Tomb Raider

Director: Roar Uthaug
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West & Walter Goggins
Rating: 12A Duration: 118 minutes Release date: 16 July (UK)

Video game to film adaptations have not had the easiest of rides. It all started back in the summer of 1993 when some bright spark thought that adapting the Super Mario. Bros was a good idea. The next few years saw the likes of Street Fighter & Mortal Kombat hit the big screen. A few years passed before Resident Evil, Doom and Silent Hill all took their turn at cracking this particular corner of the film going market, as did Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It spawned one sequel and arguably made a household name out of Angelina Jolie, much like playing Batman did for George Clooney. Continue reading “Tomb Raider”

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Red Sparrow

Director: Franis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton & Jeremy Irons
Rating: 15 Duration: 140 minutes Release date: 9 July (UK)

Taut, suspenseful spy films seem to be a thing of the past. Much like the cold war scenarios that give life to Red Sparrow, films of its ilk are a rare breed, found as if by accident. With more bombastic efforts such as the Bourne series, Atomic Blonde and Salt, the spy genre is more Hollywood than it’s ever been. Red Sparrow instead aims for a style closer to The Third Man crossed with a really cracking episode of 24. Continue reading “Red Sparrow”

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”

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”