american cinema

Pete's Dragon (2016)

“You are the bravest boy I’ve ever met.” | Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Disney continues their assault on our wallets, tilling their back catalogue of animated films and characters for live action fodder. So far, their efforts have been successful with Maleficent, Jungle Book and Cinderella scoring big. But how will they do with a remake of 1977’s Pete’s Dragon? Trailer and review after the break.

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Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

“That’s… definitely bigger than the last one.” | ID4 Resurgence (2016)

I knew that Independence Day: Resurgence was going to happen. One of the most iconic 90’s movie, an assured cast, good SFX, a captive US 4th of July audience and a decent box office haul meant a sequel was going to happen. So here we all are twenty years later, ready for the follow up with new and old cast members together. Does it work? Was it worth the wait? Trailer and review after the break.
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Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

“Save the film, strike the broad and kill the babies.”| Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

If nothing else, Return of the Killer Tomatoes is proof that you don’t need to see an obscure film in order to get sucked into its sequel. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a weird, funny film but when its first sequel came out in 1988, few people would have remembered instantly the first movie. And why would you when you have George Clooney as a sidekick, the gorgeous Karen Mistal as Tara and John Astin hamming it up as the evil and insane Prof. Gangreen? Trailer and review after the break.

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Batman vs Superman (2016)

Opinions | The Promise of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

The outsider is a figure that looms large on the horizon of most literature. The figure is both a figure of fear and one of transformation. Bad outsiders can destroy the status quo and force the hero/es to become better in order to triumph. Good ones destroy the evil that the rest of the cast cannot hope to fight as they are known quantities to the antagonists. But who gets to decide how an outsider is viewed by people on the inside? For better or worse, Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel deals with the emotional paranoia that comes with a world struggling to deal with the idea of the first son of Krypton.

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

“You can’t run from them! STAY WITH ME!” – 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Anthologies are tricky things. Studios don’t like them anymore and people have no modern experience with them so can they still work? In 10 Cloverfield Lane, producer J.J. Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg take the DNA of the earlier smash hit and populate it into a nightmarish thriller where there is no escape, no help and no one to save the cast from itself. Trailer and review after the break

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Zootopia/Zootropolis (2016)

“Hey, Flash, wanna hear a joke?” – Zootopia/Zootropolis (2016)

From the opening shot of Zootopia with its school recital, the film is firmly in hero Judy Hoops corner. She is an anomaly, wanting to be a police officer, because she’s a bunny and bunnies work on farms or at the very least, work quaint office jobs. So when she leaves Bunnyburrow for the big city, everything in her past tells her she’s making a mistake. But the minute she plays “Try Everything” by Shakira (as the character Gazelle) in her headphones and sees the tall spires of Zootopia, Judy and we are in for a different kind of Disney adventure.

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Matinee (1993)

“One of you will have to go to the Atomic Destruction with no damn Shredded Wheat!” – Matinee (1993)

Joe Dante is one of the best directors you’ve never heard of but have seen his films. I don’t mean he’s not famous but his work is always so good that we expect it of him and as such don’t give him as much praise as he deserves. Near the end of his killer run in the 80’s, he did a film for Universal called Matinee. Starring John Goodman, it’s one of Dante’s forgotten classics and a fitting homage to the monster movies of the director’s childhood. Trailer and more after the cut.

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Jem and The Holograms (2015)

“Showtime Synergy!” – Jem and The Holograms (2015)

Much maligned, scorned frequently, Universal and Hasbro’s live-action version of popular cartoon Jem arrives with a lot of baggage and more than its share of problems. Trailer and chatter after the cut.

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Creed (2015)

“It’s in the cloud? What cloud?” – Creed (2015)

[NOTE: there is a major spoiler in this review and I’ll flag it before it happens]

At its heart, Creed is a lot of things. A story of personal triumph over adversity. A great sporting film. A story of a man who never knew his father and never wanted one. A tale of a warrior who found out the hardest battles are the ones in his heart. A love story of two people who will lose something by being alone and gain something by being together. But most important of all, it’s the story of a boxer who wanted to know if, like his father and mentor before him, he can go the distance.

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Sheba, Baby (1975)

“Tell me, before you lose your head!” – Sheba, Baby (1975)

I suppose I should start by saying that I love Pam Grier in every film she’s in. There’s something about the way she looks, smiles and threatens and then carries out threats to shoot people. You can see her working everything out beforehand. But the films she does are not always as good. Case in point, Sheba, Baby.

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