X-Men: Apocalypse is a decent conclusion to the superhero sequel trilogy. Bryan Singer’s film is a little overlong, but entertains nevertheless.
In the 1980s, Professor Xavier’s school has more students, and there is a relative peace after the mutant activity in the 1960s. When an ancient mutant is resurrected, the X-Men must reform to defeat this new threat…
After the success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, there was a fear that X-Men: Apocalypse may go the same way as the previous trilogy’s third film (X-Men: The Last Stand). Thankfully, director, producer and co-writer Bryan Singer eschews this, delivering an entertaining superhero blockbuster that neatly completes the series.
X-Men: Apocalypse focuses on the emergence of the first mutant, and the impact this has on Charles Xavier’s band of X-Men. The film has a tricky job to do; the narrative must focus on fighting this threat whilst also plugging the gaps to lead the film on to the original trilogy. For the most part, X-Men: Apocalypse does a decent job. The protagonists are given a colossal antagonist, and the film introduces characters that have dominant roles in the original franchise. Nonetheless, a sharper pace would have been welcome. At almost two and a half hours, there are minor cuts that could have been made to help the film continue its momentum.
X-Men: Apocalypse sees well-known characters from the franchise in a 1980s world. There are lots of pop culture reference, and the soundtrack is great in setting the scene. A sequence involving Quicksilver is a particular highlight. The introduction of relationships in the younger selves of famous characters is well executed, and more of a draw than the antagonist. Apocalypse himself functions as a reason for the X-Men to become re-engaged; there is not much to their deadly nemesis in terms of rationale.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence reprise their roles well. Evan Peters is a joy to watch as Quicksilver, whilst Sophie Turner is decent as a young Jean Grey. Special effects are abundant, but convincing overall. Certain sequences lend themselves to the 3D format.
X-Men: Apocalypse is not a superhero classic, but wraps up the series of prequels effectively. The film is enjoyable, if not innovative.
Lots in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a X-Men: Apocalypse clip, Our Kind of Traitor, The Nice Guys and more…
X-Men: Apocalypse Clip
Here is the latest X-Men: Apocalypse clip. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique watches Ben Hardy’s Angel take on Kodi Smitt-McPhee’s Nightcrawler in a cage fight. It is unclear where this fits in with the plot, but the 1980s setting looks fun. X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.
Our Kind of Traitor Featurette
The cast of Our Kind of Traitor discuss their roles in the film in this short featurette. Directed by Susanna White, the film is based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor is released on UK screens on 13th May 2016.
The Nice Guys Poster
Here is one of the new poster’s for Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The film is set in the 1970s and revolves around a hired enforcer (Russell Crowe) and a private investigator (Ryan Gosling) teaming up to solve a case. Also starring Kim Basinger, The Nice Guys hits the big screen on 3rd June 2016.
The Neon Demon Trailer
The Neon Demon has a UK release date. Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film will hit cinemas on 8th July 2016. The Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to LA. Her youth is noted by a group beauty-obsessed women, desperate for what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer
Here is the latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows. A sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this new film features some familiar faces from the popular cartoon series. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is out in UK cinemas on 30th May 2016.
The Shallows Trailer
Here is the trailer for upcoming thriller The Shallows. The film stars Blake Lively as a young woman who takes a surfing trip to a deserted beach. Only metres from shore, she is obstructed by a great white shark. The Shallows is scheduled for release in cinema in August 2016.
Plenty of blockbusters in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including Captain America: Civil War posters, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence and more…
Captain America: Civil War Posters
Are you #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? These new Captain America: Civil War posters highlight the division in the Avengers. Captain America: Civil War is as much a follow-up to Avengers: Age of Ultron as it is to 2014’s superlative Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and a host of other Marvel stars, Captain America: Civil War hits UK screens on 29th April 2016.
Welcome To Me Trailer
Welcome To Me is about a lottery winner who decides to spend her winnings on creating her own talkshow. Kristen Wiig stars at the winner inspired by Oprah Winfrey, and the film also stars James Marsden, Wes Bentley and Joan Cusack. Welcome To Me will be released in cinemas and on Sky Store on 25th March 2016.
