The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up out of nowhere and proved to be a smart and funny hit. Sadly, this sequel kind of misses the point of what made the first movie such a favourite: it opts to focus on corny gross-out gags rather than humour that's firmly rooted in the characters and story. And it also turns people who were complex and surprising into one-note cliches.
After five years, the beloved dimwit Doug (Seann William Scott) has been made captain of his Halifax hockey team, just as he meets his match in the shape of bullish newcomer Anders (Wyatt Russell), who happens to be the son of Doug's new team owner Hiram (Callum Keith Rennie). Sidelined by injury and with his wife Eva (Alison Pill) pregnant, he decides to retire and get a real job, no matter how soul-crushing it may be. But when Hiram makes Anders the new team captain, Doug can't sit by quietly any longer. To get back in shape, he turns to his former arch-rival Ross (Liev Schreiber), and they opt to train on the Bruised & Battered circuit, which features hockey fights without the game itself. Then when the team gets in trouble, they want Doug back.
Of course, what follows is a series of confrontations that are never as surprising as they should be. Instead, they are merely staged to provide a mix of violent thuggery in the rink tempered by some emotional fireworks at home. But the humour is never more than cartoonish, and the emotions are far too sentimental to believe. Characters feel soft and oddly safe for a film that needs to be a lot more anarchic. All of the lusty sex is gone, replaced with violence and macho posturing. At least the cast members still give it their all.
Continue reading: Goon: Last Of The Enforcers Review
Things have been tough for Brian (Bradley Cooper). Having been fired from the US Air Force for his cockiness, he lost his girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) by a chain of events he doesn't fully understand himself. But when he is recalled back into service by a boss that has a soft spot for him, Brian discovers that his life has to get an awful lot more complicated before it can get simpler. Tasked with overseeing the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii, Brian is put in charge of training Allison (Emma Stone) to be both a good pilot, and a valuable member of the air force. But as he begins to reconnect with Tracy, Allison begins to fall for him, leading to Brian having to truly figure out once and for all, just what it is that he wants.
Continue: Aloha - Teaser Trailer
The first went up against Avatar and slowly built a solid fan base
Back in early 2010 when the first How to Train Your Dragon was released, cinemas were still packed out with screenings of James Cameron's Avatar. And it took awhile for word of mouth to build around this animated dragon adventure. But those who saw the film understand that filmmakers Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders had somehow managed to take on the king of the cinematic world at his own game, making a movie that was just as thrillingly visual, with visceral action and earthy characters even though it's set in a fantastical environment.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Four years later, DeBlois is doing the same thing, taking on Marvel (The Avengers movies and spin-offs) and Hasbro (Transformers and G.I. Joe) at their own game by creating action sequences that are far more complex and coherent, and much more emotionally involving as well.
Continue reading: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 Ups The Ante
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
'How To Train Your Dragon 2' has already gained impressive critical reviews ahead of its release in the US today (13th June). The film is as impressive as the original but, in case you were faltering, here's 5 things you should know before you see it!
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is set to be released in US cinemas today (13th June) and in just over a month in the UK. Before you see it, here's 5 things you should know about How To Train Your Dragon 2:
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is released in the US today.
1. For Hiccup And Co. 5 Years Have Passed
Continue reading: 5 Things You Should Know About 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'
The most surprising thing about this comedy is that it's not very funny, but then it's not meant to be. This is a trippy odyssey into the mind of a drug-addled guy who thinks the world is falling apart around him. Sure, it's fitfully amusing, but it's also harrowing and utterly bonkers. And there are some moments of sublime emotion in there too.
Dan Fogler stars as Warren, a 33-year-old unemployed graphic novelist who is haunted by dreams about the world ending on 21st December 2012. But there's another date approaching much sooner that has him even more shaken: his wedding to his rather too-hot fiancee Karen (Kelly Hitchinson), who is trying to get pregnant as she plans the big day. Then in a peyote-induced stupor, Warren becomes convinced that he has been given some sort of psychic insight into the apocalypse, and asks his best pal Balance (Yang Miller) to help him make a documentary film about the strange events going on around him. And things get very strange indeed.
