Justice League (Cinema Review)

12A – 120mins – 2017 – 3D – IMAX


 

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Having already directed two hugely successful Marvel team-up features, Avengers assembler Joss Whedon was brought on board to rival comic book juggernaut DC’s comparison piece to oversee post-production after original helmer Zack Snyder left Justice League following a family tragedy. We will never know completely – save for a hugely-unlikely commentary track on the home release – exactly how steadfastly Whedon stuck to Snyder’s vision, except that Whedon directed newly-penned reshoots yet is only ascribed as a co-writer, leaving Snyder with the sole director credit.

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The Big Sick (Cinema Review)

15 – 124mins – 2017


 

BEST SEEN COLD

While The Big Sick’s reputation precedes it, literally all I knew about this acclaimed indie rom-com prior to last night’s Cineworld Unlimited cardholder preview screening was that critics were raving about it Stateside, and it co-starred Ruby Sparks herself, quirky cutie Zoe Kazan.

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AMERICAN GODS, 1.1 – “The Bone Orchard” (Amazon Prime Review)

Amazon Prime – From Monday 1st May 2017

Written and developed by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman

Directed by: David Slade


 

THE DOMINANT PARADIGM

Influenced by a wave of public anticipation, I knew I wanted to watch this heavily-hyped Starz/Amazon Prime fantasy drama series despite having zero knowledge of the 2001 Neil Gaiman novel upon which it is based. After the hour long pilot premiered online this Monday I’m still not convinced I’m any more clued up on the premise than I was before, but I do know that showrunners and screenwriters Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have me curious to know more about this violent and muddily mythologically-inspired present day parallel America.

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THE GRAND TOUR, 1.1 – “The Holy Trinity” (Amazon Video Review)

Image result for the grand tour episode 1

71mins – Amazon Video – Streaming from Friday 18th November

Hosted by: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May

Produced by: Andy Wilman

Directed by: Phil Churchward, Brian Klein


 

BACK IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

“I can see clearly now the rain has gone” rather arrogantly boasts the theme tune as persistent motor-mouth and infamous producer-puncher Jeremy Clarkson finds a new platform for him and his car-crazy bezzie mates to bicker, banter and blaze around race tracks in blooming expensive vehicles for an hour every week.

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Lake Placid vs Anaconda (Netflix Review)

Image result for Lake Placid vs. Anaconda

15 – 88mins – 2015


 

CROC OF SHIT

“They’re monsters is what they are!”

In the late nineties they were two colossi of the creature feature sub-genre. With father/daughter heavyweights Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie hunting for the legendary giant Anaconda in the theatrical rainforest of 1997 and Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda battling the original 30-foot reptile in 1999’s Lake Placid, these two initially legitimate monster movie franchises have, with each successive (and cheaper) DTV sequel, fallen ever fouler of the modern trend for Roger Corman-esque Z-movies. Thanks, Sharknado!

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They Live (Amazon Prime Review)

18 – 94mins – 1988


 

OBEY… OBEY… OBEY…

“Brother, life’s a bitch and she’s back in heat.”

While the social media meltdown continues apace and I attempt to get my head around the ramifications of last night’s EU Referendum here in the UK, some might consider it hugely ironic that I sat down yesterday for my first ever viewing of John Carpenter’s cult sci-fi/horror adaptation of Ray Nelson’s short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning.

If Cameron and the “Remain” camp thought they were having a bad day, just spare a thought for homeless drifter John Nada (late WWF wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper). He is shot at, thrown from a first floor window and beaten to a swollen pulp by his best mate, Frank (Keith David), in a bare-knuckle brawl which lasts longer than Peter Griffin vs the Giant Chicken – all on the same mind-melting day he stumbles upon a yuppie alien takeover bid which only materialises whenever Nada puts on a pair of sunglasses! If that wasn’t enough, to top it all off: he’s all out of chewing gum, too!

While the satirical social commentary implied by humanity’s greed-motivated subservience to an extraterrestrial “power alliance” hidden in plain sight is as strong and as stinging as a George A. Romero subtext, I found They Live’s narrative and its genre elements to be sadly lacking. The skeletal “formaldehyde faces” of the alien’s true eye-bulging form are laughably ropey, calling to mind a 50s B-movie (perhaps intentionally?), while the drifting plot was high in meandering and low in narrative finesse.

Product DetailsNada’s journey from bum to hero is achieved by wandering in an inviolate haze through first a police raid at a homeless camp, then through the alien-infested streets of LA. When he does eventually coerce Frank into believing the conspiracy, the pair have no set plan and simply bumble along cluelessly until they happen upon a band of freedom fighters and the plot is finally focused on shutting down the signal which is hypnotising the human race to the subliminal propaganda.

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars