Blast from the Past – Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

“It’s nothing personal.”

Directed by James Cameron (The Terminator)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (End of Days), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick (From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money) and Joe Morton

In the reasonably distant future of 2029, the AI Skynet sent two Terminators back in time to eliminate resistance leader John Connor. One was sent to 1984, to kill John’s mother and mentor, Sarah Connor (Hamilton), before he could even be born; the second was sent to kill the young John Connor (Furlong) in 1995, if the first should fail.

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Blast from the Past – The Terminator (1984)

“In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created ‘THE TERMINATOR’

Pithy.

Directed by James Cameron
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan the Barbarian, Terminator: Genisys), Michael Biehn (Abyss), Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), Paul Winfield and Lance Henriksen (seriously, have I really not reviewed a single movie with Lance Henriksen in?)

In the unimaginably far-flung future of 2029, with humanity on the verge of victory against a remorseless, mechanical foe, the Machines send an assassin back in time to destroy the leader of the human resistance. That leader is the unborn son of LA waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton), and the assassin is the unrelenting engine of death known as the Terminator (Schwarzenegger).

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold

“Explorer is her middle name”

Directed by James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass)
Starring Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight), Eugenio Derbez (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms), Michael Pena (Ant-Man), Eva Longoria, Jeff Wahlberg, Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) and Benicio del Toro (The Wolfman)

Ten years after her cousin and childhood BFF Diego (Wahlberg) travels to the city with his family, Dora (Moner) is sent to join him by her mother (Longoria) and father (Pena) when they set out to realise their long search for Parapatta, an Incan city filled with gold.

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Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

“This time, there is no team.”

Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2)
Starring Dwayne Johnson (Rampage, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Jason Statham (The Meg, Spy), Idris Elba (The Dark Tower), Vanessa Kirby (Mission Impossible: Fallout, Kill Command), Helen Mirren (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms) and Eliza Gonzales (Baby Driver)

Nigh-unstoppable super-soldier Brixton (Elba) and his magical motorbike interrupt an MI6 mission in the heart of London to try to steal a supervirus, killing all of the agents bar one (Kirby), who escapes after injecting the virus into herself in slowly-dissolving plot-delivery devices, but is framed as the thief. The CIA tap DSS Agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and rogue former MI6 operative Deckard Shaw (Statham) to retrieve the virus, and the surviving agent, who is revealed to be Shaw’s sister Hattie.

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

“An evil army to fight, a demon to slay, a world to save. No pressure.”

Directed by Joe Cornish
Starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Doris, Rebecca Ferguson, Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart

Alex (Serkis) is a twelve year old boy, struggling alongside his friend Bedders (Chaumoo) with school bullies Lance (Taylor) and Kaye (Doris). Chased onto a building site, he discovers a sword in a block of concrete, thus becoming rightwise king of England. Soon, a new boy arrives and explains that he is Merlin (Imrie, or sometimes Stewart), and that Alex needs to rally his forces against the undead armies of the long-bound sorceress Morgana (Ferguson).

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The Current War (2017*)

“Power Changes Everything

Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Hoult

In the latter years of the 19th century, a feud arises as quixotic entrepreneur Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) and industrial titan George Westinghouse (Shannon) clash over the supply of electric lighting and power. Edison has the superior electric bulbs, Westinghouse’s alternating current can supply power over a longer distance; Westinghouse seeks collaboration, but Edison is determined to retain sole control.

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Rebourne: The Lion King (2019)

“Find your place in the circle of life.”

Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones

The Original

Touted at the time as Disney’s first original feature film, The Lion King was the fifth film in the Disney Renaissance, and the most successful offering of that period by a substantial margin, as well as playing a substantial role in the spread of major animation studios such as Dreamworks Animation. The film is a coming of age adventure, folowing young lion Simba (Matthew Broderick) as he grows up in exile and returns to face his wicked uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) and avenge the murder of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones). It caught a storm of controversy over similarities to Kimba the White Lion, the English language dub of a Japanese anime film called Jungle Emperor Leo, but remains one of the iconic products of the House of Mouse.

The Remake

In 2019, The Lion King became the latest movie from the Disney back-catalogue to receive a ‘live-action’ remake, directed by the man who did the same to The Jungle Book. I use sarcastic quotes because, unlike the 2016 The Jungle Book, there is no human presence, and in fact what we have is almost – or perhaps actually – entirely computer animation.

Simba (JD McCrary) is the son of Mufasa (Jones) and Sarabi (Woodard), the King of the Pridelands and the leader of the lionesses who hunt for and defend the pride. While Mufasa and his adviser the hornbill Zazu (Oliver) try to guide Simba towards a positive model of altruistic monarchy, his brooding uncle Scar (Ejiofor) plots to seize power.

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