Written and directed by Fogler and Michael Canzoniero, the film flickers back and forth between Warren's luridly coloured drug trips and his even more jarring lucid moments. Every scene is packed with existential chatter, like a Woody Allen movie for potheads, while the tone swings wildly between dark drama, broad slapstick and even a couple of zany musical numbers. Which is appropriate for a film set in the mind of a man who isn't always sober. It's not easy to watch this slobby nice guy lose his mind, but there are observations along the way that add strong resonance.
Continue reading: Don Peyote Review
It's been five years since blacksmith apprentice Hiccup managed to end the battle between dragons and the Vikings of Berk alongside his pet fire-breather Toothless, and now the islanders are spending their time with a new sport: dragon racing. Hiccup and Toothless prefer to spend their own time exploration, however, but when a new adventure leads to them to an ice cave of wild dragons they find themselves facing a whole new threat. That's not the only surprise in store for Hiccup though, as now is also the time he meets his long lost mother; a fearless dragon expert. She teams up with Hiccup and his friends to face the insane villain Drago Bludvist, who wishes to have control over all the dragons in the land; between family reunions, a crazed tyrant and unruly baby dragons, Hiccup has a lot on his plate in his latest adventure.
Continue: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer
There's a robust, intelligent tone to this action remake that makes it continually intriguing, even if it's never properly exciting. The problem is that the characters are far too simplistic for us to care about, with moral dilemmas that are extremely cut and dried. Because the premise deals with several provocative themes, it wouldn't have taken much work to beef up the screenplay.
Set in the near future when American military robots patrol the world but are outlawed at home, the story centres on Omnicorp boss Sellars (Keaton), who is determined to sell his robots to the US market as police enforcers. So he decides to get around the law by putting a man inside a robot, drafting seriously injured Detroit cop Murphy (Kinnaman) as his guinea pig. Doctor Norton (Oldman) does an amazing job, building a machine around Murphy with extremely high technical capabilities. But Murphy can't help but worry about his wife (Cornish) and son, and he's obsessed with revenge over his attempted murder. So Norton is forced to use chemicals to suppress his emotions.
In other words, Murphy is actually more machine than man now, and operates at the whim of Sellars and his media spokesperson (Ehle), marketing nerd (Baruchel) and a rabid TV host (Jackson) to manipulate the US Congress to change the law. This greedy corporation gives the film a bite of satire, as does the issue of America's rampant willingness to brutally suppress anyone outside its borders. But without even a shading of complexity, the plot feels predictable and, frankly, rather dull. It's fun to watch everything happen, but our pulse rates never rise at all.
Continue reading: RoboCop Review
Blacksmith apprentice Hiccup and his pet dragon Toothless have managed to end the war between the Vikings of Berk and the once predatory dragons after both rescuing each other from death. Now, five years on, instead of dragon fighting the islanders have taken up the new sport of dragon racing, with Hiccup and his classmates Astrid and Snoutlout becoming particularly adept at whizzing through the skies with their new winged friends. During one of their regular explorations, Hiccup and Toothless come across a secret ice cave in which they find a very large crowd of wild dragons alongside the strange and elusive Dragon Rider. Worried that they could be facing another terrible battle, the pair do their best to maintain peace among the fire-breathing beasts and the weapon wielding mankind.
Alex Murphy is a hard-working police officer who lives an ordinary life with his beautiful wife Clara and young son David. However, his life is swiftly turned upside down when a bomb in his car explodes leaving him with 70% burns all over his body. Meanwhile, the multinational corporation OmniCorp who have been sending out robot technology abroad for warfare purposes are now coming up with other ideas; namely to deal with the increased crime rate of Detroit. They create a robot with the intention of programming it to target major wanted criminals, but on discovering Murphy's predicament and seeing how he has lost two limbs from his accident, they decide to kill two birds with one stone by fixing him into the suit so that he's able to continue working as a cop, but with more power than he could ever have imagined. The suit has been created to give him the illusion of free will while being externally controlled, however that changes when Murphy begins to use the suit for his own means.
'Robocop' is the upcoming remake of the 1987 sci-fi action flick of the same name directed by Paul Verhoeven. This adaptation has been helmed by Jose Padilha ('Elite Squad', 'Bus 174') and written by Nick Schenk ('Gran Torino'), James Vanderbilt ('The Amazing Spider-Man') and Joshua Zetumer. It will be reaching UK cinemas on February 7th 2014.
Date of birth
9th April, 1982
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