Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review

Guardians 2 Mantis

With a subtitle of Volume 2, it should be immediately obvious that James Gunn’s follow up to his surprise smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy is not so much a sequel to the original’s story, but more a continuation and heightening of its mood. Doubling down on everything that made its predecessor such a unique and beloved blockbuster, from the jokes to the colour palette, it lacks the freshness of Guardians 1 but is still an absolute blast of a sequel that proves that the MCU is still more than willing to take risks as it extends its reach into the wider cosmos.  Continue reading

The Magnificent Seven Review

magnificent-seven

A remake of a remake that itself has already been remade, one could possibly argue that Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven is the perfect example of Hollywood eating itself for a lack of original ideas. Yet, with a multi-ethnic new team, bombastic set-pieces, and great performances across the board, this new Seven earns its place amongst 2016’s better blockbuster crop without feeling like a step-for-step retread of what’s come before. It’s hardly at the level of the best westerns of the last few years, but it’s still very fun to see the genre back at this level of budget and obvious mainstream appeal.  Continue reading

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World

Given that the last few years have treated audiences to some atrocious remakes and reboots of beloved cinematic properties, from Total Recall to Robocop to the awful-looking upcoming Terminator Genisys, approaching Jurassic World with trepidation would be entirely understandable. After all, the previous two Jurassic Park sequels were nowhere near as good as the original and lost much of the spirit that made Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster so magical. Thankfully, not only is Jurassic World easily the best instalment in the dino-franchise since the first one, it also essentially wipes The Lost World and JP3 out of the continuity. Both reverent to the original and wholly relevant to the modern age of blockbusters (its continued appeal was proved over the weekend with a staggering $511 million take worldwide), Jurassic World is yet another highlight in what is proving to be the best cinematic summer in years.  Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

guardians

 

One of the most admirable things about Marvel Studios and the way they make their films is that they are all, in tone and genre, nicely distinct from one another. We’ve had our typical superheroics with Iron Man, fantasy with Thor and war and espionage with Captain America. Now, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s finest film to date, we are treated to a sci-fi comedy which succeeds on just about every level, with genuinely funny jokes (after Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, it’s the third funniest film I’ve seen this year), astonishing special effects and world building, and an absolute plethora of references and easter eggs for the more die-hard comic fans.  Continue reading

Lego Movie Review

LEGO

 

When the Lego Movie was first announced, the general reaction, including my own, was one of an un-surprised shrug and a pretty good idea that it would be of a straight-to-DVD quality. What was instead delivered by the wonderful pairing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who also delivered a big hit with the zero-expectation 22 Jump Street) was one of the most imaginative, hilarious and all-round wonderful films I’ve seen. Not only is it far, far better than a toy-based film has any right to be, it is a genuine joy of a movie for every age. Using the boundless creativity allowed by the Lego blocks in real life, this is a consistently entertaining exercise in how to treat a license.  Continue reading