In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the Heart of the SeaHerman Melville (Ben Whishaw) has become preoccupied with the story of the Essex, and, convinced that the only way to rid himself of his latest obsession is to commit it to the page, travels to Nantucket where he has arranged to speak with the only surviving crewmember. Reluctantly, Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) recalls his experiences as a cabin boy (Tom Holland) under novice captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) and his rather more experienced first officer, Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth). Fast foes, the pair are determined to be rid of one another as quickly as possible, and in their haste steer the Essex into unfamiliar waters after hearing tales of a bounty of sperm whales in the remote Offshore Grounds. In so doing, however, they ignore another rumour, of an enormous white whale intent on destroying any ship that crosses its pod.

Prior to the release of the first trailer, buzz for In the Heart of the Sea was relatively positive. Ron Howard had just made Rush with Chris Hemsworth, a compelling sports drama with a charismatic lead, and had put together an impressive cast for their next film together, the story behind one of the greatest American novels ever written. The trailer changed everything, however, as discussion soon turned to the famous white whale, and how poorly rendered it appeared in the various effects shots that dominated the footage. For while Melville’s novel might have been a treatise on race, religion and revenge, in which the whale is as much metaphor as monster, Howard’s adaptation seemed to be positioning itself as a disaster cum survival movie in the blockbuster, in which the whale attacks were the main draw. The only problem? It didn’t look as though anyone involved had ever seen a whale before. Had Moby Dick already sunk its own adaptation?

It might come as something of a surprise, then, but In the Heart of the Sea isn’t nearly as bad as it looks. It’s no classic — nor is it even another Rush — but there is more going on than anyone had any real reason to expect. For one, the narrative device employing Herman and Nickerson is not only a more substantial part of the movie, it is also one of the most memorable. There is never any threat that the story won’t be told — history tells us otherwise, as does the poster for the film — but it makes for engaging drama nonetheless. With Michelle Fairley providing support as Thomas’ wife, the trio quickly build an uncanny rapport that foregrounds their subplot against the rather more more straightforward main narrative. Hemsworth is compelling as ever, but his characterisation — and his conflict with Pollard — is so by the numbers and predictable as to nullify any perceptible dramatic tension. There is a slightly unreal aesthetic to the film, and whether or not the performances are meant to ape that quality, their rivalry does feel a little cartoonish at times.

In context, meanwhile, the whale doesn’t look any more realistic, nor do the pods of regular-sized sperm whales that feature throughout, but Howard finds other ways of provoking a visceral reaction. The film doesn’t shy away from the butchery and barbarism of the whaling industry, and there are a number of shots demonstrating both the hunting and harvesting of these animals that really gets beneath the skin, no pun intended, and leads to some pretty interesting places. (When it is revealled that oil can now be extracted straight from the planet, you really fear for our poor little world.) Tom Holland is exceptional throughout as the young Nickerson, but never better than when forced into the carcass of a freshly harpooned whale and told to extract the more hard to reach pockets of oil from its depths. It’s an upsetting scene, and Thomas’ own tumult is plain to see. That is to say, then, that the whale’s retribution feels perfectly justified, leaving the real horror to come from the survivors’ own treatment of one another. Life of Pi and Unbroken didn’t shy away from desperation, but even within the boundaries of its 12A rating In the Heart of the Sea really makes you question not just the value of survival, but the very essence of humanity.

Not swashbuckling enough to compete with Star Wars, and not substantial enough to convince as any sort of counterpoint, it’s unclear exactly which audience Howard is fishing for. Like Blackhat, another of Hemsworth’s 2015 efforts that suffered a similar issue, however, it might yet make its bounty back on DVD. By the power of Thor — and Spider-man, too — if nothing else.

3-Stars

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

AvengersWhile attempting to retrieve Loki’s sceptre from a Hydra stronghold, The Avengers encounter a pair of superpowered siblings (Elizabeth Olsen; Aaron Taylor-Johnson) seeking revenge on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) for the role his company inadvertently played in the death of their parents. Wanda — a woman with unusual influence over the minds of others — undermines Stark’s already fragile mental state, and compromised he returns to New York concerned that he has not yet done enough to secure the safety of all mankind. Together with Dr Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) he uses the sceptre and the mystical gem it contains to unlock the secrets of consciousness with the aim of improving the effectiveness of his drone army, inadvertently leading one of his suits to become self-aware. Named Ultron (James Spader), the nascent AI declares war on its creators, along with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and the rest of humanity.

