Is it wrong to be sold on an album based entirely on their cover design? If it is, then call me a sinner because Future Islands’ album, Singles, is damn attractive. Luckily, the contents of the pretty cardboard casing aren’t too bad either. Just imagine the typical ’80s video clip with a man singing evocatively by the beach and you’ve got Future Islands’ sound down to a T.
First things first: the Australian edition of Danish director Lars Von Trier’s highly anticipated sex-fest isn’t actually porn. Australia is currently getting the conjoined four hour version (with a ten minute interval) rather than the original two separate films (over five hours in total).
Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost) used to be a shining light in the world of Salsa dancing. Under the tutelage of grumpy sod Ron Parfait (Ian McShane) and with his younger sister Sam (Olivia Colman) as his partner, his teenage self filled his shelves with trophies. And then, on the night of the national finals, he was cornered in a parking garage by a gang of bullies. They made him eat the sequins off his shirt, he skipped the finals, called up Ron to say “Salsa’s for pussies”, and turned his back on dance forever.
The Raid was a lean, brutal, propulsive action thriller laced with jaw-dropping fights and a structure that kept the endless violence fresh (basically, they started with guns, then knives, then fists, then whatever was lying around). In the sequel, director Gareth Evans has decided to expand both the fights and the story – only it seems bigger isn’t always better.
Forget all the “is it faithful to The Bible or not” chatter. The real thing to be thinking about going in to see director Darren Aronofsky’s epic is “how are they going to turn the Bible story into a two-hour twenty-minute movie?” And how, you might ask, they’re going to spice things up with all manner of crazy new additions – yes, this is a movie where fallen angels have turned into rock monsters. The real answer involves less magical fantasy and more shots of a brooding Russell Crowe.
Anyone who’s been following the rise of the Lego gaming franchise knows that the little plastic blocks aren’t just for sticking together any more. So what’s surprising about their first big screen outing is the way it manages to not only capture the silly fun of the games, but build on it to create a movie that’s one of the first really impressive animated features in a long, long time (sorry Mr Peabody & Sherman).
The thing about Marvel movies – which becomes a lot easier to spot once you realise they’re now Disney movies – is that they’re basically all the same. The stories are somewhat different, the characters have different superpowers and are played by different actors, but the core values of the films are pretty much identical: one hero, with a couple of sidekicks of lesser power, becomes entangled in a somewhat mysterious plot run by a sinister bad guy who’s kept a secret from the hero for much of the film (otherwise the hero would just go beat the bad guy up), with the destruction-heavy action sequences balanced out by a lot of mildly funny quips from the good guys.
Remember 300? Lot of shirtless guys and CGI blood splashing around … gave the world Gerard Butler: movie star? Well, this begins seconds after that film ends – King Leonidas and his men are all dead; the evil Persian God-King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) triumphant – then flashes back 10 years earlier when Greek leader Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) thwarted the first Persian invasion and killed the (then) Persian king.
It’s World War 2 in occupied Paris, which means the Nazis run everything. Bad news: the Nazis like art and they’re grabbing all the good stuff for themselves and running off with it. Parisian art scholar Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett) isn’t happy about this. Neither is US art historian Frank Stokes (George Clooney, who also directs), who delivers a lecture to FDR about the threat posed to the art of Europe by Hitler’s proposed giant museum.
Brooding dude Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is struggling to keep his now dead dad’s garage afloat the only way he knows how. Fixing cars? Nah: illegal street racing, complete with buddy Benny (Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi) flying overhead making sure the roads are clear. Then former local turned big-time racer who no one respects (because he’s secretly evil and not as good as Tobey and also stole Tobey’s girl) Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) shows up.