2011’s Real Steel is a Rocky-style Disney/Dreamworks family robot-boxing movie of a Matel plastic tabletop game (Battling Robots) that is so clichéd and daft that it shouldn’t work. And for all those elements, it works so much better than 2018’s Pacific Rim 2: Stupifying. So I’m reviewing Real Steel instead.
In one of those ‘near futures’, ex-prizefighter Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) builds ramshackle, low-end boxing robots for the new hi-tech sport of… robot boxing. Continue Reading
Three months in and I’ve finally seen something released in 2018! A superb ensemble cast marshalled by black director Ryan Coogler (Creed) delivers a fresh take on a Marvel superhero movie – well, we’ve not seen armoured rhinoceros’ before.
After an impactful debut in CA – Civil War, Chadwick Boseman gets his own show as T-Challa, the titular Black Panther – or as I see him, Africa’s Iron Man – and, for all his shining everyman integrity, is nearly sidelined by the talent around him. Continue Reading
An adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower fantasy-western-sci-fi-horror series so perfunctory that four hours after I watched it I’d forgotten what I’d seen; generic fantasy with a high gloss finish that reduces the King novels to a mercifully brisk genre romp with good performances and no new ideas to speak of.
Young Jake Chambers has nightmares of a dark tower, a gunslinger and a Man in Black, while New York suffers increasing earthquakes. Except they’re not nightmares, and the Man in Black is a sorcerer trying to destroy the actual Dark Tower that keeps the demons from our universe. And the gunslinger is… a gunslinger. With six-guns made from Excalibur. No, really. Continue Reading
Latest in a long line of alien invasion movies, the badly titled Revolt takes a potful of genre clichés and throws them at buffed-up Lee Pace’s amnesiac special forces soldier. Part Battle Los Angeles, part Cowboys and Aliens (not a good start), with the remainder Independence Day, Starship Troopers and Skyline, Revolt makes the most of its African setting and complex CGI aliens – but that’s about it. Continue Reading
Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s 1975 novella is a gloriously black-humoured, retro-sci-fi, dystopian satire. Violent, sweary, trippy and provocative at every turn, the imagined 1970’s self-contained tower block becomes a microcosm of a class system breaking down in the most horrific ways.
A book-end to Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, this should be required viewing for fans of the bankrupt Le Corbusier modernist architecture movement. So there. Continue Reading
Ridley Scott didn’t create it, but his 1976 Alien kick-started a creature-feature sub-genre, in which otherwise intelligent people split up in dark, deserted places to get picked off by the local wildlife. Bouncing back from 2013’s daft and muddled Prometheus, Alien Covenant remixes the ’76 original, in which otherwise intelligent people split up in dark, deserted places to get picked off by the local wildlife. It’s a sci-fi horror crossover that fetishises big teeth, claws and terror. Meh. Continue Reading
Called in to a genetic research lab, risk consultant Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) has to determine if genetically engineered lifeform Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) is safe to continue development. While the science team is emotionally committed to the chilly, detached teenage girl, chilly, detached Weathers has to make a judgement on termination.
In a high-concept drama on genetic engineering, artificifial intelligence and Franken-science, Morgan spends the first two acts playing Ex-machina and I, Robot, before going full-on Species in the action-packed third act; the ‘twist’ of which you saw coming in the first five minutes. Continue Reading