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Review: Terminator Genisys

Posted by Ali Gray at 01:10 on 01 Jul 2015
Terminator Genisys
Terminator Genisys represents everything that is wrong with modern movies. Absolutely everything. It is a hopelessly contrived revisit to a once famous franchise, long since dragged through the mud and reanimated - for the third time - in the hopes that it can repeat past tricks. It is a reboot that fails to perform the basic function of a reboot - to start afresh with a blank canvas - instead preferring to muddy the waters of an already terminally confusing timeline. Worst of all, it is chronically boring and manages to make a movie about a robot uprising seem about as exciting as the launch of Tidal. In short, it is the worst film of the year by far; a catastrophically bad moviegoing experience that not only manages to insult fans of the first (and only) two decent Terminator movies but manages to botch the franchise to such an extent you wonder if even the 12-year-olds it's aimed at will be impressed by its static action and needlessly convoluted plot.

Review: Love & Mercy

Posted by Matt Looker at 07:00 on 26 Jun 2015
Love & Mercy
The Beach Boys: squeaky-clean surfers, or the subjects of sordid sex scandals, substance abuse and psychotic breakdowns? Whatever your level of familiarity with these endless harmonisers and their incredible off-stage history – fatherly abuse, drugs, rivalry, death, links to Charles Manson, drummer Dennis Wilson falling out with lead singer (and cousin) Mike Love and then marrying his daughter – the chances are that you don’t know the whole history…. because, frankly, there’s just so much to tell. Any Beach Boys biopic just couldn’t possibly do justice to their entire 53-years-and-counting career. Thankfully, this new film focuses on band figurehead and recognised musical genius, Brian Wilson. And even then, it still feels like just a drop in the ocean.

Review: Entourage

Posted by Ed Williamson at 22:00 on 16 Jun 2015
Entourage
It is hard, as a fan of a TV show, to divorce yourself from your feelings for it and watch the end-of-series movie without prejudice. And probably you shouldn't: it's meant for you, as a sort of valedictory reward for your loyalty. But then releasing it in cinemas suggests a pitch to a wider audience, so while it might satisfy the existing viewer, as Entourage sort-of-just-about does, you wonder who else they're expecting to queue up for tickets.

Review: Jurassic World

Posted by Ali Gray at 01:30 on 11 Jun 2015
Jurassic World
There is no escaping the fact that I can't write an unbiased review of a Jurassic Park movie. Jurassic Park is my Star Wars, my Lord Of The Rings - my formative moviegoing experience that opened my eyes to the wonder of cinema. I can never be too down on movies about rampaging dinosaurs; even a bad Jurassic Park movie - and there have been more of them than there have been good ones - is entertaining in its own way. But by any measure, whether you're a super-fan or a casual observer, Jurassic World knocks it out of the park: it's a shamelessly entertaining blockbuster that simultaneously pays homage to the original while putting a fresh coat of paint on the formula. If you're a Jurassic Park fan, Jurassic World is everything you want it to be - I'd even go as far as saying it's as good a Jurassic Park film, post Jurassic Park, that you could ever possibly expect.

Review: Spy

Posted by Ali Gray at 08:00 on 10 Jun 2015
Spy
I'm not sure I understand how people continually lump Melissa McCarthy into the same category of comedians as the likes of Kevin James (actually, I do understand, I just choose to ignore it), because she's so much more talented than him it's barely a contest. Comic timing? Check. Pathos? Check. A habit of making her co-stars appear funnier by proxy? Check. These are not qualities you typically associate with Paul Blart: Mall Cop. McCarthy, on the other hand, is the complete package, and she furthers her winning relationship with director Paul Feig in Spy, albeit to not quite so winning effect as previous team-ups The Heat and Bridesmaids. The most important stat for the non-believers? There is only one [1] pratfall in Spy; Paul Blart: Mall Cop had 25.

Review: Gascoigne

Posted by Ed Williamson at 23:00 on 09 Jun 2015
Gascoigne
Most people whose lives merit a feature-length documentary are probably going to participate in only one, and so you suspect this will stand as the only one Paul Gascoigne will ever do. This is a shame, because while it gets behind the clowning and reveals his fractured psyche a little in flashes, it's a busted flush overall.

Review: Danny Collins

Posted by Ed Williamson at 22:00 on 28 May 2015
Danny Collins
Hello, I am a man and I am rich and famous and a bit of a dick, but watch as I earn the right to be reappraised. You will know that I deserve it because I have one old friend who sticks by me unwaveringly, I harbour regrets about having chosen an easy path towards my fame, and children react well to me.

Review: San Andreas

Posted by Ali Gray at 07:00 on 27 May 2015
San Andreas
The modern disaster movie is at an impasse, and no amount of hurling Dwayne Johnson at it will succeed. There isn't a disaster you can think of - whether it's from the pit of the Earth or the darkest realms of outer space - that can't be rendered by a room-full of under-fed, under-paid GFX nerds in California. The only limit, therefore, is imagination, and sadly, San Andreas is a movie that's barely capable of coherent or rational thought. Director Brad Peyton borrows a series of second-hand set-pieces from the Roland Emmerich playbook; with buildings collapsing left, right and centre, San Andreas doesn't so much evoke powerful 9/11 imagery as it recalls entire sequences from other, better movies.

Review: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:30 on 21 May 2015
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
The sole conceit of selling a movie like Tomorrowland is convincing you it's a place you need to visit – a world unlike our own where magical things happen and anything is possible. You cannot accuse of Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof of underselling this vision of the future: the first hour of Tomorrowland is all tease and build-up and you're just as desperate to get to the promised land as the characters are. Unfortunately, Tomorrowland is a movie that cannot possibly hope to deliver on that promise; it's a movie chock-full of crackpot invention but is overcrowded with ideas that are ultimately underdeveloped. Tomorrowland is sold expertly as the land of milk and honey – it's such a shame it turns a little sour when you finally get there.

Review: The Falling

Posted by Becky Mather at 16:00 on 11 May 2015
The Falling
At the end of 2014, it was decreed that every film released this year must by law have at least one Game Of Thrones actor in the cast. So far, Alfie Allen has continued his nice line as an annoying little shitbag in John Wick; that girl who was in Hollyoaks was also in Fast & Furious 7 and Kit Harington has sat through countless interviews blank-faced as journalists tell him he knows nothing about Spooks. Later this year, we can expect to see our favourite gentle giant star as the romantic lead opposite Katherine Heigl in 'Hodor Right Moves', but at the moment it's the turn of Lady Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams, propping up this mysterious psychological drama about girls passing out in the 1960s. If her sister was in it, I could have maybe said it was "Sansational", but The Falling ultimately falls wide of the mark.
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