With its above-average cast and a gritty, realistic tone, this exorcism thriller is a lot more involving than most. Not only is it packed with demonic mayhem, but the complex characters make the drama much punchier, setting up the audience for several big jolts. Even so, the plot builds slowly, finally reaching its most intriguing twist right at the very end, so the credits start rolling just as things get properly riveting.
The title refers to a secret archive under the Vatican run by Cardinal Bruun (Peter Andersson) and his assistant Imani (Djimon Hounsou). It contains files and lots of tapes of demonic possession, including scenes of 30-year-old Angela (Olivia Taylor Dudley). She has a happy life with her cute boyfriend Pete (John Patrick Amedori) and tough-but-kind dad Roger (Dougray Scott), but starts acting a bit strange whenever a raven is nearby. As her behaviour gets more erratic, she is assisted by Father Lozano (Michael Pena), who takes a personal interest in her case. But things spiral far beyond Lozano's expertise, so he calls the Vatican for help. And when Bruun arrives in America to meet Angela in person, he's unnerved to discover that this might not be a demon: she could be the Antichrist.
The screenplay cleverly weaves in news reports and current events to make everything that happens feel grounded in real life. As it continues, the biblical and fantastical flourishes intriguingly fit into this context, while director Mark Neveldine delays tipping over into effects-based action until the final act. This means that the film quietly unnerves the audience from the start, using CCTV footage and some enjoyably scary touches that add to the atmosphere. As a result, the actors are able to flesh out their characters. Dudley gives Angela a strong personality that lingers even after the presence inside her starts to take over. As the three priests, Pena, Andersson and Hounsou don't have much to do, but they add subtle details to their scenes.
Continue reading: The Vatican Tapes Review
Natalie Pinkham - Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone - Race Day - Silverstone, United Kingdom - Sunday 5th July 2015
Since the death of Christ, the Vatican has been doing all it can to record and suppress the growing number of possessions and exorcisms. Though a constant battle with the Devil has been raging for over 2000 years, he has yet to show his true face to the followers of God. They know only one thing - he could possess any living human being, seemingly randomly. When a young woman is found to be showing the symptoms of possession, two priests are sent from the Vatican, one being Father Lozano (Michael Peña), to find an exorcise the woman before the Devil can take a true hold of her, and begin his attack upon the mortal world.
Continue: Vatican Tapes Trailer
For their seventh adventure, the Fast & Furious cast and crew continue to outdo themselves with mind-boggling stunt driving and outrageous action mayhem, this time infusing everything with emotion as a way of honouring late actor Paul Walker. The rip-roaring pace and more internalised drama combine effectively to create a riotous thrill ride that might actually bring a lump to the throat. Even if it's all utterly preposterous, it's solidly entertaining.
Things pick up right where Part 6 left off, with former black-ops killer Deckerd Shaw (Jason Statham, who else?) determined to avenge his fallen brother. As he tracks them down, Dominic and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) have reassembled their team (Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) to take a job with shady government agent Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell). Their target is the even shadier villain Jakanda (Djimon Hounsou), who has kidnapped a genius hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) to get his hands on her all-seeing gadget. But Shaw is on their trail as they track Jakanda to the mountains of Azerbaijan, and he interrupts their mission there as well as in the deserts of Abu Dhabi and the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
The double-edged premise offers all kinds of opportunity for plot twists, but of course the main point of these movies is to create increasingly insane set-pieces. This time, the film opens with Brian explaining to his young son that cars can't fly, after which director James Wan proves otherwise, flinging our heroes' hot rods into the sky from airplanes, tower blocks and cliff tops. Amazingly, they seem able to steer even in mid-air! But never mind, it looks so painfully cool that there's little do do but sit back and enjoy the chaos, knowing that even though a flashy vehicle is destroyed every minute, there's a newer, more awesome car coming in the next scene.
Continue reading: Furious 7 Review
The sins of London have followed them home. After throwing Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) out of a cargo plane, his brother, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), is out for revenge. When Shaw kills Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang) in a brutal car-crash, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) are forced back behind the wheel for one last ride, in order to find the man who killed their friend before he can get to them. This investigation will see the team dropping their cars out of planes and driving between buildings to prove that they are the Furious 7.
Continue: Furious 7 - Super Bowl TV Spot
There's ever more death-defying stunts to be had with this crack team of vehicular warriors, who reunited after a brief retirement when DSS agent Luke Hobbs enlisted them to help catch former soldier Owen Shaw and stop his rampage of terrorism. After he is spectacularly defeated, the team, led by Dominic Toretto, are faced with another potentially fatal situation as his brother Ian Shaw is dead-set on revenge. Somehow, the team find themselves parachuting from an aeroplane in their respective cars, hanging off the edge of cliffs and various other deadly exploits as Shaw and his men ruthlessly hunt them down. Danger and disaster might be what these guys live their lives by, but have the team finally met their match?
