Ben has written 217 reviews for films during 2020.

  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run


    Contains all of the elements that we are accustomed to, the endearing, clumsy, loveable characters, the bombastic storytelling and some clever winks at old fans. Unfortunately Sponge on the Run doesn’t give enough for new viewers to latch onto, neither does it feel special enough to warrant it’s own existence to older fans of Spongebob. 

    It doesn’t really feel like the writers care, despite some solid jokes and quirks, the story is seamlessly barren and the villainous characters go through…

  • Buddy Games

    Buddy Games


    We rarely get films like these anymore, so for some this might be a nice throw back to the mid 2000’s comedy scene, but Buddy Games fails to utilise it’s talent by containing a lack of laughs and dismissing cohesion within it’s story. 

    The main noticeable quality to this is that the actors were having a blast making it, good for them, but making each other laugh clearly doesn’t compensate a funny film. James Roday is the only slightly funny…

  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy


    Somewhat of an attempt to be precocious but mainly just a badly structured borefest heavily adhered to award baity melodrama. 

    Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy” has it’s problems pitted against each other and in many forms, bad writing, poor structure and misdirected acting really bog down the film. Amy Adams’ performance is a real mixed bag, on paper this is the perfect role for her, but her performance didn’t feel consistent and some of her scenes are quite badly overdirected. I…

  • Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square

    Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square


    Happily stays in it’s lane but ultimately fizzles out when it tries to do anything exciting with it’s characters. 

    There’s definitely some fun to be had, if you care for Dolly Parton in any way you’ll probably enjoy it, but it can’t be ignored how disjointed the musical scenes are here, especially in comparison to other Netflix Christmas properties as of late (Jingle Jangle comes to mind). The musical scenes don’t adumbrate the plot in any way, the main story…

  • Girl



    This doesn’t have enough revenge material for it to be a fun rural revenge flick, neither does it have a cohesive or interesting enough mystery for it to be a fully mystery driven narrative. Instead we get a film which struggles to cover up the fact that it isn’t very interesting, while being ostensibly imprecise and hazy. 

    Bella Thorne is actually pretty solid in the main role, she gives the story some buoyancy and makes her character somewhat interesting, she…

  • The Princess Switch: Switched Again

    The Princess Switch: Switched Again

    Borderline unwatchable, it feels so bulky and yet completely desolate and fruitless. It’s annoying because Netflix can manage this formula, “Dash & Lily” wasn’t a good show but at least what it was doing felt somewhat fresh and more importantly, it was tolerable, this not only enforces the same exact structure as the previous film, it also lingers in every scene and seemingly proudly presents itself as knowingly disheveled. 

    Vanessa Hudgens is ok, but she doesn’t do enough to make the…

  • Jiu Jitsu

    Jiu Jitsu


    Deserves a slight bit of credit for at least trying to claw together it’s clumsy editing in a way that doesn’t completely disdain the narrative and actually holds it together in a watchable way. 

    Nic Cage gives his all despite his appearance being more brief than some may expect, Frank Grillo and Tony Jaa also appear which in scale is pretty amazing, but they are also side characters and the leads were lingering on being unwatchable at times. The film…

  • Roald Dahl's The Witches

    Roald Dahl's The Witches


    It’s disappointing to see Zemeckis being simply used as a director for hire here, unfortunately he doesn’t find a chance to show his knack and the film simply falls flat. 

    I’m not even a huge fan of the Roeg, it’s adapted well and admirably ambitious and quite striking, but I don’t necessarily gel with the film’s charms, so when it comes to this (a film with even less charms while being much less ambitious) I was mainly just bored of…

  • A Christmas Gift from Bob

    A Christmas Gift from Bob


    What I loved about the first one was how it had so many left field quirks contained within a genuine and sentimental narrative while also having a dramatic punch to it. 

    This one replaces some of the original overt quirkiness with silliness and it’s more inert dramatically than the first, but it’s still a sweet tale with genuine intentions told from the heart. The character arc in the first one is great, and unfortunately it isn’t as strong here, the…

  • American Pie Presents: Girls' Rules

    American Pie Presents: Girls' Rules


    As expected this does nothing out of the norm, winks at ‘American Pie’ fans and consists of nothing but tawdry and tired out crude jokes. 

    There’s no point in complaining about the spin-off’s lack of quality when they happily contain the exact same amount of tastefulness and heart as the original films. The characters on this occasion don’t have the same charisma than the original characters and some elements feel very cheap here but effectively you know what you’re getting…

  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey


    Some congenial and baroque fun that I wasn’t particularly invested in, but could certainly appreciate. Jingle Jangle works toward a particular audience and from what I can tell, it finds it’s target audience very well. 

    Keegan Michael-Key and Forest Whitaker are both perfect in their roles, bringing just the appropriate amount of heart, fun and acumen. The young actors are great and will certainly make the film even more accessible for younger audiences. The musical scores are all extremely fun,…

  • What We Wanted

    What We Wanted


    What we wanted could have fabricated it’s story much quicker than they did. It’s disappointing because the material here has some reasonable quality and the filmmaking is genuinely good at times, but the story is elongated to the very max and I felt a complete lack of resoluteness from the narrative. 

    It was also quite hard to actually get behind the characters, I found the main couple to be quite unlikeable, their decision making was far too brisk for the…