Directed by David Leitch Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna and Jack Kesy
Wade Wilson (Reynolds) – aka Deadpool – is living the dream, killing bad guys for cash and living it up with his girlfriend Vanessa (Baccarin). Everything else is spoilers, so let’s put the breakline in here.
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.
Avengers Infinity War is a film with a lot of hype to live up to. The nineteenth entry in the almost-exactly ten year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it reunites almost every major character from the previous films – there are four or five significant absences and a few minor ones – in a two and a half hour extravaganza. The clash with super-supervillain Thanos has been built up since the stinger of The Avengers (2012), while the Infinity Stones which form the driving force of the plot have been around since Captain America (2011) and were first named in Thor The Dark World (2013).
Against my usual custom, I’m not going straight into a full review. As with Arrival, I feel that this is a film significantly the better for going in without spoilers, so I’ll do the spoiler-filled analysis at a later date.
Directed by Brad Peyton Starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Joe Manganiello
In a stricken orbital lab, Dr Atkins (Marley Shelton) is forced by her boss, Claire Wyden (Åkerman), to retrieve biological samples before being allowed into an escape pod. She gets out, but a giant, mutant rat busts up the pod, which implodes on re-entry leaving the three sample cases to fall to Earth.
Directed by Wes Anderson Starring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Harvey Keitel, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, F. Murray Abraham, Yojiro Noda, Mari Natsuki, Yoko Ono and Frank Wood
Oh, hey; a Wes Anderson film with a sprawling, ensemble cast. If you enlarge it, the following image will tell you who plays who, for all the characters who won’t be directly mentioned in the synopsis.
In the not-too-distant future, the Mayor (Nomura) of the megalopolis of Megasaki pursues an ancestral grudge against dogs, by using an outbreak of dog flu as an excuse to quarantine all dogs on the aptly named Trash Island. When his nephew and ward Atari Kobayashi (Rankin) breaks quarantine to try to rescue his bodyguard dog, Spots (Schreiber), he falls in with a pack of ‘scary, indestructible alpha dogs’ – Chief (Cranston), Rex (Norton), Boss (Murray), Duke (Goldblum) and King (Balaban) – who lead him on a trek across Trash Island and into the territory of a band of reputedly cannibalistic feral dogs.
Directed by Ava Duvernay Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine
Meg Murray (Reid) isn’t having a good time of it. It’s been four years since her father (Pine) disappeared, leaving Meg, her mother (Mbatha-Raw), and her newly adopted, infant brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) to the whispers and rumours of neighbours and schoolmates, as well as their own doubts. Then Charles Wallace brings the stranges ‘Missuses’ into their lives, and ‘recruits’ Calvin (Levi Miller), a popular kid with a bit of a crush on Meg, to join them on a mission to rescue their father.
Directed by Steven S. DeKnight Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Zhang Jin and Charlie Day
Ten years after the closing of the Breach, the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps continues to guard against the return of the extradimensional Kaiju, while scavengers like Jake ‘Son of Stacker’ Pentecost (Boyega) and Amara Namani (Spaeny) scavenge derelict jaegers for profit or, in the latter case, to build her own mini-jaeger, the totally awesome Scrapper.
Directed by Roar Uthaug Starring Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas
Following the disappearance of Lord Richard Croft (West), his daughter Lara (Vikander) scrapes a living as a bike courier, since claiming her inheritance would involve legally recognising his death. Given a puzzle box by his lawyer (a wasted Derek Jacobi), she follows a trail of clues to a secret room under the family crypt, and a message from her father. After her mother’s death, he went all Arthur Conan Doyle and searched the world for evidence of the supernatural and life after death, leading at last to the Mother of Deaths.
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer
Elisa Esposito (Hawkins) is a mute who works as a cleaner at a government lab in Baltimore. She has little human contact, essentially her only friends being Giles (Jenkins), the closeted gay who lives next door, and fellow cleaner Zelda (Spencer). Her life is turned upside down when military hardman Strickland (Shannon) arrives with his new ‘asset’, an amphibian humanoid (Jones) whose respiratory system may hold the secret to space race victory. Isolated from other humans, Elisa is able to grow close to the asset.
Directed by Ryan Coogler Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
The African nation Wakanda is a super-advanced, technological power which masquerades as a Third World nation to avoid international attention, while imbedding spies in other countries. Some establishing scenes explain that four tribes founded the nation, while a fifth – the Jabari – opted out of the rule of the Black Panther, a warrior empowered by a ‘heart-shaped herb’ which, like much in Wakanda, was itself transformed by the arrival on Earth of a meteorite of the alien metal vibranium. We also see the former king, T’Chaka (Atandwa Kani, whose father John Kani plays the older T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War) coming to America to retrieve his brother N’Jobu, who sold out the country’s secrets to fund some nebulous criminal activity.