Apparently turning 21 entails a shaggy-dog story of misadventures including tampon-scoffing, runaway balls and concluding your alcoholic enlightenment with a circumcision by teddy bear. 21 & Over screams, or rather drunkenly hollers, ‘live life to the fullest!’
The Fast & Furious films have to be one of the more interesting franchise stories. Blowing out the gate with the mediocre original before going off the boil with two pretty terrible sequels, it was given the breath of life by director Justin Lin and with the best instalment of the lot Fast & Furious 5. It became a global money-spinner, and thus with the melodrama turned up, the overly macho series rolls coolly into its London-based sixth episode, Fast & Furious 6.
Timing they say, is everything. Imagine director and co-writer Mike Cahill’s reaction when he found out that his bold, low-fi science fiction drama Another Earth was to be released mere weeks after Lars von Trier‘s similarly themed Melancholia. You wait for a neat, original idea for ages and then the same one appears in two films in two weeks. Even more frustrating for Cahill and his lead star and other co-writer Brit Marling is that theirs is the lesser of the two films. That’s not to say that it’s bad though, far from it in fact.
Dead Man Down revolves around Victor (Colin Farrell), a bodyguard for a vicious kingpin named Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who has been receiving various letters with parts of pictures, notes, and various other threats, and is slowly closing in on them. Victor must unravel the secret of who is threatening his boss, why, and how it connects to a mysterious woman (Noomi Rapace), who has taken an unusual interest in him.
In 2007 director Michael Bay took the formerly popular children’s toy franchise Transformers and turned it into a multi-million dollar film franchise. With the success of the first, a sequel was immediately green-lit and Bay given the reigns once again. Having introduced the main characters in the first film, he took the opportunity to expand the Universe considerably in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
When I sat down to watch William Eubank’s Love last night, I wondered how this film had escaped my notice. I usually keep abreast of these things and, in particular, I am a sucker for lofty existential science fiction. Then again, even as such productions go, Love has an added layer of obscurity to it. Produced by a band (Angels & Airwaves), with a vaguely all-encompassing title and a shoestring budget, it is something of an oddity.
When JJ Abrams announced that he was going to reboot the Star Trek franchise, few could have imagined just how spectacularly he would have succeeded. Taking the term ‘reboot’ seriously, he created an alternative timeline in which the established narrative could be bent, modified and in some cases obliterated. Star Trek Into Darkness builds upon this idea and presents a fully-fledged adventure for the crew of the USS Enterprise.
Some films have the good fortune to be massive commercial successes on their release, while others find an audience after some time, usually being tagged ‘cult classics.’ Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters has managed to achieve both feats. Based on a small part of the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman and blessed with a great young cast, while boasting a script from Tina Fey and production by Saturday Night Live impresario Lorne Michaels it proved a commercial success on release, making just shy of $130m from a tiny budget of $17m. Since its release it has become a firm favourite at independent cinemas, like The Prince Charles Cinema, who often run a Mean Girls Quote-along from the increasingly avid fan base.
Don’t you just hate it when an unscrupulous pharmaceutical company continues experimenting with DNA and create some super-hybrid beast? Transgentec have been meddling with nature and have ‘accidentally’ created a species of giant, fire-breathing insects that look basically like big wasps (hence Dragon Wasps). A scientific expedition enters the jungles of Belize and find said colony and some bad stuff happens, although not nearly as much as you’d expect.
Released in the same year as The Lost Coast Tapes, this features a similar premise, namely a found-footage style horror film with a documentary about bigfoot as the premise for why the protagonists go into the woods. It also follows path laid down by The Blair Witch Project with the early sections interviewing townsfolk to set up the plot, then the expedition into the woods, an expedition which goes predictably wrong.