Despite an over-long, four-act structure, disjointed flashbacks and an over-reliance on vast swathes of CGI carnage, Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) delivers a surprisingly super-heroic epic on a grand scale. Boy, do you get a lot of movie for your money.
Choosing homage to Christopher Reeve’s Superman I and II over the DC Comics source material, it stays the course thanks to throroughbred writing from David S. Goyer (Batman, Blade trilogy) and the firm guiding hand of producer Christopher Nolan (Batman, Inception).
While Henry Cavill and Amy Adams prove a well-matched Lois and Clark, Russell Crowe deadens every scene, and none of them can match Michael Shannon’s righteous fanatic, General Zod. Continue Reading
An old-fashioned sci-fi space-opera which, despite the huge and complex CGI fleet actions, relies entirely on the conflict between child warrior Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) and his grizzled mentor Colonel Gruff – sorry, Graff (Harrison Ford).
Fifty years after the insectoid Formics are beaten back from invading the Earth, mankind is breeding child soldiers whose video-game generation minds are best able to absorb the huge amounts of battlefield information. Groomed for command, brilliant misfit (aren’t they always) Ender may be Earth’s one great hope of defeating an unknowable alien enemy.
While it plays like Tom Brown’s Schooldays meets Starship Troopers, you just can’t help thinking: Harry Potter in Space. Continue Reading
A little bit of The Sting, a little bit of The Prestige and a lot of Oceans Eleven can’t lift this entertaining but empty thriller that tries to be as tricksy as its subjects.
From the point it introduces Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson as street magician, escapologist, hustler and mentallist, you think you’re in for a treat.
But it’s all about Mark Ruffalo’s shabby FBI man… Continue Reading
Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) moves on to a different kind of ‘vampire': an alien invasion of body-snatching luminous jelly-fish with a penchant for white suits, silver sports cars and a passive, peaceful, perfect utopia.
Of course, there’s a small resistance force fighting extinction and for everything human; including the right to be hormonally over-excited teenagers, even while the alien police Searchers hunt them down.
If not for director Andrew Niccol and Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, City of Ember) in the lead as dual role Melanie/Wanda, this would all be so much teen fodder. Continue Reading
Sometimes feeling like a giant episode of the late lamented Firefly, it’s fun, inventive and spectacular to look at with some marvellous CGI work and a SCRIPT. An actual honest to goodness script. Some great performances, with the standout surprise that is Dave Bautista as the endearingly heartfelt vengeance-fuelled irony-free Drax stealing the show. Recommended. PH
More like X-Men Economy Class, this lack-lustre origins’ prequel plays like an X-Men tribute band.
Inserting itself into the Cuban Missile Crisis with a vast CGI extravaganza, light-weight superheroes and paper-thin villains First Class has nothing new to add to the back-story.
While the new intake of teen mutants make no difference at all, and James McAvoy is an unconvincing Patrick Stewart impersonator, the saving grace is Fassbender, as ever, in a class of his own. Continue Reading
An American family takes a vacation to Europe which descends into car chases and shoot-outs, owing to the father’s shady past as a US master spy, and his son has to come to terms with his parents’ double life.
No its not 1985’s Target, with Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon; this time, dad Bruce Willis (Looper) gets himself shot and son Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Immortals) has to pick up the pieces.
Throw in some kinetic, Bourne-type action, the car chase from Ronin, and an off-the-peg ice queeen performance from Sigourney Weaver (Paul, Abduction), and you get an efficient, if uninspiring thriller. Continue Reading