FOR THE HORDE! Flashy spectacle dominates this week’s new releases, with Warcraft at the head of the pack.
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.
I had exceedingly low expectations about Warcraft, but I’ve got to admit I was pleasantly surprised. If you love a good swords-and-sorcery fantasy epic like I do, then you’ll be sufficiently entertained and impressed by Blizzard’s jaw-dropping visuals and grand world building. Downsides? The directing was a bit slap-dash, the editing was overly choppy, the story is a bit lacklustre and honestly, I could have used a lot more exposition than what was given. All in all though, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and fans of the games will love it more. Kervyn delves into much more detail in his 3/5 star review, but the TL;DR is that it’s just a fun movie, and a feast for the eyes to boot.
Now You See Me 2
The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan) return for a second mind-bending adventure, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights and taking them around the globe. One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe), a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
The original Now You See Me was a so-so affair, so it’s surprising that it got a sequel. What’s not really surprising is that it turns out to be just more of the same. The frantic plot is filled with increasingly ludicrous twists and tricks that still somehow feel underscripted, as more time is devoted to the razzle dazzle than anything else, leaving under-developed characters scattered in its wake. But razzle dazzle you it does, and does it very well with a jaunty pace and impressive, big scale set pieces. As Kervyn pointed out in his 3/5 star review, if you fell for the magic of the first one, Now You See Me Too is sure to hypnotise you as well.
On the morning of September 9, 2004, veteran CBS News producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) believed she had every reason to feel proud of a broadcast journalism job well done. By the end of the day, Mapes, CBS News, and the venerable CBS News anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) would be under harsh scrutiny.
Despite being described as by some as captivating and well-crafted, the truth is that Truth… isn’t that good. While it’s packed to the brim with great ideas and fuelled by amazing performances, in the end the conspiracy theories and drama get in the way of good story-telling. As far as investigative journalism movies go, if you’ve seen Spotlight then you’ll find Truth an incredibly monotone and unimaginative.
The Conjuring 2
Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up In the Air,” TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the “Insidious” films), star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
Refreshingly enough, The Conjuring 2 is devoid of cheap jump scares and thrill tactics that the horror genre seems to be made from. Instead it’s truly, genuinely scary, keeping audiences in an overwhelming sense of dread and tension. While it loses a bit of the original’s thrill, it’s still bone-chillingly creepy and will keep horror fans very happy, which is to say The Conjuring 2 will keep you so freaked out that you can’t sleep.
Last Updated: June 10, 2016