Ready Player One (Cinema Review)

12A – 140mins – 2018 – 3D


 

V.R. TROOPERS

Cineworld were in full alert last night with bouncers at the doors of their latest Unlimited Preview Screening to physically watch you switch off your mobile phones before you entered for an exclusive viewing of young adult sci-fi action adventure adaptation Ready Player One. This didn’t, however, stop the projectionists from messing up and starting the film too early, so we got to watch the opening five minutes twice in the space of a quarter of an hour.

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Early Man (Cinema Review)

PG – 89mins – 2018


 

KICKS AND STONES

Premier League heavyweights Tom Thor: Ragnarok Hiddleston, Eddie Fantastic Beasts Redmayne and Maisie Gold Williams headline a stadium-sized voice cast of homegrown funny-men and women, including Timothy Spall, Mirium Margoyles, Richard Ayoade, Mark Williams, Rob Brydon, Johnny Vegas, Gina Yashere and Simon Greenall (what do you know, there’s enough of them to make a football team!!) in this stop-motion Claymation feature from Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep creator Nick Park.

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Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Cinema Review)

12A – 142mins – 2018


 

SHANKS AND BIG WALLS

Back up and, err, running again (if you’ll pardon the wordplay) after a hefty-but-unavoidable production delay following lead actor Dylan O’Brien’s on-set accident, The Death Cure is a scintillating and welcome conclusion to returning director Wes Ball’s trilogy of dystopian sci-fi action-adventures based on author James Dashner’s hit series of Maze Runner novels.

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Dracula Untold (DVD Review)

15 – 92mins – 2014


 

SON OF THE DRAGON

In my post-cinema analysis of last summer’s Tom Cruise-headlined reboot of The Mummy (read my review HERE), I openly acknowledged my enjoyment of the film in spite of its skew away from horror and more towards a supernatural action-adventure. However, it seems audiences (or a lack thereof) were more critical; just one entry in and Universal’s newly-rebranded Dark Universe is already in trouble. But The Mummy wasn’t always to be the opening chapter of this Monster Movie Expanded Universe…

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Cinema Review)

12A – 119mins – 2017 – 3D


 

… WE’VE GOT FUN AND BOARD GAMES

Based upon a children’s picture book from the 80s by Chris Van Allsburg, 1995’s Joe Johnston-directed adventure-fantasy film is fondly remembered by people of a certain age as being a much-watched childhood favourite. It also starred the late, great Robin Williams, which is perhaps one reason why a return to Jumanji was initially greeted with scepticism from the masses. However, Welcome to the Jungle is NOT a modern day reboot which tries to erase the charm of the first film, but a sequel which respectfully nods to and continues the story, expanding upon the world of the mysterious magical game.

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Thor: Ragnarok (Cinema Review)

12A – 130mins – 2017 – 3D


 

GLADIA-THOR, READY? REVENGERS, READY?

In recent years, Disney and Marvel have become notorious for the short leashes on which they keep their directors. Even if your name is Edgar Baby Driver Wright, if your Ant Man passion project doesn’t toe the corporate line, you’re out. Likewise, Lord and Miller were recently ousted from the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off because their take on the Kasdan’s script was too irreverent. The body double twist which capped off Iron Man 3 was derided for making a mockery of Marvel lore, while Joss Whedon has openly held his hands up to the difficult production on 2015’s Age of Ultron, a sequel which too often went for a gag.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.5 – “Choose Your Pain” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 16th October 2017

Story by: Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Kemp Powers

Teleplay by: Kemp Powers

Directed by: Lee Rose


 

SURVIVAL MODE

“Glory must be earned from sacrifices… and PAIN!”

While the sets and lighting are as opulent and dazzling as ever this week, the showrunners behind Star Trek: Discovery are instead taking a different tack in their efforts to make this new prequel series darker and more mature by inserting scenes of brutal violence and random instances of foul language into what has fundamentally always been a family-friendly show set in an optimistic future striving for a universal utopia.

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Cinema Review)

Image result for the lego ninjago movie

U – 101mins – 2017 – 3D


 

THE QUEST FOR PIECE

With 2014’s Lord and Miller-scribed The Lego Movie proving to be a chuckle-stuffed block-buster, a whole universe of brick-based CG-animated feature film spin-offs were commissioned, with this modern-day karate-themed yarn following hot on the heels of February’s Batman solo adventure (which I reviewed HERE).

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.4 – “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 8th October 2017

Series created by: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman

Written by: Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite

Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi


 

UNIQUELY INTERESTING

“Let’s send our Klingon friends a message they won’t forget.”

Settling into its new post-‘second pilot’ direction, episode 1.4 of Star Trek: Discovery gave me the distinct impression that it was panicked about how grand, impressive and memorable it was, and frequently felt the need to throw everything at the audience in a shallow attempt to impress. While it’s by no means a complete shipwreck, “The Butcher’s Knife…” is both the busiest and my least favourite of the new series thus far.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.3 – “Context is for Kings” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 2nd October 2017

Story by: Bryan Fuller, Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts

Teleplay by: Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Craig Sweeny

Directed by: Akiva Goldsman


 

ENTER: ME

“Sometimes down is up, up is down. Sometimes when you’re lost, you’re found.”

For the second time in its first three instalments, Star Trek: Discovery has a ‘pilot’ episode, as 1.3 shoots forward six months from the USS Shenzhou’s clash with the Klingons and Captain Georgiou’s death, following Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) heavily-contested and unorthodox efforts to save the ship, her captain and crew. Now, the woman who will not reply to “Mickey” is a silent, resigned, person-adverse prisoner being transferred to do mining work to help the Federation’s war effort.

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