Ted 2 – Review

It was back in 2012 when Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane first brought Tedinto our lives – making every grown man around the world wish his favourite childhood teddy-bear would come to life and consume copious amounts of drugs and alcohol.

Well 3 years after Ted cleaned up at the box office, MacFarlane has released Ted 2upon the world and the much anticipated sequel that promises to be as x-rated and out of control as it’s predecessor.

Mark Wahlberg returns as John Bennett, who after divorcing from Lori (Mila Kunis), is down on his luck in a major way – of course things haven’t changed that dramatically over the last couple of years – Ted and John are still as close as ever, causing mayhem wherever possible and gradually making their way through every type of weed known to man.

There are some changes though – for starters, Ted is now a married man, having tied the knot with partner Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and the two of them have decided to have a baby. One problem though… how does a teddy-bear father children?

Well that question might not to be answered, as Ted, Tami-Lynn and John soon discover that Ted’s ‘humanity’ is being questioned by the US government, with many believing Ted should void of any human rights and instead be labelled as ‘property’.

So what do you do when your civil liberties are being pulled into question?… you hire newbie lawyer in the form of Amanda Seyfried and take the state of Massachusetts to court. Well at least you try, especially when enemies from your past seek to finish their work.

Considering comedy sequels are notorious for falling short of their original counterparts, Seth MacFarlane’s comedic genius helps Ted 2 breaks the mold and deliver a fun, lighthearted and hilarious film that will have you laughing from start to finish.

Of course for those of you who have seen the first, don’t expect Ted 2 to surpass it – instead look at it as a continuation of Ted and John’s story. A definite must see!

Entourage (2015) – Review

If only we all had an entourage as cool as Vincent Chase’s.

It’s been 4 years since HBO’s Entourage wrapped on our TV screens and left us begging for a return of Vinny, E, Turtle, Drama and of course the one and only Ari Gold – well now they’re back!

Following on from where season 8 finished, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) has finally hit the big time, taking over as studio head at one of the biggest studios in Hollywood – and for his first major film, he wants no other than his old client Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).

Sounds like success you say?… Well perhaps not so much – Vinny will star in the movie, so long as he gets to direct it. $100 million dollars, first time director and an entourage so disfunctional they could bring down the whole thing.

For fans of the show, Entourage is as epic as the TV show – not so surprising considering the film is basically just an extended episode. No complaints here I might add.

However there is one snag – for newcomers, Entourage doesn’t offer much in the way of character recaps, so if your watching it for the first time, the characters themselves and the banter that comes with them, might be a bit lost on you.

Don’t fret though – considering each episode of the TV show is only 22 minutes in length, you can pretty much watch all 8 seasons in just a couple of weeks.

Entourage is a winner in my opinion – it’s not over-done or outlandish, at least no more so than the series, and keeps things nice and simple.

Another nice touch is the film, Executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and loosly based on his eary years in Hollywood, brings back all the characters we’d come to love and hate throught the shows 8 year run.

Well worth the wait, and who knows, maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Entourage.

Jurassic World – Review

Wow! Just wow!

If ever there was a perfect blockbuster, Jurassic World would come pretty damn close to it.

We’ve all seen by now that Jurassic World, the fourth instalment in Universal Studios spectacular dino-franchise, has pretty much broken every early box-office record, and is almost set to break most others as well – but having seen the film, nothing quite prepares you for how incredible it actually is.

Based several years after the events depicted in Jurassic Park 3 (perhaps worth avoiding if possible), Jurassic World sees Dr. Richard Hammond’s vision of a dinosaur theme park finally realised thanks to the work of geneticists and a very wealthy financier.

The park is overseen by work-obsessed Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who’s nephews have just arrived at the park for a fun-filled holiday. VIP access to the park and all the dinosaurs they could ever ask for…or so it seemed.

Pressured by greedy investors, the park is about to showcase a brand new attraction in the form of the world’s first genetically-modified dinosaur – “probably not a good idea”.

Of course nothing good is going to come of it and it’s not long until the park is thrown into chaos when the new star attraction breaks lose in a theme park full of 20,000 people – basically an all you can eat buffet for a dinosaur with an unstoppable thirst for death.

