Wonder Woman

A woman with whirlwind talent for heroics bursts her way into the DC film franchise.

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Born and raised by the Amazons on an island invisible to man, a young woman, Diana, learns of her talents and origins as she develops into a courageous woman ready to stand up for a world who is seemingly undeserving of her powers.

Gal Gadot heads up the casting as Wonder Woman and does an exceptionally elegant job of showcasing the characters uncompromising strength, coupled with her emotional fragility throughout the film. It is with a breath of fresh air that Gadot injects the modern woman into a formally token female superhero.

The resilience of the character throughout the plot enables the film to keep a pace with which an audience becomes absorbed; from the origins of the character to the break-out of her instinctive heroics, DC have finally managed to successfully adapt a character from page to screen without too much devastation.

Whilst the film is by no means perfect, I’m looking at you special effects team, it is certainly a step in the right direction for DC and gives fans hope for the forthcoming films expected later this year.

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Snatched

Amy Schumer is the unlikely daughter of Goldie Hawn on a holiday they’ll never forget.

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Dumped by her boyfriend and eager for travel, Emily (Schumer) finds herself with a spare ticket for an Ecuadorian adventure, so decides to enlist her mother (Hawn) as her plus one; what could possibly go wrong?

Though an unlikely pairing, Schumer and Hawn gloriously unite to provide audiences with a comedic journey like no other. From escaping boobs to drunken shenanigans, not a minute goes by without a laugh, or at worst, a face-palm.

The plot, whilst obviously and completely ridiculous, manages to successfully convey its story whilst providing the much needed comic relief and a worryingly accurate representation of a mother-daughter relationship, which is unwavering in its honesty.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea for its excessive use of dry humour, but it certainly checks most of the comedy genre boxes.

Spark

A royal monkey prince saves the world from a Gaddafi style dictatorship; yes this is apparently the world we now live in.

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After years of believing he’s an orphan, Spark discovers a secret like no other as he sets off on a mission to save his planet from it’s currently fascist reign.

Though not distributed by a particularly well-known film studio, this animated adventure showcases brilliance on a seemingly low budget. From the animation itself, to the character compositions, the film surprises with its originality and plot commitment.

Whilst the film only has the voice-acting name of Jessica Biel to slap on its promotional posters, the lack of critically acclaimed actors and production team adds to it’s surprisingly successful execution.

The film is not in anyway perfect, but it does provide a stable footing on which to sell itself to audiences young and old, even if it doesn’t have the financial backing needed to make it into the box office charts.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

The pirates return for the fifth time, with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his not so loyal crew setting sail for a new voyage.

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Admittedly, the past few releases have been well below expectations, but this new addition to the franchise has given the pirate themed films a new lease of life.

With Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) making an unexpected return to the plot, his son, now 18 years of age, tracks down Jack in an attempt to save his father from his seemingly permanent cursed life aboard the Flying Dutchman. Needless to say, with the infamous Captain Jack involved, things don’t exactly go swimmingly, as he literally finds himself being chased across the seas by death. 

There is little to say about the acting; Depp, is, as usual, spectacularly brilliant as the lead role of Jack Sparrow, which is to be expected given the amount of times he has played the character. With the likes of Bloom, Rush and Bardem, it’s not surprising that the acting is elaborately wonderful throughout this production.

The special effects, too, have complimented the films overall aesthetic, without over-complicating the intricacies of the plot.

It is though, despite all the new characters and technology included, still the same old Pirates of the Caribbean formula and sooner or later fans will become disappointed with the lack of change this franchise delivers to the big screen.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

With the general reading age of the book being for ages 8-14, the page to screen adaptation was never destining for cinematic greatness.

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Essentially, a boy named Greg, accompanied by his family, go on a summer road trip together and disaster ensues. 

Yes, you would be right to think this is basically a PG version of We Are The Millers.

As you might expect with a film predominantly aimed at children, the acting is painstakingly awful and at times you could probably have a goat stand-in and it’d have more talent. 

The story is somewhat interesting at best, and the main comedy aspect is best seen from a parental perspective, which showcases how truly terrible and irritating children can be. 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

A classic tale is turned into an epic adventure as Guy Ritchie sprinkles it with a little magic.

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Though born into royalty, Arthur is brought up in poverty following his parents demise at the hands of his uncle, which leaves him unknowingly carrying greatness upon his shoulders.

Guy Ritchie does what he does best, casting his unique style into the direction of this film; as the plot builds, so does the speed of the action, exhilarating with such vigour, you leave the cinema feeling slightly windswept. But to counteract this feeling of excitement, Ritchie slows down scenes to highlight his classic slow-motion angles, creating stand-out moments at the heart of the action.

The soundtrack, too, is unnervingly accurate, keeping the audiences’ emotions in check throughout the action and into the emotion; as if you’d expect anything but brilliance from the director behind the Sherlock Holmes films.

Though having to withstand David Beckham’s attempt at ‘acting’ for  potentially the longest three minutes of our lives, the rest of the cast exceeds all expectations, showing of their numerous talents and living up to their household names.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Star-Lord and his troop are back to guard the galaxy against the most unlikely of predators.

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Since saving the planet and relinquishing their criminal reputations, the guardians have been busy freelancing their skills around the galaxy. But when Quill’s father makes an unexpected appearance, the team must put their business plans on hold.

Despite having a lot to live up to, as sequels go, this film truly does match expectations. The characters have been further developed and the special effects have been given a revamp. Rather than lagging behind, the story has been turbo-boosted with vigour, allowing for the characters to pursue their paths and continue their bond with the audience.

The acting, as is to be expected with such a star-studded cast, is beyond impressive, especially when taking into account the vast majority of it would have been done using green screen; they are in space after all.

What continues to amaze me the most about this franchise is the very fact that the creative team have been able make an audience fall in love with a CGI tree that says just three words: I am Groot.