Tuesday, 30 June 2015


1. TED  2

Remember when everyone was in love with Seth MacFarlane? It feels like a long time ago now but the creator of Family Guy was riding a high during the animated television series was in it's hey day, his debut feature Ted hoovered up the money at the cinema and it seemed like everything the man touched turned to gold. But the years have gone by and Family Guy is passed it's sell by date, we have had to endure The Cleveland Show and A Million Ways to Die in the West mangaged to find a way to die a million ways in the multiplex. While the world fell in love with the foul mouthed teddy bear in the original film, I was less smitten with the film's strenuous attempt to be more offensive than funny. So when the inevitable sequel was green-lit it came as no surprise.

This time around the Ted and his new wife, Tami-Lynn, want to have a baby in order to patch up their relationship but since he is a teddy bear reproduction proves difficult but getting a sperm donor proves even more difficult as Ted has to prove his not just Hasbro's property but an actual living person. Ted and his thunder buddy, John (Mark Wahlberg) team up and take the case to court and fight for the teddy's rights. Cue MacFarlane's signature unfunny offensive jokes, Amanda Seyfried playing a marijuana loving lawyer and cameos from the likes of Tom Brady, Jimmy Kimmell and Macfarlane regular Patrick Stewart. The sequel has received luke warm reviews from american critics and has failed to live up to expectations at the box office, having been pitted to the post by the behemoth that is Jurassic World and Pixar's Inside Out. It would seem MacFarlane's sequel has failed to break the comedy sequel rule. 


First things first, yeah the name is stupid. Terminator Genisys signals Arnie's return to the franchise that made him the action hero he became. Bare with me as I try to explain the plot to the fifth film in the franchise. In the year 2029 John Connor (Jason Clarke) leads the human resistance against the machines, when he finds out that the evil Skynet are going to attack from the past and future. To stop the machines from winning the war, Connor sends Kyle Reece (Jai Courtney) back to stop Skynet's T-800 from killing his mother, Sarah Connor (Emila Clarke). Then it all gets very confusing when Arnie's original machine shows up, fighting alongside Sarah Connor, to destroy the new version of himself. 2015 has proved a lucrative year for nostalgia, with Jurassic World breaking box office records, Mad Max: Fury Road garnished endless praise and it's no question that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will dominate the box office when its released this December but while the first two Terminator films are celebrated as great pieces of science fiction cinema, the last two instalments have been lacklustre efforts and the television series failed to relight the franchises' fire, so do we really need another Terminator? 

Oh M. Night Shymalan, once described as the next Spielberg after his excellent The Sixth Sense, and now the director is the butt of the joke. In recent years Shymalan has done a good job of helping us forget why we loved his films to start off with. While Signs has its critics, its a better film than people give it credit for but you would have a real challenge trying to persuade people that The Happening and The Last Airbender are good films. The last time we saw Shymalan on the big screen was back in 2013 when he teamed up with Will Smith for the mind numbingly dull After Earth but the director is back with his first original film since The Happening. The Visit tells the story of two children who are left at their grandparents after their mother goes on holiday. Things seem a little odd when they are not allowed out their room after half nine and Soon they start to realise their grandparents are part of something deeply disturbing.    

While the film may not sound as bad as The Happening, if you haven't seen it watch it just to witness how hilariously bad it is and experience the dire dialogue, it is very difficult to get excited about anything Shymalan does any more. No doubt the film will have the director's trademark last minute twist but as entertaining as that was back in 1999 we've all moved on and expect something new which seems like something Shymalan just can't offer any more.   

4. 31

Remakes are something I have always supported remakes, why not give it another crack if first time round they didn't get it right? After all, its not like they are recording over the original. But Rob Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's Halloween is a waste of time, money and effort. Carpenter's original is as perfect a film as Spielberg's Jaws or Boyle's Trainspotting, so a remake that attempted to add a back story to Michael Myers' evil was unwelcome. So the news of a new Zombie film, 31, made me want to weep. 31 centres around five carnival workers who are kidnapped and held hostages till Halloween when they are forced to play a game called 31 in "murder world". The aim is to survive the next twelve hours which seems like an impossible task when a group of evil, violent clowns are stalking the hostages. Originality is not essential, and incredibly rare in horror films, but it's what you do with an idea that makes it special and 31 sounds like something we have seen a thousand times before. Stick to the music Rob.  


If you had told someone a decade ago that the likes of Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas were starring in an Ant-Man film they would have probably laughed in your face but since the rise of the superhero film and Marvel become a blockbuster behemoth, here we are with an Ant-Man film and I don't care. While the whole world has fallen in love with whatever Marvel drop into your local multiplex but for me Marvel are simply churning out the same film formula and just swapping the hero. A third act with something falling from the sky on a city? Yeah seen it before. The film follows Michael Douglas' Hank Pym as he enlists Paul Rudd's Scott Lang to take his place as the Ant-Man to stop new threats abuse the power of the Ant-Man.  

I was interested when Edgar Wright and, an underrated British talent, Joe Cornish but the news of the departure last year made more than a few people raise an eyebrow. Down with Love director Peyton Reed stepped in with Adam MacKay and Rudd helping out with altering the script. I'm not going to write Reed off, he's no Edgar Wright but who is? The idea of an Ant-Man isn't as stupid as some assume, it's nice to see lesser known characters get a look in but it's Marvel's inability to concentrate on one film that's been letting them down. No matter how much you may love Marvel, it's difficult not to admit that their formula is fast becoming worn out and no universe building can disguise that. 

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