X-Men: Apocalypse Poster
Michael Fassbender’s Magneto leads the four horsemen of the apocalypse in this new poster for X-Men: Apocalypse. The film sees the return of familiar characters from previous instalment as well as new additions played by Oscar Isaac, Sophie Turner and others. X-Men: Apocalypse blasts onto UK screens on 18th May 2016.
Florence Foster Jenkins Trailer
Florence Foster Jenkins star Meryl Streep as the New York heiress. She has a desire to sing, but her voice does not live up to her concert-hall aspirations. Also starring Hugh Grant, the film is directed by Stephen Frears. Florence Foster Jenkins is released in cinemas on 6th May 2016.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children First Look
Well this looks mildly terrifying. Here is one of the first images released from Tim Burton’s upcoming Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Based on the bestselling novel, the film stars Eva Green, Allison Janney, and Samuel L. Jackson. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be released in UK cinemas in Autumn 2016.
Demolition is about a successful investment banker who struggles to cope after the tragic death of his wife. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. Directed by Dallas Buyers Club helmer Jean-Marc Valleé, Demolition hits UK cinemas on 29th April 2016.
Independence Day: Resurgence Poster
Here is a new poster for the delayed sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. The film is set twenty years after the original, and sees the return of director Roland Emmerich and cast members Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox. Independence Day: Resurgence launches on UK screens on 23rd June 2016.
Plenty to gaze upon this week, with the Ghostbusters first look image, posters for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadpool, and more…
Ghostbusters First Look
Here is the Ghostbusters first look image. Little is known about the plot of the film, but the new Ghostbusters don very similar attire to their predecessors. Directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Ghostbusters is set to be released in Summer 2016.
Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth is a drama about a retired composer staying at a spa. The film features an enviable cast that includes Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda. Youth, which has already gathered awards nominations, will be released in UK cinemas on 29th January 2016.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Poster
This is my favourite of the three posters released for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this week (the others were of the title characters). Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in the upcoming DC film. It will be interesting to see the scope of her role in the film. particularly with the plans for the franchise. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will hit the big screen in March 2015.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Trailer
Here is the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Written by J.K. Rowling, the film focuses on the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in the UK on 18th November 2016.
This latest Deadpool poster continues the tongue-in-cheek marketing we have seen so far. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role from X-Men Origins: Wolverine as the anti-hero Wade Wilson. Promising to be closer to the edge than have superhero fare, Deadpool bounds on to cinema screens on 4th February 2016.
Star Trek: Beyond Trailer
The first trailer for Star Trek: Beyond was released earlier this week, overall it seems to be harking back to the original series in some places, albeit on a much grander scale. Little is revealed about the plot, but the cast including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are joined by Idris Elba for this instalment. Star Trek: Beyond hits Uk screens on 22nd July 2016.
X-Men: Apocalypse Poster
Following the release of the trailer earlier this week, here is a look at a new poster for X-Men: Apocalypse. After the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the franchise returns with villain Apocalypse. The trailer suggests the film marries this new series of films with the older one, by looks at least. X-Men: Apocalypse is released in cinemas in May 2016.
Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer
Here is the first full trailer for sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. The sequel sees Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox and others reprise their roles from the 1996 blockbuster. With director Roland Emmerich returning to the disaster movie fold, Independence Day: Resurgence will hit UK screens in June 2016.
With the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron last week, superhero movie season has just begun.Back in the late 1970-mid-1990s era, audiences were lucky to get one big comic book adaptation a year. Now, this is the tentpole genre, with several new superhero movies being released each year. Both Marvel and DC Movies have revealed a busy slate for the coming years. The reality is, however, that the new superhero hero movies are unlikely to be ‘new’ at all, with the plethora of remakes, spin-offs and reboots that are due to come out in the next few years.