A lot has changed since the release of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble in 2012; and although much of that change has been orchestrated on purpose some of the repercussions have proven to be beyond even Marvel’s (now Disney’s, of course) considerable control. Now eleven films into its unprecedented, pioneering and as yet unparalleled mega-franchise — the no longer burgeoning but rather burdened MCU — and five films on from the Battle of New York, the studio has issued returning director and overseer Joss Whedon with a very different task indeed. Already assembled, the titular super-team must now be developed, redeployed and ultimately divided ahead of the next cinematic season — a tertiary series of instalments known as Phase Three, and already set to kick off next year with Captain America: Civil War. Whereas once the idea of merging four individual franchises was audacious enough, the MCU has now grown to such a size — Marvel’s television division included — that with hindsight it suddenly seems like the simplest thing in the world.

Remarkably, Whedon once again pulls it off — using his experience on the previous film in addition to his time as showrunner on programmes such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly to duly focus on the monster-of-the-year while simultaneously furthering the overarching arcs of his various heroes — albeit without quite the same sense of enthusiasm or effortlessness. While offscreen the director has been lamenting the shoot, talking at length about how the process has not just exhausted but damn near ended him too, onscreen the spectacle has lost some of its box-fresh sparkle. The intention was always to go deeper rather than larger, but while Iron Man and co. are indeed subjected to increased scrutiny the stakes have arguably never been higher. Since Tom Hiddlestone’s Loki’s failed bid for world domination, Miami, London, Washington and the planet of Xandar have all gone the way of New York, leaving audiences fatigued and Age Of Ultron with fewer places in the known (or even unknown) universe left to blow up. The relationships have never been more compelling, the characters never more engaging and the witticisms never more entertaining, but the set pieces aren’t what they once were. A battle between Hulk and Hulkbuster is as interminable as it is unnecessary, while the finale is simply a variation on an overly familiar theme.

That Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron is underwhelming, however, is inevitable — in many ways it’s a victim of its own success. Phase Two has never quite lived up to Phase One, with each film struggling to find its place in Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic and televisual universe. Some like Iron Man 3 have pushed for auteurial autonomy over studio synergy at the expense of a comprehensive experience, while Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Solider have taken a more utilitarian and cohesive approach to storytelling, leaving Agents of SHIELD to fill in the gaps. Already on uneven footing, Whedon was never going to replicate his previous success with its firmer foundations and novel ambitions, but it’s to the director’s credit that he at least succeeds in expanding on it. New additions Vision, Wanda and Pietro steal the show, as does Ultron, the saga’s best villain by far, while expanded roles for supporting characters such as Black Widow, Hawkeye and War Machine are very welcome indeed — Don Cheadle in particular is a delight. It’s an unexpected inversion; the key question coming out of Avengers Assemble was whether anyone would be interested in the composite series after the first crossover, so it’s a little surprising that secondary or even tertiary characters should be missed in the latest team-up. Nevertheless, you still find yourself asking what Pepper Potts, Darcy Lewis or Daredevil‘s Wilson Fisk might be making of Ultron’s actions.

Although it may seem that every successful film is spawning a shared universe these days, the truth is that the MCU remains unique — and as such the usual rules don’t really apply. As with much of Phase Two Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron is a flawed film, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is part of a failed experiment. Regardless of what becomes of Ultron or any of the other characters, the story is not over yet, and it may well be that with repeated viewings or subsequent instalments audiences’ perceptions of Age Of Ultron may change. For now, though, the disappointment is undeniable, if perfectly understandable.

