George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four warnings feel a long distant memory in the face of Missing, a stand-alone sequel to Aneesh Chaganty’s buzz hit Searching. Long gone are fears of the Big Brother. These days, there’s not so much data Gen Z won’t sacrifice for free Wi-Fi and a welcome discount. Where Orwell forebode, Missing delights. The whole world is but a click away, if that in the era of Face ID. As with Searching, the thrills of Missing unfold in the ‘screenlife’ format – which is to say, entirely through computer desktops and web cams. It’s an approach not so far removed from the noughties’ fondness for found footage and similarly dependent on a certain degree of stretched credulity.
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If Nintendo seem slow to the uptake in finally mining their prized Mario empire for big screen franchising, there’s no doubting the memory of 1993’s Bob Hoskins led Super Mario Bros. flop spurred hesitation. It figures. Time, however, heals all wounds and today’s target audience may even be the children of parents born after that film’s release. Moreover, in the hands of the studio behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, the Japanese gaming giant can breathe easy. Chris Meledandri and the Illumination team have yet to drop the ball at the box office. Not once in thirteen years and twelve films, two of which bested the billion dollar benchmark. That’s no mean feat and a track record The Super Mario Bros. Movie has no chance of breaking.
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Many years have come and gone since Courtney Solomon – not to mention dodgy effects, dreadful acting and dismal writing – murdered Dungeons & Dragons at the multiplex. In spite of the two home video sequels that somehow limped out of its legacy, the film remains a remarkably risible tribute to a game of perhaps unparalleled cultural significance. Only now, two decades later, can the memory of Solomon’s effort be banished to the outer planes. Only with the release of Honour Among Thieves, which is, by all accounts, a tour-de-force of infectious blockbusting fun.
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