MM Top 5: Alien films

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nBy Rob Stoakes. So over at the Battleship Potemkast, the finest podcast on the seas, we’ve been doing a few retro reviews of the mainline Alien franchise in celebration of Alien: Covenant, which to be honest is a bit of a rubbish name. It’s the Matrix syndrome of taking a cool sounding word that means nothing and pairing it with alien. Alien Synthesis. Alien Carbohydrate. Alien Titillation.

Anyway, Alien is very similar to Star Wars, in that it is the absolute king of its own genre, space opera for Star Wars and sci-fi horror for Alien, and one of the most popular multimedia franchises this side of Pokemon, and the highs of the franchise are so good that it somehow makes people forget that about 90% of it is absolutely terrible.

So, of course, I am a huge Alien fan, so I get to drop the pretense of professionalism and indulge in my inner child, which normally I lock in the shed, to find out which of the mainline Alien films is actually the best. Strap in, folks; this road is bumpy. Continue reading

“This one belongs to James Spader” Avengers: Age of Ultron review

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Joss Whedon  

Music: Brian Tyler/Danny Elfman

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans


I doubt that Joss Whedon and the team down at Marvel knew just how successful 2012’s Avengers Assemble would go on to be. After just a few months of release it became the third highest-grossing film of all time, by no means an easy feat to achieve.

Therefore, Whedon and co had their work cut out trying to build on the solid foundations they had laid when it came to producing a sequel. However, three years and $250m later Avengers: Age of Ultron hits our screens. But is it the follow-up everyone was asking for? Continue reading

Is Jurassic World sexist?

Jurassic World is shaping up to be the sequel that fans of the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park had been looking forward to for years.

However, it appears not everyone is so enthralled by the film with Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon taking to Twitter to declare a new clip of the dinosaur adventure “70s-era sexist”. Continue reading

2012 in film: The Top 5!

It’s taken some thinking about, but, the day is finally here. After hours of research and deliberation, I have finally decided on the top 5 films of this year. As said previously, 2012 hasn’t been a fantastic year for film, heck, it hasn’t even been a great year, but it’s been a good year and here are 5 of the best so far.

5. Prometheus

Prometheus: Number 5

Ridley Scott returned to our screens in a big way this summer with Prometheus. After a year’s worth of hype, the film finally arrived in cinemas across the globe and broke numerous records along with it. From its eerie, beautifully realised 3D landscape, to the performance of a certain Mr. Michael Fassbender, this film really does showcase special effects and acting at its best. However, it was not without its flaws; as a standalone film, it worked brilliantly but for many, who were comparing it to the Alien franchise, it seemed like a jumbled mess of ideas with numerous plot holes and questionable direction choices. As such, it makes it into the Top 5, but only just.

4. The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games: Number 4

Jennifer Lawrence finally got the big break she deserved in a film which took the spirit of its source material and matched it well on the big screen. Yes, the 12a certificate it was blighted with was ridiculous and meant many elements of the book were lost, but again, for special effects and character performances, it pips Prometheus by only a small margin. It definitely deserves to be in the Top 5, but no higher than number 4.

3. The Grey

The Grey: Number 3

Joe Carnahan’s thriller really turned the survival genre on its head when it was released earlier this year. From the stellar performance of Liam Neeson to the bewildering and stunning Alaskan landscape, none of which was in CGI or tacky 3D. From being on the edge of your seat to biting your nails, the mood is constantly changing. There is another reason why it made number 3 in my Top 5 films of 2012 however; this was supposed to be a quiet, spring flick but it exceeded all expectations and fully deserves its spot as the bronze medallist in this list.

2. Marvel’s Avengers Assemble

Avengers Assemble: Number 2

Avengers Assemble has become a worldwide phenomenon and a film which fully deserves that word being used against it. Breaking hundreds of box office records across the world and becoming the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, Marvel’s biggest film ever was more than just style over substance. Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America all had decent screen time in their fight to save the world and what a fight it was. Joss Whedon came to Marvel as a newcomer and all we can hope is that he is first in line to direct a follow up to this astonishing film. Peerless special effects, fabulous performances from most of the cast and a real story helped this film achieve worldwide success and even better, a silver medal in my Top 5.

1. War Horse

War Horse: Number 1

Here we are, the number 1 spot. Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece continues to cement the director as the king of blockbuster cinema. His timing and style has ensured throughout the years that his films become classics in their eras and War Horse is no exception. Despite being a little sentimental at times and shamelessly so, it ticks all the boxes for a solid family film. Amazing performances from all the cast (especially the horses) and stunning cinematography, combined with John Williams’ best score since Jurassic Park; this really is a film to behold in order to understand how wonderful it is. As such, it is my top film of 2012 so far.

What about you? Would you agree here or change the films I have included? Let me know and leave a comment in the box below.