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.
Deliverance vibes in this taut, brooding Scottish thriller as two tourists get caught up in a game of cat
and mouse after a horrific accident. Well worth your time, good performances all round and some
lovely cinematography of the Scottish Highlands. The last shot is awesome.
2. ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
3. LOST BULLET
More like a moderate pace and pissed off rather than fast and furious but this movie is a real fun
time. An ex-con must prove his innocence by tracking down the missing piece of evidence that can
clear his name, this French action movie flies by and the epic police station fight scene is worth the
price of admission alone.
The Expendables meets From Dusk Till Dawn in this grindhouse-esque 80s tribute. A slew of familiar
faces (Stephen Lang; Martin Kove; William Sadler) play army veterans who have to defend their
watering hole from waves of drug addled zombies. Plenty of inventive violence, gore and exploding
heads throughout this one. A lot of fun.
Anne Heche and Sandra Oh swing for the fences, and each other in this inventive comedy. The fight scenes are brutal and over the top but it works. If a movie does a couple of 180 turns, does it end up back where it started? You’ll begin this thinking you are getting a certain type of film and then have had your expectations turned of their head by the end. Oh, it’s also a political allegory for the 2016 US Presidential Election.
6. ALEX STRANGELOVE
A tough but worthwhile watch. An uncompromising first half hour showing the ongoing bullying of the "new kid" , the consequences of which the characters then spend the rest of the movie dealing with. The lightness and prettiness of the animation is a great contrast to the darkness of the subject matter
7. A SILENT VOICE
A movie of two halves for sure, the first of which feels more like a series of vignettes rather than a connected story, serves to put the characters in place for the second half, a shootout/hostage situation in the town Liquor store. Once the stand off commences, there is a lot to like here, with some funny set pieces and a memorable turn from the always reliable Vincent D'Onofrio, who totally pisses on "star" Tim Allen's chips.
8. EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS
The least festive Christmas movie ever, its about Cryptids, Furries and features an acoustic tribute to Nelson Mandela. Stuffed with ideas, Pottersville just about gets by because more of its jokes land than miss. A surprisingly starry cast including Michael Shannon; Ron Pearlman Christina Hendricks are outshone by Judy Greer as the only sane person in town.
10. THE DISCOVERY
This bang average, slow burn sci-fi has somehow attracted Robert Redford; Jesse Plemons; Jason Segal and Rooney Mara. Redford has discovered that there is an afterlife, causing an uptick in suicide rates the world over. A good premise but after a cracking opening scene, this one tails off pretty quickly, never earning the twist it throws at you at the end.
11. WOULD YOU RATHER
A parlour game version of Saw sees a group of desperate individuals play would you rather at the bidding of an eccentric millionaire. Starts intriguingly enough but feels more like a lost opportunity as the games don’t really escalate and the antagonist is nowhere near creepy enough.
12. SHIMMER LAKE
Has its moments, a couple of the running gags in this are well played but the non-linear format feels gimmicky instead of pivotal. Likeable performances from Corddry and Livingston as bumbling FBI agents are the highlight here. Its fine, just fine.
There is some charm to this ultra low budget British sci-fi from up and comer Drew Casson. It looks like it was filmed on a potato and the acting is mostly terrible, also, it makes no sense whatsoever but for some reason, we did not hate it. A sequel, The Darkest Dawn is also available.
Its slow as treacle but there are a couple of decent performances here from “I know his face” Kevin Corrigan, Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders as the protaganists of a love triangle. None of the characters are likeable but that’s by design. Mumblecore sure isn’t for everyone so your enjoyment of this may depend on your tolerance of the genre.
Game of Phones! Bonkers premise – boy gains superpowers from pieces of a smartphone stuck in his head – is inoffensive if you put logic aside and can forgive the caricature setting in this London council estate. Maisie Williams is wasted here.
Deadcon has a kinda half-finished vibe to it. It makes no sense, cant decide if it wants to tell one story or two and doesn't have many effective scares. Despite all that it's sort of watchable, partly because "ghosts haunt a convention" is an idea that you think someone else might be able to make a better film about and partly because it has such a short run time that it isn't too much of a chore to get through. We've certainly seen much worse on the show.
80s curio that has not aged well, space vampires invade Earth and try to suck souls dry. Notably directed by Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre this aint. Decent practical effects, lamentable special ones. Not much to recommend here aside from a young Patrick Stewart causing you to think that he may be an actual vampire as he has not visibly aged since 1985.
For the first half of this movie you think you are getting a low-key haunted house story as a bunch of University students run a scam pretending to cleanse spirits from this world but then it turns into a completely different movie and totally shits the bed. Florence Pugh is slumming it in this one, steer clear.
19. DARK LIGHT
Ticks all of the basic horror clichés and makes no sense whatsoever Devoid of scares, atmosphere and plot, some stuff happens, is never explained and then the movie ends. One character turns back up showing no ill effects from a shotgun blast earlier in the movie with no explanation at all. Decent creature design is the only positive we could muster from this one.
Aerials succeeds in both being completely nonsensical and unintentionally hilarious. It also has the honour of being pretty much the worst acted movie we have ever seen. It is so badly acted that it doesn't feel like our stars are even in the same room and features so many unnecessary, lingering shots and Sequences (man cooking omelette, man looking for his phone) that you will feel that time has stood still. This is the longest 90 minute film in existence. Horrible characters that you do not want to root for, special effects created in MS Paint and wow, that ending...
Wow. This is an abomination. Sound mixing feels half finished, you cannot hear what many of the characters are saying. Utterly questionable gender politics in this, all the women are portrayed as stupid and have to be mansplained to at the end by our lead character. It also has George Hamilton in it, who looks like he is slowly melting. Do not waste your time watching, listen to our episode on it instead!