The Champions

There’s a Golden Age of television theme tunes, from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, a time when the programme and the opening music became one in a perfect marriage. The Persuaders is a stand out theme, along with Van Der Valk, but there’s one more worth mentioning: The Champions. Written by Tony Hatch, who had … More The Champions

Troll Hunter (2010)

Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen Dir. Andre Ovredal Are you one of those people who finds it hard to believe in the weirder things in life? Things such as werewolves, vampires, ghouls . . . trolls? If the film Troll Hunter doesn’t convince you once and for all that such … More Troll Hunter (2010)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson Dir. Francis Lawrence When I heard the news that the second novel in the Hunger Games series was being filmed I groaned inwardly. Don’t get me wrong, the first film was good, surprisingly good, but the idea that you could take Jennifer Lawrence and associated … More The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Now You See Me (2013)

Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman Dir. Louis Leterrier Within minutes of the start of Now You See Me you wonder if someone has been watching the BBC series Hustle. The similarities are all there: the individual scamsters plying their trades, trumpet heavy music swinging … More Now You See Me (2013)

World War Z

Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz Dir. Marc Forster The thing about zombies is there’s just no reasoning with them. You can’t take them to one side and say we feel your pain, give us time and we can work this out. In World War Z the zombies are no different, still unreasonable, no talking … More World War Z

Red 2 (2013)

Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary-Louise Paarker, Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, Lee Byung-hun Dir. Dean Parisot There are men sitting in darkened rooms in Hollywood who would tell us that we don’t want to see big budget action thrillers starring old people. So how come Red was good enough to merit a … More Red 2 (2013)

Jack Reacher (2013)

Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog Dir. Christopher McQuarrie Let’s ignore the fact that Tom Cruise is about four foot shorter than the fictitious Jack Reacher of the novels. Everyone (including me, notice) has pointed this out, but if it’s all right by Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher novels, then … More Jack Reacher (2013)

Pacific Rim (2013)

Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Pearlman Dir. Guillermo del Toro Given the choice between a horrible death at the flippers of the Kaiju monsters and listening for more than a minute of Charlie Day’s vocal delivery, I’d choose death by Kaiju anytime. The world’s shortage of helium is caused right there, inside that … More Pacific Rim (2013)

Rush (2013)

Daniel Bruhl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara Dir. Ron Howard Live fast and die young might have been one of James Hunt’s mantras, but one wonders if he lay on his deathbed in 1993 wishing he could have a few more dacades. That’s the thing about people who live fast and die young: … More Rush (2013)

11.6 (2013)

Francoise Cluzet, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners, Dir. Phillipe Godeau In 2009 Toni Musulin stole 11.6 million euros from the security van he was driving. The money belonged to the Banque de France. Now most people might see this as a cut and dried case of theft. Musulin even handed himself in. But a few facts … More 11.6 (2013)

Jo

Jo doesn’t have whining music ten minutes from the end. But Jo is an ex-alcoholic drug user with marital issues. Dead wife, drugged up daughter and he’s a cop in a parallel universe Paris. Jo isn’t a science fiction cop show though. For some reason he seems to be the only French person in Paris. … More Jo

Continuum – Season 1

Remember Rachel Nichols in GI Joe? Clad in a one piece outfit full of hi-tech gadgetry? She’s here again in Continuum, clad in a one piece outfit full of hi-tech gadgetry. However, the producers cleverly disguise it as a two piece outfit with the lower half turning into a pair of trousers. And then the … More Continuum – Season 1

Pandorum (2009)

Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le Dir. Christian Alvart Something is wrong with a spaceship, the lights won’t work, the place is built out of metal so you can hear footsteps a quarter of a mile away. Communications are down, the crew don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or how to … More Pandorum (2009)

Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey Dir. Jeff Wadlow Unlike Man of Steel, the bad guy in Kick Ass 2 has uncompromisingly bad traits. When the suggestion is made to him to kill Jim Carrey’s dog he responds by saying “I’m not that evil,” but really he is. With a name like … More Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Man of Steel (2013)

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russel Crowe, Antje Traue Dir. Zack Snyder The title is wrong! With everything that happens to Superman in this film, if he was made out of steel he wouldn’t last five minutes. But let’s not be churlish. Let’s forget everything that has gone before: the pantomime villains, the specs, … More Man of Steel (2013)

Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow Dir. Martin Scorsese I have to confess, I just don’t like Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s one of those actors who never puts his acting mask on straight and you can still see him underneath the character he’s playing. He’s at it again in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island … More Shutter Island