Happy New Year everybody! I won’t pretend it’s been an easy year in the principality so I’m glad to see a new one.
So another Christmas has come and gone and I spent most of it watching movies on TV, far too many to review so here we have a roundup of all the films I saw in whole or in part over the festive period, a quick sum-up of how good they are and my star rating for each.
Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
Eccentric, inventive and energetic animated fantasy with the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. Wasn’t expecting a lot but the vibrant visuals and frequent gags won me over.
Catch Me If You Can
Terrific true-story about conman Frank Abagnale Jr. starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walkern that isn’t half as breezy as everybody thinks.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Messy but nevertheless entertaining fifth film in the fantasy franchise featuring an imaginative and visually impressive showdown between Dumbledore and Voldemort.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Faithful and atmpspheric adaptation of the classic adventure book that’s full of charm and CG excitement but lacks a certain spark to elevate it.
Visually memorable testosterone-fest given life and personality by Gerard Butler but otherwise devoid of depth.
Underrated animated motoring adventure from Pixar that combines high-octane thrills with gentle character comedy.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The second chapter of the fantasy series to hit the big screen suffers from a thin plot but manages to provide two memorable extended action sequences.
War of the Worlds
Offbeat and frequently gruesome modern day adaptation of the classic H G Wells story starring Tom Cruise and a lot of effective CG.
The Polar Express
Pioneering motion capture animation featuring Tom Hankd in several roles. Superbly thrilling moments combine with a strangely meloncholy tone to create something unique.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Wonderfully realised Muppet-style retelling of the Dickens classic featuring a memorably sympathetic turn from Michael Caine as Scrooge.
Over the Hedge
Animated animal adventure featuring the voice of Bruce Willis that pulls off plenty of funny jokes and visual comedy despite a weak premise.
Unusual and sentimental part-animated fantasy mickey-take featuring nicely caricatured performances if a rather dull plot.
Bright, funny and action-packed superhero animation from Pixar with great voice work and visuals.
An American Tail
Grimy but spirited animated adventure about a Russian mouse separated from his family during migration to America.
Enchanting and faithful adaptation of J M Barrie’s timeless children’s adventure featuring the most accurate portrayal of Peter on film and Jason Isaacs as Hook.
Inventive and grown-up animated adventure featuring an impressive cast including Woody Allen, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken and Sylvester Stallone.
Another insect-themed animation with underwhelming visuals and a slightly strange plot rescued by good vocal work from Jerry Seinfeld.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Spirited revival of the classic adventure series that features a very far-fetched plot and some truly ridiculous moments but is saved by the irresistible appeal of its central character and some vivid settings.
Well-acted superhero action flick that is as funny as it is thrilling.