Spark -Trailer

The animated action movie Spark has a new trailer! The titular Spark is a teenage monkey alien from Planet Bana, a world which has been enslaved by the power-mad General Zhong. Attempting to build history’s deadliest weapon by harnessing the power of the Kraken, General Zhong’s usual egotistical idiocy reaches dangerous new levels as he teeters on the verge of destruction (that sounds disconcertingly familiar).

Spark and his friends, Chunk and Vix, task themselves with defeating Zhong – and in the process, discover their rightful place in the universe.

Yes, you read all that correctly. Teenage monkey aliens who know martial arts try to defeat a monkey dictator. With a goatee. There’s also a robot. I just…I just don’t know.

Spark is out in May

Chris Pratt: 4 Great Performances…And 1 Naff One

Chris Pratt blew in out of nowhere; on a space ship of seventies Motown and epic one-liners. For whatever reason we are loving his genius, it’s great that he is at the top of his game, earning his own  and it’s time to look back over his career. His personality emanates through interviews and Behind the Scenes featurettes. Whether it is glowing about his family or visiting children in hospital with Captain America’s Chris Evans, Pratt has won us over time and time again. Roaring into our hearts and now our cinemas again, Pratt is bringing old school charm and modern comedy onto our screens. He’s a star for all ages – and we’ve been in Dwyer need of one.

To celebrate his return as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, we’re looking at four fantastic movies, and one bad one!

One Naff Performance:

10 Years (2011)

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10 Years boasts a star-studded cast with Pratt, Justin Long, Oscar Isaac, Ron Livingston, Rosario Dawson, Kate Mara, Aubrey Plaza, Channing, AND Jenna Tatum? Indeed, a really incredible cast who have, funnily enough, spent the last four years taking the film industry by storm. They do well enough with a cutesy, charming script that is generous enough to give most a spotlight here. Linden is also a very keen director who has captured the realism of reunions, both the good and the bad, and 10 Years – despite the famous faces – actually feels as though you were a fly on the wall, catching the emotions and drama as it unfolds. It may not be anyone’s cup of tea, and Chris Pratt is demoted to the “drunken one” of the party to the exasperated Ari Graynor and it’s kind of a dull note of the whole film.

Four Great Ones: 

The Lego Movie (2014)

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The Lego Movie marked a tremendous curve for Pratt as he continued to become one of the most impeccable specimens on this planet. As Emmett, he had bouts of optimism and likability that resonated with the everyman. Pratt was merely the voice of lowly worker Emmett and wasn’t too dissimilar from Dwyer in that his unworldly experience left him simple – pure even. Despite this, Emmett is able to rise to the occasion and Pratt’s now recognisable tone captures the heart of the bricked hero as well as the on-point comedic execution.

Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)

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It’s the success of television show Parks and Recreation which saw Pratt become a household name. Whilst it is difficult to pinpoint a favourite character, between the tenacious Leslie Knope and the stoic Ron Swanson it’s a show saturated with comedic roles that are, frankly, unforgettable, Pratt’s Andy Dwyer was a welcome goofy addition and certainly stole the show in many scenes. As Andy, Pratt explored his childish side whilst still gifting the character with sentimentality and kindness that made his naïve antics bloom on screen. Opposed to the sullen and sarcastic April Ludgate (bringing Aubrey Plaza into recognition), their polar opposite relationship worked, lifting off from series three and continuing to charm and delight. Through Andy, Pratt was able to find his audience and not one bit of screen time is wasted. Though you may dismay at some of the simplicities that he comes out with, he is a treasure and that is all centred on Pratt’s ability to find humanity and humility within the role –  making him less of a slapstick Larry and more of a fan favourite.

Jurassic World (2015)

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Ok. Between this, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Magnificent Seven, there was a good theory that it’s the same Peter Quill character just hopping through time periods and universes. True, in a lot of recent films such as Passengers, he seems to play the same cocky, muscle-bound dude who always winds up saving the day. Yet, we can’t help but enjoy it in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World. Bringing dinosaurs back into our lives, he plays Owen, a raptor trainer who realises that there is a dangerous hybrid animal on the loose and has to save the residents of the park, as well as his love interest’s nephews. A flippant action star, we cannot help but enjoy Pratt’s highly energetic role as he battles the dinosaur creatures.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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His biggest arrival into “must see” stars is the astronomically great Guardians of the Galaxy. I don’t really want to rely on the weight loss too much, because Pratt has proved that regardless of his size, he is a stellar actor. Instead, his portrayal of comic book icon Peter “Star-Lord” Quill was a fresh beat for Marvel. True, his sarcastic quips could be akin to Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man. But Pratt’s rambunctious and action filled role was an out of this world performance. As Quill, he had unbridled anger, childhood trauma, anxiousness and this roguish quality that made him likeable from the first time he dance-struts onto screen. Hilarious, quick witted and crass, Pratt mastered Quill’s personality and redemption so well that he is now a legend in the Marvel world.

Bonus – THIS TOWIE Impression

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is out in cinemas now! 

My Name is Lenny – Brand New Trailer!

There’s something about the East End of London that draws the more exciting stories of the UK’s criminal underworld, especially when the subject being discussed can be linked to the Kray Twins and Charles Bronson. The traditional gentlemanly image of London’s more notorious ne’er-do-wells is undercut by the ferocious violence that would get meted out on anyone who crossed them.

