Road Rash Reviews

Road Rash Christmas Gift Guide 2018

The time of festive cheer is almost upon us again and Road Rash Reviews is here to help with some suggestions for final touches to that all important gift list.

For those of you who like to leave things to the very last moment, we have plenty of great ideas, which are easy to order on our site, just go to our store and click!

As luck would have it, there are lots of goodies out there this year to fill your stockings, perfect to put your feet up and watch over the holiday season.

2018 has seen some very exciting releases and here are just a few that we think would make ideal stocking fillers.

First up, there have been lots of new releases this year for younger viewers, here are some of our favourites. We have a couple of sequels, the delightful and hilarious Paddington 2 and the heartwarming and educational March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step.

PG

5 stars of charming hilarity for the whole family. Paddington 2 is written by Simon Farnaby and Paul King (Paddington, The Mighty Boosh), who also directs the film. It is based on the best selling children’s books about Paddington Bear by Michael Bond (Olga da Polga). “Open your minds, and your legs will follow.” Paddington Brown (Ben Whishaw – Cloud Atlas, Spectre) has now been living with...more

U

5 stars of stunning wildlife film making. Over a decade later and following on from the success of March of the Penguins, writer and director Luc Jacquet (Ice and the Sky, Once Upon a Forest) is back with another work of genius, March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step. “It’s pick up time at preschool, but unfortunately the entire class consists of nearly identical twins,...more

 

For a festive treat, we have The Big Bad Fox and if you fancy something a bit retro, the BBC have released the enchanting Tom’s Midnight Garden. We also recommend the thought provoking I Kill Giants, aimed at young teenagers.

U

4 stars of charming and amusing family fun. The Big Bad Fox is written by Benjamin Renner (Ernest and Celestine) and directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert. It was originally a French production and is presented here with both a star studded English dub and the original French track. “A detour? It’s a disaster! I can’t even speak Chinese, let alone...more

U

4 star enchanting tale for the whole family. This adaptation of Tom’s Midnight Garden was originally released in 1989 and is based on the much loved children’s book of the same name by Philippa Pearce (The Way to Sattin Shore). It is written for the screen by Julia Jones (Juliet Bravo, Q.E.D.) and directed by Christine Secombe (Johnny Briggs, Grange Hill). “There’s nothing...more

12

4 star heartwarming coming of age tale.  I Kill Giants is written by Joe Kelly (Ben 10, Ultimate Spiderman), based on his graphic novel of the same name and directed by Anders Walter (Helium, 9 Meter). “I’m here because people fear what they don’t understand. I’m good with that so we’re done here.” Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe – The Conjuring 2, Joy) is...more

 

If you fancy a comedy the whole family can enjoy, why not indulge in Aardman’s latest film Early Man, or the Lego Ninjago Movie in 3D.

PG

5 stars of fabulous family football fun. Early Man is an Aardman production written by Mark Burton (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Madagascar) and James Higginson (Killing Bono) and directed by Nick Park (Chicken Run). “I have been massaged by a pig!” As the film opens we see a catastrophic asteroid impact, wiping out all the dinosaurs on Earth, but miraculously sparing a small...more

U

4 Star Lego, Ninjas, Mechs and all in 3D. Based on an original Lego toy line, Warner Bros show that throwing writers, screenplay writers and producers at a project can bring something enjoyable to watch especially ‘in the eye’ 3D. A young boy walks into a curio shop and meets the proprietor Mr Lui (Jackie Chan, Kung Fu Yoga, Drunken Master, Police Story:...more

 

There have been a couple of excellent sci-fi releases this year, 2036 Origin Unknown, starring the talented Katee Sackhoff and the magnificent and long awaited Star Trek Discovery.

15

4 star Interstellar Sci-Fi. From producer,writer, director Hasraf Dulull (The Beyond). Following on from his first full length feature he brings us a pure Sci-Fi film. He shows his love for this genre in this high concept “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” film. His talent as a visual effects artist are well displayed in the parts where star Katee...more

12

4 Star The Reboot of Reboots. CBS caused a storm in sci-fi circles when they announced that they were rebooting the iconic, world renowned Star Trek. Not just another tale set in the universe, but they decided to start from scratch. Setting it ten years before the adventures of the USS Enterprise. What also caused a stir was the main character was...more

 

For fans of Asian cinema, there have been some real treats this year. Operation Red Sea is a brutal but beautifully made war film and Youth is an in depth look at life in the Chinese army.

18

5 Star Bullets, Bombs, Tanks and Much Much More. This is the must see conflict film of the year! Propaganda film or not, Operation Red Sea is beyond anything you will see in a very long time. Dante Lam (as Lin Chaoxian)(Operation Mekong, The Stool Pigeon) brings us a story based on real events and this story is one of arduous exploits, that...more

15

5 Star Life, Love, and Longing Director Xiaogang Feng (Assembly) takes Geling Yan (The Flowers of War) original story and brings it to life in a fantastic story of a group of young people in China during a period of turmoil, treachery and war. With an orchestral score that lifts the spirits and dashes them with equal efficiency, an amazing piece of...more

 

If you are more into martial arts then Blade of the Immortal has some marvellous fighting, the Jet Li boxset Once Upon a Time In China would be an excellent gift and let’s not forget the Jackie Chan films Project A and Project A Part II.