New Superhero Movies
There are in fact some new superhero movies set for release – that is to say films that feature characters or concepts that have not been depicted on the big screen before. These include…
Marvel’s next cinematic release is Ant-Man, which hits the big screen on 17th July 2015. Despite not being one of Marvel’s better-known superheroes, Ant-Man first appeared in comics in the early 1960s. Not carrying the same exposure in other media as some other Marvel title characters, it will be interesting to see how Ant-Man fairs with audiences. Nevertheless, Guardians of the Galaxywas not harmed by a lack of mainstream audience consciousness.
Director David Ayer has been teasing fans will glimpses of the film on his Twitter account. Although some of the characters have appeared in feature films before (notably the Joker and Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad is classed as one of the new superhero movies because the story of this group has not previously been depicted on the big screen.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The sorcerer first appeared in marvel comics in 1963. The film, which is set for release on 28th October 2016 in the UK, appears to be an origins story. Which is just as well, given that the superhero is not one of Marvel’s most popular characters.
Although there has been a television film (aired in 1974), as well as the famous television series, Wonder Woman has never starred in her own feature film. Perhaps the most iconic of all female superheroes, Wonder Woman will finally take centre stage in her own cinematic release on 23rd June 2017.
This category occupies the majority of forthcoming releases in the comic book adaptation genre. Many of the new superhero movies are sequels to films released in the last few years, including…
Ryan Reynolds reprises his role (from 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as the Marvel antihero in Deadpool. It is unclear how much of a crossover there will be with the X-Men series of films. But with the star power of Reynolds and the lure of a R-rating in the US, Deadpool is sure to bring in audiences when it is released on 12th February 2016.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
One of the most anticipated movies of 2016, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel and seemingly a precursor to DC’s forthcoming The Justice League Part 1 and 2. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will offer viewers their first look at Ben Affleck as Batman when it is released on 25th March 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the best Marvel films thus far, so expectations are high for its sequel. The film will feature a host of Avengers’ characters, including Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye. It seems to be the closest fix to an Avengers movie until 2018, when Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is released. Captain America: Civil War will hit the big screen on 29th April 2016.
The follow-up to 201’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse sees the return of director Bryan Singer. The film reintroduces a number of characters viewers of the first film series will be familiar with. This time they appear as younger versions, including Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler (pictured above). X-Men: Apocalypse will be released on 19th May 2016.
Another off-shoot of the X-Men franchise, the character is the subject of his own film when Gambit is released on 7th October 2016. This time around, the character is played by Channing Tatum, following Taylor Kitsch’s turn in the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has been reported this week that the character may not make an appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse, making it unclear whether Gambit is a sequel that relates to this world, or is a reboot of the character from the 2009 film.
The third-standalone Wolverine film is set for release on 2nd March 2017. Star Hugh Jackman indicated on his Instagram account that this would be the last time he would play the role. Little is known about the plot of the film; it does not yet have an official title. Perhaps the three X-Men film released before Wolverine 3 will have some impact in shaping the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
A cinematic adaption one of Marvel’s less-popular franchises, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge worldwide hit. The sequel, when it is released on 28th April 2017, has a lot to live up to. At the moment, it is unclear whether there’ll be any crossover with the Avengers universe, although one of Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s stars hopes this will be the case.
There are two clear superhero reboots scheduled for release in the next two years, although some of the above films may fall into this category. Audiences can look forward to seeing new versions of…
The 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel were hardly great fan favourites, so there does not seem to be a great deal of upset at the reboot of the Marvel franchise. What is promising about this new version is the cast, which includes Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. With a 2017 sequel already planned, Fantastic Four hits the big screen on 6th August 2015.
Yes a Spider-Man reboot has already been done, with the sequel to that reboot only being released last year. However a new reboot is scheduled for release in 2017, with a number of actors being discussed for the lead role. Although not much is known about this new film at the moment, Spider-Man will appear in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
This is not the last of this swath of new superhero movies, with both Marvel and DC planning a slate that will continue until at least 2020. These include standalone films for Aquaman and Black Panther, sequels for Thor and others, and reboots such as Green Lantern. After Marvel’s recent dominance of the superhero genre, it will be interesting to see whether DC can regain some of their earlier magic. Despite the apocalyptic action depicted in the films, this is where the real battle lies.