3-Stars

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor 2As punishment for his actions on Midgard, which left New York in ruin and S.H.I.E.L.D. reeling from the resultant alien invasion, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is incarcerated in the cells of Asgard while Thor (Chris Hemsworth) attempts to restore peace to the Nine Realms. Meanwhile, with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) warning of an approaching convergence of worlds, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and her intern (Jonathan Howard) visit a site in London where the laws of physics seem to have been suspended. The last time the realms aligned an army of Dark Elves — led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) — tried to plunge the universe into darkness using something called the Aether, and now that the phenomenon is finally set to repeat he is regrouping his forces for another attempt.

There is a scene towards the end of Man Of Steel, during the climatic battle, where the staff of the Daily Planet are put in harm’s way, and the stage is set for some mild peril. It’s a laughably inept attempt by director Zack Snyder to keep the audience engaged with the plight of the human race — the apparently sole survivors of a massacred Metropolis carelessly shoehorned between pixellated set-pieces involving Superman and some sort of space drill — and only serves to demonstrate even further the disconnect between film and viewer.

Compare that to the human element in Thor, Kenneth Branagh’s film about another God-like extraterrestrial, represented this time by anomaly-chasing astrophysicists Jane, Darcy and Dr. Erik Selvig. Not only are they fully formed characters that entertain whenever they are onscreen, an equal match for the Asgardian action taking place on the other side of the universe, but they are arguably developed and interesting enough that they could support a spin-off all of their own. When the film ends, you feel just as much for Jane as you do for Thor, if not more so. You couldn’t say that for “Jenny”, no last name.

The team return in Thor: The Dark World, this time working from Jane’s mum’s house as they try to hide out from S.H.I.E.L.D. (in London, for some reason — presumably not the abundance of CCTV cameras). We re-join Jane on a first-date with Chris O’Dowd’s photocopier, and despite following a pre-historic genocide at the hands of the Dark Elves and a Thor-led peacekeeping mission to rural Vanaheim it stands its ground, providing a moment of calm, comedy and humanity before the next dose of comic book nonsense. It’s a hallmark of Marvel, and a balance that both Thor and Avengers Assemble struck particularly well. The studio’s good humour continues to set the studio not just apart but ahead of its competition.

Not that the comic book nonsense doesn’t entertain in its own right; where Iron Man 3 was more of an experimental Shane Black movie than part of a shared universe and the seventh instalment in a blockbusting mega-franchise, Thor: The Dark World is only to happy to pander to the home crowd with in-jokes, call-backs and cameos aplenty. Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor gives proceedings the gravitas necessary to distinguish the film from Branagh’s fairy tale origin story, but he laces even the darkness with enough humour to keep it buoyant and child-friendly. This is most true during the final battle, as Thor and Malekith fight their way around London: not only is it one of the most spectacular skirmishes of the year, but it’s far and away the funniest.

Hemsworth continues to boom beautifully as the titular God of Thunder, while his royal family and Norse chorus vie for any leftover ham. All is not well on Asgard, and the director isn’t afraid to put his characters through the ringer in the name of drama and development. Hiddleston still reigns supreme, however, stealing every scene he’s in as Thor’s scheming (adopted) brother Loki. Luckily, he’s absent for much of the first act, and that leaves ample room for Portman, Dennings and Skarsgård to shine back on Earth. Really, with the understandable exception of perhaps Ian Boothby the intern’s intern, the only characters under-served are Sif and The Warrior’s Three, though it has been suggested that there might be more of at least the former in a future DVD’s deleted scenes.

If the film wasn’t so entertaining it might be easy — and actually worth — pointing out the admittedly many imperfections. Malekith is pretty slight, at least in the film’s current edit, though his army of Dark Elves is effective and at times even mildly disquieting. Also of concern is the sheer amount of coincidence involved in getting the narrative off the ground — it is about as aerodynamic as Thor himself. The introduction of the Aether is particularly lazy, while the script relies a little too heavily on misdirection. There is also a bit of a lull in the second act; Taylor’s film is over-plotted and overcrowded, and while the logistics might never detract from the film’s enjoyment it does make writing a synopsis something of a challenge. The attack on Asgard must have been a nightmare to choreograph.