With the park in ruins and the lives of everyone hanging in the balance, Owen (Chris Pratt), a park trainer who’s striked up a surprising relationship with four deadly raptors, find himself brought in to save the day any way possible.

Jurassic World has breathed new life into one of the most loved film franchise in history – it’s story is enthralling, the cast faultless, and the special effects and animatronics have brought the prehistoric world to life like never before.

The film is an absolute must see on the big screen, especially in 3D where the world truly comes to life – let’s just hope it’s not long until the next one.

San Andreas – Review

It does seem like a while since we’ve had a good old fashioned disaster blockbuster hit cinema screens – perhaps that’s why Dwayne Johnson’s new summer release, San Andreas, has made so much money in just a couple of weeks.

Director Brad Peyton has decided to step away from his normal kids adventure genre and tackle the more global subject that is Earthquakes – specifically the San Andreas fault line located in California.

Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is a rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department and as noble and honourable a man as you’d expect – but that hasn’t stopped him going through a tough separation with his wife Emma (Carla Gugino).

So when a powerful earthquake strikes near the Hoover Dam, Ray finds himself once again putting plans with his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario) on hold – resulting in her mother’s new boyfriend Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd) accompanying her to San Fransisco instead.

This of course doesn’t sit to well with Ray, and when a catastrophic earthquake tears California almost in two, Ray must make the dangerous and deadly journey across the state to rescue his daughter from a city facing total destruction.

For the most part San Andreas is an easy-to-watch summer blockbuster that offers top-notch special effects worthy for any disaster movie – and yes the story and script is undeniably cheesy in parts, but it is a blockbuster after all.

San Andreas is in cinemas now and well worth the watch in either 2D or 3D.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Review

I remember my excitement at the first Avengers film – sitting in the cinema waiting for it to start and feeling like a kid at Christmas. So to say my excitement for the second in the expansive Marvel franchise was even more intense you be a severe understatement – especially to know I was about to witness it at the IMAX.

Well I’m glad to say my expectations of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I must admit were incredibly high going into this, were met in every single possible way, and then some.

Avengers: Assemble (2012) was a blockbuster masterpiece that caught everyone by surprise, quickly becoming the third highest grossing film of all time and turning most people into hardcore superhero fans – so for writer/director Joss Whedon to outperform his original piece of work would take something special – and man was it special.

Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Co. return for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Leading on from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron sees ‘Earth’s Mighiest Heroes’ continue their crusade against Hydra without the near limitless help of the now disbanded Government agency that is S.H.I.E.L.D.

But despite the ever present threat from across the universe, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk are about to face an evil a little closer to home, and one that was originally intended to be formidable ally against an even greater evil.

Ultron is the product of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), an artificial intelligence designed to safe guard the world from any future alien attacks – but for all their honorable intentions, Ultron is flawed in such a way that it is hellbent of riding the world of humanity.

With Ultron now unleashed upon the world, the Avengers must figure out a way of stopping him before he can carry out his evil plans – but not all will be easy for this band of heroes, as they must also face a powerful new enemy in the form of enhanced twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) who hold their own very personal vendetta against Tony Stark and all those that stand with him.

Avengers: Age of Ultron offers everything you could want in a film – compelling story-lines, character development and more mind-blowing special effects than the human brain can handle – not to mention more exploration of the Marvel Universe that will inevitably end with a galactic war that will literally be ‘out of this world’.

Once again stars including Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Coby Smoulders, Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie join the fight against James Spader’s, Ultron – we also get to see, for the first time, Vision, the humanoid alter-ego of Iron Man’s faithful virtual assistant Jarvis (Paul Bettany).

If you haven’t already seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, go see it, especially if it’s in 3D – but prepare to have your mind-blown like never before.

Daredevil (Season 1) – Review



Over the last couple of years Netflix has been working extremely hard to establish its self as a big player in the turbulent world of TV – producing a series of groundbreaking TV shows that have redefined how we watch small-screen productions.

Now the online streaming giant has taken the next step in its goal for world domination by teaming up with studio giant Marvel to explore the origins of one of its most interesting characters…Matt Murdoch, also known as Daredevil.

