Movie Review – 5th Wave, The

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Director :   J Blakeson
Year Of Release :   2015
Principal Cast :  Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Zackary Arthur, Tony Revolori, Talitha Bateman.
Approx Running Time :   107 Minutes
Synopsis:  Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

*****

Slowest. Apocalypse. Ever.

To be honest, I’m not sure which I’d prefer more. If (when) aliens ever attack, will they come down Independence Day-style and just blow us all to hell in a matter of moments? Or will they – as depicted in The 5th Wave, gradually unleash ever-increasingly destructive elements onto our planet in what I think is the equivalent of pulling wings off a fly and waiting for it to die a slow, painful death. The 5th Wave is neither logical, nor intelligent, and becomes another in the waning parade of Young Adult films revolving around a plucky female protagonist up against the end of humanity as she knows it. Casting Chloe Moretz in your film shows at least a modicum of respect for an audience, and I’ve generally found her a competent actress when given material suited to her acting style – wide eyed and breathless – but here, taking a heavy sci-fi opus on her own shoulders, she does feel a little out of her depth.

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Movie Review – Gilda

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Director :  Charles Vidor
Year Of Release :   1946
Principal Cast : Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia, Steven Geray, Joe Sawyer, Greald Mohr, Mark Roberts, Ludwig Donath, Don Douglas, Lionel Royce, George J Lewis.
Approx Running Time :   110 Minutes
Synopsis:  Johnny Farrell is a gambling cheat who turns straight to work for an unsettling casino owner Ballin Mundson. But things take a turn for Johnny as his alluring ex-lover appears as Mundson’s wife, and Mundson’s machinations begin to unravel.

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Place your bets!

As a film buff, it’s taken me a while to get around to Gilda; it’s been something of an albatross for me, ever since it was featured in Frank Darabont’s film version of The Shawshank Redemption. Seen as a classic – classic enough to feature in a film set in the period at least – is stars the luminous Hollywood icon Rita Hayworth, and remains probably her most famous role. Featuring a duo of hummable songs, a sizzling performance by Glenn Ford, and some terrific cinematography in gorgeous black and white, Gilda is the personification of film noir.

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Movie Review – Mune: Guardian of The Moon

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Director :   Alexandre Heboyan + Benoit Phillipon
Year Of Release :   2014
English voice cast:  Joshua J Ballard, Nicole Provost, Trevor Devall, Jonathan Love, Michael Dobson, Davey Grant, Sam Vincent, Brian Drummond, Paul Dobson, Rob Shields.
Approx Running Time :   86 Minutes
Synopsis:   A faun named Mune inadvertently becomes the Guardian of the Moon, but an accident that could put both the Moon and the Sun in danger, involving a corrupt titan named Necross who wants the Sun for himself, places the balance of night and day in great peril.

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If you’ve never heard of Mune before, worry not, because I hadn’t either until one of my kids stumbled upon it while I was looking for new films to watch in avoiding the umpteenth viewing of Hotel Transylvania 2. New to us, that is. Originally a French production, we managed to grab a copy in English and I’ll be darned if it isn’t the most pleasant, surprising, delightfully animated little film I’ve seen in ages. With a plot you’d describe as “fancifully kooky” and a roster of characters more in keeping with an Old English fairy-tale, this aspirational fable is both charming and beautiful and, if my kids have any say, thoroughly recommended.

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Trailer Trash! – Star Trek Beyond Trailer #2

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Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Furious 6 etc etc) helms the third of Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek film franchise, picking up where JJ Abrams left off. Today a new trailer dropped and by crikey it’s an improvement over the previous one. Lin’s a director with the chops to pull this thing together and inject the modern “action” sensibility to the frantic goings-on established by Abrams back in ’09. That said, the conversation around where they’re planning on taking the crew of the Enterprise this time around has me slightly worried, if for nothing else than it’s outside my comfort zone. Bring it on, I say! Check out the new trailer after the jump.

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Explaining Disney’s Star Wars Plans (For People Who Don’t Understand It)

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Disney have a problem with Star Wars. Okay, not one that’s going to make things problematic for them at a creative or financial sense, but a problem of marketing their Anthology Star Wars films to the general, non-Star-Wars-geek public. Hang on, you say, what’s an “anthology” Star Wars film all about? Aren’t they all about Darth Vader and some kid named Luke, a hairy giant and a pair of gay robots? Er, not quite.

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Movie Review – Point Break (2015)

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Director :  Ericson Core
Year Of Release :   2015
Principal Cast : Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Clemens Schick, Matias Varela, Tobias Santelmann, Max Theriot, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone.
Approx Running Time :   114 Minutes
Synopsis:   A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists.

