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Director: Ron Howard Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newron, Jon Favreau, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo Running Time: 135 minutes


As we settle into the reality of Star Wars as a tentpole Disney franchise, with a new film every single year and a television series in the works, it’s understandable that Kathleen Kennedy and co. would want to solidify the appeal of the spinoff films by featuring one of the property’s most popular characters. Once Solo: A Stars Wars Story finishes cleaning up at the box-office, they can start to plot a whole line of films to put the spotlight on your favourite characters from across the Galaxy. Lando Calrissean? Why not, says Kathleen Kennedy, that Donald Glover is so hot right now. Boba Fett? Maybe, if it will finally shut you fans up about him. That one lad in A New Hope that looks like the devil? Okay, maybe not him. Han Solo though, ‘everyone’s favourite’ from the original trilogy, was supposed to be the safe bet, and the exec’s adamant desire to keep it that way was partly what led them to axe original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, apparently too madcap and wacky in their ambitions for the film. They were replaced with the experienced, steady hand of Ron Howard, who reshot almost everything and presented a friendly face behind a marketing campaign nervously encouraging the somewhat sceptical viewing public that yes, they do need to know Han Solo’s origins. What Howard, veteran screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and the rest deliver is indeed the safe bet, in a film that’s far too middle of the road to be essential viewing. What we have here is one square unit of Star Wars movie, mostly milquetoast with a few rough edges born from the inelegant ‘creative differences’ and perhaps a meeting too many in the boardroom. If you’re looking for any noteworthy insights into Han Solo as a character, you’re not likely to get them here. If you’re looking to know where he got his apparently iconic blaster though, this is the film for you (somebody hands it to him).

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Director: Jon Watts Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr Running Time: 133 minutes


In recent years, the behind the scenes efforts of non-Marvel studios attempts to make films with Marvel characters could make compelling movie material all on its own. Specifically, comedy-of-errors movies. The chaos reportedly caused during the awful 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four by director Josh Trank (and his little dogs too) is one example. The leaked e-mail fiasco showing out-of-touch exec’s attempts to make an EDM-loving, humble-bragging hero that’s down with the kids for the ill-fated, ever spin-off proposing Amazing Spider-Man series is another. The lack of financial success made by the Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone-starring Spidey movies led to an “if you can’t beat them, join them” rethink and Sony drafted in Marvel Studios to help produce a reboot, with Sony retaining film distribution rights and Marvel masters Disney controlling merchandising rights. After a popular cameo in last year’s Captain America Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Marvel’s most beloved comics character take centre-stage once again. From the orchestral arrangement of the classic 60’s Spider-Man cartoon theme that opens this film onwards, the effort to bring the character (or more cynically, the IP) back to its roots is clear. This is a younger, more innocent Spider-Man, and the film is refreshing for that, even while the creative constraints of being part of the MCU never go away.

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Cineworld Dublin is home to Ireland’s only IMAX theater. The Parnell Street location has been the place to go for the IMAX experience for years, even inspiring a film based on the subject. On Saturday 8th April Cineworld are inviting film fans to experience IMAX, screening a selection of recent blockbusters at low prices.

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