Picking up four years after the Battle of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction sees amateur robotics inventor Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) discovering Optimus Prime (voiced superbly once more by Peter Cullen) while searching for junk to refurbish. The gravely wounded Autobot commander has been in hiding from a covert black ops team led by Harold Attlinger (Kelsey Grammer), who has teamed up with Cybertronian bounty hunter Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) in a bid to destroy all shape-shifting robots. Meanwhile, tech tycoon and billionaire inventor Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) is busy reverse-engineering his own Transformers with a view to having an army of robots under human control.
There are some films which simply don’t need sequels, but these days it’s increasingly likely that studios will green-light follow-ups after a successful first outing. Such was the case with The Hangover (2009); the film struck a tone with cinemagoers, but spawned a lacklustre sequel. Director Todd Phillips and co are back for The Hangover Part III (2013), and whilst it’s a slightly better entry than its predecessor, the third (and final?) instalment still lacks the spark of the original.
If Ben Affleck’s directorial prowess wasn’t already evident with the excellent Gone Baby Gone (2007) and sophomore effort The Town (2010), with his third feature he has further cemented his status as one of the best current filmmakers in the business. One of the best releases of 2012 – an assertion given greater credence following the film’s recent Best Picture triumph – Argo is nail-biting cinema at its finest, blending tension and humour with an incredible story to impressive effect.
It’s been over a decade since Pixar Animated Studios’ highly regarded Monsters, Inc. (2001), and fans have been eagerly awaiting a return to the universe since. Directed by Dan Scanlon – who replaces Pete Docter at the helm – Pixar have done a good job of whetting our appetites, what with the 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. late last year as well as a teaser trailer. Now we have our best look yet in the first full length trailer, and it promises more animated fun. Monsters University (2013) will focus on the college years of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman). Before they became the delightful duo we know and love, Mike and Sully were mismatched roommates who couldn’t stand one another. However, when a larger dilemma forces them together, they must overcome their differences.
Watch the trailer for Monsters University at CineVue here.