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
Rise and Dawn might mean the same thing, but the differences between the two films in 20th Century Fox’s successful franchise reboot couldn’t be more apparent. Where Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes sacrificed spectacle for story to offer a pleasant change from the numerous mediocre Hollywood remakes that surrounded it, its successor strikes a perfect balance between the two. It’s as much a compelling continuation of the apes genesis tale as it is a bigger, bolder and altogether more complete summer spectacle. Continue reading Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
Sixteen years have passed since the last major Godzilla film and though Roland Emmerich’s embarrassing 1998 effort has been disowned by Toho, the famous Japanese production company, it still looms over the once prolific franchise. There have only been two lackluster Japanese-made releases to satisfy fans in the meantime, but after a recent resurgence in monster movies Toho and their legendary monster make their Hollywood return. Continue reading Godzilla Review
Four years after Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky returns with a film billed as a biblical epic, but is really anything but. Don’t expect a religious sermon as the visionary filmmaker transforms the widely known Old Testament story into another provocative, esoteric addition to a divisive, but no less fascinating filmography. Continue reading Noah Review
After the success of Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, his most accessible and consequently finest films to date, Wes Anderson lets his imagination run wild like never before with The Grand Budapest Hotel; a whimsical fantasy adventure that sees the bohemian director further blur the boundary between mainstream and independent cinema. Continue reading The Grand Budapest Hotel Review
Ever since the Harry Potter franchise adaptations of young adult literature have been a lucrative Hollywood trend. Yet the quality has descended into a ceaseless torrent of substandard replicas piloted by a toxic, pseudo-feminist, profit-driven vampire saga. That was until 2012 with the arrival of Gary Ross’ flawed, yet hugely successful The Hunger Games which towered above its feeble competition and though it failed to stem the flow it offered enough to restore at least a little faith in young adult films. Though fans remain loyal to their beloved franchise, a degree of scepticism remained to greet its successor, but Catching Fire surprises us all over again as a darker, more serious and far more mature sequel that surpasses the first in every way and reignites a genre that looked all but extinguished.
“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade” – Werner Herzog
Regardless of how many films you watch, The Act of Killing is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and a third collaborator, who like the majority of the crew remain anonymous for their own safety, unite as a directorial trio to deliver a challenging and outrageously innovative documentary about the Indonesian genocide in 1965.
A new star child is born
Science fiction films, like any form of mainstream storytelling, typically hinge on humanity’s struggle against an antagonist, whether it’s an alien species, self conscious technology or earthbound asteroid. Powered by his ambition to deliver the most lifelike presentation of what it’s like begin in space, Alfonso Cuarón substitutes a tangible antagonist for a minimalist focus on the isolation, emptiness and natural dangers that occur within such an inhabitable space. It’s immediately clear that Cuarón’s daring enterprise is a rare breed, but this is only one of the elements that sets Gravity apart from the vast majority of others.
“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.
A film of two halves
Derek Cianfrance’s follow up to his emotionally gripping Blue Valentine had fans immediately excited after it was revealed that the American filmmaker would be reuniting with Ryan Gosling. Much like the Golden Globe-nominated performance he previously provided in Cianfrance’s anti-romantic Sundance-hit, the Hollywood heartthrob is the driving force behind this ambitious project. Sadly, he’s also the only memorable part of it.