Directed by Genddy Tartakovsky Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks
Dracula (Sandler) oversees the marriage of his daughter Mavis (Gomez) and her human boyfriend Johnny (Samberg), opening the Hotel Transylvania to non-monsters with the aid of buddies Frank (James), Wayne (Buscemi), Griffin (Spade) and Murray (Key) (Frankenstein’s monster, a werewolf, the Invisible Man and a mummy.) Not long after, Mavis announces her pregnancy, and soon the family is joined by Dennis (Asher Blinkoff).
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley
Troubled New York teen, Jake Chambers (Taylor), dreams of a strange pyramid, where teenagers from a weird little model suburbia deal are used to power Starkiller Base and attack the colossal Dark Tower. Convinced that his dreams are true, Jake flees from representatives of a sleep clinic and finds his way to an abandoned house with an interdimensional portal in the basement. This catapults him from Keystone Earth to Mid-World, and into the conflict between Jerkass-Good last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Elba), and the Affable-Evil immortal devil sorcerer Walter Padick (McConaughey), aka the Man in Black.
But is this really the ultimate list of childhood movies?
Disclaimer: This is my own take on the matter and I make no pretense to some superior status of judgement. Full disclosure, those films marked with an asterisk are the ones that I have seen an which I will be discussing most closely.
Directed by Matt Reeves Starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary and Amiah Miller
Two years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a military force led by a ruthless special forces Colonel (Harrelson) are hunting for the tribe of intelligent apes led by Caesar (Serkis). With the aid of their ‘Donkeys’ – apes formerly loyal to Koba (Toby Kebbell) and now working as weapon carriers and scouts for the humans – a unit of this force attacks an Ape outpost, but is defested. Wanting to avoid all-out war, Caesar spares a number of human captives and determines to set out for a new home scouted by his son, Blue-Eyes (Max Lloyd-Jones), and trusted aide Rocket (Notary). Unfortunately, he is betrayed, and his wife Cornelia (Judy Greer) and Blue-Eyes are killed.
Directed by Garth Jennings Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly
Theatrical impresario Buster Moon (McConaughey) attempts to revitalise his failing theatre with a singing competition, accidentally offering a $100,000 prize. While Rosita (Witherspoon), Mike (MacFarlane), Ash (Johanssen), Meena (Kelly) and Johnny (Egerton) are all drawn to the competition for their own reasons, Buster’s best friend Eddie (Reilly) tries to persuade him that perhaps he needs to give up the theatre before it breaks him.
Directed by Edgar Wright Starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx
Baby (Elgort) is a crack getaway driver, working for a fixer known as Doc (Spacey), after stealing Doc’s car as a tearway youth. With his debt almost paid up, he is looking forward to hitting the straight and narrow, especially when he meets waitress Debora (James), who shares his love of music and driving.
Directed by Jon Watts Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr.
After his debut in Civil War, Peter Parker (Holland), aka Spider-Man, is keen to get his teeth into superheroing. With Tony Stark (Downey) keeping him at arm’s length from the Avengers, he fights local crime while reporting to Happy Hogan (Favreau) and cutting back on his extra-curricular activities – including academic decathlon with love interest Liz (Laura Harrier), best mate Ned (Jacob Batalon), jerk jock (in as much as a tech academy has jocks) Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) and girl of mystery Michelle (Zendaya) – in preparation for his next mission.
Directed by Michael Bay Starring Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Santiago Cabrera and Peter Cullen
In the wayback, King Arthur and his knights triumph over the Saxon hordes when the ‘wizard’ Merlin (Stanley Tucci) brings a group of twelve Autobots to join them in the form of King Gidhora.
Centuries later, Optimus Prime (Cullen) is drawn back to Cybertron, where his mission to destroy his creator is interrupted as Quintessa (Gemma Chan), self-styled ‘goddess of life’, delivers the bitch-slap of obedience and tasks Prime to retrieve her staff of power, given to Merlin long ago.
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg Starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr.
Following an argument, Michelle (Winstead) leaves her home – in an opening scene clearly derived from Psycho – and drives through rural Louisiana, where her car is hit and pushed off the road. She wakes up, chained to a wall in a bunker belonging to Howard (Goodman), a prepper who tells her he saved her life from an attack by party or parties unknown which has left the world’s air contaminated. The two of them and Emmett (Gallagher), a young man who helped Howard to construct their shelter, are sealed into the bunker to wait out the worst.
Directed by Alex Kurtzman Starring Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe
The first Mummy movie – and, as the original Universal Mummy, the direct ancestor of this current version – was The Mummy (1932), starring Boris Karloff as Imhotep, an Egyptian priest, mummified alive for the blasphemy of trying to restore his girlfriend Ankh-es-en-amon. Restored to life by someone carelessly reading aloud from a scroll, Imhotep seeks forthe reincarnation of his love, intending to kill and mummify her, so that Ankh-es-en-amon can be returned as an immortal mummy. In the nick of time, the girl in question remembers enough of her past life to call on Isis, whose statue ends Imhotep’s unlife with a god laser to the magic scroll.
There have been roughly a shit-tonne of mummy movies since, including a Hammer Horror series, beginning with The Mummy in 1959 which featured Christopher Lee as the title character, Kharis.
The Hammer series wrapped up with Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb in 1971, a rather histrionic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ‘Jewel of the Seven Stars’ which featured a rare instance of a female Mummy (Valerie Leon).
The next major entry – as opposed to direct to video efforts – was Stephen Somers The Mummy, a 1999 super-loose remake of the 1932 film, but bigger, dumber and just… a whole lot of fun. Featuring Brendan Fraser as adventurer Rick O’Connell and Rachael Weisz as librarian Evelyn Carnahan, this version was a rollicking adventure with an emotionally tough heroine who displayed genuine agency. It was followed by the vastly inferior The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), which had an interesting idea, but poor execution and a marked lack of Weisz (Maria Bello stepping into the role with an iffy accent.) It also span off the Scorpion King series, so there’s that to thank it for.
The new version is the first film in the ‘Dark Universe’, Universal’s somewhat delayed (DraculaUntold was intneded to be the first, but has since been detached from the franchise) attempt to get on the expanded universe gravy train.
In 1197, a group of crusader knights bury their comrade with a significant red gem. In the present day, the tomb is discovered by Crossrail excavation and taken over by a mysterious group of archaeologists in black, led by a man we will later learn to be Dr Henry Jekyll (Crowe), who proceeds to translate and narrate the story of Ahmanet (Boutella), an Egyptian princess of the New Kingdom who responded to being disinherited in favour of her infant brother by murdering her father, stepmother and the baby after making a pact to bring the god Set into the world. Prevented from completing the ritual, she is mummified alive and buried far from Egypt.