18

5 stars of bloody, brutal brilliance. Blade of the Immortal is based on the manga of the same name by Hiroaki Samura and is the 100th feature from renowned director Takashi Miike (Audition, The Happiness of the Katakuris). With it’s  breathtaking and beautifully filmed action sequences it is set to become one of his most revered films. “Machi, that’s a horse turd. Put...more

15

5 Star A Hero of China and Martial Arts. Eureka Classics brings us the martial arts extravaganza that is the Once Upon a Time in China trilogy, plus the 1997 Once Upon a Time in China and America, for the first time on a limited edition (4000) Blu-ray. Tracking events of Chinese hero Wong Fei-hung (Jet Li, The One, The Expendables, The...more

15

5 Star Pirates, Crooks and Bent Officials. Eureka Classics have out done themselves this time with these two classic Jackie Chan (Police story 1&2, City Hunter, The Lego Ninjago 3D, Kung Fu Yoga, Drunken Master, Police Story: Lockdown), Hong Kong Slapstick Martial Arts films that showcase Chan’s talents at their greatest. With spectacular choreography within the fight scenes especially when Chan teams...more

 

We have a couple of remastered classic films, gripping court drama Witness For The Prosecution, laugh out loud funny comedy horror The Old Dark House and eighties horror The Changeling.

U

5 Star The Perfect Courtroom Drama. Adapted from Agatha Christie’s book of the same name, adapted and directed by Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, The Seven Year Itch, The Spirit of St. Louis, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment) and bringing 6 Academy Oscar nominations. This courtroom drama is a shining example of Wilder’s work and now that it has had the Masters...more

PG

5 star restoration of a brilliant horror classic. The Old Dark House was originally released in 1932, is based on the novel Benighted by J.B. Priestley (An Inspector calls) and directed by the magnificent James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man). It is presented by Eureka in a new 4K restoration and will be released on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray as part of the...more

15

4 stars of remastered classic and chilling horror. The Changeling was first released in 1980 and is based on a story by Russell Hunter and directed by Peter Medak (The Krays, Romeo is Bleeding). This horror classic is now restored and brought to limited edition Blu-ray courtesy of Second Sight, with newly commissioned artwork from Christopher Shy and a host of new...more

 

Fans of independent films will love the brilliant horror comedy Polterheist and our American readers will be thrilled to hear that British horror Cannibals and Carpet Fitters is now available on VOD in the U.S.

15

4 stars of brutal, brilliant and bloody horror comedy. Polterheist is a highly original British horror comedy caper, written and directed by Dave Gilbank, his feature debut, and co-written by Gemma Head who also stars and Paul Renhard. Following its success on the festival circuit, Polterheist has an exclusive early DVD edition from Halloween onwards and will go on general release in...more

5 Stars A Real Carpet Gripper! Cannibals and Carpet fitters is written by Richard Lee O’Donnell (End of the Road) and directed by James Bushe (Predator Dark Ages, VK) and is based on the award winning short film of the same name. It is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit and has won a number of awards, including Best Feature...more

 

All you gore hounds will take great delight in festive bloodbath Secret Santa, atmospheric thriller The Dark and blood soaked horror in the desert, Revenge.

18

4 stars of very black festive comedy horror.  Secret Santa is the second film from the Frightfest Presents label, a venture between Signature Entertainment and leading genre festival Frightfest. Following the success of The Dark, we now have a blood drenched comedy from the creators of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Texas Chainsaw 3D. It is written by Debra...more

15

4 stars of unusual psychological horror. The Dark is written and directed by Justin P. Lange and is his impressive directorial debut. It is the first film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Entertainment and leading genre festival FrightFest. “This is what you’re looking for. So you like scary stories do you?” Josef Hofer...more

18

4 stars of blood soaked and unexpected revenge thriller. Revenge is written and directed by French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat and is her very impressive directorial debut. It also features a standout performance from relative newcomer Matilda Lutz (Rings), whose transformation from a simpering and vulnerable mistress to homicidal killing machine is quite extraordinary. It tells us the story of Jen (Matilda Lutz), a young...more

 

There have been some big anime film releases this year, including Fireworks, Tokyo Godfathers, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, 5 Centimetres Per Second and the big live action release of the year, Tokyo Ghoul.

