Only Spider-Man rivals DC’s caped crusader when it comes to the sheer quantity of screen adaptations in recent years. Go back to the last century, however, and even the web slinger is dwarfed. The arrival of Robert Pattinson on the scene appears to officially call time on the reign of Ben Affleck. Before Aflleck, there was Christian Bale. Prior to he: George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton. We are, of course, talking Batman.
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Can you really get away with ‘selling out’ simply by revolving the opening third of your cash-in sequel around a wry mockery of studio pressure? Not likely. Certainly, this fourth entry to The Matrix franchise hardly serves as conclusive evidence for the defence. Lana Wachowski directs, for the first time without the input of her sister, and is co-writer to novelists Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. The result is an overlong feature that’s deftly bonkers starting stretch slowly – painfully – gives way to something more familiar. Something generic. When asked after her absence, Lily Wachowski lamented a lack of interest in retreading old territory. Lana had no such qualms and does just that, largely failing to justifying why in the process.
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Big and red are just two words to describe the four-legged giant of children’s literature that is Clifford the Big Red Dog. This is the beloved canine creation of author Norman Bridwell. A star of no fewer than eighty books, between 1963 and 2015, Clifford is the lovable, clumsy and loyal companion of young Emily Elizabeth Howard. He’s also the star of Walt Becker’s brand new Hollywood franchise launcher. This isn’t Clifford’s first foray into cinema but it marks his debut in live action and his biggest budget to date. As it goes, the film’s a charmer and should leave fans seeing red for only the right reasons.
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