7 August 2015

Review: MARSHLAND

Two homicide detectives wade through the existential and geographical bog of Andalusia's wetlands in Marshland, a Spanish language box office hit that rides a tidal wave of critical acclaim into English-speaking markets. Directed by Alberto Rodríguez, the film won ten Goyas at this year's Spanish Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director and has drawn comparisons with the HBO series True Detective and the Argentine Oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes. In short, it's a detective noir that doesn't pull any punches, in which the Spanish sunshine is no respite from the darkness.

Read my full review on Den of Geek >>

Marshland is now showing in selected cinemas nationwide and will be released on VOD and home entertainment formats on Monday 14 September.

5 August 2015

Review: FANTASTIC FOUR

There's a long-standing snarky line amongst comic book movie fans that Pixar's The Incredibles is the honorary best screen adaptation of the Fantastic Four. Writer-director Brad Bird may have invented his Parr family from a radicalised version of Marvel Comics' beloved First Family, but the gag is that they've been in three real movies of their own, none of which are seen to have got the characters quite right.

In the latest, Fantastic Four, high school prodigy Reed Richards joins forces with his friend Ben Grimm to crack the key to inter-dimensional travel, with the help of Franklin Storm, his daughter Sue, his son Johnny and his resentful former protégé Victor. Their bodies are altered on their first trip, leaving them to adapt to some extraordinary new abilities. The film stands on its own, away from previous versions, but The Incredibles seems pretty secure as the best F4 movie in all but name.

Read my full review at Den of Geek >>

Fantastic Four is released in cinemas nationwide on Thursday 6 August.

3 August 2015

Review: INSURGENT

Wisely new-to-the-franchise screenwriters Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback decide to start the YA sequel Insurgent with a recap of Divergent’s utterly unmemorable mythology for those who are just joining us. We open on arch-antagonist Jeanine Matthews explaining the young adult saga’s high school clique-writ-large dystopia to camera. In short, this society groups its citizenry into factions based on their dominant social and personal traits, named for fancy synonyms for basic traits. Basically, it’s what might happen if a Zimbio personality quiz took over the world.

When the action picks up, it’s three days after the end of the first film and runaway Divergent Tris Prior has just seen her parents killed during an attack on her home district. Tris, her love interest, Four, her brother, Caleb, and snivelling collaborator Peter are all chased into Factionless territory. There, she discovers that Jeanine is hunting down all Divergents because she needs one of them to unlock a box that contains a message from the city’s founders that she hopes will help to eliminate the Divergence problem. She sets her sights on Tris, who, as an unusually balanced young lady, might be the only one who can pass all five of the tests required to retrieve the message.

Read my full review at Vodzilla.co>>

The Divergent Series: Insurgent is available now on video on-demand and other home entertainment formats.

6 July 2015

Review: MAGIC MIKE XXL

In the same week as Terminator Genisys has shown just how low the bar is for sequels, Magic Mike XXL turns out to be perfect counter-programming by expanding upon and ultimately surpassing the first film in just about every way imaginable. And as it turned out, the first thing that had to go was all of that pesky plot.

Three years after the first film, “Magic” Mike Lane has managed to get his beach Womble enterprise off the ground, selling his handmade flotsam and jetsam furniture. Business isn't bad, but it's not so good that he can afford to pay for his lone employee's health insurance either. Unusually, financial gain isn't what spurs Mike to return to stripping. Nevertheless, the former Kings of Tampa - Big Dick Richie, Ken, Tarzan and Tito- come calling as they're about to head on a road trip from Florida to South Carolina, planning their final show as a group at a prestigious convention.

Read my full review on Den of Geek »

Magic Mike XXL is now showing in cinemas nationwide.

22 June 2015

Review: THE LONGEST RIDE

There are variables in the chemistry of a Nicholas Sparks film, but the basic formula has seldom changed through films like The Notebook, Dear John and The Lucky One. Even the posters for these movies often look indistinguishable from one another, except for the two actors pictured. The Longest Ride is the tenth Sparks adaptation to hit the big screen and though it sticks to what you'll know if you've seen more than one of the others, it's not necessarily a formula that's in need of fixing.

Read my full review on Den of Geek »