Reviews

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      War for the Planet of the Apes


        What a pleasant surprise. A third instalment in a blockbuster franchise remake that actually holds up to the original. I would even say that of all nine Planet of the Apes movies and remakes (yes, I have seen all of them…), this one ranks as number 2, second only to the 1968 original.


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      Baby Driver


        English director Edgar Wright’s latest and most successful film to date is Baby Driver, which plays fairly straight as a heist movie. Ansel Elgort plays the eponymous “Baby”, a youthful, introverted but preternaturally talented getaway driver who works for criminal big-shot “Doc” (a sauve but occasionally menacing Kevin Spacey), who plans assorted bank robberies and recruits a revolving gang of thugs to carry them out, always with Baby as the driver…


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      The Mummy


        Whilst Brandon Fraser has all but disappeared from the big screen, his legacy of The Mummy franchise lives on – and now even gets a reboot with none other than Tom Cruise following in his footsteps. The original series is known for its outright silliness, and this update tries to keep some of that whilst at the same time taking a slightly darker approach: suitable at least in name, as it is the first movie in Universal’s so-called ‘Dark Universe’.


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      Miss Sloane


        Elizabeth Sloane is a high-powered Washington political lobbyist at the top of her game, but makes a surprise career move when presented with the chance to take on the gun lobby on a bill to enforce background checks for all on gun buyers. Does she really believe in the cause, or is she simply intrigued by the challenge of “winning big, bigger than I ever have before”, despite the formidable opposition of the well-funded gun lobby…


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      King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


        Do we really need another re-telling of the King Arthur Legend? Apparently the studio was pretty convinced about it, as this version was given a budget of $175m. What do we get for that? Well first of all we don’t really get a re-telling, rather Guy Ritchie’s re-imagining of the story. And we don’t get the whole story – there are ambitions for this to be a new Movie Universe with this first movie being Arthur’s origins story.


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      The Duellists


        Ridley Scott’s debut as director is a historical drama, based on a Joseph Conrad story, set in the time of Napoleon. An impetuous hussar lieutenant Feraud (played by Harvey Keitel) stabs the son of an influential mayor in a duel, and another lieutenant d’Hubert (played by Keith Carradine) is sent to arrest him. Keitel’s character, rather than returning to barracks, challenges his arresting officer to a duel instead, though both survive the encounter.


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      Life


        Scientists on the International Space Station are bringing back a sample from Mars, which turns out to contain -indeed- Life. I starts out as a single celled organism, but it doesn’t take long for it to grow into a complex creature. Not surprisingly, as it grows and develops, it turns out not to be too friendly and soon this newly hailed Life form becomes a threat to all on board, and beyond…


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      Alien: Covenant


        Ridley Scott returned to the Alien franchise that he started with “Prometheus” (2012), a prequel to the original movie “Alien” (1979). Covenant takes up the story at the end of Prometheus, with a spaceship full of human colonists in stasis en route to an alien planet; a small crew is also in stasis and the ship is run by its computer and an android, Walter. An incident forces Walter to wake the crew early into the journey, and a signal is detected that may be of human origin from a nearby planet. When the crew land on the planet they discover the relics of a dead civilisation and some familiar life forms…


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      Their Finest


        Catrin Cole (played by Gemma Arterton) appears married to a handsome but struggling artist/painter Ellis Cole (Jack Huston), and against his wishes decides to get a job in order to shore up the couple’s frail finances. She is hired as a writer to help the established writing team. Catrin is sent to investigate a potentially stirring tale of a pair of twin sisters who take their drink father’s boat to Dunkirk to help in the rescue, and concludes that, despite some serious issues, the material may make a flagship propaganda film.


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      Uncanny


        The more a robot looks like a real human, the more empathy most people have for it. If a robot becomes almost ‘real’ in its looks, movements and interactions, many people suddenly experience a huge drop in empathy where it can even flip to extreme dislike – this stage of human replicas being almost truly lifelike, but not quite right, is known is the Uncanny Valley.


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