Sometimes, I read an article which articulates something that I was struggling to frame in my own mind. In this case, it’s this article by Caroline Seide on the AV Club website, about feminist criticism. I advise you to go and read it, because it’s much better written than my blog ramblings; I’ll wait.
“The Ocean is Calling”
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Starring Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk
Moana (Cravalho) is the heir apparent to her father, Chief Tui of Motonui (Morrison). Her people live a life contained on their island, which provides all that they need… until the fish leave the sea around the island and the crops and coconuts begin to die. Always adventurous, Moana suggests fishing in the more dangerous waters beyond the reef, and then follows her grandmother’s (House) stories to take a boat from the long-forgotten voyaging past of the tribe, and seek for the demigod Maui (Johnson).
Directed by Uwe Boll (dive! dive!)
Starring Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff and Tara Reid
Amnesiac PI and occult investigator Edward Carnby (Slater) discovers a relic of the Abkani civilisation. Some dude in shades tries to nick it, but after a running gun battle in the heart of Somewheresburg, he deciphers the text on the artefact and discovers… something something awakening.
“A betrayal that couldn’t be forgiven.”
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 Tim Burton
Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench,
Samuel L. Jackson
Jake Portman (Butterfield) is a regular American (honest) loser, who connects better with his grandfather Abe (Stamp) than with his father (O’Dowd). When Abe dies, an apparent victim of a wild dog attack, and Jake believes that he sees a faceless giant looming in the bushes, his psychiatrist (Janney) suggests that it would do him good to go to the island in north Wales where his grandfather once lived in a children’s home, run – he always insisted to Jake – by a woman named Miss Peregrine who could turn into a bird, for the protection of children with extraordinary powers.
“Get ready for the next level”
Directed by Lee Tamahori
Starring Ice Cube, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss, Samuel L. Jackson
A commando team bust into the secret HQ of the xXx programme, killing everyone except station chief Agent Gibbons (Jackson) and technical comic relief Shavers (Michael Roof). Informed of the incident, the president (Peter Strauss) is determined that his State of the Union address must tackle the causes of such attacks by building up international relations, much to the chagrin of hawkish Secretary and obvious villain Deckert (Dafoe).
“A feast for the imagination”
Directed by Matteo Garrone
Starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones and John C. Reilly
Once upon a time, there was a Queen (Hayek) who could not bear a child. At the advice of a necromancer, the Queen’s husband (Reilly) slays a sea monster. The King is also killed, but the Queen eats the heart of the monster and is instantly pregnant. She and the virgin kitchen maid who cooks the heart give birth to identical boys even before the King’s funeral, attended by two other monarchs: a King (Cassel) whose appetites know no restraint, and another King (Jones) with a beloved daughter.
“Someone has to fix the problems”
Directed by Simon West
Starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland
Arthur Bishop (Statham) is a meticulous assassin who carries out carefully planned assignments which involve dressing up as chefs and jumping off bridges. when his mentor Harry (Sutherland) comes up on his hit list he goes through with it, but from a sense of guilt begins to bond with Harry’s son Steve (Foster) and teaches him to be a hitman as a means of channeling his rage.
“Who You Gonna Call?”
Directed by Paul Feig
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth
When the reemergence of her past involvement with paranormal research leads to the end of Erin Gilbert’s (Wiig) academic career, she unites with her childhood friend Abby (McCarthy), Abby’s new partner Holtzman (McKinnon) and streetwise history buff Patty (Jones) to find, trap and prove the existence of ghosts. As they confront various manifestations, however, they stumble onto the trail of Rowan (Neil Casey), a disaffected genius with a plan to boost the power of ghostly manifestations until the barriers between worlds fall.
“Get ready for the ultimate street fight!”
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.