Jupiter Ascending (2015)

You don’t have to be an aficionado of science fiction to recognise that the Wachowski’s latest production, Jupiter Ascending, draws inspiration from countless sci-fi forebears. Oh, sure, it’s an “original” property, but as with the Wachowskis’ output from The Matrix and beyond, it’s an unabashed pastiche. Jupiter Ascending’s setting is classic space opera, galaxies ruled…

Scarlett Johansson in Lucy (2014)

Lucy (2014)

Lucy is a deliriously unhinged future cult-classic, a joyously overstuffed treatise on the Meaning Of Life scrawled in Comic Sans and rendered in a vivid mélange of gunfights, car chases and stock footage. Its frankly ridiculous concept – Local Woman Uses More Than 10% Of Her Brain – could have easily produced an enjoyably daft…

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

The notion of films adopting a “videogame aesthetic” is – or was – a common critical observation, wielded as pejorative or praise depending, seemingly, on the critic’s personal opinion of videogames. Since at least The Matrix – a film visually and conceptually indebted to contemporary videogames while inspiring the design of games to come – and even Tron before…

Michael Fassbender in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

There’s been a wealth of conversation recently about the increasing homogenisation of superhero films: Matt Zoller Seitz kicked off the discussion with his piece on “Things Crashing Into Other Things” and I can’t dispute his points. Even if you enjoy most of the new wave of big budget superhero pictures, it’s hard not to notice…

Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall in TRANSCENDENCE (2014)

Transcendence (2014)

As we were dutifully informed before the preview screening of Transcendence, Wally Pfister not only shot this movie on film, but he also developed the film photochemically rather than digitally. This isn’t surprising for Pfister, acolyte of fervent film fetishist Christopher Nolan, but it is reflective of this cinematographer-turned-director’s old-fashioned approach to the material. Old-fashioned…

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie (2014)

In an era where blockbuster movies direct their immense budgets towards overcoming the restrictions of cinema, The Lego Movie succeeds by embracing its limitations. Those limitations are found in its animation; computer-generated, sure, but constructed from Lego blocks in their millions. Directors/screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller get a lot of mileage out of their…