For those of you comic-book fans out there, you may remember 20th Century Fox releasing a big-screen version of the dark story starring Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock/Daredevil that, despite a stellar cast, bombed spectacularly at the box office during its release back in 2003 – and ever since, movie studios have stayed clear of the character, instead opting to launch more popular characters instead.

Well, 12 years on and Netflix are determined to showcase their ever growing power, re-launching the franchise as an online TV series starring British actor Charlie Cox, who recently featured alongside Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in the Oscar-winning, The Theory of Everything.

Up until now, Marvel have ruled the global box-office but at the same time have struggled to out do their rival DC Comics in the world of television, who have seen phenomenal success for a number of years with such franchises as Smallville (2001-2011), Arrow (2012-Present) and The Flash (2014-Present).

Don’t get me wrong, Marvel have by no means shied away from TV, launching shows such as Bladeand Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though none have ever seemed a worthy competitor to DC Comics champions…that is until now.

What’s it about?

Daredevil tells the story of New York City attorney Matt Murdock, who after an accident saving a man’s life, loses the majority of his sight and is left with only the vision of a blurred ‘world on fire’. With one of his senses forever gone, Murdock begins to develop his other senses including hearing, smell, and touch to such an astounding level that he becomes stronger and more in-tune with world than he could have ever imagined.

But not all is perfect is Matt’s world – after the murder of his father, and with his mother M.I.A., the young future hero finds himself an orphan at the age of 12.

Fast-forward 15 years and Murdock (Charlie Cox) has become a successful, yet be it client-less, lawyer living in the notorious New York City borough known as Hell’s Kitchen. Along with his best friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Matt starts up his own law firm right in the center of this crime-ridden city in a bid to clean up the streets and return the place he calls home to its former glory.

This of course will not be that easy – deep within the city lies a crime boss known as Mr Fisk (fans of Daredevil will no him as Kingpin), a man so powerful, so corrupt with evil that he owns everything and everyone in the city.

So how can Murdock bring down someone who lives above the law, distilling fear in everyone who dares a pose him? By creating a symbol of justice, immune to fear. Those of Hell’s Kitchen no him as the ‘Man in the Mask’…but we no him as Daredevil.

Daredevil explores the origins of Matt Murdock as he transitions from inexperienced amateur vigilante to an unbreakable symbol of justice and hope in a city polluted by evil.

This of course will not be that easy – deep within the city lies a crime boss known as Mr Fisk (fans of Daredevil will no him as Kingpin), a man so powerful, so corrupt with evil that he owns everything and everyone in the city.

So how can Murdock bring down someone who lives above the law, distilling fear in everyone who dares a pose him? By creating a symbol of justice, immune to fear. Those of Hell’s Kitchen no him as the ‘Man in the Mask’…but we no him as Daredevil.

Daredevil explores the origins of Matt Murdock as he transitions from inexperienced amateur vigilante to an unbreakable symbol of justice and hope in a city polluted by evil.

Fast & Furious 7 – Review

To be honest I had to wait 24 hours before writing this review for Fast & Furious 7, just so I could get my head around everything I just witnessed – so much action to process in such as short space of time.

I suppose the biggest obstacle when sitting down to watch this latest instalment was the knowledge that at some point during the course of the film, the enevitable goodbye for one of its biggest stars would leave somewhat of a lump in my throat.

Furious 7 is by far one of the most anticipated releases of recent times as fans geared up to say their final goodbyes to star Paul Walker, who sadly passed away during filming – as well as the publicity surround walker’s death, Furious 7 is also the most ambitious outing yet in terms of shear scale.

Jason Stathom joins the franchise as ruthless assassin Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious 7.

Following on from events in London in Fast & Furous 6 (2013), Dom, Brian and Co. find themselves ruthlessly hunted by former British military assassin Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).

With the murder of Han still fresh in their minds and with Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) dedicated to raising their son away from the dangerous world they once called home, Dom (Vin Diesel) realizes that the only chance at a fresh start is to end this feud once and for all.

