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.
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).
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.
“Real villains are among us. Real heroes are within us.”
Directed by M Knight Shyamalan Starring James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson, Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard
Disassociative serial killer Kevin Crumb, aka the Horde (McAvoy), is at large in Philadelphia, following the events of Split, and being tracked by the Overseer (Willis), aka David Dunn from Unbreakable, aided by his son Joseph (Clark), now acting as his man in the van. Their eventual clash is interrupted, however, by Dr Ellie Staple (Paulson) and a SWAT team equipped with strobe lights, which disable the Horde’s superhuman combat persona, the Beast.
With the last of 2018’s crop now viewed and reviewed, it’s time to look ahead and think about what’s coming up in 2019. This is my month by month plan of action for cinema in 2019; assuming that Brexit doesn’t reduce the country to a trashfire with no international distribution details, clean water or Italian cheeses.
And so, as another year comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on a busy year of cinema. In January, I laid out my plans for the films I wanted to see this year. Which did I see? Which did I miss? Which did I not see because they were rescheduled for 2019? Which did I miss because I chickened out of seeing horror at the cinema?
I’m going to break this down by genre, rather than by month. I’ll quote each film’s original score on the BMM, although as ever my increasingly antiquated, utterly subjective and just a little bit arbitrary scoring system does not necessarily match up with what I actually liked.
Directed by Otto Bathurst Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin and Jamie Dornan
Nice posh boy Robin of Loxley (Egerton) has his idyllic life with working class girlfriend Marian (Hewson) interrupted when he is drafted for the Crusades against the Arabs. After five years, Robin tries to prevent the execution of an Arab civilian, and his commanding officer, Guy of Gisbourne (Paul Anderson), gives him a blighty wound which, miraculously, doesn’t develop gangrene.
Directed by Steven Gomez Starring Thure Lindhardt, Vanessa Kirby and David Ajala
In the not-too-distant future, a US military team led by Captain Bukes (Lindhardt) and his trusty sergeant Drifter (Ajala) is assigned to a routine training exercise on an island run by the Harbinger corporation, its purpose being to train Harbingers’ AI-controlled drone combatants, intended to replace human soldiers entirely. They are accompanied by corporate cyborg observer Mills (Kirby) on this Totally Routine Exercise(TM).
Directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath Starring Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett and Kristen Bell
The Teen Titans are probably among the world’s bottom five superhero teams, largely due to a tendency to go into a hip-hop patter number instead of finishing their foes. Robin (Menville) is determined to achieve true superhero status in the only way that matters in the modern world: By getting a movie made about himself. With the help of his team mates Beast Boy (Cipes), Raven (Strong), Cyborg (Payton) and Starfire (Walch), he sets out to convince director Jade Wilson (Bell) that her next movie should feature the Titans by securing master manipulator Slade (Arnett) as their arch-nemesis.
Directed by Elizabeth Banks Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Katey Sagal, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Flula Borg, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks
Three-times national collegiate acapella champions the Barden Bellas are disgraced after a wardrobe malfunction in front of Barack Obama’s archive footage, and subsequently replaced on their victory tour by German champions Das Sound Machine. Banned from entering competitions or auditioning new members, the Bellas only shot at redemption is the world acapella championships, to which they are automatically entered as national champions.