31 December 2016

The Mad Prophet's Top 10 Films Of 2016

On some level, every film is a time capsule from the year in which it was released, so it's fitting that 2016 was full of disappointments when it came to the really big films. But aside from the worst summer for blockbusters since the turn of the century and the greatest number of unnecessary sequels since the 1980s heyday of Weekend At Bernie's II, last year was very good for smaller films, as detailed in my previous post.

Plus, aside from every single other way that 2016 felt like a historical turning point, we'll probably come to look back on last year as the point where Disney finally started absorbing the whole box office. After another decade of movies from Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and their own animation studio, they might as well acquire Batman, James Bond and Minions too and have done with it. More importantly though, they've had a better year than any other studio because the films they distributed in the last 12 months (with the notable exception of Alice Through The Looking Glass) have all been blindingly good.

One of their films features in my top ten list, which is ordered alphabetically again, for two reasons. It's partly because there's a film beginning with A and a film beginning with Z, but it's mostly because these are all favourites for me and in previous years, I've changed my mind about the order of a countdown about 20 minutes after hitting "Publish", and then every 20 minutes after that for about six months.

As always, this is based on UK release dates, so 2015 films that came out here in January or February are eligible, but 2016 films that are still upcoming such as La La Land or Silence are not. On top of that, all favourites are very subjective, though you understand that I'm also very right.

12 Underappreciated Movies Of 2016

At the end of a year like this, it feels futile to do the traditional worst of the year list. 2016 has been the fucking pits and mere bad movies, like Dirty Grandpa, London Has Fallen and most of the films featuring Batman, pale in comparison to the really bad things about this year, like global instability, celebrity deaths and The Great British Bake Off moving to Channel 4.

The year has given me plenty to rant about in the cinema, but after such a rubbish year, what's the point of railing against the "why did you say that name?!" scene or blasting the bit where Tom Hanks forgot what coffee was, or completing my long-gestating essay on why the Dad's Army reboot is Brexit-made-cinema?*

* Not everyone who voted Leave liked the film, but everyone who liked it voted Leave.

31 December 2015

The Mad Prophet's Top 25 Films Of 2015

I don't use this blog much any more, but if you can find more of my entertainment-related writings on Den of Geek and Vodzilla, or follow me on Letterboxd.

So, now that we've got the bad stuff out of the way, we can get right into the best of the year. This is a list of my top 25 favourite films that I saw this year, based on UK release dates...

30 December 2015

The Mad Prophet's Bottom 10 Films Of 2015

I don't use this blog much any more, but if you can find more of my entertainment-related writings on Den of Geek and Vodzilla, or follow me on Letterboxd.

Once again, 2015 has been a pretty great year for cinema- either that or I've just decided to avoid most of the worst fare on offer. Before we get into the really good stuff from this year, (of which there was a lot) here's a list that was much easier to compile- the bottom 10.

There aren't many glaring omissions here- if I'd missed Bradley Cooper's other 2015 offerings, American Sniper might have made it on the list at the beginning of the year, and you know it's been a solid year for tripe when erotic non-starters Fifty Shades Of Grey and The Boy Next Door manage to stay out of the bottom ten. As good as this year was, there was definitely worse stuff out there...

7 August 2015


Two homicide detectives wade through the existential and geographical bog of Andalusia's wetlands in Marshland, a Spanish language box office hit that rides a tidal wave of critical acclaim into English-speaking markets. Directed by Alberto Rodríguez, the film won ten Goyas at this year's Spanish Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director and has drawn comparisons with the HBO series True Detective and the Argentine Oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes. In short, it's a detective noir that doesn't pull any punches, in which the Spanish sunshine is no respite from the darkness.

Read my full review on Den of Geek >>

Marshland is now showing in selected cinemas nationwide and will be released on VOD and home entertainment formats on Monday 14 September.