Picture it. Hollywood executives discuss their next mega money maker and among the melee of buzzwords, margins, and other business bollockry is the go-to selling point for any sequel: make it bigger. Independence Day Resurgence gets the green light and kick starts a global marketing campaign that drives home the fact that more than anything else this belated sequel will be bigger than the 1996 original. But they didn’t stop there. Continue reading Independence Day Resurgence Review
Until recently, The Fast & Furious films were the closest thing to a big screen adaptation of EA’s popular racing simulator and after becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises it was only a matter of time before someone caught on. Having secured the naming rights DreamWorks developed an official movie tie in to share a claim of its illegitimate counterpart’s spoils and while the Need For Speed name has proven enough to earn a quick buck, the film is neither fast nor furious enough to stand out from the crowd. Continue reading Need For Speed Review
It’s okay to blink, you won’t miss a thing
Breakneck speeds, relentless ferocity and uncompromising personalities. Formula One is almost born for the big screen, yet with only Senna and arguably Driven to its name, the motor sport remains an unexplored avenue within the film industry. Coming off the back of Asif Kapadia’s multi-award winning 2010 documentary and the sport’s growing popularity Ron Howard marks his 22nd directorial appearance with the first true F1 feature film, Rush.
“Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s no stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.”
Having begun his career in blistering fashion, but unfortunately stumbling in recent years, Marc Forster seeks to reignite his cinematic form with an intriguing, yet worryingly loose adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed zombie horror novel. His World War Z reimagining bears little resemblance to its sublime forebear, but that’s part of the reason why he’s able to create such an exhilarating disaster movie brimming with fascinating stories, compelling drama and memorable action set pieces.
To idly go where so many have ventured before
J.J. Abrams found success with his refreshing Star Trek rebirth four years ago, but plunges his enterprise into darkness with a lazily written sequel that lacks the charm and quality of its predecessor.
Elysium fields political bite, but little more
Having stunned audiences with his exhilarating sci-fi debut District 9, South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp makes an eagerly anticipated return with another futuristic action thriller. Blomkamp’s Elysium may evoke the same politically-charged ethos of its predecessor, but rather than supplementing the narrative the excessive social commentaries dominate this mildly entertaining, yet ultimately hollow enterprise.
After beginning his career with two polarizing comedies, the entertaining Zombieland and shameful 30 Minutes or Less, American director Ruben Fleischer departs from familiar ground and delves into the underground mob scene for his third feature. However, in tackling the crime genre the emerging filmmaker shows his naivety and inexperience with a derivative crowd-pleaser that is so focussed on borrowing ideas from previous classics that it fails to establish its own identity.
Prolific action writer David Koepp makes his fifth directorial appearance with Premium Rush, an adrenaline-fuelled vehicular action thriller that innovatively swaps the engine for pedal power.
Just like old times.
While most prolonged movie franchises become exhausted with every succeeding sequel, the Fast and Furious franchise remains the unyielding exception that continues to progress with each new, successful addition. What initially set off as a nitrous-fuelled street racing film series later developed into a big action heist thriller and though Fast Five was an unexpected shift, it was instantly welcomed with an impressive box-office return and newfound critical acclaim. Now, six films into the franchise and things are accelerated again with incredibly satisfying and immensely entertaining results.
Low standards won’t be enough to help you here
While I don’t recognise a direct correlation between the violence presented on cinema screens and the horrors a disturbed and spiteful person might wreak in public, it’s tasteless films like Red Dawn – with its senseless glorification of teenage gun violence – that give ammunition to those wanting to make that connection.