31 December 2015

The Mad Prophet's Top 25 Films Of 2015

I don't use this blog much any more, but if you can find more of my entertainment-related writings on Den of Geek and Vodzilla, or follow me on Letterboxd.

So, now that we've got the bad stuff out of the way, we can get right into the best of the year. This is a list of my top 25 favourite films that I saw this year, based on UK release dates...

30 December 2015

The Mad Prophet's Bottom 10 Films Of 2015

I don't use this blog much any more, but if you can find more of my entertainment-related writings on Den of Geek and Vodzilla, or follow me on Letterboxd.

Once again, 2015 has been a pretty great year for cinema- either that or I've just decided to avoid most of the worst fare on offer. Before we get into the really good stuff from this year, (of which there was a lot) here's a list that was much easier to compile- the bottom 10.

There aren't many glaring omissions here- if I'd missed Bradley Cooper's other 2015 offerings, American Sniper might have made it on the list at the beginning of the year, and you know it's been a solid year for tripe when erotic non-starters Fifty Shades Of Grey and The Boy Next Door manage to stay out of the bottom ten. As good as this year was, there was definitely worse stuff out there...

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.