*******

Nobody asked for a Point Break remake – hell, if anything we clamoured for a sequel, before Patrick Swayze’s untimely passing – but I guess we got one anyway. With its X-treme sports aesthetic and middling criminal subplot mixed with frustratingly obtuse acting performances and a penchant for indifferent direction, Point Break’s 2015 edition seems hell bent on pulverising audiences with crazy stunts and thunderous sound design. In terms of its uniqueness within action cinema, there’s virtually nothing in Point Break you haven’t seen before, and as far as story and characters go there’s a vacuum of creative nuance overriding anything director Ericson Core might wish to stamp his authority on, so if all it takes to entertain you is dudes doing crazy skiing, windriding or parachuting (etc etc), then you’ll be perfectly happy with this cookie-cutter flick designed to take your gullible money. Everyone else will be best served skipping it.

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Why I Probably Won’t Bother With Ghostbusters Either….

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A lot of internet space has been utilised of late for discussion surrounding Paul Feig’s ill-advised-but-coming-anyway reboot of Sony Picture’s IP, Ghostbusters. Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and….well, whoever, really, the film as attracted a lot of attention for being either a) unwanted, b) all-female, c) a remake or d)all of the above. Heck, I wrote an op-ed piece a while ago about this very film, although my focus of that piece surrounded whether we needed a remake of such a classic film franchise in the first place. Today, that discussion has shifted to whether or not men will watch the film because it’s got women in it, or whether people who aren’t interested in the film are misogynists. There’s a lot – yeah, a lot – of name calling and opinionising on Twitter, Facebook and all forums and comments sections as to why people hate the idea of a Ghostbusters remake/reboot, and whether sexism of any kind plays into the negativity surrounding it. To wit: here’s my view.

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Movie Review – Hotel Transylvania 2

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Director :   Genndy Tartarovsky
Year Of Release :   2015
Principal Cast :  Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Asher Binkoff, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Dana Carvey, Rob Riggle, Chris Kattan, Jon Lovitz, Robert Smigel, Sadie Sandler, Chris Parnell.
Approx Running Time :   89 Minutes
Synopsis:  Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.

*******

The Law of Diminishing Returns continues apace with Hotel Transylvania 2, the sequel to the 2012 original, a middling, hippity-hop affair about a father suffering chronic attachment issues and all manner of undiagnosed personality disorders. Bright and colourful at the least, fast paced and generally pleasant, Hotel 2 delivers more of what we’ve come to expect from Adam Sandler’s family-friendly franchise doing for iconic monsters what Shrek did for fairy tales. While adults will possibly find it a little tiresome, and the “message” element a tad wearying, particularly with multiple viewings, there’s a mild, pleasant genteel-ness to both story and characters that make it a diverting Sunday afternoon watch.

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Transfor-meh – Where To Next For Bay’s Bots?

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Sitting on the bus this morning I caught the announcement teaser from Paramount Pictures that Michael Bay’s fifth shot at turning the Transformers franchise into a series of films we can anticipate rather than endure was about to go into production in June. Not only did it reveal that tidbit of information, the teaser also revealed the title of the upcoming explodathon – The Last Knight. Weirdly, I had visions of Paul Bettany as an Autobot version of Chaucer screaming hysterically at fleeing humans about how the battle would live on in history as one of the greatest.

To say I’m ambivalent about The Last Night, and what that title and Bay’s continued frenetic porn-styled shooting of the saga might entail exactly, is an understatement, and far be it for a Transformer illiterate such as myself to try and waffle on about the franchise’s mythology outside of Bay’s films; yet as a long-time viewer of these effects orgies I have a bit of an idea of what I’d like to see the series….er….transform into.

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Movie Review – Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay Part 2

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Director :   Francis Lawrence
Year Of Release :   2015
Principal Cast :  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Sam Clafin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer, Willow Shields, Mahershala Ali, Patina Miller, Stef Dawson, Paul Malcomson, Stanley Tucci, Meta Golding, Gwendoline Christie, Michelle Forbes, Elden Henson, Wes Chatham.
Approx Running Time :   136 Minutes
Synopsis:   As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

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Are we there yet?

Look, I’ll be honest: I gave up on this franchise after the first sequel. I had no interest in Mockingjay Part 1 from the outset, and the fact it was such a shitty film made the prospect of having to sit through another two hour gabfest with Jennifer Lawrence’s smug git face looking stern and Donald Sutherland trashing his legacy in the name of popular culture sound like an exercise in pure torture. So we come to Part 2, a ridiculously stretched-to-two-film franchise capper that does nothing other than confirm the long held belief that stretching material in one book out to two (or three, Peter Jackson) films is purely and simply a cash grab, with no creative legitimacy whatsoever. I’m not gonna lie – I have come to detest this Young Adult dystopian cliché and all it stands for, so Mockingjay Part 2 was always pushing shit uphill to get me to like it.

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