Vin Diesel alongside Ronda Rousey in Fast and Furious 7 (2015)

Accepting the help of enemy-turned-friend Hobbs (Dawyne Johnson) and newcomer Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell), a covert government operative, Dom and crew take one last ride that ends up being the most dangerously explosive they’ve ever faced.

Horror filmmaker James Wan (SawInsidious) takes over the helm from Justin Lin to deliver a blockbuster titan that would make Paul Walker proud.

Fast & Furious 7 is a roller coaster of heart-pounding action, accompanied by a stellar cast, enough action scenes to last a life time, and more cars than the other six films combined.

The film, made possible with the help of Paul Walker’s two brothers, is a truly fitting farewell and tribute to one of Hollywood’s most loved stars, and will have to choking back the tears as the final scenes role.

A must see on the big screen!

The Voices – Review

Leading up to the release of The Voices, there wasn’t much publicity surrounding it in the UK – perhaps this explains then why my perception of what this film was about proved to be the furthest thing from the truth.

Talking animals, the odd killing, and Ryan Reynolds, who’s cemented himself as that rom-com kind of guy, would lead one to believe they this is just a dark comedy with a Dr. Doolittle edge.

It’s really not – The Voice is a dark, physiological thriller that surprises you on all levels, with Reynolds giving a performance of his career that was completely unexpected to say the least.

Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton star in The Voices (2015).

Directed by newcomer Marjane Satrapi and written by The River creator Michael R. Perry, The Voices follows the reclusive and dark life of Jerry, a former con who’s trying to get his life back on track. With a new job and the prospect of love when he meets office hottie Fiona (Gemma Arterton), Jerry just might be able to put his dark and disturbing past behind him. Though when he’s stood up on their first date, the influences of his pet cat Mr Whiskers and faithfully mut Bosco, who he believes can talk with him, lead him to the realisation of what he truly is…

Anna Kendrick alongside Ryan Reynolds in The Voices (2015).

The Voices was one of the biggest unexpected surprised I’ve had at the cinema for a very long time – Ryan Reynolds, who also lends his voice talents to the animals, gives a performance of his career, with Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick help bring the innocent and yet ruthless character of Jerry to life.

So long as you can handle the gore, and the unrelenting, foul-mouthed language of Mr. Whiskers, this film is an absolute must see.

Focus – Review

One of the world’s biggest movie stars has not had an easy time at the box-office of late – but it looks like Will Smith may finally be getting back on track as one of the most iconic box-office stars in movie history with his new movie Focus.

With previous flops including Seven Pounds and the blockbuster failure After Earth denting his concrete reputation slightly, Smith needed to ensure his next big-screen outing was a success – and Focus looks to have achieved exactly that.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie star in Focus (2015).

The film follows Nicky (Smith), a vastly experienced con-man from a long line of career criminals, who takes Jess (Margot Robbie), a small-time pick-pocket, under his wing during his latest con.

What Nicky doesn’t expect is how quickly he falls Jess – but in a world where you trust no-one, things become complicated when the two lovers start to question exactly who is conning who.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the guys behind Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), Focus has bound to offer a unique perspective on his illisive underground world of theft.

Focus is a stunning drama that provides twist after twist, eventually leading to a finale you don’t see coming. There’s clearly natural chemistry between the films two stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie that brings a believable and in-depth dimension to the characters.

A must see for all you Will Smith fans out there.

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Review

It would appear that the secret to success in the spy game is all about the threads your wearing, a specifically tailored three-piece to be precise.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is the new explosive action-comedy blockbuster from Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn that takes the spy-genre in a whole new direction that will leave you wanting more.

Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a product of his generation, unemployed, unrefined, and completely without limits when it comes to the law, fitting then perhaps that a secret organisation has been keeping tabs on his unique abilities.

When the weight of the law finally begins to bear down on him, Eggsy finds himself under the guidance of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a super-secret spy who works for a government organisation that’s so secret, not even MI5 know they exist, and so smartly dressed they make the Royal Family look scruffy.

Things though will not be as simple as they seem for Eggsy and his new found path to meaning – in his way lies an almost impossible and ultra-competitive training programme for the most promising of agents.

