Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Studios)

Have the wheels of the Marvel juggernaut finally begun to wobble? Avengers Age of Ultron (or AAoU) isn’t bad per se, but it feels closer to the Guardians of the Galaxy end of the quality spectrum than Winter Soldier. The Marvel standard plot points are all present (large object plummeting to earth in the finale, weak villain motivation and a desire to shoehorn in every shout out / set up possible) at the expense of everything that made the first film so much fun (witty characterisation, dialogue etc.,). That’s even before you note some of the dodgy politics creeping in (explained in spoilers).

Seriously, whoever thought that “Unable to have a child = Monster” was a message to include in a film like this needs having words with (as well as showing a map of the world, seriously the coast of Africa is a big place, maybe you need to pin point the location a little bit more). Continue reading “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Guardians of the Galaxy

Is there a longer, more nuanced cut of Marvels latest juggernaut? One that doesn’t sacrifice plot and characterisation for empty spectacle and a desire to set up a larger franchise? Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t Transformers / Sucker Punch bad, but it is a major disappointment given the likeable popcorn nature of Marvels previous film, uneven in tone and lacking in the charm that moved along the others. Whilst I’ve generally been able to forgive the minor problems with previous Marvel films, here they are too apparent in a move to create a marketing experience rather than a cohesive film.

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Is Prometheus the most disappointing film of the summer?

(Warning: Lots of spoilers for the film Prometheus, you have been warned!)

So, has there been a more disappointing summer film than Prometheus? Ridley Scott’s much anticipated, much hyped return to the Alien universe has arrived more with a damp squelch than the anticipated thud, with many criticising the shaky plot and characterisation as the worst offenders. The truth is, no film would have been able to live up to the hype, but even with that caveat Prometheus emerges as such a gigantic mess that’s difficult to argue that it’s even half the film it promised to be.

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Lockout – so bad it remains bad…

Bad script, flat direction, terrible (bordering on appalling) pacing, bad effects and sheer stupidity throughout, Lockout may have been competing for the worst film I’ve seen at the cinema (it certainly is the worst thing I’ve seen at the cinema this year, but there’s still time for worse) were it not for one small sliver chink of light – Guy Pearce.

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Another Thing

Friday night saw me drag myself to the cinema for a late night showing of The Thing, the sort of prequel to, well, The Thing (although most people think of that has John Carpenter’s The Thing, so they’re not counting on false advertising). Two hours later I emerged decidedly pissed off having seen an absolute travesty of a film that jettisoned everything that was good about the original remake (I can never remember if it’s the first or second remake of the Hawks film) in favour of the all that is unholy in modern horror.

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All aboard for the misogynistic train wreck…


Warning, this review contains spoilers – although to be honest they’re that well signposted that they might as well be labelled “Things that are so bloody apparent in the first ten minutes that you might as well hand out cards with ending on to all patrons and save their time in watching this train wreck”. Yes, Sucker Punch is not merely bad, bad is not a strong enough word. Sucker Punch is truly fucking awful.

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Tron Legacy

Geek card on the table – I was never really that much of a fan of the original Tron. Sure, there’s a hell of a lot of innovation there but it’s never going to be mistaken for a masterpiece. Going into the sequel I had the same feeling – a massive jump in terms of technology but pretty much little else. My initial gut feeling was right.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I really wanted to like this film, really wanted to. It has a director (Edgar Wright) who seems to have struck a perfect line when creating characters that are likeable despite having some pretty major flaws and creating a pleasing bend of action with comedy. Throw in a dash of romance and it seemed to have the ingredients that would make this his best film yet. Technically it’s astounding and there’s clearly an abundance of imagination poured into every frame, but somewhere along the way everything that made Spaced, Shaun & Hot Fuzz such a joy seems to have been lost – heart.

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Clash of the Titans


2010 is beginning to feel a bit like a public service – I’m watching bad films in order that you don’t have to. I never really had any high hopes for Clash of the Titans, but I did sort of hope that it would be two hours of silly rock posturing and action scenes, unfortunately it isn’t.

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Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton would only appear capable of making films at either end of the quality spectrum. They are either bonkers yet brilliant (Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands) or dull & uninteresting (Planet of the Apes) – unfortunately Alice in Wonderland, a film that on paper has everything going for it, falls distinctly in the later category. Perhaps the project wasn’t actually suited for Burton, perhaps he’d have been better just producing it and influencing the visual style as with The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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