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Review: Passengers

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:00 on 19 Dec 2016
Passengers
Passengers is a sci-fi with an easily adaptable premise: what if, on the 120-year journey through space to colonise another planet, you were the only person on your spaceship to wake up? You can imagine dozens of versions of this movie. The Werner Herzog version is slow and considered and intimate and depressing and everyone dies. The Michael Bay version is huge and costs a billion dollars and has bikini models in zero gravity and it turns out the spaceship is evil. Nestling uncomfortably in the halfway point between the two is Morten Tyldum's Passengers, a shiny spin on Jon Spaihts' screenplay that can't decide if it's a blockbuster or a character piece and ends up being neither.

Review: The Magnificent Seven

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:46 on 14 Sep 2016
The Magnificent Seven
If you find yourself staring at the marketing for Sony's The Magnificent Seven thinking 'Who is this for?', then you're not alone: I've just seen it and I still don't know. It is an odd choice for such a straight-laced remake, particularly in the current age of the gender swap but PARTICULARLY because the Seven Samurai trope is the most well-worn story in cinematic history, having been remodelled in various forms over the years. We've enjoyed it in ronin form, as a western, told via science-fiction, remade as comedy and even reinvented with animated insects. They say each new generation deserves their own version of all the classic stories, and I daresay the 2016 adaptation of Magnificent 7 is the version this generation deserves: polished but still remarkably unremarkable.

Shock: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made by same people as Vol. 1

Posted by Ali Gray at 13:30 on 17 Feb 2016
Shock: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made by same people as Vol. 1
Is all this really necessary? Next you'll be telling me Star Wars: Episode VIII features some of the characters from Star Wars: Episode VII. Some but not all. Too soon? Too soon.

Film starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence somehow gets greenlight

Posted by Matt Looker at 13:30 on 17 Jun 2015
Film starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence somehow gets greenlight
Sometimes I just don't understand Hollywood.

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: Guardians Of The Galaxy

Posted by Ali Gray at 18:30 on 29 Jul 2014
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Just for a second there it looked like Marvel might have let their foothold slip. Edgar Wright's departure had irreparably sullied Ant-Man; Captain America 3's release date clash with DC's Batman V Superman in 2016 seemed like a suicide mission; the suspicion lingered that Thor: The Dark World wasn't actually all that great in retrospect. Momentary blips, all, because Guardians Of The Galaxy is the most confident, daring and balls-out fun Marvel movie of the lot. The last two Marvel releases have been samey sequels, adhering largely to a tried and tested formula, but Guardians Of The Galaxy is one of Marvel's best films simply because it doesn't really feel like it's part of the Marvel universe at all.

Trailer breakdown: Guardians Of Ga'Hoole The Galaxy

Posted by Ali Gray at 08:00 on 21 Feb 2014
Trailer breakdown: Guardians Of <strike>Ga'Hoole</strike> The Galaxy
You haven't properly seen the first teaser for Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy until you've seen my step-by-step analysis, which mainly consists of cries for help, fashion queries and unforgivable inaccuracy. Still, I do know one thing: raccoons are EEEEEEE! (*clutches hands beneath chin in girlish glee*)

There's someone missing in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy image

Posted by Ali Gray at 19:40 on 01 Jan 2014
There's someone missing in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy image
Disney have released the first official image from their forthcoming Marvel intergalactic adventure, Guardians Of The Galaxy. We can't help but feel there's someone quite important missing, especially given the obvious Usual Suspects homage. Thankfully it was my New Year's Resolution to do more rubbish Photoshopping, so I made amends. Send the cheque to the usual address, Disney.

Review: The Five-Year Engagement

Posted by Ali at 07:00 on 20 Jun 2012
The Five-Year Engagement
I've been putting off my review of The Five-Year Engagement for ages now, despite having written notes at the screening I attended about two weeks ago. Exhaustion is about to consume me, so instead of putting the review off for another day, I'm just going to forget about the in between parts and fancy words and cohesion that comes with a proper write-up and just let you read my raw notes. Think of it as an interesting case study. Or, like a massively lazy excuse for a post. Sorry. Normal service will resume soon. Most probably.

Review: Bride Wars

Posted by Ali at 22:57 on 13 Jan 2009
Bride Wars
Despite what Grazia, Cosmopolitan and Glamour magazines say, despite the reviews of Alan 'Four Stars!' Frank, despite what half of women-kind seem to think - wedding comedies are just not very good. Why? Because the target audience of misty-eyed girls who go damp at the sight of diamonds and tiaras are too busy cooing over the f...
Out this week
+La La Land (12A)
Our review
+Manchester By The Sea (15)
+Live By Night (15)
+Underworld: Blood Wars (15)
+The Bye Bye Man (15)