Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Jean Simmons, Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal, Josh Hutcherson and Blythe Danner

Sophie Hatter (Mortimer) is a simple girl, working in the family shop in a country on the brink of war. After a chance meeting with the infamous Wizard Howl (Bale), she is cursed by the Witch of the Wastes (Bacall) to become an old woman (Simmons). Leaving her home, she falls in with Howl, his apprentice Markl (Hutcherson), the fire demon Calcifer (Crystal) and a mysterious scarecrow, assigning herself as Howl’s cleaning woman in the hope that Calcifer can free her of the curse in return for her breaking his contract with the wizard.

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Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

“Protect the bloodline” or “Every bloodline must end” which feels like they aren’t sure what the film is about

Directed by Anna Foerster
Starring Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, Tobias Menzies, Bradley James, Clementine Nicholson and Charles Dance

With the vampire covens on the verge of annihilation in the face of the Lycan onslaught, the remaining vampires suddenly really care about the fact that Selene (Beckinsale) killed the elder Viktor (Bill Nighy) back in the first movie, while the Lycans want the blood of her daughter, Eve, in order to become super-hybrids. Erstwhile ally David (Theo James), brings an offer of amnesty from the Eastern Coven, who want her to train their Death Dealers to be less shit. She accepts, but is betrayed by the elder Semira (Pulver) and her goon Varga (Bradley James) who want to drain her superblood, before being saved by David and his father Thomas (Dance), who sacrifices himself to get the other two away from the coven.

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Aladdin (2019)

The magic comes to life

Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Mena Massoud, Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad and Billy Magnussen

Come on. Do you guys really need a synopsis of this plot? It’s Aladdin! Ignoring the fact that it’s one of the classics of the Disney Renaissance (now remade in live action as part of their current binge on their back catalogue) it’s also a staple of British pantomime since about…well…forever. You know the story.

You don’t?

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

“Every Action Has Consequences”

Directed by Chad Stahelski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston and Ian McShane

Following the events of John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick a) is locked out of the sanctuary of the Continental hotels, b) hunted by every assassin in the world and c) a pair of words that have been used to the point that they have no meaning anymore. With time running out, he goes to the Director (Huston), a Belarusan Romani matriarch, to arrange passage to find Sofia (Berry) in Casablanca, so that she can take him to her boss (Jerome Flynn) and arrange a meeting with the Elder, ‘the man who sits above the table’ (Saïd Taghmaoui), to plead for his life.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

“Evil Comes Home”

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, William Levy and Iain Glen

Dr James Marcus, a scientist seeking a cure for his daughter’s progeria, creates the T-virus, Umbrella Corporation, and programs his daughter’s personality into the AI known as the Red Queen, before losing control of all he has created to A-list swine Dr Alexander Isaacs (Glen) and his hired goon Albert Wesker (Roberts).

That’s right: It’s backstory time!

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Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Directed by Rob Letterman
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe

Sinister AF Pokemon Mewtwo escapes from a lab, and a car is knocked off the road. Tim Goodman (Smith), a small town insurance assessor, learns that his father, Detective Harry Goodman, died in the crash, and comes to Ryme City to collect Harry’s effects from his boss, Lieutenant Yoshida (Watanabe). Here he meets his father’s partner Pikachu (Reynolds), a pokemon who is somehow able to hold complete conversations with Tim, and who ropes him into the search for Harry, convinced that he is still alive.

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Hellboy (2019)

“Raise some Hell”

Directed by Neil Marshall
Starring David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Hayden Church

In the European dark ages, a war between humanity – represented by Arthur and Merlin – and the supernatural – led by the ‘Blood Queen’ Viviane Nimue (Jovovich) – ends with the latter’s dismemberment and burial in scattered locations, as explained in a narration almost identical to the one from the New Year’s Doctor Who episode, but with more swearing. Centuries later, monster and monster-puncher Hellboy (Harbour) is sent to rescue a fellow agent of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence, only to find him turned into a vampire and gasping out final words about ‘the end.’

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