Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and sees the long awaited return of Jonny Depp as the infamous yet loveable Captain Jack Sparrow. In this fifth instalment of the ever so mischievous thieves we see an unlikely team of heroes, villains and pirates embark on a journey to discover the legendary trident of Poseidon.
In contradiction to the international title; dead men definitely do tell tales. In this fourth outing the pirates series may not be able to recapture the true magic of the first two but definitely delivers its best film since 'Dead Man's Chest'. An experience with the whole family in mind - unlike the previous films in the seven seas saga - gallons of rum aren't needed to ease away the pain of this romp.
Salazar's Revenge has the wit, the characters and the story to sail itself through some choppy waters. There are various reasons why Pirates 5 postpones the series from lowering the anchor for good - and it's not just the ingenious concept of zombie sharks and bottomless ships. Much like Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant, a new breeze blows through the franchise with a fresh set of heroes and an advancement in its evolving story.
It takes its time to settle the characters, but after an action packed opening they knit together a cohesive enough story to deliver another lively adventure across the oceans. That said there are the usual overplayed jokes and unnecessary plot points - whilst more light could have been shed on the main story of Poseidon's trident, but never mind...
What can also be felt across the entire adventure is the true energy and excitement of each cast member. Depp - as usual - owns his role of the drunken (in this, very drunken) tongue in cheek scallywag. Geoffrey Rush does as best as he can whilst roped to the script as the barbaric Barbossa; young Scodelario too adds a feisty empowering female to the roster.
In the end Pirates: Salazar's Revenge may pose as an all out ending but instead of concluding the series shunts it into new, more exotic waters. At times it can feel tired, struggling from slow middle sections and senseless one liners such as 'spaghetti wolves' that can only be laughed at - unintentionally of course. All in all this does the near impossible job of bringing back the virtually shipwrecked franchise and delivers another exhilarating adventure with new protagonists and the welcome return of old ones. Also stay for the end credit scene - and it is a long wait - it will definitely excite you for the next voyage
I am going to give Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge:
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam as Arthur - plus a much heralded cameo from David Beckham. One day Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and must continue his father's legacy, whist a power hungry uncle gains supremacy over his kingdom.
Certain styles of film work in most cases: see Matthew Vaughn's 'Kingsman' and Wachowski Brother's 'The Matrix'. In this latest Ritchie romp we see his iconic style forced into the moody middle ages. It worked for British Gangsters, it worked for 60's spies - heck - it even worked for the most famous detective in history. However, Ritchie's style forced all over a period piece fantasy creates a truly insufferable experience.
Don't go in with any expectations, just prepare for a Batman V Superman level of disappointment. Go in taking it with a pinch of salt and you might come out with something. Ritchie brings to the table - no pun intended - an uneven mix between contemporary and past. It's not so much the visuals or the action sequences but the utter disregard for the Arthurian legend. Not even as much as a nod - or a sword swish if you will - is taken to the magical world of Camelot.
Hunnam offers many things as our primitive hero - weak acting, arrogance and above all a very dodgy accent. He shouldn't take the full brunt however, as he doesn't have much script to work with. King Arthur is written with about as much talent as a performing monkey; it's pure cheese, ridiculousness and thoughtlessness. The main gripe that aside from its many faults it still isn't enjoyable. Though it doesn't take itself too seriously it doesn't have enough charm or tongue in cheek style for the audiences to have fun.
In the end King Arthur is a clumsy cluster of the odd impressive action scene and Guy Ritchie's usual masterful film craft. It combines cheap script writing and less than mediocre acting into one giant romp, that is hard to even enjoy. Its scrappy editing, thin plot and forgettable execution, King Arthur embarrasses not only itself but the once remarkable Arthurian legend it has used as inspiration
I am going to give King Arthur: Legend of the Sword:
Colossal is directed by Nacho Vigalondo, staring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. The eccentric story of Gloria; an alcoholic who moves back home from New York as she tries to gather her life back together. Upon her arrival back home she learns a Godzilla esque monster is rampaging through Seoul only later to discover- somehow- she is the monster.
In 2006 we saw her work for a monster; now in 2017 we see Hathaway become the monster. Well past her glory days writing for Runway, Hathaway dresses down on this occasion to become the intoxicated burnout Gloria. Strongly lead, Colossal reminds us our love for the perky actress as she adds more cards to her playing hand with this wacky yet fresh performance. Complimented by fantastic supporting talents - especially from Sudeikis - Colossal starts with eccentric energy but ultimately falls victim to the classic 'it's all about the journey, not the destination'.
