if I should’ve called it a film! So you can imagine how I was not in any way excited about a new Transformers movie. I was prepared to sit there raging in anger and broiling in my own hate-juice while I vomited bile all over the seats around me… and then I went to see the movie, and I got a Christmas miracle.

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Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!

Released: 6th December
Seen: 3rd December (Advanced Screening)

One of the great joys of doing this is getting to really see some intense hard-hitting films. As I slowly start to finish out 2018 I look back and think about the hard intense thrillers, the powerful dramas, the deep explorations of the human psyche that I have sat through for the last 12 months and after all that it’s about time that I got to have a nice simple movie that I could switch my brain off during and just enjoy for its visceral delight in being over the top… and Overlord provided me exactly that.

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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – Does Whatever A Spider Can

Released: 13th December
Seen: 2nd December (Advanced Screening)

This year has been particularly good for superhero movies, possibly the best that we’ve had since Marvel decided they wanted to take over the cinematic landscape. From truly important cultural milestones like Black Panther, to displays of just what the genre is capable of like The Avengers, to silly little parody films that I still can’t even begin to get enough of like Teen Titan’s Go To The Movies, it’s safe to say this year has been an absolute boon time for the Superhero movie… and now we get to throw Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse into that pantheon of truly great superhero movies.

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Venom (2018) – Like A Film, In The Wind

Released: 4th October
Seen: 13th November

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So today we lost one of the greatest creators who ever lived. The incomparable Stan Lee passed away, leaving behind him a universe of characters that have spent the last decade changing the film landscape. If you’ve been to a cinema to see a film in the last 10 years, chances are that Marvel’s logo popped up and so did Stan in one of his iconic cameo’s. The most recent in the tidal wave of films to come out is Venom, the last theatrically released Marvel film during Stan’s lifetime and it seemed appropriate for me to see it the day the news broke… for the record, he has a cameo in this one, and I won’t pretend I didn’t tear up a little. While I was doing that though, I was also thinking “Damn… I wish this was a better film right now”

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