Film Diary: February 2018

What a month. Not only did I, Tonya prove The Skeleton Twins’ Craig Gillespie to be more than a one hit wonder, but Black Panther delivered – and then went on to make a billion for Disney and set tongues wagging about a potential Best Picture nomination come February next year. But first, let’s rewind to the start.

The fourth entry in the Insidious franchise, The Last Key, rested solely on Lin Shaye’s shoulders, while attempting to tie the backstory of her life with the sinister events that impacted the Lambert family from the first two films. I love Shaye and her role as parapsychologist Elise, but this series has run its course by a long mile. Continue reading “Film Diary: February 2018”

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Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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Taika Waititi breathes life – and plentiful humour – into Thor: Ragnarok, a fun, yet patchy entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, who must make peace with brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in order to stop Hela (Cate Blanchett), their evil, long lost sister who’s sent them packing from Asgard in the hopes of wreaking destruction. Continue reading “Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)”

Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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This third iteration of everyone’s favourite web-slinger Spider-Man, which sees Tom Holland back in the role after his brief but memorable stint in Captain America: Civil War, is an incredibly charming teen comedy, with some superhero heroics sprinkled into the mix. It’s stripped back, fresh and fun, with Peter Parker (Holland) back in high school, dealing with everyday dramas by day and crimefighting by night, hoping to prove himself as a fully-fledged member of the Avengers. Continue reading “Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)”

Review: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

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Marvel remain the favourite with their Cinematic Universe as DC’s marquee match-up Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a crushing bore. Zack Snyder’s direction proves an oppressive burden; the darkness and heavy-handed approach leaving no room for humour or levity as Batman (Ben Affleck) rages with anger and Superman (Henry Cavill) sulks. Continue reading “Review: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)”

Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

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The latest attempt to cinematise Marvel’s dysfunctional superhero family, Fantastic Four is a frustrating shambles, bogged down by a strained narrative and laughable, exposition-heavy dialogue. An inter-dimensional vault leaves four young upstarts – Reed (Miles Teller), Sue (Kate Mara), Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Ben (Jamie Bell) – reshaped with superhuman abilities. Their only hope of recovery is back the way they came from, putting them in direct contact with an old friend. Continue reading “Review: Fantastic Four (2015)”

Review: Ant-Man (2015)

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Marvel’s latest outing Ant-Man, which sees their smallest superhero receive the big screen adventure treatment, is an entertaining, yet notably modest affair. Ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is recruited by biochemist Hank Pym (Michael Dougas) to stage the perfect heist, all with the help of a suit that’s tiny in size but substantial in power. Continue reading “Review: Ant-Man (2015)”

Review: Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

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As much as Avengers: Age Of Ultron is reported to have broken returning director Joss Whedon, it fails to break expectation. It’s keenness to please is often its biggest downfall. The ragtag team of Earth’s mightiest heroes are thrown back together when technology Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) found works against them, creating deadly AI Ultron (James Spader). Continue reading “Review: Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)”

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

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With a line of successful franchises already set up, Marvel take a risk with their latest, Guardians Of The Galaxy, a largely unknown comic book property. It’s safe to say their bet has paid off, with director James Gunn delivering a ludicrously entertaining space-set adventure that fizzles with humour, rat-a-tat interplay and marvellous action set pieces. Continue reading “Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)”

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Of all the Marvel properties to make it to the silver screen so far, Captain America is perhaps the least appealing of the lot, massively outshone by occasional allies Iron Man and Thor.  It’s a surprise, then, to see him firmly entrenched within one of Marvel’s best films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier – a direct follow-up to The Avengers that’s as much part of the overall MCU as it is its own rooted and entertaining entity. Continue reading “Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)”

Review: The Avengers (2012)

After laying hands on “the Tesseract” (a cube shaped source of energy capable of opening portals between worlds), Asgardian demi-God Loki (Tom Hiddleston) becomes hell bent on conquering Earth once and for all. Realising they don’t have a human army resilient enough to check his wrath, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls upon six individuals with superhuman abilities – Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – in a plan codenamed the “Avengers Initiative”, to Continue reading “Review: The Avengers (2012)”