Overall, though, Thor: The Dark World is another success for Marvel Studios, and many fans may even see it as something of a return to form following the mixed allegiances of Iron Man 3. It shakes things up nicely, as you would hope given Taylor’s involvement, and leaves plenty in play for not only Thor 3 but the rest of “Phase Two” as well. Thor and mew-mew will return.

4-Stars

Rush (2013)

RushHaving first met in Formula Three at England’s Crystal Palace circuit, rival racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) once again find themselves in competition during the 1976 Formula One season, with Hunt replacing Emerson Fittipaldi at McLaren and Lauda — already an F1 World Champion — having bought a place at Ferrari. Despite winning the Spanish Grand Prix towards the beginning of the season, Hunt struggles to keep up with Lauda, his performance beset by issues with his car, his marriage to supermodel Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), and his rock and roll lifestyle. When Lauda suffers his own setback at the infamous Nürburgring in Germany, however, Hunt finds himself very much back in the game.

From Ron Howard — of Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon, Rush adapts another true story for the big screen, and follows hot on the heals of 2011 racing documentaries Senna and TT3D: Closer to the Edge.  While undoubtedly a dramatic film, what is particularly remarkable about Rush is how true to life the movie manages to be; whether you already know the story or decide to look into it after the fact, it’s astonishing just how closely fiction imitates fact. That said, even though the races might closely represent the broadcasts of the time, Howard makes use of his modern cameras and special effects to make the circuits ever more tense and exciting.

Even the cast bear a striking resemblance to their real life counterparts, with Hemsworth and Brühl each doing a terrific job of capturing the essence of their respective namesakes. Admittedly, Hemsworth’s Hunt is not a hundred miles from his Thor, but it is still a brilliantly charismatic performance that couldn’t be more different from Brühl’s rather more unlikeable (but no less magnetic) turn as Lauda. You might expect each character to have been exaggerated for the big screen, but many of their exchanges are lifted straight from real life. They’re ably supported by some brilliant British talent, with Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay and Julian Rhind-Tutt cropping up just long enough to make an impression, while Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara also impress in relatively thankless roles.

For anyone less than interested in Formula One, it’s worth stating that many of the races are all but cut in an attempt to avoid repetition, and that those which are included are shot with verve and vigour (in addition to a “Racing For Dummies” commentary). Importantly, however, the most engaging action takes place off of the race track, with the clashing titans as interesting on their own as they are together. Nevertheless, the final race is one of the most thrilling set pieces of the year thus far. This is a film that deserves to be seen in the cinema.

4-Stars

Red Dawn (2013)

Red DawnArriving home to Spokane, Washington on leave, U.S. Marine Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) meets his father, Police Sergeant Tom Eckert (Brett Cullen), at a football game being played by younger brother Matt (Josh Peck). Following a blackout at the after-party, Jed and Matt wake to find an invading army paratrooping from overhead transport aircraft. Forced to flee without their father, the brothers pick up a number of Matt’s peers — including Josh Hutcherson’s Robert Morris — on the way out of town, moving into the family retreat as they try to decide what to do next. Opting to fight rather than flee, the young rebels name themselves after their school football team and wage guerrilla warfare on the enemy forces.

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Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

When the king rescues and quickly marries an unassuming witch (Charlize Theron) only to find himself on the business end of a dagger and his kingdom in the talonous hands of his new queen, orphaned daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is locked up in the dungeons, presumed by many to have been killed in the castle’s bloody takeover. Eventually proclaimed fairest of them all by Queen Ravenna’s magic mirror when she comes of age, however, she is targeted for her youth so that the queen might finally acheive immortality. Escaping into the Dark Forest, Snow White must evade capture at the hands of the queen’s huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) if she is to fulfil her destiny and reclaim her rightful place on the throne. You know the drill: dwarves, princes and poisoned apples. Read more of this post

Avengers Assemble (2012)


Saved from oblivion by a race of aliens craving dominion, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) arrives on Earth in search of The Tesseract: an item of unlimited power that currently lies with S.H.I.E.L.D. When it is stolen and the world endangered, Director Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) revive the Avengers Initiative in the hope of uniting Earth’s mightiest heroes. As they reach out to Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), however, it quickly becomes clear that a vengeful former Asgardian and an army of extraterrestrial warriors might be the least of their worries.

