It would be easy to write off X-Men: Dark Phoenix as a complete and utter disaster. With the departure of Bryan Singer (again) from the franchise, first-time director Simon Kinberg taking his place and rumours of costly reshoots pushing the budget north of $200million, things weren’t looking good for this adaptation of the popular Marvel comic.
Let’s not forget that the last time Fox tried to adapt this storyline we ended up with 2006’s The Last Stand, and the less said about that the better. Looking back over the last 20 years, the X-Men’s film franchise history has been chequered to say the least.
Nevertheless, this particular timeline that started with Matthew Vaughn’s adequate First Class, followed up by the excellent Days of Future Past and the flabby Apocalypse ends with Dark Phoenix. But is it worthy of your consideration? Continue reading
M. Night Shyamalan is back behind the camera! Quick, run! Joking aside, Shyamalan’s career is as convoluted as his signature third-act twists. Starting off with the fabulous The Sixth Sense and then almost derailing his career with catastrophic failures like The Happening, After Earth and dare I mention it, The Last Airbender, it appeared we had all but lost that once promising directorial flair.
Thankfully in 2016’s Split, Shyamalan returned to form somewhat with a nicely paced, tense thriller starring James McAvoy as Kevin, a guy with multiple personality disorder. Of course, the infamous twist, possibly Shyamalan’s best, that this film was set in the same universe as the fabulous Unbreakable was almost too much to handle. Continue reading
David Leitch is one of the most exciting film-makers of the current crop of directors working today. His brilliant John Wick reignited Keanu Reeves’ career in spectacular fashion and he’s worked behind-the-scenes on films like Captain America: Civil War and Jurassic World.
Just this year he signed on to direct Deadpool 2 after Tim Miller’s sudden departure. In the meantime, he’s treating us to another adults-only thriller, Atomic Blonde. But is this Charlize Theron-led vehicle as good as his previous work? Continue reading
Split review: by Rob Stoakes
UK certification: 15
It would be like M. Night Shyamalan to throw an out-of-nowhere, poorly telegraphed plot twist into reality itself.
There he was. Hollywood’s very own Icarus. Once called the new Stanley Kubrick after two knockout classics and one overrated but still alright flick, now one of the most popular punchlines in cinema history, a man who has no editing process in his own head and will let any idea get to paper without consideration of its worth.
It is a cautionary tale of what happens when an artist is told so early in his career that he is untouchable, and then continues to believe it long after the rest of the world changes its mind. Continue reading
By Adam Brannon
“At least we can agree the third one is always the worst” barks a young Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse. And whilst the film stays well away from the poor efforts of Spider-Man 3 and The Last Stand, there’s more truth to that statement here than director Bryan Singer would want you to believe.
X-Men: Apocalypse picks up after the events of its brilliant predecessor, Days of Future Past, as mutants and humans continue to live alongside each other, not necessarily in peace – but not in war either. Continue reading