The Strangers (DVD Review)

15 – 85mins – 2008



With the belated and long-teased sequel Prey At Night just opening Stateside (it was originally announced for a 2009 release date before entering development hell for the best part of a decade), I thought it was high-time I got my act together and finally watched the first Strangers film. Now TEN years old, the DVD has been lingering on my to-watch pile for far too long.

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Dracula Untold (DVD Review)

15 – 92mins – 2014



In my post-cinema analysis of last summer’s Tom Cruise-headlined reboot of The Mummy (read my review HERE), I openly acknowledged my enjoyment of the film in spite of its skew away from horror and more towards a supernatural action-adventure. However, it seems audiences (or a lack thereof) were more critical; just one entry in and Universal’s newly-rebranded Dark Universe is already in trouble. But The Mummy wasn’t always to be the opening chapter of this Monster Movie Expanded Universe…

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2017 in Review: TOP 5 SURPRISE FILMS


I don’t tend to write too many blogposts which aren’t reviews of individuals titles or releases, but as we wave goodbye to 2017 I have been looking back over my movie diary for the year (yes, I keep a movie diary – don’t mock me!) and have been inspired to do a string of ‘year in review’ posts. My Top 10 Films of 2017 will be published on the 60 Minutes With website in the coming days, but I have a few companion ‘sister blogs’ to compliment this main piece, which I will publish here on The CR@Bpendium.

First up, as the title of this post reveals, is a rundown of my TOP 5 SURPRISE FILMS of 2017 – the films which may not have necessarily been the most awe-inspiring or flawless masterpieces, but they bowled me over nonetheless. This could have been because I had little to no prior knowledge of them, or I expected a flop and was pleased to be proved wrong. Prepare to be surprised!

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A Christmas Carol (DVD Review)

Image result for a christmas carol 1999

PG – 95mins – 1999



Perhaps the most famous Christmas story ever written, authored by perhaps the most famous novelist who ever lived, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has had more adaptations and reimaginings than you can shake a sprig of holly at. While some will always cherish the olde worlde charm of the Alastair Sim classic (1951), Albert Finney’s beloved musical (1970), the Muppets’ frantic, family-friendly retelling (1992), Bill Murray’s modernised comedy, Scrooged (1988), or Disney’s Jim Carrey-heavy performance capture animation (2009), for me this 1999 TV movie starring the man who is Jean Luc Picard is the quintessential version. My dad and I habitually return to it in the lead up to every Christmas and I must have seen it in excess of fifteen times.

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A Quiet Passion (DVD Review)

12 – 120mins – 2017



“Sometimes, Emily, you are as ugly as your poetry!”

Written and directed by Sunset Song‘s Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion is both a boldly compelling yet persistently frustrating portrait of a literary great: prolific 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, whose unusual existence is chartered from youth to death by two actors: Emma Bell for the opening twenty minutes takes on Emily’s post-school days, morphing into Cynthia Nixon for the concluding hour and forty minutes

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Solstice (DVD Review)

15 – 87mins – 2008



One of only a handful of films from acclaimed The Blair Witch Project co-director Daniel Myrick since his triumphant breakout hit 18 years ago, Solstice is an unremarkable and cliché-ridden genre effort which limped out straight to DVD in time for Halloween 2008, in spite of the star power of Amanda Seyfried – who had recently hit it big in musical megahit Mamma Mia – in a supporting role.

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Bad Santa 2 (DVD Review)

Image result for bad santa 2

15 – 88mins – 2016



“Happy endings are bullshit!”

Fourteen years after embittered black comedy Bad Santa became something of a cult hit for seasonal scrooges, stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox and Brett Kelly return for another lewd, crude Christmas caper. Alas, lightening did not strike twice, and this belated and bedraggled festive follow-up is as unapologetically egregious as the Farley Brother’s down-right disgusting and offensive Dumb and Dumber To.

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