With all the respective cinematic universes currently competing for moviegoers attention, it is DC’s turn to take centre stage with the latest origin story from their own canon of characters, Wonder Woman. Following on from the poor critical reception given to both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, as well as Suicide Squad, DC is in need of a big hit to help their ailing critical standing. Therefore, it was perhaps with an understandable sense of trepidation that audiences went to see Wonder Woman… or not. Prior to its release, the critical reception was strong and actually boded well for an impressive hit for DC… finally. Are the shoots of recovery for DC’s cinematic recovery finally evident? Maybe, at least the hope would be that they can build on this positivity and continue on from this point.
Every now and again a documentary comes along that is genuinely touching, and tells the story of a remarkable real life. Life, Animated is just such a film. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming and life affirming trip into the core of filmmaking, the impact that cinema can have on people, and the very real importance that it can play in people’s lives. The film follows the story of Owen Suskind through his own unique perspective as well as that of his family, as he begins his journey to burgeoning independence in spite of the challenges raised by his autism and the difficulties it has caused him in his everyday life since its onset at the early age of 3. Continue reading
After the end of the Second World War, America entered into a new Cold war, a war of fear and distrust; this time with their former wartime ally, the Soviet Union. It quickly became an internal war, descending into an attack on American citizens accused of being Soviet sympathisers, and members of the now enemy Communist party. At the end of 2015, we were given the Academy award ‘Best Picture’ nominee, Bridge of Spies, telling a story of political accusations and alleged spy activities that took place amidst the Cold War and following on from that is Trumbo, a film charting the perceived war at home and the witch hunt it became. Focusing on the remarkable life of acclaimed writer, screen writer and accused Communist, Dalton Trumbo, and how the accusations of political fearmongers, amidst a nation’s fears, were to define and almost ruin the life of him and some of cinema’s greatest talents. Continue reading
Animated films are so often the genre by which we are offered the truly beautiful visual worlds and stunningly imaginative stories to which some of life’s most complex themes are considered. The variation of animation styles out there is just as varied as the human conditions they display; be it Studio Ghibli’s mystical tales of wonder and humanity; Pixar’s heartfelt mainstream family features; the variant stop motion animations of Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit series, or Tim Burton’s gothic imaginings, or even such uniquely human features as Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa. Animated films offer a real opportunity to take a step back from our physical world, and frame a better understanding of it by watching it play out in front of us through animated characters. It’s a degree of separation which conversely brings a greater understanding; a more intimate grounding in our own complex emotions. Continue reading
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the pirates are back. Given how much money it’s made both Disney and Johnny Depp since 2003, perhaps it is no surprise that they’ve launched another Pirates of the Caribbean film into cinemas. But can a fifth outing really pump any life back into this once fun franchise? Well to answer that, as long as it remains financially viable then they’ll continue to make them, but there has to come a point when eventually even Disney says enough is enough, and things should just be laid to rest. So, does Salazar’s Revenge offer anything to suggest audiences will be given anything fresh to excite them, or is this just a trip to the bank to top up Disney’s bulging accounts?
“All you need is one killer track.” Truer words were never spoken. Or maybe they were. But in the case of Baby Driver at least, the tagline speaks the truth. Classic car films featuring iconic car chases and dripping in cool, don’t come around too often. Adrenalin-fuelled hyper-action films have become the modern staple instead, and so instead of films like Bullitt (1968) we have become used to Need For Speed (2014) or franchises such as the Fast and the Furious films. Into this modern high octane environment, comes the breath of fresh air that is Baby Driver, The latest offering from the talented mind of Edgar Wright, and it’s everything we’ve come to expect from him, namely an effortlessly cool film with a perfectly assembled playlist.
Hugh Jackman has been playing the character of Wolverine for the best part of two decades now, and whilst the respective X-Men films have fluctuated in how they’ve fared or been critically received, there are few who doubt how true Jackman has remained in the role in that time. But all good things must come to an end, and so here we are, with Jackman at the end of his run as Wolverine in Logan. This is a darker, more aggressive and brutal representation of the characters, and certainly with a more serious and grown up tone. Logan subsequently feels removed and refreshingly different to the rest of the X-Men universe, ultimately becoming a more mature, serious film fully deserving of, and revelling in, its new ’15’ rating (or R-rated if you’re of a North American persuasion).