As a child of the eighties you notice as you get older that a lot of contemporary mainstream entertainment seems designed to take you back there. Now there's a distinctive crossover demographic: those of us in our thirties who went nuts for Spielberg and Star Wars at the time, and now have our own children whom we want to show the originals and take to see reboots. For my generation the prospect of Spielberg doing The BFG is an intersection in a Venn diagram where we hold each circle very dear, and there's only so bad it could possibly turn out. But it should've been better.
The things you remember from Star Trek Into Darkness: the theatrical dramatic pause before the shitty Khan reveal; Benedict Cumberbatch doing that weird over-enunciation thing he thinks makes bad dialogue sound better; Kirk kicking the warp core like a broken printer; the bit where Bones basically cures death; Tribbles; the platform game level at the end where Spock channels Super Mario. The things you don't remember from Star Trek Into Darkness: the good stuff, I guess? I don't recall it being a terrible film, quite enjoyable in the moment in fact, but a post-viewing breakdown revealed the story to have as much structural integrity as a piss-soaked newspaper. Star Trek Beyond, however, rights everything that Star Trek Into Darkness put wrong. It may not be as polished or as ambitious as its predecessor, but it is far truer to the core themes of what Trek is all about; crucially, it's a film that looks to the future, not the past.
Like flamethrowers and tax rebates, sharks are undeniably awesome. They are vicious, yet magnificent predators wrapped in a mysteriously dumb, dead-eyed outer-shell. Like Vin Diesel, but with fins. So making movies about sharks is a no-brainer; with Great Whites growing to 20ft long and weighing up to 5000lbs, they can be a formidable foe. And the Great White - or Carcharodon carcharias - of this film is every bit as terrifying as the ones in the many shark documentaries I have watched.
Things that ruin your childhood: discovering that your parents are the tooth fairy/Father Christmas. Learning that grandparents and pets can die no matter how much you love them. Jimmy Savile. These are actual things that leave a lasting mark. A remake of a film that you probably originally saw on TV three years after its release because you weren’t old enough to see it at the cinema when it actually came out will not “ruin” your childhood memories (I also had an extended metaphor about how I have continually enjoyed cheese toasties despite once eating an amazing one a few years ago but that doesn’t diminish the good one I had, but I think you get my point). The new rebooted Ghostbusters isn’t going to piss on the fact that you can remember things from a movie that’s over 30 years old. But before I have to hand in my "I was a child of the 80s" badge, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Ghostbusters 2016 is actually funnier and scarier than the original.
Nicholas Winding Refn is proving to be one of the most divisive filmmakers working today. Between his last feature, Only God Forgives, and now this, it seems that Refn is intent on using surreal, striking imagery to replace conventional narratives. Is this iconic iconoclasm of the medium deliberate contempt for modern cinema or playful adoration? And is his output polarising purely because of his obvious, spiteful defiance of the mainstream or because it might actually lack merit? Either way, this kind of issue so often detracts from any real critique of his work. For example, I haven't seen anyone so far talk about the biggest problem with The Neon Demon: the inaccurate depiction of modelling. I've watched America's Next Top Model, and not once in this film did anyone 'smize', nor even 'poochie tooch'.
Watching this fascinating documentary about a celebrity/literary scandal that unraveled in the media in 2005, it struck me that this is really something I should already know about. It's astonishing that the high-profile hoax at the centre of this film, which connected - and fooled - so many famous names across film and music, managed to happen at all, but the real miscarriage of justice here is that apparently I have been completely unaware of it until now. Was I more ignorant of the literary world and of pop culture in general than I thought? It seems unlikely. Regardless though, it's probably fair to say that going into this film entirely 'blind' makes for a more incredulous (and therefore more rewarding) experience.
Wanna a see a magic trick? Yeah you do. Everyone loves magic. Think of a number between 1 and 5. Multiply it by 9. Add the two digits of your answer together to get a single digit. Subtract 5 from this number. If A is 1, B is 2 etc, find the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to your number. Pick a country that starts with this letter. Now think of an animal that starts with the second letter of that country. Now imagine what colour that animal usually is. By the end of this review, I shall reveal the animal and the country you were thinking of (*pauses for astonished but also mesmerised silence*). But right now, I can tell you’re thinking, "isn’t this a somewhat laboured and overlong opening paragraph for a 3 star film?" You are, aren’t you? (*waves arms*) THAT’S MAGIC (*dead dove drops from sleeve*)
In line with all the UK's other major news outlets, The Shiznit is declaring its stance on the EU Referendum. As a forward-looking, progressive website which is only racist behind closed doors and even then it's only a bit of fun, we urge you to vote to remain in the European Union. If you don't, the following truly awful film-related things will 100% definitely happen.