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The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

With plans to escape the so-called grid, a group of five college friends – Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz), and Holden (Jesse Williams) – set out for a relative’s remote cabin in the woods, just past the hick-run gas station and far out of range of the nearest cell phone signal. When they happen upon a basement full of bizarre artefacts during a game of Truth or Dare – a gruesome diary, a collection of broken dolls, a puzzlesome sphere and a few reels of film –  they unwittingly unleash a supernatural force that could be their undoing. As an outside influence finally reveals itself, however, this particular threat quickly becomes the least of their problems.

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FILM NEWS: “I Still Believe In Heroes”

For those of you who, like me, struggle to tell one sport from another, this weekend marks America’s Super Bowl. Other than being a massive basketball baseball football event in its own right, the Super Bowl is notable for the time and expense put into the programmed ad breaks.

Along with such other upcoming cinematic heavy-hitters as The Hunger Games, Battleship and John Carter, 2012’s ceremony also featured our most detailed looks yet at Marvel’s hugely anticipated The Avengers, a film which unites four major film franchises in what promises to be the superhero movie to end all superhero movies.

The footage didn’t disappoint. Culminating in a group shot which could pimple Goose-man, the TV spot really is quite something. And it can be viewed below.

Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers will see Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) assemble under the watchful eye of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Joined by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Avengers must put their many differences aside and work together if they are to stop Thor’s vengeful brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Now though, back to the court field stadium for some more running…

Ten 2012 Movies I Could Take Or Leave…Preferably Leave

With the year mapped out and the requisite drool reserves allocated to each of the releases I am most highly anticipating, I am left with a near-equal list of movies I don’t care much for at all. The cinematic landscape for the coming year is awash with bile, as Judd Apadow returns with another hateful bromance, Christian Bale’s career survives to let him grumble another day and G.I. Joe gives Development Hell the slip for a completely unnecessary second instalment. While other critics have their evil eyes set firmly on the upcoming 3D rerelease of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (let it slide, world. It’s time to make peace), I have other, decidedly less enticing things on my mind. Namely: Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill.

Man on a Ledge

Hollywood has had its fair share of the-clue-is-in-the-name film titles, with Snakes on a Plane, Cowboys & Aliens, We Bought a Zoo and (*spoiler alert*) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford all springing immediately to mind. Man on a Ledge, however, manages to be so remarkably uninteresting that it instantly stands out from the crowd. We’ve already seen Man on Wire, after all. Sam Worthington wasn’t even interesting in 2010, the year in which he inexplicably starred in all of the movies, only Avatar surviving uniform dismissal by virtue of director James Cameron’s extraordinary vision and all of those flashing pixels. How he has been chosen to front another movie after the dismal Clash of the Titans is beyond me, even if all Summit Entertainment expect him to do is stand on a ledge. I bet he doesn’t even jump.

Jack and Jill

The latest Katie Holmes movie is never something to get particularly excited about, there was nobody camping overnight to see Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but Jack and Jill takes this barely concealed indifference to a whole new level. Joining Lady Cruise on this occasion is Adam Sandler. And Adam Sandler. Apparently labouring under the delusion that The Nutty Professor I & II (along with every other Eddie Murphy movie produced in the 90s) was actually funny, Sandler has cast himself in the dual roles of Jack and Jill Sadelstein for little reason other than to herald some impending apocalypse. Shoot me please. In one eye for every character played by Adam Sandler.

Safe House

I’m sorry, but is it just me or have we seen this movie before? Like everything else in his back-catalogue, Ryan Reynolds stars as a low-hitting ubermensch who we – the imperfect masses – are supposed to root for simply because he is adrift in a completely fictitious job. Watching Ryan Reynolds under normal comedic circumstances is always trying enough, but the prospect of sitting through two joyless hours of him trying out his serious face opposite Denzel Washington (WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DENZEL WASHINGTON?) is nearly too much to bear.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

I don’t know about you, but when Nicolas Cage was first cast as the flame haired, leather-coated vengeance demon Johnny Blaze, I caughed a little bit of sick into my mouth. I’m sorry, what?? Naturally, the first Ghost Rider movie – with its boring story and Eva Mendez – was utterly terrible, and for the past four years we have been permitted the right to pretend that it was never in fact allowed to happen. Tasked with essentially rebooting the franchise, however, the filmmakers have somehow managed to make the same mistake AGAIN and have returned Cage to the role for another go at the character. Also, after Drive Angry, shouldn’t this really be Ghost Rider 3?