Continue: Fast & Furious 7 Trailer
By refusing to follow the usual formula, filmmaker James Gunn has made Marvel's best-yet movie, a summer action-adventure that provides more cinematic fun than the rest of the year's blockbusters rolled into one. It's shamelessly entertaining, keeping the focus on sparky characters even as the action spirals into exhilarating set-pieces around them. And the best thing is that the film isn't actually about the big plot: it's about a group of people who should hate each other but instead come together as a team.
In a pre-logo sequence set in 1988 America, a young boy is kidnapped by aliens. Some 25 years later, Peter (Chris Pratt) has become an ace thief who roams the galaxy in search of cash. Curious and charming, he can get himself out of most scrapes, but when he collects a mysterious orb for a client he ends up as the target of two bounty hunters, the raccoon-like Rocket and tree-like Groot (voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel). And the villainously destructive Ronan (Lee Pace) sends his best fighter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to get the orb for his own nefarious plan. Rounded up and thrown into prison, Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot stage a daring escape with the help of literal-minded muscleman Drax (Dave Bautista), then must work together to deal with this troublesome orb. So they contact Peter's mentor/nemesis Yondu (Michael Rooker) before taking on Ronan and his second-best fighter, Gamora's half-cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).
Gunn gives the film a look and tone unlike anything in the Marvel universe, with colourful ships, sassy humour and freewheeling action that propels the story and deepens the character at the same time. It also makes the most of the well-worn 1980s mixtape Peter uses as his own personal soundtrack. It's the kind of riotously thrill ride that makes us hold on for dear life, loving every twist and turn. And since it's so tightly focused on the characters, the action plot involving the orb merely adds texture around the edges. As do terrific actors like Glenn Close and John C. Reilly in small but pivotal roles.
Continue reading: Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Bigger and even richer than the terrific 2010 hit animation, this sequel is also quite possibly the best action-adventure movie of the year. Not only are its big set-pieces thrillingly rendered with first-rate special effects, but the characters are complex and involving. And the script effortlessly combines jagged wit, youthful exuberance, heart-stopping romance and even some rather bleak emotions.
Five years have passed since Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) discovered his ability to interact with dragons, specifically his inseparable pal Toothless, bringing a new era of dragon-related fun to the small Viking island of Berk. But now his father Stoick (Gerard Butler) is talking about passing on the mantel of chief to Hiccup, and he's not sure he's ready for that. He'd much rather be out zooming over the ocean exploring uncharted lands. Then on one of his trips he encounters a group of dragon hunters led by Eret (Kit Harington), who is helping the notorious villain Drago (Djimon Hounsou) build an army. But this leads Hiccup to an even more startling discovery: his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) turns out to be alive and running a secret sanctuary for dragons. Can they team up to stop Drago?
It's a rare film that manages to work equally well in the quiet moments as in the massive spectacle, but writer-director Dean DeBlois never wobbles at all. Without ever manipulating the audience, he seamlessly shifts from tear-inducing happiness to soaringly thrilling battle action to agonising emotional pain. The coming-of-age plot may feel familiar, but it's packed with fresh touches, hilarious observations and some surprising twists and turns along the way.
Continue reading: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review
After having tweaked the movie to allow for Paul Walker's death, Universal have pulled the 'Fast & Furious 7' release date forward by a week.
The release date of the next Fast & Furious movie has been pulled forward by a week from the 10th April to the 3rd April 2015, Universal Pictures has announced. According to THR, the decision was made to allow the action sequel to have "more international playdates."
The movie was originally scheduled for release this summer but actor Paul Walker's tragic death last November meant the filmmakers had to reconfigure some of the scenes he was scheduled to shoot. Walker died in a high speed Californian car crash along with his friend Roger Rodas and was killed instantly on collision with roadside obstacles.
Walker will still be featured in Fast 7 but some of his scenes will have been edited to account for his unfinished filming. He will be seen starring alongside franchise returners Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster.
Peter Quill runs into some trouble when he discovers an unusual looking orb that happens to be hunted by the merciless admiral Ronan and his army of miscreants. He is an Earthling; an unusual race within his neighbourhood in which he grew up after being removed for his home planet as a child. Naming himself the Star-Lord, he likes to think he's one heck of a superhero - but he's about to meet his match (or should we say 'matches'?). After being arrested by Ronan's people, he is greeted by four other alien outlaws. First there is the enormous Drax the Destroyer who is determined to use his supernatural strength to avenge his murdered family; then there's cyborg Gamora, the daughter of Thanos (an even bigger villain in this story); Rocket, a psychotic gun-toting raccoon; and half-man half-tree Groot. They may be distrustful of each other, but they've got to stick together if they want to save the universe from certain annihilation.
Since when did superhero films have to be serious? Marvel apply comedy to comics with 'Guardians Of The Galaxy', which is based on the original comics by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. The movie has been directed by James Gunn ('Super', 'Slither', 'PG Porn') and co-written by Nicole Perlman and is due for UK release on July 31st 2014.