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Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo Starring: Everybody. Running Time: 149 minutes


Ten years ago now, there was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable characters and see if they could become something more. There was a time, unbelievable as it is now, that having a ‘shared universe’ of various franchises seemed like a massive risk rather than the movie studio holy grail. A time when people wondered how the first Avengers film was possibly going to manage a story with six superheroes. Infinity War has twenty. Plus sidekicks and supporting cast members, absentee Avengers, love interests, a few surprise appearances, the army of an entire country, and a new mass of villains. And Stan Lee. The Universe has grown and grown, developing an enormous, enamoured audience along with it. Marvel know they have most every blockbuster-loving film fan in the palm of their hands at this point, so to keep them captivated, what’s the best thing they can do at this point? Make a fist. Or snap their fingers.

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Director: James Gunn  Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kurt Russell  Running Time: 136 mins


Living up to the first Guardians Of The Galaxy was always going to be a daunting task. Based on a largely unknown bunch of characters from the pages of Marvel comics, the first film was an insanely successful surprise hit that caught audiences off guard in the best possible way with its unique brand of humour, adventure, sci-fi thrills, and breakout characters. Sure the trailers looked good, but nobody knew quite what to make of it until they sat down in the theatre and had their proverbial minds blown.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2, arriving on a wave of expectation and hype, has the unenviable task of trying to recapture that magic. And honestly, although it can’t quite match the surprise impact and originality of its predecessor, it still gives it one hell of a good shot. This film is absolutely tons of fun – expanding on the scale, humour, and unique quirks of the first film, while aiming to dig a bit deeper into the characters and their own separate corner of the Marvel universe.Read more…

Director: Ben Affleck Starring: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning Running Time: 129 minutes


They say that time camps all classics. Nobody actually says that, but perhaps they should of films like Live by Night, a gangster film written by, directed by and starring Ben Affleck that may gather a few chuckles at its ludicrous pulpishness a few years down the line, but for now stands only as an irritating vanity project. Affleck is clearly enamoured with his main character, a Boston thief drawn reluctantly into the war between Irish and Italian mobs during the American Prohibition. So enamoured in fact, that he avoids challenging him or questioning him at every turn, leaving him to murmer gravelly in relative peace. Beware of spoilers, as if watching Live by Night won’t spoil your evening on its own, but Affleck tells the classic gangster tale of a good man who starts the film insisting he won’t be morally compromised by being drawn into a life of crime, but ends the film…building a shelter for women and children and playing on the beach with his son. Just like The Godfather?

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Director: Justin Lin Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Salanda, Idris Elba Running Time: 122 minutes


How much you enjoy Star Trek Beyond may depend entirely on what it is you expect from a Star Trek film. Those looking for a fun night at the movies will likely leave satisfied. Those hoping for a hint of the depth or thematic resonance of the original series may feel short changed.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. Beyond fittingly promises a story that returns that franchise to its roots, with the crew having finally embarked on their 5 year mission to “explore strange new worlds”.  While some credit is due for attempting to follow through on that promise, it doesn’t excuse the script’s over reliance on by-the-numbers plotting. The story is threadbare and largely recycled; riddled with plot contrivances and a few too many unlikely coincidences. What the film lacks in originality however, it makes up for with a renewed sense of adventure.Read more…