Release Date: 14th August 2014
Running Time: 126 minutes
Director: Patrick Hughes
Sylvester Stallone’s high-profile project to help find work for the elderly, or ‘The Expendables Trilogy’ as it’s better known, comes to a close with the release of the third and probably-not-final installment of the franchise. You know the drill by now, and if you don’t then it’s fairly straightforward – a bunch of ageing Hollywood muscle-men come together to re-live their pre-9/11 glory days before Hollywood went all liberal on us. What’s wrong with a bit of blasé ultra violence? Evidently Sly won’t stand for this sort of wishy-washy nonsense, and so we’ve been treated to two Expendables outings so far, the second being the most entertaining slice of nostalgic action pap. The trailers promised the usual ‘bigger and better’, and so they’ve expanded the cast to include Frasier Crane, Indiana Jones, Blade, Puss-in-Boots and a raging anti-Semitic alongside a bunch of young pretenders. Could this be as enjoyable as its supremely silly predecessors?
Release Date: 31st July 2014 Certification: 12A Running Time: 121 minutes Director: James Gunn Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro
Just exactly how many of you are suffering from Marvel fatigue right now? Unbelievably, this is the 4th movie to come from a Marvel franchise this year following sequels to Captain America, Spider-Man and X-Men. Not that any of these have been especially patience-testing, but with sequels to other comic book adaptations 300 and Sin City also out this year, you might be forgiven for wishing that anything vaguely superhero or comic affiliated would just bugger off for a bit. Enter Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s likely that unless you have an extensive knowledge of comics that you haven’t the foggiest who these guys are, which is actually rather refreshing considering the over-familiarity of the rest of 2014’s comic releases . Thankfully however, this has a lot more in common with the space opera than any superhero romp, and feels mostly devoid of any of the baggage that goes with them.
Release Date: 25th of July 2014 Certification: 15 Running Time: 103 Minutes Director: James DeMonaco Starring: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoë Soul, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Michael K. Williams
In a dystopian near future America, there’s one night a year where all crimes are legal. Enforced by a sinister, faceless government this annual Purge is said to relieve tensions in the country, and with national crime and unemployment statistics at an all time low throughout the rest of the year, the populace is willing to tolerate it. Anyone who wants to rob, rape or murder are encouraged to go out on the streets and ‘unleash the beast’. Everyone else is best advised to lock up tight and stay at home. The Purge: Anarchy, sequel to last year’s sleeper hit The Purge, takes the same basic premise of a twelve hour lawless period but fleshes it out somewhat, enlarging its scope beyond the drab and derivative home invasion thriller of the first film by bringing the action out onto the wild, lawless streets.
Release Date: 25th of July 2014 Certification: 12A Running Time: 98 Minutes Director: Brett Ratner Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
When sitting down to watch a film starring a former wrestler and directed by the maker of X-Men: The Last Stand and Rush Hour 3, there are certain expectations. The most you might be able to hope for is a movie that is silly rather than stupid. A silly movie might have an inherent amount of stupidity, but it has a level of self-awareness and exuberance that elevates it to campy fun. Unfortunately, Hercules is more of a stupid movie than a silly one.
Directors: Simon Helberg / Jocelyn Towne
Starring: Simon Helbergh, Melanie Lynskey, Maggie Grace, Zachary Quinto
Running Time: 95 Minutes
The Edinburgh International Film Festival’s final curtain call this year comes in the form of Simon Helberg’s directorial debut, We’ll Never Have Paris. A whiny and neurotic study in how to fuck up a successful relationship; they may never have Paris, but something tells me Paris won’t mind.