Depending on your point of view, Alita is either a fine addition to an established live-action Manga genre, or James Cameron blatantly ripping off Pinochio in the Shell with added Rollerball. Either way it’s a large slice of metal-fetishist robo-porn from Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, saved by a superb motion-capture by Rosa Salazar as the amnesiac cyborg killing machine. Continue Reading
Catching up with the first of the franchise: the remarkably simple character animation contrasts wildly with the over-cranked, bonkers action sequences to create a family adventure that is everything Ready Player One should have been. With a non-stop conveyor of genre-subverting satire, one-liners, sight-gags and pop-culture riffs, everything is indeed awesome. Continue Reading
Writer/director Joe Cornish delivers a proper junior adventure – a modern-day Sword in the Stone that is part Famous Five, part Sarah-jane Adventures (©Dr Who), part BBC Sunday serial, part Children’s Film Foundation nostalgia trip from the 1970’s.
Quintessentially British to it’s core, the slightly ramshackle, not-quite-Harry-Potter-ness of it is entirely elevated by the junior cast abetted by Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Fergusson. Continue Reading
Dreamworks rounds off it’s animated Dragon trilogy with a superlative coming-of-age adventure. It’s a charmingly bonkers fantasy world of goofy dragons, Scottish vikings, American teens, F. Murray Abraham voicing a Max Von Sudow villain; this time injected with some properly Y-A themes of taking on adult responsibility. And if that sounds all too grown up, just sit back and enjoy the flying sequences. Continue Reading
The final release poster for Alita: Battle Angel is out and she’s holding some weirdly unidentifiable, but cool-looking sword. A 26th-century cyborg still needs a sword.
Cue Hellboy reboot and in the poster, the guy who carries an unfeasibly large calibre revolver is holding… a sword. As is… Transformer‘s own Optimus Primus Stove, a thirty-foot alien robot from another planet last seen wielding a dirty great sword, which presumably transforms into, I dunno, a roofer’s scaffold tower? Continue Reading
This fourth version of a classic tale sees troubled country music veteran Jackson Maine spot talented torch-singer Ally; the touching and intimate portrait of their relationship tracks her rise to stardom as his star fades in self-destructive excess.
Bradley Cooper makes an assured directorial debut as well as starring as Jackson. We know Lady Gaga can sing anything, and does a unique but effective acting turn as aspiring hopeful Ally. Sam Elliott does some of his best work in years as Jackson’s brother-mentor Bobby. Continue Reading
Josie Rourke’s unashamed feminist re-focusing of sixteenth century history sees Protestant Elizabeth Tudor and Catholic Mary Stewart duel across the England-Scotland border in the face of not only the patriarchy of the time, but armed rebellion and religious fundamentalism.
Siaorse Ronan again dazzles as Mary, with Margot Robbie de-glam’ed for awards season under false nose and smallpox scars, as the two queens maneuver and struggle to preserve their reigns. Continue Reading