However, every great spy needs an arch-nemesis that will test them to their limits – for Eggsy, this foe comes in the form of billionaire tech genius Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) who seems hellbent on culling the world’s population with a piece of technology so powerful it can infect the world’s entire population at the click of a button.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a refreshing action spectacle that has you hooked from beginning to end, with tons of laughs and some of the greatest fight scenes ever seen in a spy film. Colin Firth continues to prove in unwavering versatility in a performance so unexpectedly bad-ass, that it leaves you completely mind-blown.

A must see on the big screen and with plenty of bass thrown in!

Deadpool – Review

Big-budget superhero blockbusters have all but saturated the market in recent years – with a proven ability to pull in the big bucks, studios are often over eager to release new franchises.

Perhaps it’s odd then to discover that Deadpool has been almost 11 years in the making, with franchise visionary and star Ryan Reynolds battling relentlessly with Marvel to bring the character’s story to life.

Over a decade on and Deadpool has quickly become one of Marvel’s most successful new franchises, having already taken in over $300 million worldwideand gaining a hardcore fanbase hungry for more from the fourth-mouthed anti-hero.

But how good is it?

Well not to jump on the already overcrowded bandwagon, but Deadpool is a easily one of the greatest, visionary works of art to emerge from the superhero genre since Iron Man back in 2008.

Fans of Marvel and particularly the X-Men franchise, will know the character of Wade Wilson (Deadpool later on) when he first appeared in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman.

Now in his own origins story, Deadpool follows former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

It’s almost impossible to review Deadpool considering how it purposefully goes against all cinematic rules but the best conclusion I can come to is go see it! Funny, incredible intelligent, rule breaker… it’s safe to Ryan Reynolds has redeemed himself for the flop that was Green Lantern better than anyone could have expected.

Definitely one of the surprise hits of the year so far!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Review

*NOTICE: This post is spoiler free*

How do you review Star Wars without completely geeking out and blabbing none stop in the most unproductive way imaginable – well you don’t. So prepare for the most positive film review of all time.

There was only one way this film could be watched – on the biggest IMAX in London, though that sadly meant waiting a couple of days after release due to the incredible, record-breaking sell out that occurred within seconds of tickets going on sale.

I had managed to stay relatively calm during the day, despite the excitement clearly building – however I, like everyone else in the cinema, completely lost it when the opening theme music exploding into life, and the iconic Star Wars logo appeared before me.

When the project was original announced by Disney, and with visionary J.J. Abrams signed on to write and direct the new franchise, I knew it would be something truly remarkable – it had to be in many ways due to the void left by the failings of the prequel trilogy…

“We wanted to tell a story that would make us feel.” – Kathleen Kennedy, President of LucasFilm

…and right from the offset I knew I was witnessing a rebirth of one of the most loved film franchises is history.

Disney was prepared to allow Abrams, who’s already relaunched another famous franchise in Star Trek, the chance to go back to basics – to capture the essence of what made the original films so unforgettable. The sets. The locations. The props. Everything that made us feel truly connected to the story.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens embodies everything we love about the franchise – reuniting us with so many of the original characters (yes I speaking about Han Solo in particular) as well as pulling together a phenomenal new generation of Star Wars albums that bring the world back to life like never before.

Whether you’ve seen it yet or not, and regardless of what many people have been forthcoming in pointing out over the last couple of week’s, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very much a homage to A New Hope, but remember this is a brand-new trilogy, and as J.J. Abrams has proven in be past, the best is certainly yet to come!

Spectre (2015) – Review

It’s one of the UK’s biggest box office exports, and James Bond has always had a way off pulling in audiences in masses, even more so since the partnership of Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes – but something seemed to be missing from the latest installment.

Spectre offered a lot of promise during the months leading up to it’s release – with a story that would connect all the unexplained events of Casino RoyaleQuantum of Solace and Skyfall, and a Bond villain that would prove to be 007’s most formidable foe ever.

Skyfall is often referred to as one of the greatest Bond films of all time, so it was pleasing when Sam Mendes returned once again to the director’s chair, along with Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw stepping into their characters shoes again, alongside new ‘Bond girls’ Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci. The icing on the cake was the casting of two-time Academy Award-winner Christophe Waltz as the master Bond villain and Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista, who would offer a true physical opponent to Daniel Craig’s 007.

