Deadpool Review – Merc with a Mouth may need a Muzzle

deadpool-ass

After finishing my countdown we reach the film that inspired it in the first place: Deeadpool! Now in comparison to the usual superhero epics that have been coming – the films where earth-sized stakes are at hand and the universe must join together to defeat a dangerous threat – Deadpool is very… small in scale. And that’s including Ant-Man.

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Top 15 Superhero Films (10-6)

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It’s only been one full month into 2016, and we’re already getting started on the superhero film onslaught that awaits. Starting with Deadpool, and ending with Doctor Strange, there are a total of eight comic book flicks this year – and the numbers are only increasing over the next few years. Truly it is the golden age of Superhero films. So, as a minor countdown to the first flick of this genre this year (one about a certain merc with a mouth) I have decided to compose my personal top 15 greatest superhero films. I should note that the only requirement for this list is that the films must involve a superhero, regardless if they are a comic book movie or not (sorry Scott Pilgrim and others, you don’t make the cake!). The other day we went through 15-11 (which can be found here), but now we move on to the next five!

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Top 15 Superhero Films (15-11)

kick-ass
It’s only been one full month into 2016, and we’re already getting started on the superhero film onslaught that awaits. Starting with Deadpool, and ending with Doctor Strange, there are a total of eight comic book flicks this year – and the numbers are only increasing till 2020. Truly it is the golden age of Superhero films. So, as a minor countdown to the release of Deadpool in a few days, I have decided to compose my personal top 15 greatest superhero films. I should note that the only requirement for this list is that the films must involve a superhero; regardless if they are a comic book movie or not (sorry Scott Pilgrim and others, you don’t make the cake!). Let’s begin with 15-11!

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The Revenant Review – Surviving in a Winter Wonderland

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While audiences love watching Bear Grylls surviving in the wilderness on the TV screen, Alejandro G. Iñárritu shows us the real deal on the cinema screen. Detailing (very loosely) the mythic frontier test of endurance with the wild-west quest for payback, The Revenant strives to blend epic survival with classic revenge thriller.

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The Good Dinosaur – Good…but not Great

The Crap Dinosaur

A meteor hurtles towards prehistoric earth while dinosaurs munch on grass and trees. We expect the inevitable, yet in a twist of fate the comet brushes past our atmosphere, sparing those giant lizards: and so the concept of The Good Dinosaur is introduced – what would happen if humans and dinosaurs coexisted? It’s a simple idea filed with potential just like all the Pixar films before it, as Arlo the apatosaurus and Spot the human trek the western landscape with some bumps along the way.

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Spotlight, Early Review – Doggedly authentic

Spotlight

Spotlight’s most obvious ‘eureka moment’ scene does not arrive, as in so many journalist procedurals, after a long night of drinking and piecing things together with clippings and red string. Nor is there some sort of secret source who demands a dangerously mysterious meet-up after dark. Instead, three reporters look through a series of public domain files, during work hours, and discover a pattern that has to be confirmed via the use of an Excel spreadsheet. It’s this stubborn commitment to authenticity that makes Spotlight such a distinct Oscar-friendly true story film, the lack of embellishment on an already fascinating story both one of its most commendable virtues and a contributor to its main weakness. Justice is done to this important tale, at the occasional expense of conventional dramatics, in an unshowy and sharply subversive Best Picture frontrunner.  (more…)

Spectre Review – Audaciously confident showmanship

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in the action film

Spectre’s opening sequence sets out the film’s purpose perfectly. We’re in Mexico City, swooping over the celebrations for the Dia de Muertos, a festival in which the living and the dead collide. Over the next 2 and a half hours, the film itself pulls off the same trick – the new, Bourne-inspired muscularity of the Daniel Craig era is very much intact, with the added relevance of an anti-surveillance message, but Spectre also delights in giving us some very old-school Bond tropes. Villainous lairs in meteorite craters, a near-mute powerhouse who fights 007 on a train, and the eponymous evil organisation evoke the Bond of the ‘60s and ‘70s, whilst retaining most of the elements that made Casino Royale and Skyfall so successful.  (more…)

Mississippi Grind Review -Red Hot Poker

Mississippi Grind

If you want to make a film that evokes the ‘70s, it’s hard to go wrong with a gambling story. Casino towns, at least according to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Mississippi Grind, don’t seem to have changed at all in the last 40 years, and, apart from size, there’s not much to tell the places themselves apart. All bathed in the same damp neon sadness, the only thing that makes any gambling town distinctive is the amount of money you can win, or more likely lose, there. Half James Caan’s The Gambler, half road/buddy movie, Mississippi Grind is a brilliantly character-driven film, with incredible performances from its two leads.  (more…)

Crimson Peak Review – Deliciously Macabre

Crimson Peak

After the blockbuster bombast of the Hellboy series and Pacific Rim, the question was raised of whether or not Guillermo del Toro could translate his mastery of dark fantasy into English. Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the finest modern examples of the genre, and whilst Crimson Peak is not quite as good, it answers the above question in the affirmative with style. At the same time, it also shows that 19th Century literature can make for thrilling cinema, as long as there’s a visually ingenious director at the helm. Influenced by everything from Jane Eyre to Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, with a little bit of Sherlock HolmesCrimson Peak is not only a fantastic film in its own right, but also an exciting revitalisation of an old-fashioned sort of storytelling.  (more…)