Rampage (2018)

Rampage“Big Meets Bigger”

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.

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Upside Down (2012)

So, if he’s Adam, is she God?

“Two worlds. One future.” (The English taglines are a real letdown compared to the French ‘And if love were stronger than gravity?’)

Directed by Juan Diego Solanas
Starring Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst and Timothy Spall

Adam and Eden are childhood sweethearts, pulled apart by false accusations, different social status, and the fact that they live on opposing planets in a binary world in which any given thing is only subject to the gravity of one world.

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Ready Player One (2018)

In the novel, the real identities of various characters are kept as a surprise. Cinema doesn’t roll that way.

“A Better Reality Awaits*”

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Thwaite, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance and Hannah John-Kamen

In 2045, with much of the world in the proverbial toilet, vast swathes of the population spend their lives in the OASIS, a vast, persistent virtual reality universe. On his death, the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Rylance), set a challenge: The person who discovered three keys and clues leading to an Easter egg in the OASIS would inherit his personal estate and complete control of the system. Some years later, the search for the Egg is contested between freelance ‘Gunters’ like Wade Watts (Sheridan), known in the OASIS as Parzival, and his friend Aech (Thwaite), and the ‘Sixers’, almost literally faceless corporate goons employed by IOI, a company keen to monetise the OASIS, which they already use as an indentured labour camp for debtors.

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Isle of Dogs (2018)

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.

Ensemble.

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.

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Annihilation (2018)

“Fear What’s Inside”

Directed by Alex Garland
Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac

Biology professor Lena (Portman) is being questioned in an isolation lab. She recounts how she had been waiting a year for word of her soldier husband, Kane (Isaac), when he turned up almost literally out of the blue and then collapsed. She was abducted by government agents and delivered to a military operation called Southern Reach, studying a phenomenon called the Shimmer, a mysterious field covering an increasingly large area of the South.

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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

“Be a Warrior”

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.

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Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

“Rise Up”

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.

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Tomb Raider (2018)

“Her Legend Begins”

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.

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The Shape of Water (2017)

“A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times”

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.

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Black Panther (2018)

All Hail the King

Directed by Ryan Coogler
Starring Chadwick BosemanMichael B. JordanLupita Nyong’oDanai GuriraMartin FreemanDaniel KaluuyaLetitia WrightWinston DukeAngela BassettForest WhitakerAndy 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.

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A novelist's look at veterinary school, the writing process, and all art that inspires me. Also, I now apparently review bad movies and TV shows.

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Australian based film fan - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

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She knits. She watches movies.

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