With all the inevitability of a purple half-giant snapping his fingers, the Avengers saga rumbles to a close, the world's box offices crumbling before it.
Are DC finally beginning to figure it out? If they can't have the world-beating, all-conquering cinematic mega franchise that Marvel have built, could they at least have a few films that aren't absolutely hideous? The closest conclusion available is now a hard "maybe". Zachary Levy is the titular Shazam, the title itself referring to the … Continue reading Shazam!
With Avengers Infinity War and Endgame undeniable in the force of their cultural dominance, the risk of alternate Marvel entries falling into the cracks is real. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a casualty last year, and Captain Marvel is another unfortunate. Sandwiched between titanic film releases, the culminations of years of setup and creeping development, … Continue reading Captain Marvel
Lacking some of the cynicism of other franchise-launchers, Mortal Engines is nonetheless an limited adaptation of the first of Philip Reeve's excellent YA novels. Now looking certain for commercial doom, it's a creditable maiden voyage in intentions but not execution. Reeve's setting is the film's primary strength, a nuclear post-apocalypse in which surviving cities have been … Continue reading Mortal Engines
The "In Association with Marvel" revival continues for Spider-Man, a character so long underserved by creative stultification at Sony. Now, between this dazzlingly realised animation and Tom Holland's new live action Peter Parker, the webslinger is getting a run of worthy film outings. This new story splinter follows Miles Morales, well-established as Spider-Man in the … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Creed was a small-scale miracle of a film, perfectly cast and with the right director, finding all of its component parts at the apt time. Its newly-released sequel is, sadly, the film the first threatened to be, inoffensive and totally unessential. Minus the now-stratospherically successful Ryan Coogler in the director's chair, Creed II does reunite the principal cast … Continue reading Creed II
With a baseline of eccentricity and challenging motifs, Sorry to Bother You blazes a trail into brilliant, unpredictable territory. It is a flaming-hot debut for polymath Boots Riley. Lakeith Stanfield, so excellent in Short Term 12 in 2013 before a smashing reemergence on Atlanta and in Get Out, is Cassius Green. Cash to his friends, he's a low-skilled but … Continue reading Sorry to Bother You
It is perhaps a measure of director James Wan's baseless optimism regarding his vision for Aquaman that, partway through its bloated bulk, he gives himself licence to play a Pitbull cover of Totò's Africa as his characters enter the Sahara desert. This can only have been the culmination of a series of decisions that are almost … Continue reading Aquaman
J K Rowling, whatever her faults, has tremendous form when it comes to intricately planned plots and reveals. The Fantastic Beasts series, with this unintelligible second outing, is at risk of exposing her as more of an improviser than previously thought. The Crimes of Grindelwald opens with a series of changes to seemingly sensible conclusions from the … Continue reading Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Some films serve to illustrate not only their own excellence, but the failure of others. Steve McQueen's latest, Widows, is a stark reminder of how well-made thrillers can do more than just stress viewers out. They can be character studies in their own right, too. Viola Davis is the first of the titular widows encountered in … Continue reading Widows