Early in the history of Bottom of the stream we decided that we didn't want to review films in the traditional sense. We don't consider ourselves reviewers or critics. We watch these films in the interest of starting a discussion about them. Bottom of the stream is more like a book club for film lovers than it is a movie review show. In light of this we decided that we didn't want to give out star or numerical ratings. So we decided what we do is place each film into a league table where they would compete against each other. Every week towards the end of the show we discuss where we think that weeks films should go on the STREAM TABLE. At the end of the season (25 shows) the table is finalised and we have a winner followed by a further 24 films ranked in order.
2. SUPER DARK TIMES
We thought this was going to be a high school soap/teen drama. Its about an accident with a samurai sword that slowly escalates into a murderous rampage. Good performances from the young cast and goes to places we didn’t expect. It’s dark. It takes time. It’s super.
1. SEE YOU YESTERDAY
A prescient film for our troubled times, this time travel movie deals with themes including racial prejudice, police brutality and puberty. It is a gripping tale of a young girl on a mission to save her brother and her best friend, can she save them both, and how many times can she try? Also contains an awesome Michael J. Fox cameo, a worthy table topper.
3. THE BAD BATCH
A rare star-studded movie lingering at the bottom of the stream. Suki Waterhouse; Jason Momoa; Keanu Reeves and an unrecognisable Jim Carrey all popup to varying degrees throughout this post-apocalyptic journey through a desert wasteland. Its more style than substance but boy, it looks good. Includes body building cannibals.
4. FAST COLOR
Part family drama, part superhero origin story. There is some strong world building in this movie, which shows the evolving relationship between and the development of powers of three generations of the same family. Exceptional performances from the three leads and a real pleasure to see a film anchored by strong female characters. It looks beautiful too.
Witty, original and partly set in hell, this reimagining of a traditional Basque folklore is well worth your time. Its niche and there is no way any of us would have selected this if it wasn’t for our trusty randomiser, this is the tale of a Blacksmith “feared by the devil himself” and a young girl looking for a way to rescue her mother from hell. It flies by.
Japanese Anime about a team of dead people sent to fight a horde of invading aliens in Tokyo and Osaka. Yes, its as bonkers as it sounds. Swimming pools of gore abound and the creature designs are wildly creative. Not without its faults for sure but we had lots of fun.
7. BAD DAY FOR THE CUT
Equally violent, brutal and funny. This Irish gangster movie was top of the table for a good few weeks. Good performances all round and a denouement that will stick with you for a few days afterward. More C bombs than any other movie this season!
8. BON COP BAD COP
It’s the Canadian version of Lethal Weapon as a pair of mismatched police detectives (one English speaker, one French) must work together to solve a series of murders that take place across their jurisdictions. Sounds formulaic but this is a genuinely funny movie that was a real pleasant surprise. A proper hidden gem.
10. FIRST MATCH
Drama that follows the difficult home and school life of teenager Monique (Elivire Emanuelle) who is juggling a reconciliation with her previously absent father and her ascension up the social and sporting ladder at school as she joins the wrestling team. At times moving, this is anchored by excellent performances from the cast.
Oil zombies terrorise an isolated strip club in this From Dusk Till Dawn-esque effort. It has some awkward moments but also at least two “did I just see that?” sequences. Memorable, sometimes in a good way. Stay tuned for a bizarre detail at the end that Adam missed first time around.
9. THE OVERNIGHT
Genuinely funny sex comedy that is as excruciating as it is amusing, yet is impossible to look away from. Adam Scott; Jason Schwartzman and Taylor Schilling are all great as one memorable night starts to veer out of control for two newly befriended couples.
Zowie Bowie, otherwise known as Duncan Jones, takes us back to the same universe as his first movie Moon. In a futuristic Berlin, a mute bartender transverses the city on the trail of his missing girlfriend. Paul Rudd is excellent as he plays against type as a scumbag ex-army medic. Some good ideas and sequences that ultimately don’t quite hang together.
