The weight of expectation looms large over Creed II. Ryan Coogler’s Creed masterfully revitalised the Rocky saga back in 2015, turning what was once a franchise on its last legs into one of Hollywood’s most anticipated narratives. With Coogler passing on directing the film due to a little movie called Black Panther it’s Steven Caple Jr. who fills what are now gargantuan shoes, and while the sequel doesn’t scale the heights of the original, that’s more of a testament to Coogler’s achievement than any failings of this hugely satisfying sophomore effort.
Read my full review on Den of Geek.
I reviewed Black Panther for Den of Geek. Read it here.
I also wrote about it for the Daily Mirror, a national newspaper.
While Wonder Woman is technically the fourth entry in DC’s Extended Universe, in many ways it’s a movie of firsts. The most prominent novelty – the fact that it’s the first female superhero movie to be directed by a woman – has been an oft-noted distinction in the build-up to the film’s release, and the feminist lens is apparent throughout. But what stays with you long after the credits roll is the movie’s heart and hope. That’s a first that DC fans like this writer have been waiting on for four years from the DCEU, and Wonder Woman has it in spades.
As we come to the end of The Hunger Games franchise, it feels a little strange to think that it only started out in 2012. Having efficiently cranked out an instalment each year for the past four years, it will go down as one of the swiftest (and successful) quadrilogies of all time. Whether it will go down as one of the best will likely be discussed in the coming months, but director Francis Lawrence can take pride in having concluded the series on a strong note. If Mockingjay: Part 1 was the calm, then Mockingjay: Part 2 is the angry, depressing, but no less compelling storm.
From the classic 1953 Disney animated adaptation to Steven Spielberg’s Hook in 1991, many filmmakers have tried to reinvent J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan on the silver screen with varying results. The latest director to walk the plank is Joe Wright; giving us a new origin story for the boy who wouldn’t grow up, the occasional entertaining set-piece can’t stop Pan from being a forgettable, CGI-overloaded mess.
Having given us movies such as Alien and Gladiator, there is a certain amount of excitement and expectation that typically surrounds a Ridley Scott production. With a recent output that consists of Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Counsellor, and Prometheus, those expectations have not been merited or met. Thankfully the director is back on form with The Martian, a fun and smart sci-fi which will have you laughing more than most comedies.
From Orson Welles in 1948 to Roman Polanski in 1971, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has undergone many stage and screen adaptations in its 400 year plus history. The latest attempt to translate it to the silver screen comes from Justin Kurzel. It’s only the second feature from the Australian director, but he accomplishes an impressive feat in distinguishing his take from all that has come before it. It’s just unfortunate that much of Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter is undecipherable.