Cast your mind back to 1989. The break-up of the Soviet Union was underway, the Berlin wall came down, and a certain animated red-headed mermaid took the movie-going world by storm. Ah, life was good!
The Little Mermaid immediately became one of Disney’s most-loved films. It was natural then that here, in 2023, it gets the live-action treatment, joining the likes of Beauty & the Beast, Dumbo, The Lion King and The Jungle Book. But the quality of these remakes has been patchy – so where does this reimagining fall on the Disney spectrum?
Leonardo DiCaprio shines as the leader of a 90s financial cult where mansions are churches and Dom Pérignon is holy water.
Resplendent in a Hermes tie and a $50k Rolex, soon-to-be criminal Jordan Belfort stands in front of his obedient mob of brokers, about to utter a phrase that would be etched into the minds of a generation of filmgoers: “I’m not f**king leaving”.
Belfort’s greed and bad choices are embodied by those four words, as Martin Scorsese revives the 80s and 90s era of excess for three hours of cinematic dopamine. It might not be hard to believe that people would be sucked in by Belfort’s rhetoric in an era of Trump, but even 10 years ago, Scorsese’s understanding of wealth worshipers produced a movie of ageless and unmatched entertainment.
I’d like to air my dirty laundry straight away with the admission that my Marvel days ended, like many others’, in April 2019. Besides two of the saga’s most believed heroes still lays the fresh carcass of my longstanding interest in the MCU. Endgame, as was fairly indicated by the title, was the natural conclusion for many abiding fans of the superhero cinematic universe. It forecasted total and unavoidable change, and brought with it the unnerving realisation that a) there was about to be a big and steady cast change for our beloved hero roster and b) it was almost certainly all downhill from here.
Sure I saw No Way Home like everybody else in the whole wide world- and I enjoyed it. I even dabbled in Shang-Chi and I scrolled through some Easter egg clips from The Multiverse of Madness, but I did all this with the surprisingly liberating ignorance of somebody who only understands the mere basics of the plot and not the intricacies of the grand battles each film is slowly gearing towards. But since the original Guardians of the Galaxy got everyone’s mums, grandma’s and dogs interested in the MCU, why couldn’t it drag me back in?
Horror films rarely call for a sequel. Inevitably, the obligation for at least a relatively firm conclusion is embedded in the genre’s DNA. Of course there are many famous horror franchises, and as Ti West himself declared you simply “can’t make a slasher movie without a bunch of sequels”.
But despite this, I cannot think of a single time that a second instalment was actually necessary for the sake of the plot. How can there be loose ends to tie up when the haunted family, the vacationing school-friends, or the blushing newly weds have already met a grim fate? Likewise Pearl, the follow-up prequel to last years 70s inspired witty gore flick X, is a film that is, at its core, entirely unneeded. But this certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a watch.
Movie Metropolis contributor, Maddie Fearn had a chat with Polish actor Piotr Adamcysk about his new role in Up on the Roof.
Up on the Roof is an engaging, heart-warming feature film with all the elements of an easy-to-watch RomCom – love, comedy, drama, and an exciting 90s-themed soundtrack.
It released in select cinemas nationwide on 21 April 2023, and will then be available on home entertainment in early Summer.
There is simply no world more spectacular to dip back into than that of the Wick-verse. War-dogs, bulletproof suit jackets, blood-binding markers, neutral-zone hotels and- my personal favourite addition to the roster- a blind man’s tactical doorbell motion sensors. Oh my.
It’s a miracle that Chad Stahelski manages so expertly to keep the momentum rolling from John Wick: Chapter 3 straight from the get-go of the franchise’s fourth instalment: but manage it he does. The latest film opens on our titular hero hammering his bloody fist against a makiwara before briskly cutting to a desert chase sequence on horseback, with Wick at the rear. Warning: slight spoilers incoming.
On a rare occasion, a film will be mentioned that I’m certain I’ve watched but can remember nearly nothing about. It will never be a terrible film so to speak. Usually in fact, it is entirely average. A film built on such weak foundations that it is totally unable to take up any permanent space in my brain.
Luther: The Fallen Sun is a prime example of a film that will surely slip into a region of total narrative amnesia for me in the coming months. Again, it’s not that this Luther adaptation is unwatchable- far from it. But it’s almost more insulting that the film is merely mediocre.
Following up the acutely popular BBC series of the same name, the announcement of a Netflix film coming in 2023 oozed with tentative potential. Despite being a detective in the Metropolitan Police Service, DCI John Luther is not exactly renowned for catching criminals by the book, which often lands him in trouble with his superiors.
Have you ever seen a film or TV show that you just can’t quite pin down? Something that feels fresh and unique but also tried and tested. Something that doesn’t conform to typical genre conventions but also knows when to use tropes and clichés effectively. Something that once you’ve seen it, your mind races trying to generalise what you’ve just seen. Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All is the epitome of a film that you can’t ‘pin down’.
Bones and All tells the story of two young soul-mates whose dark secret means they must live on the outskirts of society, travelling the American Midwest, discovering themselves and coming to terms with their traumatic past.
Steven Spielberg’s 36th (yes, 36th) film The Fabelmans is an emotionally rich passion project, charting his origin story through surprisingly candid eyes. For film lovers, it contextualises the life and work of one of the greatest to ever do it, for film dabblers, don’t let the 150 minute runtime put you off, there’s never been a better advert for “write what you know” than this.
The beauty of The Fabelmans lies in the love and empathy Spielberg shows for his parents, their imperfections and dysfunction, and the film’s understanding of, to put it lightly, questionable decision making. All of this is channelled through gorgeously lit shots against a soundtrack of Beethoven and Bach that at times puts you in a near catatonic state.
It’s incredible how the Scream series has managed to stay relevant over the course of nearly three decades. Surpassing expectations film after film, here is a horror series that has gone from strength to strength – culminating in last year’s absolutely fantastic “requel” Scream.
Coming 11 years after Scream 4, Scream or Scream 5 was a box office and critical success. That success meant Scream VI was greenlit soon after, and just over a year later – we’re back in the cinema. Talk about a quick turnaround!
But has the franchise finally started to run out of steam? Or are we looking at the best Ghostface yet?