Now that we’re getting nearer summer, the slate of films is shifting towards blockbusters and big budget spectacles. Yet within this seemingly homogenous group of ‘popcorn’ films, there exists a great amount of variety, looking to bring us horror, action, comedy and fantasy all in the space of a month. And with the holdover of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 from the end of April, the box office looks to be healthy this May.
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Alien Covenant (12th May)
I am a huge fan of the Alien Franchise. Well, mostly. Alien and Aliens are regarded as the most influential sci-fi horror films of all time, and rightly so. They are timeless and hold up incredibly well even today, maintaining its terrifying and tense filled nature. Not only that, the franchise spawned one of the greatest female protagonists of all time, Ripley, played excellently by Sigourney Weaver. Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection on the other hand are enormous disappointments, especially when compared to the films that preceded them. When it comes to Prometheus, I feel as though that is somewhere in the middle. It had moments of brilliant suspense and horror, yet the overall narrative was predictable and some of the characters were bland. However, Alien Covenant (A sequel to Prometheus) looks to make an impactful comeback, with Ridley Scott once again directing, seemingly bringing the franchise back to the roots of horror. Furthermore, we are treated by what looks to be another outstanding performance by Michael Fassbender (easily the best part of Prometheus). With some truly chilling trailers, Covenant looks to deliver on its promise of engaging and thrilling sci-fi horror, and I can’t wait.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (19th May)
Guy Ritchie is a Director that undoubtedly employs his cinematic mark upon the films he directs. From the two Sherlock Holmes films he has made, The Man from U.N.C.L.E and Lock Stock, you could tell if you were watching a Ritchie film from the stylized quick paced editing and bombastic characters. Now, Ritchie turns his hand to the Legend of King Arthur, of which I know very little about. That is the crucial reason of why I am anticipating Legend of the Sword. Not only does it looks to be an enjoyable and action packed fantasy, but with Ritchie’s unique touch applied to the film, the film looks to be something special. Introducing the Arthur legend to audiences who have little knowledge on the subject is intriguing enough, but with Ritchie’s unique artistic touch applied to the film, we hopefully will receive something that is memorable among the hundreds of fantasy films that exist today. It’s not at the top of my list but I am looking forward to checking it out at the cinema.
Pirates of the Caribbean Salazar’s Revenge (26th May)
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of those franchises that is hugely popular and has had tremendous financial success, yet critically, that’s a different manner. The original film, Curse of the Black Pearl, is generally accepted as the enjoyable one, with a standout performance by Johnny Depp and a delightful adventure. Despite this, the second, third and fourth instalment have had mixed to negative reception, yet that doesn’t halt the franchise in raking in huge profits at the box office, which is pretty unbelievable, considering the franchise began as a theme park ride! For me, the order from best to worst is 1,2,4,3, with At World’s End being especially abysmal and confusing. Salazar’s Revenge (Or Dead Men Tell No Tales in America) seems promising however, aiming to regain the respect that the franchise gained in its initial instalment. Not only does it look visually spectacular, but I guarantee that we will at least receive a brilliant performance from Javier Bardem as the villainous ghost pirate Salazar. Bardem is one of the greatest actors of our time, playing some of the best villains in recent cinematic history (No Country for Old Men and Skyfall are some of his most memorable performances). Of course I’m slightly cautious about this film, given the flexible quality of the franchise thus far, but I’m intrigued nonetheless.
Baywatch (29th May)
The most I have ever seen of the Baywatch TV show is when I watch Friends, and Joey and Chandler gleefully sit down to watch Pamela Anderson run across a beach in her swimwear. Other than that, I know that David Hasselhoff was the star and… that’s about it. However, the trailers for the film adaptation genuinely laugh. Not only that, but with Dwayne Johnson becoming one of my favourite screen presences, especially in action franchises such as Fast and Furious, Baywatch looks to be incredibly enjoyable. Even Zac Efron has proven that he has comedic talent with Bad Neighbours. I’m not expecting a complex story or deep character development, just a fun couple of hours that will entertain.
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