Sadly though Spectre never seemed to get off the ground – despite it’s stellar-cast and promising story-arch, the film seemed a mess. The perfect balance of action and story that made Skyfall so great, was almost void in this latest installment. It almost seemed as though there was too much action, culminating in pointless downtime that didn’t explain who the characters were, especially those of Christophe Waltz and Lea Seydoux.

Christophe Waltz was certainly the most exciting element of Spectre and the 007 universe in general, but a lackluster script really destroyed any hope of the talented actor cementing himself among the great ‘Bond villains’.

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond (007) in Spectre.

As a fan of Daniel Craig as Bond, I will always give him the benefit of the doubt, as no-one can get thing’s right all the time, but Spectre could almost be overlooked in the ever-expanding world of James Bond. Perhaps this is all due to one of the key character relationships being struck down in it’s prime – the love/hate relationship between Daniel Craig’s 007 and Judi Dench’s M, who sadly bit the dust in Skyfall.

Certainly go and see it – but don’t expect it to top the last three.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension – Review

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting walking into another Paranormal Activity film – considering how bad the last 3 were (first one excluded) I decided to see it simply because it was in 3D, and that it may offer something new compared to the others.

Well for the most part I was impressed and actually found myself enjoying it, that us until the lady 10 minutes when everything good up until then was mercilessly undone in one fell swoop.

Following in suit with the first four film, Paranomal Activity: The Ghost Dimension chronicles a new family as they start to realise that their new home includes a very unwanted visitor. As the scares start to flow, the unsuspecting family start to discover that their fates are intertwined with the others throughout time.

Considering the main selling point of this fifth instalment in the hit franchise is the ‘ghost dimension’, that has illuded our eyes up until now, the 3D element of the film makes a refreshing change of pace and finally gives us a glimpse of the infamous ‘Toby’.

The casting has also been vastly improved – laughs and solid acting were greatly appreciated. Though it wasn’t enough to save the films ending, which once again left me so disappointed. It seems to be a curse of horror films that the ending, no matter how good the rest of the film is, always seems to fall flat and undo the great work produced throughout most of the story.

Perhaps the creators of the franchise could learn from the saying “less is more” and leave the conclusion to our imaginations.

Paranomal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is worth the watch this Halloween, but only if your expect little in the way of story and definitely see it in 3D, as this was the main strength of the movie and well worth the ticket price on its own.

The Martian – Review

British Academy Award-winning director Ridley Scott is no stranger to out-of-this-world blockbusters – Alien (1979) is still regarded as one of the greatest space movies of all time, but he may have just produced his best work since the epic Gladiator (2000), with new release, The Martian.

The breath-taking drama stars Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney, who, after being presumed dead during a fierce thunderstorm on Mars, is inadvertently left behind by his crew. Now faced with the terrifying realisation that he’s the only living soul on the dangerous and desolate planet, Watney must figure out how to survive long enough, on a planet where nothing grows, for mankind to send a rescue mission.

Based on the novel by Andy Weir, Drew Goddard (CloverfieldWorld War Z) brings his skill for suspense to a story that celebrates the unwavering will of the human spirit to survive even when all the odds are stacked against you. Action, suspense, fear, beauty (in the form of Mars)… all key ingredients that make The Martian a complete roller coaster of emotion.

Ridley Scott brings together a perfectly enfused cast in the form of Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Pena and Sean Bean that help make The Martian one of the greatest space-exploration films of all time (that’s right, all time).

We all know Ridley Scott’s ability to deliver the most beautiful crafted stories in some of the harshest settings, but to bring a baron planet to life as he does, is nothing short it extraordinary, though with Matt Damon delivering arguably his best performance to date, it’s certainly no surprise – and The Martian is one that will surely be an awards season contender when the 2016 Oscars role around.

The Visit – Review

M. Night Shyamalan seemed to have lost his way over the last couple of years, release a stream of terrible films that seemed to diminish his solid reputation as one of the last surviving Auteurs in Hollywood – so to see The Sixth Sensegenius jump back into the horror genre was a slight relief.