The Three Stooges

Having no doubt acclimatised to Development Hell during its decade-long stay, The Three Stooges aims to update the mid-20th Century sketch comedy of the same name for contemporary (read: even stupider) audiences. Boasting a plot that, for all intents and purposes, makes you want to kill yourself, the film focuses on Moe, Larry, and Curly, who inadvertently stumble into a murder plot, and wind up starring in a reality TV show while trying to save their childhood orphanage. I’m not even joking. Did I mention that it stars Sean Hayes from Will & Grace?

Battleship

Do you remember Battleship? It was the tactical, grid-warfare game that you could play on a page of squared paper if you really wanted to; the one that the Grim Reaper challenged Bill and Tedd to during their bogus journey. Do you remember the aliens? No? Oh, wait, that’s probably because there were no aliens. Hear that, Hollywood? NO ALIENS! Regardless, an upcoming adaptation housed at Universal Pictures is set to pit Liam Neeson, Rihanna and their boat against a myriad of extra terrestrial invaders. Naturally, the filmmakers were inspired by the financial success of MICHAEL BAY’s Transformers trilogy, and therefore, naturally, the film is going to be headache-inducing nonsense.

Snow White & The Huntsman

While most might laud Snow White & The Hunstman as fairest of them all in this, the year of the seven dwarves, I am forced by my utter hatred of this infernal darker is better movement to side with Mirror Mirror, however soul-shittingly awful it might appear to look. While it is impossible to get too riled by the absense of happy-clappy show tunes (the original fairy tale was, after all, a completely different beast), the rampant miserableness and unfathomable presence of body armour on show in the film’s trailer nevertheless have my heckles up. There’s already one Twilight movie due this year, we really don’t need another.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

The release of a new Ice Age, Blue Sky Entertainment’s flagship property, has always ranked pretty low on my must-see list. About as historically accurate as The Flinstones, the franchise proposes a history in which early man appears only initially, dinosaurs dawn AFTER the ice has melted, and a saber-toothed squirrel has continued adventures despite having been frozen in ice at the end of the first instalment. With nothing left to do but pair off the remaining characters (who wrote this, JK Rowling?), the ice age itself having ended whole movies ago now, this is one series of films that is practically begging for an extinction event.

The Dark Knight Rises

Oh shoosh, you must have seen this one coming. While it might indeed be the hype and the inevitably of the automated acclaim that I am dreading more than the actual movie (nobody’s suggesting this will be worse than Jack and Jill), there is still no denying that I would like nothing more than for Christopher Nolan to trot off back into the shadows and take his blasted interpretation of Batman with him. Now three movies in and not a single superhero in sight, I have spent the last – oh I don’t know, how long has it been since the last one? – listening to fanboy after fanboy ejaculate over every smidgeon of news pertaining to Bane, Catwoman and when the teaser for the viral for the trailer might hit. I just don’t care.

Halloween 3D

Torn arbitrarily between whether to include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D or Halloween 3D on this list that nobody will read (or if they do, they will unlikely get past the previous entry), I finally settled on the latter on account of how unscary I have found the entire franchise to date. At least the story of an inbred maniac who wears the faces of his victims held interest over the course of a few movies (and even the requisite remake), Halloween, however, has been tedious from pretty much the beginning. A man named Michael Myers – ooh, the guy who played Shrek? Wearing an inside-out Captain Kirk mask? Scary – stabs babysitters with a knife. The end. Any acclaim received by the original Halloween movie was courtesy to John Carpenter’s direction, and John Carpenter’s direction alone. The fact that this one hasn’t even started filming yet just says it all.