My Name is Lenny takes every aspect of London’s seamy underbelly that surrounds the titular character and tells a fascinating and powerful story of Lenny McLean as he attempts to rise up and become ‘The Guvnor!’

The punches fly thick and fast in the latest trailer, as it sets up the rise and fall of the protagonist.

My Name is Lenny is out in cinemas and Digital Download June 9th, and on Blu-Ray and DVD June 12th!

Alien: Covenant – Incoming Transmissions!

Whenever you go away for a long time, it’s always nice to check in with your family and friends back home. If only so they know you’re safe, and haven’t been forced into becoming a drug mule in order to pay off your gambling debts.

That’s the same idea that the crew of the Covenant had. Below you’ll find some short messages from three of the crew-mates (Tennessee, Lowe and Rosenthal) as they begin their journey across the cosmos.

Unfortunately, some of the clips appear to have sustained some damage during transmission, and have picked up extraneous signals along the way. Still, it’s nice to know they’re all still thinking of home.

Alien: Covenant is out in cinemas May 12th!

Alien: Covenant – “The Crossing” Clip

Ah Prometheus. When you were first announced, we were all so hopeful, but then you came and most people responded with a resounding shrug, so you went away and licked your wounds. Hoping that one day, you might find some redemption.

If the latest clip to be released in order to hype the upcoming Alien: Covenant is to be believed, Prometheus has found its sought after penance, and is building up to bigger and better things.

Set sometime after the events of the film, and in the immediate run up to Covenant, The Crossing shows David the android and Dr Elizabeth Shaw as they travel to their Creator’s Homeworld.

It’s not a very long clip, and is predominantly a voice-over from David’s point of view, but it will be interesting to see how the clip ties in to the next film!

Alien: Covenant is out in cinemas May 12th!

Looking Back…Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

It’s important that directors get to bring their visions to life; it’s not fair to give someone a project and strip them of their ideas and originality. It can happen a lot in Hollywood – Somewhere, Josh Trank is sitting at a bar with a bottle of whiskey, rambling off about Fant4stic while the regulars laugh at him – and while it’s understandable that it is a business, and studios need to do what they know works, but a little faith can go a long way. Marvel’s decision to let James Gunn do his thing was one of their smartest decisions to date, and Guardians of the Galaxy is one of their best films.

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Now it’s not a totally original piece – At the end of the day, you can boil it down to the same standard Marvel plot – but it’s less the content and more the execution that sets Guardians aside from the rest. It has a certain vibrancy that is completely unmatched by any other film in the franchises; that doesn’t make the rest of them bad, but it’s something new in comparison. It was a fairly risky choice to adapt Guardians of the Galaxy, given at the time they were among the more obscure Marvel teams, but I suppose it makes sense to entrust a less traditional approach to a less popular brand. Had it gone wrong, it would’ve been fairly easy to leave it behind and move forward. The MCU films have a certain feel to them, certain themes that band them together and ultimately lead to the criticisms they receive (Don’t forget guys, cinema is dying), but Guardians of the Galaxy for being the most vibrant and exploratory of the films at the point.

The film took us to new and exciting worlds, something that only the Thor  had done, and not nearly as well. A handful of planets other than Earth with their creatures, landscapes, and inhabitants, all beautifully designed for an immersive experience. On top of that, it was by far the most consistently funny MCU film at the time too; it was the only one that could easily be classified as a comedy (Until the likes of Ant-Man), where humour was an integral and constant factor to the film, and it was done perfectly. All the Marvel films have humour, this is the only one that was truly hilarious. And of course, how could we not mention the soundtrack? It utilizes classic hits from the 80s, in a way that we’re never going to forget. The image of Peter Quill strutting his stuff to Come And Get Your Love is one that we’re blessed to have, amongst the many other genius decisions made with this music. Nothing about the soundtrack feels generic, soulless or tacked on, it all works perfectly.

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But above all else, the most impressive thing about Guardians of the Galaxy is it’s total lack of set up; The Avengers is amazing, no doubt, but we got films for each character, to introduce and flesh them so by the time The Avengers came, we could get straight to the point. Guardians introduces characters that were nowhere near as popular as The Avengers, with no films whatsoever to back them up, and completely nails it. We meet each character, get their story, and buy into the chemistry without the need for build up. It’s done in a way that avoids exposition but still gives you the important information, and doesn’t waste time on unnecessary scenes. We know exactly who each character is, and the way they come together is fantastic. We saw just recently how horribly wrong this formula can go – What are we, some kind of…Suicide Squad? – which just makes this example all the more amazing. Of course, the film isn’t perfect; much like 90% of Marvel films, it suffers from a very weak villain in Ronan the Accuser, perhaps the only character introduced for the first time that isn’t interesting. We do have Nebula and Thanos to make up for that though. And as I said before, you can apply the basic Marvel structure to this film, but the execution is good enough to distract you from that.

Guardians of the Galaxy is just a film that delivers on almost every level; It’s funny, it’s action packed, exciting, amazing special effects, kick-ass soundtrack, a great cast who give great performances, and truly bring this team to life. Above all else, it has heart, and that goes a long way in a genre like this.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is out now!  
Read our review!