The Visit is the one of the first horrors to hit cinema screens this Halloween season and follows two siblings as they visit their mysterious grandparents in a remote part of New York state. Having never met the couple before due to their mother’s broken relationship with them , Becca and Tyler have no idea what to expect, but soon find themselves living in a very strange and unnerving household.

Determined to get to the bottom of their grandparents strange and often bizarre behavior, the siblings soon discover a terrifying secret that provides a truly unforeseeable twist to the story.

Though the film is certainly nowhere near his best work, it’s certainly a positive re-direction for the writer/director and one that will surely lead him back to the top of the horror genre.

It’s perhaps an odd casting choice, but there’s no doubt that the grandmother, played by Deanna Dunagan, is the true star of the film, providing a chilling performance that will make you never look at your grandmother quite the same again.

The Visit is well worth a watch, preferably sooner rather than later, just in case someone ruins the massive twist for you.

Fantastic Four (2015) – Review

Let me start by saying I’m a BIG film optimist – I can usually see the good in films, even if they’re bad.

Fantastic Four (2015) however did not leave me an optimistic bundle of joy when I left the cinema. Luckily I had very low hopes for this film so I’m not 100% sure why I went to see it… Good old Cineworld unlimited card I guess.

Anyway, on to my review of the film – the story starts off as most ‘origins’ films do, with a very young Reed Richards (Miles Teller) befriending Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell). Richards is your quintessential nerdy outsider who cracks teleportation to and from a parallel dimension (perhaps the same one we see in Avengers: Age of Ultron). Not surprising then that his crude machine is quickly noticed at the school science fair by Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his daughter Sue Storm (Kate Mara), who offer him a prestigious and quite substantial scholarship fund to build it on a grand scale.

Let’s just pause at second: Few early issues here for me; the added storyline of Sue being adopted? I’m not sure why that was added in and I’m still confused as to why… And secondly, how old was Richards? It felt like he was in his twenties, but showing his work at a school fair?… anyway I didn’t get my answer to either question.

Carrying on; they then build the first industrial scale machine with the help of Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), who by the way has his car taken away from him by Daddy for racing and subsequently crashing it. Then there’s Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who is living a life in hiding as a result of issues that stem from a previous attempt to build a similar machine… not sure why or what happened but he seemed to have a thing for Sue, but again this story-line was raised but never resolved!

The beginning the film moved at an OK pace, I did note to myself that, although they were covering a lot of ground starting from Richards childhood, they seem to be doing it well… but I was so wrong.

We see Richards working on the real machine and then quite quickly we jump to the machine being finished (the story is now picking up pace), because of the projects success the government decide to handed it over to NASA instead. Feeling let down; Johnny, Richards, and Victor decide to drown their sorrows – angry that they will not get to travel in the machine they built, they decide that a sneaky inter-dimensional trip is in order, and after one quick phone call to Ben, the four of them pop off to the parallel dimension.

Of course things go wrong, I won’t ruin the story-line here, but they come back with powers, and on re-entry, Sue is also exposed.

The film really starts to reach a snowballing pace now. Richards disappears and then we join the rest of the friends 1 year on just before all the action happens of fighting the villain of the film.

With the pace at the end of the film just manic, the main event is hurried and crammed into the last 15 minutes of the film, making it feel rushed and overall really messy. As for the characters, they didn’t really appeal to me, so I never felt any bond with them. Overall the film felt dull and at no point were there any heart-stopping moments. Despite the young, talented cast, including Academy Award-nominated actor Miles Teller, the acting wasn’t great or even believable (well for a superhero film that is) and FYI, Sue’s wig was even less realistic.

The film jumps quite unnaturally, is quite jarring to watch and doesn’t flow very well at all. It is at times frustrating to watch and with all the unanswered questions (why is Sue adopted? Why does no-one like Victor? Why so many wigs?) it just left me unsatisfied compared to all other Marvel blockbusters.

I wouldn’t advise going out of your way to watch this at the cinema!

Fantastic Four (2015)

100 min|Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi|07 Aug 2015
4.3Rating: 4.3 / 10 from 109,633 usersMetascore: 27
Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.