Ten Depressing Children’s Cartoons

We like to think that films for children are always cheery and uplifting. But, like fairy tales, children’s animation often carries a darker message. Are the following ten TV shows and films a safe way to expose children to serious life messages about death, sacrifice and the harsh realities of the world, or are they just plain depressing? Continue reading

The Martian: sci-fi can still be good!

I spend a lot of time on this blog criticising bad sci-fi. And whilst I enjoy writing those blog posts, I’m not doing it because I’m a burning ball of hate desperate to denigrate everything in my path. In fact, I was getting a little sad that a genre I loved so much didn’t seem to have turned out a good film in years. Then The Martian came along, and my faith was restored. Continue reading

Jupiter Ascending, Quality Descending

Sometimes, you dare to hope that the latest big budget sci-fi movie might actually be, if not amazing, at least average. It’s bound to be flawed, but maybe it will be entertaining. So, having seen some screenshots of Jupiter Ascending at the end of last year, I found myself interested in watching it – and it never once occurred to me to wonder why the film had sunk without trace upon its cinema release.

The reason, of course, is that Jupiter Ascending is a terrible film – a feature so poor that it should be banished to movie purgatory with all due haste. Continue reading

Why Every Star Trek Film is the Best…and the Worst

A couple of years ago, I was inspired to write a fun piece on my other blog about how you could argue that every Final Fantasy game is the best in the franchise – or perhaps the worst. Now it’s time to take the same logic and apply it to the Star Trek films.

Remember: the following post is for fun only. Obviously First Contact is undisputedly the best Star Trek film, and Star Trek V is terrible. Continue reading

2012: The year of Hitchcock biopics

Ever since Paul Merton’s documentaries opened my eyes to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, I’ve eagerly partaken of as many of his films as I could get my hands on. But in 2012, I got the chance to take my interest to a new meta-level, with the release of not one, but two Hitchcock biopics, each focusing on a different slice of the great director’s career. But would they prove to be a worthy investment on time, or just a cash-in on a big name? Continue reading

Life of Pi


Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel’s enjoyed life at his family’s zoo in India – but when he turned sixteen, financial worries saw his father turning his sights to a new life in Canada. With the zoo sold, the Patel family and their remaining animals began a long voyage across the ocean, only for the ship to run into trouble en route. Stranded in a lifeboat with only wild animals for a dubious and dangerous kind of company, Pi can only do his best to survive and await rescue.

Most of the time, I review films that I hate – simply because it’s fun to rant about them. But to provide balance, and prove that I don’t hate all films, I shall interject with occasional reviews of those I enjoyed. As it turns out, Life of Pi is one such film. Continue reading

An utterly spoilerific review of Star Trek Into Darkness

I love Star Trek. As a committed geek, I spent my teenage years watching the films and every episode of the first four TV series, collecting tie-in novels, magazines, figures and of course getting mocked by various classmates. Then Enterprise came along during my university years, and, well, the less said about that, the better. After four seasons of that, it felt like Star Trek needed a rest, and indeed, for a while, it went away.

Then the reins of the franchise were handed over to JJ Abrams, and in 2009 we got a bright, flashy reboot, replete with action, in-jokes and excessive lens flares. It wasn’t quite Star Trek, it erased the timeline I knew and loved, and the more you analysed it, the more flawed it became – but overall, it was pretty enjoyable nonetheless. Would Star Trek Into Darkness offer more of the same? Continue reading


Joe Simmons is a ‘looper’, a hired assassin with a very special list of targets – they’re all from thirty years in the future. In that time period, the mafia have control of time travel, and the best way they know of to make their enemies ‘disappear’ is to send them into the past to be killed. But every looper’s final mission is to ‘close their loop’ by killing themselves, and when Joe fails to do so, he finds himself on the run in an ever-shifting timeline.

Time travel is inherently paradoxical, and with that in mind, I’m often quite lenient on time travel movies when they do things that either induce a headache or just don’t make sense. Sometimes, though, a movie comes along that is simply so terrible that I simply cannot stay my hand any longer, and Looper is one of them. Continue reading