Category Archives: 51-60%

Artemis Fowl (2020)

“Remember the Name”

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Starring Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad (Frozen II), Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie (Pan), Colin Farrell (Total Recall) and Judi Dench (Cats)

Eleven year old Artemis Fowl (Shaw) learns of the existence of the People, a civilisation of fairy beings living in a city close to Earth’s core, when his father, Artemis Sr. (Farrell) is kidnapped by a pixie named Opal Koboi, and his abductor demands Artemis provide ‘the Aculos’ in return for his father’s life.

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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn* (2020)

* aka Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, the title having been changed after a week in some sort of desperate hope that the poor opening was due to the title burying the lede rather than the studio opting to open an action movie in Febraury.

“Prey for Gotham”

Directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs)
Starring Margot Robbie (The Legend of Tarzan), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Gemini Man), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Hands of Stone), Rosie Perez (Riding in Cars with Boys), Chris Messina (Argo), Ella Jay Basco (feature debut), Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie) and Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin)

After breaking up with the Joker, Harley Quinn (Robbie) hits rock bottom, finally blowing up the chemical factory where she was ‘reborn’ in a symbolic rejection of his toxic influence on her life. This leaves her without the protection afforded by the fear Joker commands in the underworld, and everyone she ever wronged, in particular crime boss Roman Sionis (McGregor) and his henchan Zsasz (Messina) , comes gunning for her.

Continue reading Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn* (2020)

Joker (2019)

“Put on a happy face”

Directed by Todd Phillips
Starring Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator), Robert De Niro (The Intern), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Frances Conroy (The Dark is Rising) and Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)

Clown-for-hire and aspiring stand-up Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) lives with his mother, Penny (Conroy), but feels ignored by the world. Deeply troubled, but with his mental health support withdrawn due to budget cuts, his comedy unremarked and his efforts as a clown met with scorn and violence, he falls into a scenario where he ends up shooting three bullying rich kids on the subway. Finding solace in a new relationship with his neighbour, Sophie (Beetz), he begins to revel in his notoriety as the ‘clown killer.’

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Angel Has Fallen (2019)

“Loyalty is Under Fire”

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Starring Gerard Butler (Gods of Egypt), Morgan Freeman (Lucy), Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix Reloaded), Lance Reddick (John Wick), Tim Blake Nelson (Fantastic Four), Piper Perabo (Beverly Hills Chihuahua), Nick Nolte (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Danny Huston (Wonder Woman)

Struggling with the health impact of too many action blockbusters, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler) is faced with the possibility of a desk job and more time with his wife Leah (Perabo) and daughter, while his old army buddy Wade Jennings (Huston) is struggling to make ends meet with the US government no longer employing his PMC and totally not planning to betray his old buddy.

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

“Long Live the King”

Directed by Michael Dougherty
Starring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi

As Monarch struggles to maintain autonomy and funding against governments keen to shut them down and, as it were, Destroy all Monsters, a research base led by Dr Emma Russel (Farmiga) is attacked by ecoterrorists led by Alan Jonah (Dance). She and her daughter Madison(Brown) are kidnapped, while their subject, Mothra, escapes and goes into a cocoon.

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Hellboy (2019)

“Raise some Hell”

Directed by Neil Marshall
Starring David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Hayden Church

In the European dark ages, a war between humanity – represented by Arthur and Merlin – and the supernatural – led by the ‘Blood Queen’ Viviane Nimue (Jovovich) – ends with the latter’s dismemberment and burial in scattered locations, as explained in a narration almost identical to the one from the New Year’s Doctor Who episode, but with more swearing. Centuries later, monster and monster-puncher Hellboy (Harbour) is sent to rescue a fellow agent of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence, only to find him turned into a vampire and gasping out final words about ‘the end.’

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Alita: Battle Angel

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“An Angel Falls. A Warrior Rises.”

Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson

Three hundred years after a war known as the Fall, a mysterious cyborg girl (Salazar) is discovered by Dr Dyson Ito (Waltz) in the discarded scrap from the last of the great sky cities, Zalem. He repairs her and gives her a name, Alita, but she has no memories.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

“The Legend You Know Has a Dark Side”

Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston
Starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman

In Victorian London, the Stahlbaum family is struggling. Benjamin Stahlbaum (MacFadyen) is lost without his deceased wife, and trying to hold things together for his children Louise, Fritz and Clara (Foy). Clara was closest to her mother, and spurns her father’s attempts to move on as she seeks to understand her mother’s last gift, an egg-shaped box containing ‘all she will ever need,’ with the help of her godfather Drosselmeyer (Freeman). Also, it’s Christmas.

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Robin Hood (2018)

“The Legend You Know. The Story You Don’t.”

Directed by Otto Bathurst
Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin and Jamie Dornan

Nice posh boy Robin of Loxley (Egerton) has his idyllic life with working class girlfriend Marian (Hewson) interrupted when he is drafted for the Crusades against the Arabs. After five years, Robin tries to prevent the execution of an Arab civilian, and his commanding officer, Guy of Gisbourne (Paul Anderson), gives him a blighty wound which, miraculously, doesn’t develop gangrene.

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Venom (2018)

“The world has enough Superheroes.”

Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott and Jenny Slate

A spaceship owned by the Life Foundation – who are not even a little bit evil, really – cashes in Malaysia and an alien lifeform escapes, moving between individuals it uses as hosts. Life Foundation CEO Carlton Drake (Ahmed) recovers four other lifeforms and uses the homeless as subjects to experiment on. Journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy) confronts Drake on this, and Drake has Eddie and his soon-to-be-ex-fiancée Anne (Williams), a lawyer working on a Life Foundation defence case, fired.

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