When you find out that a movie is directed by Michael Bay, you know you are in for a high octane action flick with explosions… lots of explosions… And when you are going to see a Ryan Reynolds movie, you know you can expect a special kind of humour – mischievous is one way to describe it maybe. So what do you get when these two work together? An all ‘new kind of action hero’ movie apparently. I guess that is a fair description; unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily make it any good.
Man vs Frozen Wilderness has been done before of course. Leonardo di Caprio tries to survive the South Dakotan winter, and bears, in The Revenant; Liam Neeson fights the Alaskan cold, and wolves, in The Grey; we don’t exactly know where Mads Mikkelsen is, but he is trying to survive the cold, and polar bears, somewhere in the Arctic circle.
This movie was based around the story of King Arthur who withdrew the sword in the stone. The movie is an amazing adventure that not only the characters experience but you also experience. Anyone who likes a good tingle of excitement and scare will love this movie.
It sounded so promising; a fantasy adaptation with a screenplay by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who together also wrote the screenplays for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A small caveat – they also did so for the Hobbit trilogy which was a lot less engaging but still ‘ok’. But then again, the three of them also worked together on King Kong (2005) which was pretty good, so surely all in all Mortal Engines must be in good hands.
The zombie genre is certainly alive and well these days. So how do you make another movie about the undead that has something new to offer? Actually, a lot of recent zombie movies aren’t about undead raising from the grave – most of them have some kind of disease as the background to people ‘turning’. The same applies to the zombies in Cargo, but it has two elements that do make it stand out: firstly it is a human story rather than a gore fest; and secondly it is set in the Australian outback.
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.
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’.
This first movie in this new wizarding world (there are four more to come) is set in the past in relation to the Harry Potter movies. In 1920s New York to be exact. A lot of the movie therefore is spent on creating this new world and setting out the origins of this entirely new storyline. And it is a lovingly crafted world with lots of fantastic creatures, but unfortunately, it lacks an interesting plot and worse in view of four more movies in the pipeline, it lacks an interesting central character.
A giant starship is on a century-long journey to a recently colonised planet, carrying five thousand colonists plus crew in suspended animation. The ship is highly advanced and is self-repairing and self navigating, so no human crew are required; this ship’s complement will be woken when the ship nears its destination. The film opens when one of them, an engineer called Jim (Chris Pratt) is awakened from his sleep, and quickly discovers that he is not only the only one awake but that there are still ninety years left in the journey. Needless to say, this is unwelcome news…
Ricky Baker gets sent off to live on a farm as his last chance before being sent to juvie prison. New Zealand Child Services take him to live with new foster parents – ‘aunty’ Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and ‘uncle’ Hector (Sam Neill); Bella is the patient one with boundless love for the little boy and Hec is the grumpy one who hates the world and everyone in it. Just as it appears Ricky may sort of be settling in, things go wrong and Hec and Ricky end up on the run together through the New Zealand wilderness…