Directed by David Yates Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law and Johnny Depp
When Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) breaks out of custody during transport to Europe, the British Auror Office sets out to hunt him down in Paris (and writing this, I suddenly can’t work out why they are the ones apparently in charge of this.) Among the hunters are Theseus Scamander (Turner) and his fiancée Leta Lestrange (Kravitz), while US Auror Tina Goldstein (Waterson) tries to track down the obscurus Credence Barebones (Miller), who in turn is looking for his identity, with the aid of the cursed circus performer Nagini (Kim). Into all this comes Newt Scamander (Redmayne), sent by Albus Dumbledore (Law) to find Credence before anyone can kill him, or Grindlewald recruit him.
Directed by Joe Wright Starring Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Kathy Burke, Nonso Anozie and Amanda Seyfried
Okay, so first up, this movie has already been reviewed by Skerryflower, so I’m not going to go into detail about the opening sections. However, I think the movie broke her about twenty minutes in, so…
After the establishing sections in the London Blitz, Peter is kidnapped along with a large number of other children by pirates in a flying galleon, who whisk them through some sort of vortex to Neverland, where they are greeted by a freeform, acapella rendition of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ performed by Blackbeard (Jackman) and his child slaves, who mined Neverland for ‘pixum’ (like fairy dust, but mined as crystals,) which Blackbeard uses to stay young.
A man absconds from an institution in the dead of night, taking a group of children with him, but not his own son. Years later, the oldest of the children, Max (Evans) is their de facto leader and forces them to remain hidden. They are the Flock, a group of experimental hybrids of human and avian DNA, and as a result have fully functioning wings that retract fully into their skinny-ass teenage bodies and other bird-related powers, like enhanced hearing and telepathy. You know, like birds have.
“For Howard, things are about to get R’lyeh crazy.”
Directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly Starring Christopher Plummer, Ron Perlman, Jane Curtin, Sean Patrick O’Reilly and Kiefer O’Reilly
Howard Lovecraft (Kiefer O’Reilly) is a melancholy boy, troubled by his father’s descent into madness, which has left as his only caregiver a mother who thinks that taking a small child to visit his dangerously unstable father in an Arkhamesque asylum (it may in fact be the original Arkham Asylum) run by dodgy occultist snarkmeister Dr West (Plummer) is a grand plan. Likewise replacing a bedtime story with just handing him his father’s journal of increasingly deranged scribblings to read as he goes to sleep.
Directed by Ron Hulme Starring Jalal Merhi, Bolo Yeung, Monika Schnarre, Jamie Farr, Lazar Rockwood
Lyle (Merhi), a nice Lebanese-Canadian thirty-year-old grad student, falls into depression when his brother is murdered by drug dealers (or dies of an overdose; I wasn’t clear.) He drops his job at the family firm and postpones his wedding, angering his father (Farr) and fiancee (Schnarre), and goes to Hong Kong to study martial arts and earn the red sash of a master of arty martialness.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan Starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith
In the future, humanity has abandoned the ruin of Earth for the paradisical climes of Nova Prime. The evacuation was led by the United Ranger Corps, who later became the only line of defence against an alien aggressor who deployed as their first line of attack a breed of monsters that hunted humans by smelling their fear: the Ursa. To fight these creatures, the Prime Commander Cypher Raige (Smith) developed the ability to feel no fear, a technique known as ‘ghosting’.
“We had twenty years to prepare. So did they.” or “We always knew they’d be back.” or “The last attack was just the first.”
Finally, a movie that knows how to tagline!
Directed by Roland Emmerich Starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner, Sela Ward, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Deobia Oparei, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy and Travis Tope
In 1996, Independence Day blew up the White House and changed the face of summer event cinema, for better and for considerably worse. It set a new standard in bombastic speeches and civic devastation, and was a lot of fun. It became the second highest grossing film of all time, propelled SF into the mainstream and made destroying major landmarks cool. A sequel was an absolute no-brainer.
Flash forward two decades…
The Late Sequel
Twenty years after the 4th July defeat of the alien invasion, Earth is putting the finishing touches to its hybrid-tech defence grid when a new threat appears in a mothership that puts down over the Atlantic like a planetary beret and tries to drill out the planet’s molten core.
Directed by Steven E. de Souza Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Byron Mann and Wes Studi
In the South-East Asian republic of Shadaloo, an Allied Nations peacekeeping force commanded by Colonel Guile (Van Damme) is apparently acting as some sort of unilateral authority, ostensibly to battle the renegade warlord M Bison (Julia), but seemingly spending more of their time being rude to journalists like Chung-Li Zhang (Wen) and enforcing a curfew on the largely faceless citizens of Shadaloo City.
“From flesh to steel. From blood to blade. From man…to Spawn.”
Directed by Mark A. Z. Dippe Starring Michael Jai White, Martin Sheen, Nicol Williamson and John Leguizamo
Al Simmons (White) is a top operative for A-6, a government deniable black ops group with huge fricking signs on their building, run by Jason Wynn (Sheen) and his pet psychopath Priest (Melinda Clarke). When he learns that A-6 is using him to run ops with heavy civilian casualties, Simmons announces his intention to retire and marry his fiancee Wanda (Theresa Randle).Unsurprisingly, Wynn and Priest murder him up a treat.
Directed by Josh Trank Starring Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Michael B Jordan and Toby Kebbell
Child genius Reed Richards (Teller, or he will be when he grows up) builds a teleporter with the help of his friend Ben Grimm (Bell, again, once they grow up.) Dismissed by teachers throughout their lives, Reed is at last recruited by Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) to work on his interdimensional teleporter, along with his adopted daughter Sue (Mara) and tearaway son Johnny (Jordan), and the originator of Storm’s programme, grumpy Latverian Victor von Doom (Kebbell).