The film makes immense efforts to do big things with its wacky premise; particularly with a not so colossal budget of 15 million dollars. However there isn't enough weirdness or energy to allow the film to be anything truly special. Colossal sets out as the zany comedy as promised but ends up not knowing what exactly it wants to be, so we are given a dry indie comedy that neither surprises nor concludes.
This bizarre picture has good intentions and creates a believable character and story but the end result just isn't that special. Unusually it gives us too much of Hathaway's relationship and not enough of her interactions with the monster. About half way through the film, it starts too loose focus on its main point and ultimately becomes something completely different than it first intended.
In the end Colossal starts small and aims big but ultimately starts big and ends small. Loosing focus at odd points and consisting mainly of dry humour. It has a few monstrous moments but there is a lot of thought to come from Colossal. Even if it doesn't end up the instant classic that was promised.
I am going to give Colossal:
Alien Covenant is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. A sequel to Prometheus but still a distant prequel to 79's Alien, we see the crew of colony ship Covenant detour from their journey to answer a distress call. As things take a gruesome turn, they discover horrors lurking beyond the tranquil lakes and meadows of wild wheat they find on arrival.
Once again Ridley Scott delivers a brilliant, terrifying work of art that props itself nicely between the shoulders of past Alien films. You would think you can only go certain lengths from the ground breaking phycological sic-fi/horror within the depths of space, However Scott's latest work offers distinctive twists with a fresh set of characters, ultimately taking the saga into an excitingly different direction.
Prometheus created an deep and philosophical look into the origin of the Alien series, even if it didn't supply fans with the desired bloodshed. Through Covenant however, the first film can be viewed in a completely different light, as we receive answers to the many outstanding questions which it posed but left unresolved. The film certainly doesn't hold back on the ghastly guts and gore either - terrifying but exhilarating - Scott introduces a back splitting, birth scene which makes John Hurt's iconic chest busting death look like an angry Colin the Caterpillar. Covenant isn't reliant on human slaughter alone though, as Scott's trademark style allows him to craft a truly chilling cinema experience.
There is the odd scene that seems as if its ripped straight from the original, but these play more as a gold plated homage than an instant copy or repetition. The underlying story of Covenant allows for some unexpected thought on the subject matter of Creation and Evolution, taking a deeper look into themes Prometheus started to explore. Katherine Waterston fills in the spot of pre Ellen Ripley incredibly well - delivering a very emotional and physical performance. All that being said Fassbender is the glue, the binding that holds every key element of the film perfectly in place.
With Covenant we are given the best of both worlds; horror and story, and an impressive balance between action and plot. Scott's groundbreaking cinematography makes everything look believable, stunningly beautiful, and delivers absolutely his most impressive visual work since 82's Blade Runner.
In the end Scott creates another chilling, slaughter fest that adds new ideas to the saga. The Crew may be as expendable as the putty men in Power Rangers, but with a constant eerie atmosphere and brutal deaths this is by far the scariest Alien film to date. Let's just say you don't want to be buying popcorn this time around...
I am going to give Alien Covenant:
Mindhorn is directed by Sean Foley and stars Julian Barratt, Essie Davis and Steve Coogan. BBC's latest non television picture, features an ungracefully aged actor passed his glory days of 80's television, who has seemingly been recalled back into the lime light in order to help investigate the notorious Kestrel killer.
Mindhorn had the potential to be an explosion of cult chuckles however its fuse never fully ignites. Initially its few gags and 80's cheese barely scrapes the film through. With an almost Partridge-esque performance, Barratt creates a likably narcissistic lead set against the back drop of a fairly disposable story. Mindhorn does a decent job in creating a fake yet strangely believable 80's romp that almost asks if it actually existed at the time. Aside the odd scatter of retro British gags, the film plays it too safe and doesn't bear nearly as much silliness a spoof should have.
On the other hand, Mindhorn never takes itself too seriously, although it doesn't tickle the ribs in ways most comedy's nowadays often do. It even goes as far to poke fun at it's location - resulting in the potential uproar of Isle of Man residents. Who guessed it could take the brunt of most of the film's jokes but also play as such a picturesque setting, Mindhorn makes Isle of Man look almost as beautiful as the gleaming red Jaguar XJS. In some sense it's as if the film is juxtaposed next to the car. One a veteran fast moving speed demon, the other, a sluggish story that doesn't really go anywhere, almost feeling like a dry Sunday TV special.
In the end, unfortunately Mindhorn is dull and generic - a bit like the faded star its based upon. It may offer the odd laugh and some acceptable performances, but no matter how much get up and go Mindhorn has it can't escape the fact its so unbearably misses the mark.
I am going to give Mindhorn:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.