Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya Starring Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Cliff Curtis, Aksel Hennie, Ayelet Zurer and Tsuyoshi Ihara
The Ako incident was a historical event in feudal Japan, in which the forty-seven surviving retainers of Lord Asano Naganori took bloody revenge on the Imperial courtier who had their master dishonoured and executed. Fictionalised accounts of the event, known collectively as Chushingura, are a staple of Japanese literature, to the point that the true and fictional versions are difficult to disentangle. Hollywood finally copped to the story in 2013’s 47 Ronin. This film starred Keanu Reeves as the obligatory white character, although the rest of the cast was Japanese, and added fantastical elements. In 2015, a reimagining of the story was produced, with few Japanese cast and a mediaeval European aesthetic, but a Japanese director.
After a great war, an order of warriors emerged to protect an Empire, the Knights of the Seventh Rank.
Led by Commander Raiden (Owen), the retainers of Lord Bartok (Freeman) exemplify the code and honour of the knights in a time when they are in decline, with the Empire increasingly under the grasping hand of corrupt Minister Geza Mot (Hennie). Denied a bribe, Mot goads Bartok into striking him in order to have him executed and dishonoured, his retainers scattered and his family dispossessed.
My handle is happyfett, and I remember everything.
Actually, that’s blatantly untrue; memory like a sieve, and in fact I have typically found myself in a Dirty Harry style quandary regarding the Resident Evil movie franchise. Have I seen five movies, or just four? Well, for now at least I know, because with The Final Chapter coming out next year, in time for the franchise’s fifteenth anniversary, I’ve spent the past couple of days catching up as far as possible on the series. I couldn’t get the first and third movies easily, but I had already seen them.
So, here we go with a run down of the first five Resident Evil movies.
Directed by David Ayer Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevingne
In the wake of the second destruction of Metropolis and the death of Superman, government fixer Amanda Waller (Jones) proposes the formation of a team. Composed of ‘the worst of the worst,’ Task Force X is to be a deniable, disposable, arguably metahuman squad, for combating metahuman threats. Her top picks are: Deadshot (Smith), father of the year and world’s greatest sniper; Harley Quinn (Robbie), a ‘true wild card’; Captain Boomerang (Courtney), a bank robber with a boomerang; Diablo (Hernandez), an ex-gang banger with actual superpowers; and Killer Croc (Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a scaled giant. Rounding off the pick are existing assets Enchantress (Delavingne), a six thousand year old metahuman witch controlled by injuring her heart, which is in a box, and Rick Flag (Kinnaman), a special forces officer who is in love with Enchantress’ host, archaeologist June Moone.
Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos Starring Michael Sheen, Rhona Mitra and Bill Nighy
In ye olde Transylwherever (I’d say at least five centuries south of Captain Kronos, but it’s hard to say for sure,) the war between the savage werewolves and the corsetry-pioneering vampires wages on, despite the captivity of William, the first werewolf. Then the birth of an apparently human child to a captive werewolf leads to the creation of a new breed of immortal; the shapeshifting werewolves known as Lycans.
Directed by David Yates Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou and Christoph Waltz
In order to gain access to the diamond mines of Opar and save his King from bankruptcy, ruthless Belgian civil servant Leon Rom (Waltz) promises to deliver the title card to Mbonga (Hounsou), chief of the Leopard Men. Rom arranges for the Earl of Greystoke and former Tarzan (Skarsgard) to be invited to visit the Congo. Greystoke is all ‘whatevs’, but US attache George Washington Williams (Jackson) persuades him to go in order to root out Belgium’s double-secret slave trade, and his wife Jane (Robbie) insists on coming along to visit old friends.
Directed by Alex Proyas Starring Nikolaj Coster-Walder, Gerard Butler, Brendon Thwaites, Elodie Yung, Chadwick Boseman, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush
In Ancient Egypt, the gods live alongside humanity, but a little above, being as they are about twelve feet tall. When beloved commie monarch Osiris (Bryan Brown) retires and passes the crown to his son Horus (Coster-Walder,) the ceremony is interrupted by the desert god Set (Butler), who wrecks Horus in a fight and rips out his eyes. Set declares himself king and announces that he will be monetising the afterlife and throwing out Osiris’ ‘give what you can afford’ policy on offerings, enslaving the human population, including petty larcenist Bek (Thwaites) and his beloved Zaya (Eaton).
Directed by Duncan Jones Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu
The orc wizard Gul’Dan (Wu) promises to lead the Horde into a lush new world from their own dead one, by opening a portal powered by the lives of hundreds of prisoners. As the Horde descend on Azeroth, orc chief Durotan (Kebbell) begins to doubt Gul’dan, even as his magic restores Durotan’s stillborn son. As the knights of Stormwind begin to tool up with dwarf-made handguns, the orcs advance, and the young wizard Khadgar (Schnetzer) approaches Commander Lothar (Fimmel) with a warning that dire magic may be at work.
Directed by James Bobin Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen
After a three year spell of freedom captaining a ship around the world, the oppressive ways of England impel Alice (Wasikowska) to return to Underland, where she finds the Hatter (Depp) dying of melancholy and undertakes to borrow the Chronosphere from Time (Baron Cohen), a half-clockwork god whose great clock maintains the passage of time in Underland, and travel back in time to save his family from the Jabberwocky.
Directed by John Landis Starring… Well, no one really.
This film is not so much a single film as a series of sketches, including news and current affairs parodies, mock advertisements and movie trailers and spoof pornography. The longest single segment is A Fistful of Yen, a half hour parody of Enter the Dragon which ends up as a Wizard of Oz pastiche.
Directed Tom Green Starring Johnny Harris and Sam Keeley
When alien life-forms spread from Mexico to the Middle East, the active role of US forces stationed there in combating the aliens provokes local insurgency. Four friends from Detroit are dropped into the midst of this two-fronted campaign under the command of experienced sergeants Frater (Harris) and Forrest. When a search and rescue mission goes pear-shaped, Frater and the last surviving recruit, Michael (Keeley) are trapped, surrounded by unfriendly forces.