“Too Slow in Parts” Mockingjay Part 1 Review

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PT1   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Francis Lawrence   

Music: James Newton Howard

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Liam Hemsworth


The Hunger Games series has become something of a worldwide phenomenon over the last few years, with over $1bn in takings between two films, success is a bit of an understatement.

A year after the critically acclaimed Catching Fire, director Francis Lawrence returns with the first part of Suzanne Collins’ underwhelming finale – Mockingjay, but can it continue with the series’ success and improve on the lacklustre novel? Continue reading

“A Striking Visual Translation” The Giver – Review

THE GIVER   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Phillip Noyce  

Music: Marco Beltrami

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgard


Over the last decade, cinema-going audiences have had the treat of numerous adaptations of popular young adult novels. Some of them have been particularly great – the Harry Potter series the highlight – whilst others have been less than stellar – Twilight, I’m looking at you.

However, with The Hunger Games on the edge of its tantalising conclusion, director Phillip Noyce introduces teens and adults alike to a whole new world in The Giver, but can it seduce audiences which have already had numerous fantasy worlds to enjoy? Continue reading

“Watch out Pixar” How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2   (UK CERT: PG)

Director: Dane BeBlois  

Music: John Powell

Voices: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington


Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon was an example of setting your expectations low and coming out pleasantly surprised. The first film proved that the studio could create animated masterpieces and it left audiences across the globe hooked.

However, expectation has never been higher for its sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, but does it soar to the dizzying heights of its predecessor? Continue reading

“Terrible film-making at its best” Transformers 4 Review

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Michael Bay  

Music: Steve Jablonsky

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer


Michael Bay’s Transformers series has received a huge amount of criticism since the first film was released back in 2007, some of it fair, and some of it not. Now, 7 years on and three films later, Bay returns to the helm of one of the biggest movie franchises of all time with Transformers: Age of Extinction, but can it silence his critics? Continue reading

“More DC than Marvel” X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

X-Men: Days of Future Past (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Bryan Singer   

Music: John Ottman

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen


Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise comes at the perfect time both for the series and its director.

After last year’s poorly executed Jack the Giant Slayer, Singer needed to come back to home turf and after a string of irritating X-Men films, including the entertaining but soulless X-Men: The Last Stand and the downright offensive Wolverine origins story, it seems the superhero series needed to do the same.

But can a re-partnering 11 years after the brilliant X2 restore the magic of one of Marvel’s best comics? Continue reading