Transformers: The Last Knight (Cinema Review)

12A – 149mins – 2017 – 3D


 

PIECE OF SCRAP

I know it’s lazy to deride Michael Bay’s bloated brigade of big ‘bot battle blockbusters, but boy is this fifth Transformers film a rotten piece of shit! I realise that isn’t a very erudite (or polite) way to kickstart a review, but I’m not editing it for two reasons: Firstly, multi-millionaire Bay, producers Paramount and Hasbro Studios won’t care what The CR@Bpendium thinks of their gallizion dollar expanded-universe franchise – people will still turn out in droves. Secondly, given the amount of bad language that litters this light-hearted adapted-from-toys summer sequel, apparently kids are down with the swearz these days, too?! So the shit stays where it is.

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Blair Witch (DVD Review)

15 – 86mins – 2016


 

THE ABSENCE OF CLOSURE

“Someone’s died everywhere at some point, doesn’t mean every square foot of this planet is haunted!”

Coming across a video on YouTube he believes contains footage of his sister, presumed dead twenty years earlier after going missing while investigating the legend of the Blair Witch, James Donahue (James Allen McCune) heads into Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, hoping against hope that Heather is still alive. He his ‘assisted’ by a couple of wary locals he communicated with online, and trailed by a group of his closest friends, including one who conveniently wishes to document the missing person search.

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Rings (DVD Review)

15 – 102mins – 2017


 

COPY AND WASTE

Gore Verbinski’s 2002 remake of the Japanese supernatural horror classic Ringu (1998) kick-started a Western surge in popularity for “J-horror” and established lank-haired, TV-emerging Samara as an icon of the genre. That it has taken 12 years since 2005 follow-up The Ring Two to continue the Hollywood-ified franchise is surprising, particularly as interest seemed to remain at least temperate, but Rings’ disappointing box office gross is testament to the rule that no matter how long you take to “perfect” a sequel, sometimes they just aren’t required.

… Keep Scuttling!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Cinema Review)

12A – 129mins – 2017 – 3D


 

THE POWER OF THE SEA

After six years on dry land – the longest gap between installments in Disney’s “savvy” saga to date – Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny “Mad Hatter” Depp) has set sail on blockbuster seas for the fifth time in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (or the mouthful that is Dead Men Tell No Tales, as it is known Stateside), after both script and budgetary issues blighted initial 2015, then 2016, departures from dock.

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Alien³ – Theatrical Cut (Blu-ray Review)

18 – 114mins – 1992


 

AIN’T NO FURY LIKE A RIPLEY SCORNED

I had planned to watch all five of the legitimate Alien films (as in, skipping over Alien v. Predator and its turgid sequel) prior to Alien: Covenant’s theatrical bow on 12th May, however I failed spectacularly, only getting as far as immediate predecessor (and chronological starting point) Prometheus and Ridley Scott’s 1979 original. As it turns out, they were all I technically needed to get the most out of Covenant (which, as my REVIEW details, I enjoyed immensely), however I tardily sustained my franchise re-watch undeterred.

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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.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Cinema Review)

12A – 136mins – 2017 – 3D


 

STILL HOOKED ON A FEELING

Formerly feared to be comic and movie franchise giants Marvel’s unknown quantity, James The Belko Experiment Gunn’s 2014 mega-hit established that even lesser known superheroes can find adoration, form meme-worthy catchphrases (“I am Groot!”) and sell retro-flavoured mixtapes by the bucket-load.

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Fast & Furious 8 (Cinema Review)

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12A – 136mins – 2017


 

ROGUE DOM: A CAR WARS STORY

Not trusting British audiences with an iota of common sense, the nut-jobs at Universal Pictures reverted the title of this seventh (Vin) Diesel-fuelled, car-loving action sequel back to the boring, uninspired, numerically denominated handle you read above, missing out on the witty promotion opportunity open to overseas markets where the blockbuster retains its original and superior appellation: The Fate of the Furious. F8, geddit?!

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Fifty Shades Darker (Cinema Review)

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18 – 118mins – 2017


 

GREY’S ANATOMY

It slaps (ahem) of irony that the author of the world’s biggest-selling trilogy of BDSM-flavoured ‘mummy porn’ was so dominant in protecting her property that both the writer and the director of 2015’s record-breaking first big screen adaptation tore up their contracts and walked away from the filthy franchise, calling for new submissives to be brought into the notorious Red Room ahead of this middle instalment.

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage (Cinema Review)

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12A – 107mins – 2017 – 3D


 

CAGE FIGHTER

After Mr Cube’s substitute adventure put the franchise on, erm, ice for a decade, Vin Diesel’s renewed bankability following the resurgence of The Fast & The Furious series saw a reinvigorated interest in a return for the true xXx – and his ‘iconic’ fur coat!

… Keep Scuttling!