Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay

Director: Sam Liu
Starring: Christian Slater, Vanessa Williams & C.Thomas Howell
Rating: 15 Duration: 86 minutes Release date: 16 April (UK)

It’s been two years since DC brought us the miserable and forgettable Suicide Squad. Their live action attempt was an example of everything that was, and still is, wrong with the DCEU. And in their desire to go head first into an extended universe, only made things more complicated. Continue reading “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay”

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Daddy’s Home 2

Director: Sean Anders
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg & Mel Gibson
Rating: 12A Duration: 98 minutes Release date: 19 March (UK)

Some films don’t need a sequel, and yet sometimes we get one anyway. Daddy’s Home did its job and made people laugh, and the result of this is that it made enough money for the studio to green light a sequel. The idea of two warring Dad’s arguing over who is the better father was a nice idea and one played sportingly by Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, but the sequel feels more like something jettisoned by a studio after a quick buck as opposed to giving the audience something they truly wanted. Continue reading “Daddy’s Home 2”

Only The Brave

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller & Jeff Bridges
Rating: 12 Duration: 129 minutes Release date: 12 March (UK)

As far as true-life stories go, Only the Brave is a remarkable one. The story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite crew who tackle wildfires across America, is the sort of enthusiastic chest thumper that you would associate with Peter Berg. Berg, who directed the trilogy of heroic tales Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day is surprisingly absent from the directors’ chair and instead we have Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski in charge. After directing the Tron sequel and the Tom Cruise starring Oblivion, Kosinski has taken a side step with a more grounded film, and his efforts here are significantly different from his previous films. Continue reading “Only The Brave”

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

Director: Sam Liu
Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Jennifer Carpenter & Anthony Head
Rating: 15 Duration: 78 minutes Release date: 5 February (UK)

Continuing DC’s recent trend of animated films based upon popular graphic novels comes Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. Pitting Batman against Jack the Ripper in 19th Century Gotham is an idea that works really well in short story form. But, when turned into a 78 minute film it runs short of ideas and much like last years The Killing Joke, it has to introduce new elements to fill out its run time. Continue reading “Batman: Gotham By Gaslight”

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth & Mark Strong
Rating: 15 Duration: 141 minutes Release date: 29 January (UK)

The first Kingsman film was an unbridled joy. The way in which it would send up the po-faced seriousness of Daniel Craig and Sean Connery’s James Bond in favour of the more goofy Roger Moore films was a refreshing take on the stale spy film. It had charm and good looks in Colin Firth and Taron Egerton, and with Matthew Vaughn at the helm, it also had the confidence needed to make a film like that work. So, where do we go with the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle? Well, we get a film so ludicrous it borders on parody and a film that is not shy about who it offends or to what extent. It’s like that bloke down the pub who re-tells jokes he’s heard down the other end of the bar. Yeah, we’ve heard that one already mate, now piss off. Continue reading “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

mother!

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem & Ed Harris
Rating: 18 Duration: 121 minutes Release date: 22 January (UK)

It would take someone with the mind of Darren Aronofsky to create a film like mother! I truly am loathe to think of anyone else who would be able to form an idea for a film like this and then be brave enough to put it on the big screen. So ambitious, crucial and brave is mother! that it was never going to be an easy sell and it was always going to divide audiences. With themes as varied and ranging as the bible, the apocalypse, famine and torture to name but a few – mother! is that rare beast of a film that wears it all on its sleeve and leaves absolutely nothing behind, for better or worse. Continue reading “mother!”

American Assassin

Director: Michael Cuesta
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton & Taylor Kitsch
Rating: 18 Duration: 111 minutes Release date: 15 January (UK)

Based upon the novel of the same name, American Assassin is a film stuck somewhere between Jason Bourne and John Wick. Attempting to keep a balance between stark realism and over the top violence, American Assassin is a film that isn’t sure what it wants to do and fosters an uneven tone which doesn’t really work. Fortunately, the film is saved by solid performances from Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton as the elite CIA operative and his headstrong new protegé. Continue reading “American Assassin”