After several high-profile grown-up movies (from Atonement to Anna Karenina), director Joe Wright aims this Peter Pan origin story squarely at children. So while it's far too manic and broad for adults, this adventure will be the most exciting movie any 8-year-old has seen in years. It's colourful and fantastical, and it thankfully doesn't indulge in reworking the beloved J.M. Barrie stories. Instead, it imagines an action-packed prequel universe.
As German bombs fall on London during the Blitz, young Peter (Levi Miller) is up to all kinds of mischief in the grim orphanage overseen by Mother Barnabas (Kathy Burke), who sells bad boys to airborne pirates. Sure enough, one night Peter is taken, sailing into the sky to Neverland, where he is sent to work in the mines for the swaggering, heartless Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). In the mines Peter is befriended by the adventurer Hook (Garrett Hedlund), and when Peter discovers that he can fly they make their escape. Blackbeard chases them out into the woods, where they take refuge with Princess Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and her tribe, which is convinced that Peter is the child of a prophecy that will lead the fairy kingdom to freedom. But just when Peter learns who his parents really were, Blackbeard catches up with them.
This is an old-school kids' movie, packed with larger-than-life characters and outrageously imaginative action sequences that make the most of the 3D cinematography. Yes, there's so much digital trickery going on that the movie is essentially a cartoon, but it's so vividly explosive that it's a lot of fun to watch. And many of the big set-pieces are genuinely thrilling. There's also quite a lot of fun to be had in the way the story twists the familiar characters around. Obviously, Hook couldn't have always been a bad guy; here he's one of the heroes, and he still has both hands, which hints that further prequel adventures may be on the cards.
Continue reading: Pan Review
Igor Strausman is the less thought about assistant of the insane but brilliant Victor Frankenstein. He's as genius as the passionate medical student he aids in experiments, but more rational when it comes to ethics. He does, however, share Frankenstein's obsession with eternal life and becomes equally as excited when they manage to bring a dead animal back to life. This in itself marks a unique scientific advancement, but Frankenstein's morbid curiosity fails to stop there. He wants to be able to create human life, but doing this involves sourcing body parts from mortuaries - and any other place they can find. Igor's timid nature, though deeply involved passion for the project, keeps him from doing his best to dissuade Frankenstein from completing their 'monster', until it's too late. Now they have a rogue beast on their hands, not to mention the police who are out for blood.
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Peter was sent to an orphanage as a young boy with nothing but a small metal pan pendant left to him by his mother, who predicted great things for her son. Indeed, he goes on to experience the most exciting childhood anyone could dream to have, flying around on airborne ships from the mystical world of Neverland. And while it may be an enjoyable time, there are still great dangers that lie before him; the most feared pirate in all the land, Blackbeard, is out to bring the land under his tyrannous rule and Peter finds himself a target. Meanwhile, he meets James Hook, a fellow traveller who becomes his friend and protector, and it isn't long before he then bumps into a vibrant tribe led by the formidable Tiger Lily, who reveals to him that his arrival marks the end of the pirates' terror. But Peter is just a boy, and however brave he might be, does he really stand a chance against these merciless villains?
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Jupiter Jones has an unfortunate life, barely scraping by with her job cleaning toilets as a janitor. She wouldn't have thought that her life would ever be anything meaningful, but she couldn't be more wrong. One day she is captured and an attempt is made on her life, but she finds herself spectacularly rescued by a charming, if unusual-looking, warrior; a half-man, half-human hybrid who has been genetically modified for the interplanetary military. It's he who leads her to the truth about herself and her destiny. Having been born under a night sky where the stars aligned to form her extraordinary future, Jupiter is the foretold forthcoming Queen of the Universe who has been prophesised to usurp the power of the current King and Queen. Living in fear of their imminent fall from power, the rulers order her to be disposed of as soon as possible. Will Jupiter succeed in her rise to power, or will she be praying to return to her uneventful life on earth?
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Alcides is the son of Olympian ruler Zeus and mortal Queen Alcmene who brought him into the world secretly with the true name of Hercules. He knows not of his real name or the circumstances of his conception, and instead believes his father to be the tyrant King Amphitryon. He knows that there's something about himself that doesn't fit in with the rest of his family; his father favours his brother and heir to the throne Iphicles, who is promised Hebe, Princess of Crete (and Hercules lover) as a wife. In a desperate bid to stay together, Hercules and Hebe plan to elope, but before they can make their move, Hercules is ordered to battle. When an army fails to kill him, he is forced alongside his comrade to take part in a series of gladiator events, but it soon becomes clear that Hercules is no ordinary man when he starts to reveal his indomitable strength.
This epic action flick is based on the original Ancient Greek myth and has been directed by Renny Harlin ('Die Hard 2', 'Deep Blue Sea', 'Cliffhanger'), alongside writers Daniel Giat ('Path to War'), Sean Hood and Giulio Steve. 'The Legend Of Hercules' is due to be released in the UK on March 28th 2014.
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Jupiter Jones is an impoverished janitor who dreams of a life with much more purpose than she is living. She is convinced that her life will always be one of the many in the world that is simply unimportant, but there are others out there who think differently. Jupiter was born under a night sky whose stars traced a very definite and critical destiny for her. Little does she know that the Earth is a tiny speck in a much larger cosmos ruled over by Queen of the Universe, but also that her genetic make-up makes her the one and only threat to the Queen as she is biologically destined to usurp her title. When an attempt is made on her life, she is rescued by former military hunter Caine; a genetically modified hybrid with human and wolf DNA. Will Jupiter find the strength to fulfil her destiny? Or is it something she could simply do without?
Continue: Jupiter Ascending - Teaser Trailer
Hercules is the secret son of Zeus and a mortal queen though he grows up not knowing his real identity or, indeed, his birthright. Believing he is the son of a dictatorial king, he struggles against an ongoing feud with his brother Iphicles; the heir to the king's throne who is promised Hebe, Princess of Crete as a wife. Hebe is the love of Hercules who plans to go to any lengths to elope with her, but he is banished to battle when Iphicles and the king realise his opposition to their plans. He subsequently finds himself enslaved and forced to fight armed opponents for sport, but his true destiny starts to unfold when it is found that no-one can match his indomitable strength. Will he manage to succeed in saving the love of his life from a loveless marriage? And will he fulfil his true purpose and overthrow the king?
Continue: The Legend of Hercules Trailer
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
After several high-profile grown-up movies (from Atonement to Anna Karenina), director Joe Wright aims this...
Igor Strausman is the less thought about assistant of the insane but brilliant Victor Frankenstein....
Jupiter Jones has an unfortunate life, barely scraping by with her job cleaning toilets as...
Alcides is the son of Olympian ruler Zeus and mortal Queen Alcmene who brought him...
Jupiter Jones is an impoverished janitor who dreams of a life with much more purpose...
Hercules is the secret son of Zeus and a mortal queen though he grows up...