12

3 stars of slightly confusing time travelling romance anime. Fireworks (also known as Fireworks: Should We See Them From the Side or the Bottom?) is based on the 1993 Japanese live-action television play of the same name, written by Shunji Iwai. This anime version is produced by Shaft (Nisekoi, Maria Holic) and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (March Comes In Like A Lion) and Nobuyuki Takeuchi (Spirited Away),...more

12

5 Star From the Shunned to Heroes From the pen and direction of Satoshi Kon (Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent) comes a Christmas tale like no other. This is a little gem of a story, about the most dysfunctional family on the Planet. This is no fluffy children’s story that some other animators may make. As these characters have a darker back story...more

PG

4 stars of enchanting adventure to faraway lands. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is based on the much loved children’s novel The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. It is adapted to anime by Studio Ponoc, founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, formerly of Studio Ghibli, and this pedigree is clear to see. “I thought it was a monkey. A red haired monkey covered in...more

U

5 stars of hauntingly beautiful animation. 5 Centimeters Per Second was originally released in 2007 and is now available on Blu-ray in the UK for the first time courtesy of Manga UK. It is produced, written and directed by the highly acclaimed Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words, Your Name) and follows a similar theme to his previous works, The Place Promised...more

15

4 star blood fuelled excitement. At long last the eagerly awaited live action adaptation of the best selling manga by Sui Ishida is coming to DVD the UK, courtesy of All The Anime. Tokyo Ghoul is set in a world where humans are forced to co-exist with inhuman creatures known as ghouls, who must feed on human flesh to survive. They...more

 

If you are looking for a good anime series to watch then look no further than slice-of-life anime March Comes In Like a Lion, ice skating extravaganza Yuri On Ice, sci-fi tale Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex and supernatural thrillers Erased and Occultic Nine.

15

4 stars for this gentle and well written slice-of-life anime. March Comes In Like a Lion is based on the ongoing manga series by Chica Umino (Honey and Clover). It is adapted to anime by studio Shaft (Bakemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Negima). This release is Season 1 Part 1 and features episodes 1 – 11 on...more

15

4 star continuation of this well written slice-of-life anime. March Comes In Like a Lion is based on the ongoing manga series by Chica Umino (Honey and Clover). It is adapted to anime by studio Shaft (Fireworks, Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Negima). This release is Season 1 Part 2 and features episodes 12 – 24 on Blu-ray with both the English dub and original...more

12

5 stars of glorious figure skating and fabulous music. Yuri!! On Ice is a Japanese figure skating anime, written by Mitsurou Kubo, directed by Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko and Hatchin) and produced by Studio MAPPA (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Terror In Resonance). The series’ depiction of figure skating and the relationship of its lead characters earned acclaim from anime critics and sporting professionals...more

15

5 Star A Major Upgrade for G.I.T.S. Masamune Shiro‘s (Appleseed) classic manga story brought to the screens by Production I-G (Psycho-Pass, Attack on Titan, Attack on Titan: Junior High) this classic cyberpunk story set in the near future now comes in an all singing all dancing Blu-ray box set for the first time in the UK. In the not so distant future, mankind has advanced...more

15

5 stars of well written and fascinating sci-fi. Erased is based on the seinen manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. It was adapted to anime by A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Your Lie In April) and directed by Tomohiko Ito (Silver Spoon). This release features the first six episodes of the anime. “I’m scared to dig too deep into myself…” Set...more

15

5 stars of well written and fascinating sci-fi. Erased is based on the seinen manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. It was adapted to anime by A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Your Lie In April) and directed by Tomohiko Ito (Silver Spoon). This release features the final six episodes of the anime. “I’m not gonna quit until I find the true culprit!” Set in the year 2006,...more

15

4 stars of dark and intriguing anime. Occultic;Nine is based on the Japanese light novel of the same name written by Chiyomaru Shikura (Steins;Gate). It is adapted to anime by A-1 Pictures (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Your Lie In April) and directed by Kyohei Ishiguro. Volume 1 comprises episodes 1 – 6. “Something about a high school girl that was attracting a...more

15

4 star conclusion to this dark and intriguing anime. Occultic;Nine is based on the Japanese light novel of the same name written by Chiyomaru Shikura(Steins;Gate). It is adapted to anime by A-1 Pictures (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Your Lie In April) and directed by Kyohei Ishiguro. Volume 2 comprises episodes 7 – 12 and concludes this fascinating story. “There are no such thing as ‘occult’. It...more

 

Our top box set for the year is the Rambo trilogy and last but not least, we have one of the final films starring Harry Dean Stanton, Lucky.

18

5 Star Rambo Re-Born. Our favourite Vietnam War veteran, who can survive anywhere, kill you without making a sound or blow the enemy away in a hail of bullets. Our 80’s anti-hero returns to the small screen now in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. With all the special features this is a must for the Sylvester Stallone fan. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD Academy Award-nominee Sylvester Stallone...more

15

5 Star A Man and Realism is a Thing. From seasoned actor John Carroll Lynch (Fargo, Volcano, Face/Off, Gothika, Gran Torino), he explodes onto the directing scene with an outstanding début. Lucky comes from first time writers Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, which just proves that you can get it right the first time round. Lucky is a superlative film, where even...more

 

Well, there you have it, this year’s recommendations for your festive viewing pleasure. On behalf of RoadRash Reviews we would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

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Category: Gift Guide