Warner Bros. | PG | Joe Wright
Pictured: Tfw you realize that this thing’s about to hemmorage millions of dollars.
(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)
We live in the age of origin stories now. The source of this really depends on who you ask; for some, it’s the proliferation of superhero movies that spurred on studios’ interest in going back to the roots of popular characters. Others may say that it’s a general phobia on the part of creators or audiences or both to take in new and original stories, instead preferring to hedge their bets on something familiar to them told anew. (more…)
Columbia | R | Neill Blomkamp
Caption: Johnny Five spent the long space between sequels getting jacked.
At the start, Chappie follows a police robot “named” Scout 22 who’s so utterly hapless that he can’t help but get destroyed, over and over again. He’s never in the right place at the right time, and is soon so damaged that he’ll be decommissioned and, shortly thereafter, destroyed. But Deon (Dev Patel) has an idea. A bored engineer whose police scouts (hordes of robots just like Scout 22) have made him a massive success, Deon believes he can push technology farther than it’s ever gone before. He wants to build an A.I. so intelligent that it’s capable of learning, even developing its own sense of individuality and personality. (more…)
20th Century Fox | PG-13 | Bryan Singer
Pictured: “What have I done? Sweet Jesus, what have I done? Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run…”
Oh dear, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the seventh film in this series? This was a risky gambit, at five, no, seven, probably more leads, with time travel elements, a deep budget, genre tropes and needs, and the inevitable concern that this was a last-ditch effort by a studio looking to milk its comic book property for everything it has left while flying in the face of franchise fatigue. Yet, we got lucky. X-Men: Days of Future Past is now the third comic book superhero movie of 2014, and easily the most enjoyable and alive of the bunch. As a re-up on a 14-year-old movie franchise about alienated mutants, this doesn’t feel like a seventh film stalling to maintain its box office legs. This is a functional, standalone actioner.
Boy, Diamonds are Forever and Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow must feel silly now. (more…)