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The Imitation Game (2014)

RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2014

STUDIO: Black Bear Pictures, Bristol Automotive

DIRECTOR: Morten Tyldum

Andrew Hodges, Graham Moore

STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Joan Clarke, Hugh Alexander, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, James Northcote

GENRE:  Drama, Biopic

DURATION: 114 min

The second World War is raging across Europe, millions are dead, and the allies find themselves at a tactical disadvantage, all thanks to the apparently unbreakable German Enigma code. In a concerted effort to break the German code, British intelligence hire the very best cryptographers and mathematicians on the planet.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing delivers one of the best performances of recent memory. A nearly two-hour runtime flies by thanks to the tight and masterful script from Graham Morton. The films cinematography has a classic, timeless look especially in the outdoor scenes shot on location in Bletchley Park.

Frequent flashbacks cut back to Turing’s time at a boarding school in which he befriends a boy by the name of Christopher (the name he later gives his code braking machine). As the flashbacks reveal more and more about Turing, he inches closer and closer to building a device that will help break the Enigma code. He faces opposition from his team. Keira Knightly plays Joan Clarke, Turing’s go to confidante for all information both professional and personal. The chemistry between the two is palpable at times.

Ultimately, his story is one that ended tragically, but the film chooses not to focus on that, but instead to celebrate his legacy.[I]The Imitation Game[/I] is one of the best biopics I've seen in years. And if it hadn't faced such strong competition, I think it may have won a few Oscars.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2015

STUDIO: Warner Bros. Pictures

DIRECTOR: George Miller

SCREENWRITERS: George Miller, Brendon McCarthy, Nick Lathouris

STARRING: Tom Hardy, Charlize Thad Hayes, Carlton Cuse, Carey Hayesheron, Nicholus Hoult, Zoe Kravitiz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Keays-Byrne.

GENRE: Action, Sci-fi



In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, loner Max meets Furiosa, a woman who wishes to cross the desert Captured by Immortan Joe's gang, Max's only hope of freedom is Furiosa, who is on the run from Immortan Joe because she stole his most precious resource, five young women who have been kept as objects and whose purpose is to mother the next generation. They need Max's knowledge of the desert to safely cross it and escape the madness of their enemies.


The practical special effects are the one thing that has me looking forward to this, because story sounds a bit dodgy. From what I've seen from the trailers, the combination of colourful characters and wacky costumes have given the film a Borderlands style post-apocalyptic vibe, whether or not that translates well into a entertaining films remains to be seen.


San Andreas (2015)

RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2015

STUDIO: New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.), Village Roadshow Pictures

DIRECTOR: Brad Peyton

SCREENWRITERS: Chad Hayes, Carlton Cuse, Carey Hayes

STARRING: Carla Gugino, Kylie Minogue, Alexandra Daddario, Loan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Dwayne Johnson, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson

GENRE: Thriller, Action



In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter.


San Andreas - the disaster movie with none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson there to save to day a flex his ever expanded muscles.  From what I've seen, it looks like good honest pop corn disaster movie fun.


Aliens (1986)

RELEASE DATE: August 29, 1986

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox 

DIRECTOR: James Cameron 

SCREENWRITERS: James Cameron, David Giler, Walter Hill, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett

STARRING: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette, Goldstein

GENRE:  Sci-Fi

DURATION: 137 min

After almost 30 years Aliens remains probably the best sci-fi action films out there. Released 7 years after Ridley Scott's seminal genre defining masterpiece, Aliens sees the return of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley who, after drifting in space for 57 years after escaping the Nostromo and the Xenomorph that slaughtered her crew, is called upon again by Weyland-Yutani, the shady corporation she worked for as a flight officer.

It becomes apparent that Weyland-Yutani have been busy on LV-426 (the planetoid where Ripley's first crew encountered the Xenomorph.) The geniuses have setup a colony on the desolate world and terraformed it with oxygen generators. Low and behold, they loose contact with the colony and Ripley is sent in with a platoon of colonial marines, and a company slime-ball named Carter Burke.

From the start the film has the same dark and tense atmosphere of the first film. And despite having more of emphasis on action, the characters are just as complex and memorable. Corporal Dwayne Hicks is the replacement to Captain Dallas in that that he is Ripley's closest alley in the group of rag-tag marines - and they soon find themselves in the middle of the alien nest, fighting for their lives against the Xenomorph horde.

A few characters in Aliens mirror those of the first film: Bishop the android for Ash, Hicks for Dallas, and Newt the young girl they discover crawling around the air-ducts of LV-426 represents the daughter that Ripley lost during her many years in hyper sleep. So the characters and plot follow on quite closely to the first film, the only different is the style of film. Aliens is an all-out action fest, here as Alien is a slow burner psychological thriller - a big change that some fans didn't appreciate. So really, Aliens can't really be compared with its predecessor to be fare, they are completely different kinds of film. This fact doesn't make the directing any less brilliant.

James Cameron nailed it with Aliens: well designed weapons, props, vehicles and clothing courtesy of the late H.R. Giger; a great script and characters, and, like all of Cameron's films, a great soundtrack. Still James Cameron's best film for me, and I think it will remain in my top five action-sci-fi's for a long time to come.

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