Australian actor Chris Hemsworth returns as the muscle bound Norse God with a great big hammer in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. The superhero dominance of Hollywood continues unchecked. I've lost count of the number of comic book inspired movies that have arrived or are about to. From Captain America to X-Men, there’s no end in sight. Surprisingly, given their number, almost all have been worthy of attention, and Thor: The Dark World is no exception. The first Thor adventure, directed by Kenneth Branagh, was a dramatic and humorous ride that deserved its critical praise and wide appeal, introducing Thor as a rejected son, banished to Earth by Odin, the Allfather of the Gods. While trying to hang onto his powerful hammer and fighting off colossal, Earth destroying robots, Thor eventually learnt humility and grace.
Monsters: Dark Continent is the sequel to first time director Gareth Edwards' brilliant alien invasion story, Monsters, released in 2010. You can read our Monsters review here. This time round Edwards has handed over writing and directing duties to first time director Tom Green and writer Jay Basu as he is busy working on a big budget Godzilla remake (I would have preferred to see him direct Monsters 2 instead - how many Godzillas do we need?).
The first trailer for The Desolation of Smaug, film two in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy, has arrived and whatever else can be said about Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's beloved novel, this trailer presents an unquestionably lavish and captivating vision. Alongside familiar faces from An Unexpected Journey, we're introduced to Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) a woodland Elf (created by Jackson and Co.) and Bard the Bowman of Dale (Luke Evans); we also get a better look at Thranduil (Lee Pace) the Elvenking, father of one Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom) who once more leaps into the fray. Best of all however we get a good glimpse of the dragon Smaug.
Is there anything to say about the Mad Max Trilogy that hasn't already been said in the thirty four years since audiences first thrilled to the deep rumble and furious roar of the last of the V8 Interceptors? Now there was a sound to strike fear into the hearts of the feral punks reaving their way along the outback highways of a society in full-throttle decline to an apocalyptic abyss! The movies have been reviewed and critiqued extensively and their influence and legacy have been acknowledged far and wide, so, to answer my own question, there’s probably not much more to say.
The end of the world appears to be a popular topic for comedians on both sides of the Atlantic, with not one, but two apocalyptic comedy films heading into theatres this year. The first from the UK is The World's End, the final part of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright (Director) and Nick Frost's Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (also referred to as the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy). Pegg, Wright and Frost's zombie film Shaun of the Dead and the police satire Hot Fuzz were parts 1 and 2 of the trilogy.
Finally some news about Ridley Scott's Blade Runner sequel we first mentioned back in August 2011. The 1982 science fiction classic has grown in stature over the years and when Ridley Scott first announced he was working on a sequel, science fiction enthusiasts everywhere held their collective breathes. Now there's a new writer on board and a very real possibility that Harrison Ford will make an appearance in the sequel, reprising his role as replicant bounty hunter Rick Deckard according to The Wrap. It looks like Ridley Scott is finally moving forward with the project. If he would return my calls, I'd tell him to forget the Prometheus sequel and tackle Blade Runner 2 instead.
While the science fiction epic The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) did not perform as well as expected in the box office (even though it was superior to the original), star Vin Diesel and writer/ director David Twohy are back for a third Riddick chapter. Riddick 3 follows Pitch Black (2000) and the Chronicles of Riddick (2004). Left for dead on a desert planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators far more vicious than any human.
Last night I saw the new Star Trek: Into Darkness directed by J.J. Abrams. First up: like its predecessor Star Trek (2009), this is not an intellectual film. If you're expecting existential questions like Star Trek: The Next Generation's The Measure of a Man, or even in-your-face allegories like Star Trek's A Private Little War, you're out of your Vulcan mind.
Tom Cruise plays drone repairman Jack Harper in Oblivion, a stunning visual feast from the director of Tron: Legacy, Joseph Kosinski. In this post apocalyptic science fiction epic, the world as we know it has changed radically since a devastating war with an alien race called the Scavs. Humans were victorious, but the world is no longer habitable, most of humanity now living on Titan, a moon of Saturn. With his partner Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough) as backup, he patrols the skies, fixing drones that guard and maintain huge water processing plants that send water and energy back to Titan to help keep the human colony going.
After many false starts and a troubled development, the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's classic science fiction novel Ender's Game finally has its first trailer. While my expectations were low, the trailer is a good one. The question is, can they turn the novel into a film that is as good as the book? The film and novel are set in a future Earth. The human race has only just survived two wars with an insect race called the "Buggers". To combat the continued threat, the world's most talented children are gathered together and trained using tactical games in a specially prepared Battle School that orbits the Earth. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is one the Battle School's most promising students, displaying amazing tactical ability.