14. I KILL GIANTS
Slow moving tale of a teen girl struggling to deal with her mother’s illness and at the same time protect her hometown from an increasingly threatening posse of giants promising to wreak destruction across the land. Both Adam and Nick were left cold by this effort, it was missing the right level of peril for the characters and never quite landed the performances either.
13. TAKE ME
We kicked off Season 3 with this breezy crime caper about a staged kidnapping gone wrong. Taylor Schilling and Pat Healy are the victim and kidnapper who continue to turn the tables on one another. Healy is great as the down on his luck loser who has happened upon a get rich quick scheme.
Zombie beavers! Zombie bears! Zombie beaver people! A group of teens away for the weekend at an isolated cabin are faced with all these threats in this pacey yet messy effort. There are moments of originality in between all the usual horror tropes, but there is not too much to write home about here.
16. TIME OUT
Unbelievably, this one features 3 Oscar winners, Whoopi Goldberg; Melissa Leo and, very briefly, Anna Paquin. When its good, its good, but often, this tale of a prison guard accompanying a convict on a trip to her mother’s deathbed, feels more like a series of skits stitched together than a cohesive production.
The first of two AI movies we saw this season. An unstable tech genius keeps a lithe young woman hostage in order to test and perfect his under-construction artificial intelligence. Despite having his own lab in a hi-tech house, he conveniently leaves the premises every day, allowing our heroine to develop a relationship with the AI to plot their captor’s downfall. Its fine.
The wildcard choice of Patreon and resident art guru, Ross Cooke. This one really divided us. Nick took it as a fun, over the top, don’t take it too seriously effort with bonus points for Robbie Amell, Ad found it infuriating and frustrating and wanted to know more about the wider world in which the movie was set.
19. ACTS OF VENGEANCE
Tony Banderas is good value in the lead role and makes a watchable protagonist and there are a couple of unintentional laughs but other than that, this is as paint by numbers an action flick as you will find. Out for revenge, can a lawyer turned badass track down the murderer of his wife and daughter? (Spoiler: Yes)
Mixed feelings on this one, neither Adam or Nick really enjoyed the movie although Nick felt there was a good story to tell in the world built by the film (females are oppressed and forced to stay at home by a near future economic collapse) but that this wasn’t it. Slow and deliberate for the first hour, there was then so much to squeeze in and resolve in the final 25 minutes that it felt very uneven by the end.
An anthology of short films set around various holidays throughout the year that ranged from the good (Christmas) to the bad (Mother’s Day) to the downright weird (Easter). This fell low down our list due to a poor hit rate of the shorts, only two of them were anything to write home about and the most intriguing segment, Father’s Day, completely shit the bed on its ending.
Another movie in the lower half that Nick liked much more than Adam. This is the tale of two well-to-do teens, one of whom has a total lack of empathy and murdered her horse. Reconnecting with a childhood friend who has step daddy issues, what will become of them and him? You may be surprised?! Adam did not like this. At all.
22. HUMNOIDS FROM THE DEEP
Sent to us, adrift in time from the 1980s, this is a schlocky, exploitational movie. Full of questionable attitudes toward monitories and women it has not aged well at all. Also, sea monsters invade a seaside fishing village, can the townsfolk put aside their differences to ward off this threat? Why do all the dogs die?
24. DEADLY DETENTION
A slasher version of The Breakfast Club may have been a good pitch but it results in this. A humourless, scareless, waste of time of a horror movie in which a group of teens in weekend detention are stalked and picked off by an unknown assailant. For some reason its set in a prison. Awful script, sound and performances, steer well clear.
25. 2036 ORIGIN UNKNOWN
Filmed in 9 days, felt like it took 9 days to watch. Set in the future when space missions are controlled by artificial intelligence due to previous disasters, Katee Sackoff can’t anchor this and doesn’t bounce well off her computerised co-star. A pretentious mess, poor special effects and bluntly, this is just uninteresting.