Underworld: Blood Wars (DVD Review)

15 – 88mins – 2017


 

SPECIES IMPURITY

“I have lived beyond my time…”

The most surprising thing about this belated fifth instalment in the lycans versus vampires action-horror series is the end credits, which revealed – much to my astonishment – that series co-creator Len Wiseman neither wrote or directed this fourth big screen sequel. My surprise was such because Blood Wars is otherwise Underworld by-numbers. Kate Beckinsale strutting and slashing in tight leather? Check. Gloomy midnight-blue colour grade? Check. Chaotic interspecies fight sequences? Check. Clunky, exposition-heavy dialogue? Check and mate.

… Keep Scuttling!

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Alien: Covenant (Cinema Review)

15 – 123mins – 2017


 

THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP

Five years ago, when movie maestro Ridley Scott returned to the monster franchise he spawned back in 1979, the reaction from fans and critics alike was decidedly… mixed. To me, 2012’s Prometheus was a beautifully filmed sci-fi epic which teased appetisingly at the grander mythos of the Alien saga while introducing deeper and more universally resonant themes about faith, creation and the dangers of answering the unanswerable. I loved it, and have proudly rewatched it many times since, floored every time by its grace and grandeur.

… Keep Scuttling!

Sausage Party (Cinema Review)

Image result for sausage party

15 – 88mins – 2016


 

WIENER FEST

Ten minutes in to this Point Grey Pictures anthropomorphised-foodstuffs-make-crude-jokes-and-swear-lots CG ‘toon for those old enough to know better, I feared the (not so) cute concept would become very tired very quickly – particularly when devoid of the deliberate hoodwink of the jaw dropping Pixar-parodying trailer.

… Keep Scuttling!

The Angry Birds Movie (Cinema Review)

U – 97mins – 2016 – 3D


 

OINK MISBEHAVIN’

When an island community of incessantly chirpy flightless birds is invaded by a boat-full of porky-telling neon green pigs, only ostracised and irritable Red (Jason We’re The Millers Sudeikis) is cynical enough to see through the mysterious visitor’s pretence of friendship – but his disagreeable temperament sees his valid claims fall on naïve beaks.

When the greedy snout troop – led by their bearded king, Leonard (Bill Hader) – makes off with the bewildered birds’ unhatched newborns, the feathered flock put their full faith in Red and his fellow Anger Management attendees, Chuck (Josh “Olaf” Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), to lead the resistance and claim back their eggs before their babies become breakfast for bacon!

With a script penned by the king of the animated movie genre, Jon Vitti (he has written or consulted on everything from Blue Sky’s Ice Age and Robots to The Simpsons Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks), The Angry Birds Movie is as colourfully chaotic and hilariously hyperactive as you would expect from a film based on a mobile phone time-waster.

While it feels like it may be slingshotting into cinemas a couple of years too late, it is still a cloyingly app-dictive viewing experience, doing a flocking decent job of transplanting the “swipe-out” simplicity of Rovio Entertainment’s platform game into the central proponent of a larger universe-building (and destroying!) narrative.

It may favour style over substance and laughs over logic, but when there are this many giggles to be got (“Calvin Swine”, “Brad Pigg”, “John Hamm”, “Bomb’s Shelter”), you’d be bird-brained not to jump upon this trampoline. Sure, its garish mentality and maddening persistency does veer mighty close to overkill, but the strike rate is impressive enough to forgive a few missed targets.

CR@B Verdict: 3 stars