Annabelle (DVD Review)

15 – 95mins – 2014


 

DEVIL’S WELCOME

“It cannot truly ever be destroyed…”

Set before but filmed after James Wan’s 2013 horror hit The Conjuring (the sequel of which I reviewed HERE), Annabelle is the creepy doll-centric spin-off which has recently been given a Creation story, now in cinemas nationwide, which itself is set before but filmed after Wish Upon director John R. Leonetti’s period frightener.

… Keep Scuttling!

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Madame Bovary (DVD Review)

15 – 113mins – 2017


 

FEVER OF DESPAIR

Announced in March 2012, cast over the next year and a half and filmed in Normandy from September 2013, French-American director Sophie Barthes’ period adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s ‘obscene’ nineteenth century masterpiece was granted a premiere at the Telluride Film Festival the following August and then it just… disappeared.

… Keep Scuttling!

A Good Marriage (DVD Review)

15 – 102mins – 2014


 

ONE BAD PENNY

As beloved and masterful as Stephen King’s horror stories may be, it’s fair to say that the majority work far better on page than on screen. Sure, there are some truly classic adaptations (Carrie, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist), but they are outnumbered by some – to be blunt – risible guff (Cell, Maximum Overdrive, Dreamcatcher, Thinner, Secret Window).

… Keep Scuttling!

Zombeavers (DVD Review)

15 – 78mins – 2014


 

BEAVER FEVER

Much like schlocky Syfy fare such as Sharknado, Lavalantula and Megashark vs Crocosaurus, the title of co-writer/director Jordan Rubin’s film debut leaves you in no doubt as to the preposterous nonsense in store for horror-comedy fans who lodge Zombeavers in their DVD players. Sadly, even alert to the absurdities that awaited me and open to taking nothing seriously, I was still enormously dissatisfied with the moronic mutant madness which played out over a mercifully meagre runtime.

… Keep Scuttling!

Gold (DVD Review)

15 – 84mins – 2014


 

BACK ON TRACK

Not the recent Matthew McConaughey Oscar-bait about prospecting for the precious metal in Indonesia, this is a smaller, earlier, quainter Irish production about the perils of living up to elevated expectations, and the chaos of family life.

… Keep Scuttling!

ELF: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (TV Review)

Breaking the Bank (DVD Review)

12 – 101mins – 2014


 

PLUMMETING PORTFOLIO

Forever known for playing erudite talk show shrink Dr. Frasier Crane over the course of twenty years and two hugely popular US sitcoms, Kelsey Grammer crosses the Atlantic to surround himself with a smattering of UK sitcom stars as brainless, out-of-touch banking titan Charles Bunbury in this straight-to-DVD fiscal farce from director Vadim Jean, best known for his three glossy Terry Pratchett adaptations for Sky1.

“Run a bank? You couldn’t run a bath!”

Affecting a snooty, upper class disdain and throwing in phrases like “chap” and “old bean” is not enough to convince me that Bunbury is a Brit. Likewise, growing a beard, trading loafers for dirty trainers and looking a bit glum is not enough to convince me that Bunbury is suicidal, following his naïve trust in shady shark Matthew Gavin & Stacey Horne’s bogus insider trading tips.

The problem resides in the bubbly, carefree tone, which never confers enough gravitas on “Charlie Chuckaway’s” life-destroying dilemma; from Pitch Perfect’s John Michael Higgins’ smarmy “yank” takeover tease to Tamsin Episodes Greig’s frustrated-but-floundering wife, there’s not a cent of integrity in any of the cavalier, OTT performances – and ultimately, this makes Breaking the Bank subprime stock which is impossible to invest in.

CR@B’s Claw Score: 2 stars