Alex Garland’s latest folk-horror/thriller Men is one of those ‘marmite movies’. You’ll either love it, and appreciate its utter strangeness, ambiguity and tone. Or you’ll hate it for the very same reasons many will adore it. Alex Garland is no stranger to weird and existential concepts, just look at his last film Annihilation (2018), which had such a WTF- is-going-on-ending that I was quite surprised to see him out do himself with Men.
Men follows the story of Harper (Jessie Buckley) a woman in need of a countryside getaway after the shocking suicide of her husband. While in this idyllic but isolated village retreat things turn nightmarish as Harper begins to encounter various men, all creepily portrayed by the brilliant Rory Kinnear, as they begin to make her confront her past trauma.
Shhh! Don’t tell the critics at The Guardian and The Times, but you are able to enjoy a popcorn blockbuster for what it is. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be saying that, but it’s true.
The critical reception to Jurassic World: Dominion has been less than stellar, with a measly 32% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Going in, I was incredibly worried that my favourite franchise was going out on a Rise of Skywalker whimper. But how good is this final chapter in the Jurassic era?
Hollywood often has a tendency to release similarly themed films at the same time. Think impending doom from space in Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998), or the rather niche genre of the White House under attack in Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and White House Down (2013).
2022 is proving to be the ‘Year of the Multiverse’ with the recent release of Marvel’s Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness proving to be quite the mind-bending trip but ultimately failing to live up to the infinite and untapped potential of said multiverse. Now, after a long wait for a UK release, we have the Indie take on parallel dimensions with Everything Everywhere All At Once, the latest film from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – or as they’re collectively known, “Daniels”.
Please note, this review has not been paid for by the Church of Scientology. It was 36 years ago that director Tony Scott (Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 123) brought Top Gun to the big screen. It cemented Tom Cruise as one of the most bankable action stars in the world – a tag that has stayed with him throughout what has to be the most illustrious career in all of Hollywood bar none.
With its mix of breath-taking action and fantastic soundtrack that of course featured that classic tune, Danger Zone, Top Gun became a box office success and instant classic – transcending generation after generation. Now, almost 40 years on, Cruise is back – but can this maverick soar to new heights and capture the imagination of a whole new generation of moviegoers?
28 films in and the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows no signs of slowing down. From television shows to the continuation of their big screen tentpoles, the saga, which began in 2008 with Iron Man has become one of cinema’s great success stories.
But as we continue into Phase Four of the MCU, a troubling pattern has emerged. You see, away from the brilliant Spider-Man: No Way Home, the other three films released in this phase so far have been underwhelming. Black Widow was a fun origins story for Scarlett Johansson but was forgettable, Shang-Chi was released direct to Disney+ and was just decent and Eternals by all accounts was a bit of a mess.
It’s up to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi then to re-float this listing ship. But does Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness achieve the soaring heights we so desperately want it to?
In The Secrets of Dumbledore, journey back to the realm of the Wizarding World, as Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Jupiter Ascending, The Trial of the Chicago 7), Dumbledore, played by Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, The Holiday, Closer), and the rest of Dumbledore’s first army, assemble in a race against the clock to stop the dark wizard, Grindelwald, played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Another Round, The Hunt, Rogue One), from enacting a plot that not only threatens the stability of the Wizarding World, but promises to tear apart the Muggle world too.
The transition from arthouse auteur to big-budget, studio backed filmmaker isn’t always a seamless one. Over the years, many have tried and failed to go from critically acclaimed independent cinema to crowd-pleasing, usually franchise driven filmmaking. A few examples spring to mind, David Lynch is one whose jump from weird, indie films didn’t work out, with his box office flop adaptation of Dune. Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is another whose move from indie features to $125 million blockbuster didn’t live up to expectations, with his biblical epic Noah.
Euphoria, first airing in 2019 and based on an Israeli series of the same name, seems to have become the latest TV series to tap into the cultural spirit of the moment, taking on a life of its own on social media, as viewers dissect and discuss each episode at length.
So the question is, is it worthy of the hype?
Full of action, violence and comedy, Reacher takes the story back to its roots by opting to convey the events from the founding novel in what became Lee Child’s international hit; The Killing Floor. The show stars Alan Ritchson (Titans, Ghosts of War, TMNT 2014) as the titular character, with Willa Fitzgerald (Beach House, Dare Me, Blood Money) and Malcolm Goodwin (iZombie, Mississippi Damned, The Lazarus Project) co-starring as Roscoe and Detective Finlay respectively.
Adapting the founding novel works in the series’ favour as it prevents the show from being comparable to previous screen renditions. The show start from the beginning means a fresh start, assuring audiences that no prior knowledge of the character is necessary in order to enjoy this show. The clean slate also provides the show with the opportunity to potentially adapt a lot, if not all, of the novels in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. This would be a realistic and smart move judging from the overwhelmingly positive support garnered by the show’s premier season.
It has to have been one of the most successful marketing campaigns in movie history. Trailers for The Batman gave away just enough juicy details for fans of the caped crusader to be chomping at the bit for this latest instalment in which Twilight-alumni Robert Pattinson dons the iconic cowl.
War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves enters the DC Comics fold with a fresh pair of eyes, joining at a time when the studio finally decides to start moving away from the constant quipping of the Marvel universe that they had tried, and failed, to emulate with some of their earlier films.
Joker did it first, and in incredible style, but can The Batman live up to its spectacular hype? Read on to find out.