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Movie of the Week

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

The latest X-Men instalment, Dark Phoenix, is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic Dark Phoenix.

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During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all.  Wrestling with an increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet.  The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know must face their most devastating enemy yet – one of their own.

The film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain.

The film will be in cinemas from Friday, 7 June 2019.

Movie of the Week

Men in Black: International

The Men in Black have to protect the universe from intergalactic villains, but their biggest worry is not what’s on Earth, but who’s operating within the organisation.

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The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe.  In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole inside the Men in Black organisation.

It might take one a while to get used to the way Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and Tencent Pictures handle the portrayal of the Men In Black but, after a while, it’s very apparent that this film is more of a spin-off than a continuation of the iconic Men in Black trilogy. The film takes a step in the right direction, by being inclusive of women, starring several strong female roles within the agency. The plot line is very standard, and the Men In Black facade of men dressed in black falls apart towards the end. This highlights a disconnect between the comic books, the previous trilogy, and this film, and it feels as if this edition took a very hard fork in the representation of Men in Black.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson make a great team in the film as Men in Black partners, and the dynamic between them and their loyal alien team sidekick, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani, is one of the best aspects of the film.

Men in Black comic book fans, don’t get your hopes up by the look of the poster. Some cameos were promised in the poster of the film, but aren’t delivered for long enough (or at all) in the film. In particular, Frank the Pug barely has a walk-on role or, rather, a brief sit-down role. 

Bottom line: The film is family friendly and will make its money with younger audiences, but it’s not necessarily for hardcore Men in Black fans. The cool aliens going about ultra-normal daily activities remains a highlight. – Bryan Turner

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Movie of the Week

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – Netflix Original Film

This true story from southern Africa tells how, 13-year-old William Kamkwamba builds a wind turbine to save his Malawian village from famine.

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Adapted from the bestselling book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is the story of 13-year-old William (played by newcomer Maxwell Simba) who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees. Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle belonging to his father Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his Malawian village from famine. The emotional journey of a father and his exceptional son at its heart, William’s tale captures the incredible determination of a boy whose inquisitive mind overcame every obstacle in his path.

The film highlights the power of education and individual determination to change the trajectory of a life, a village and a nation. By telling the story of one boy’s efforts to overcome the barriers he faces to education, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind inspires audiences to imagine a future where every child, in every village, has access to knowledge and opportunities to put that knowledge to work.

The film is available to stream now on Netflix.

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