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.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh Starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds
Animal trainer Scott Thorson (Damon) is introduced to the pianist and entertainer Liberace (Douglas) by film producer Bob Black (Bakula), who explains that, obvious as it is to the gay community, straight audiences have no idea that Liberace is gay.
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 Aleksander Bach Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hinds
Hitman began life as a series of successful computer games, in which the player controls Agent 47, the ‘perfect assassin’; six-four of shaven-headed, barcode tattooed white beefcake with the ability to disguise himself as a Chinese waiter. Using said mastery of disguise and an arsenal of weapons, the player must plan and execute an assassination to meet the terms of a contract. Some of the games have an ongoing plot i which a series of unconnected jobs add up to a conspiracy, but some are just a series of jobs, and their appeal is not story so much as the replay value inherent in trying various approaches to perfect each kill. The game series was first adapted into a movie in 2007. Hitman was a frankly appalling film in which 47 – played without engagement by Timothy Olyphant, fresh from critically acclaimed yet cancelled TV series Deadwood and with payments due on the mortgage – is betrayed by his superiors as part of an insanely moronic plot to seize control of Russia by treating the entire world as if they were idiots.
So, apparently someone at 20th Century Fox really believed in the potential of a Hitman movie, because despite a modest commercial success and critical mauling, and Timothy Olyphant going on record on the Nerdist podcast to confirm that bit about the mortgage, the collapse of a planned sequel, and the death of intended new Agent 47 Paul Walker, just eight years later they decided to reboot.
In this version, Agent 47 (Friend) is sent to assassinate the founder of the Agent programme, Petr Litvenko (Hinds) and his daughter, Katia Van Dees (Ware), for reasons that are never adequately explored, but possibly as part of a shadow war between two ideologically indistinguishable conspiracies. Katia is initially protected by international man of mystery John Smith (Quinto), before he is revealed as an agent for the Syndicate, the enemy of 47’s International Contracts Agency.
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 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 Bryan Singer Starring James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Issac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kody Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp and Ben Hardy
In ancient Egypt, the first mutant, En Sabah Nur is betrayed by his people as his consciousness is being transferred to the body of a mutant with healing powers (Isaac). Millennia later, his cult dig up the pyramid and trigger his revival, leading CIA agent Moira McTaggart (Byrne) to accept the suddenly offered aid of mutant expert Charles Xavier (McAvoy).
Directed by Jon Favreau Starring Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johanssen, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Lupita Nyong’o and Neel Sethi
A young boy (Sethi) is found by animals, named Mowgli and raised by the mother wolf Raksha (Nyong’o) in the jungles of India. When the water truce brings him into contact with Shere Khan (Elba), the tiger swears to kill him, and Mowgli agrees to leave the pack in the company of his mentor Bagheera (Kingsley) in order to protect them.
Directed by Zach Snyder Starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg and Gal Gadot
Bruce Wayne (Affleck) loses his family, then years later loses an office block and some bloke named Jack in the battle between Superman (Cavill) and Zod. 18 months later, Superman is framed for killing a bunch of terrorists to rescue Lois Lane (Adams), and both Wayne – alias the Gotham Bat – and rival industrialist Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) begin gunning for the Man of Steel and fighting for control of a rare material with the ability to harm Kryptonians.