I never really enjoyed the original Star Trek; I found it boring and outdated in relation to modern sci-fi shows. As a result, I didn’t watch J.J. Abrams rebooted film series at first. However, when I did, its sharp cast, powerful score and breath-taking action sequences made it one of my favourite film series.
This classic takes the premise of a band of real-world celebrities pulling off a Vegas heist from the 1960 original and gives it some of Steven Soderbergh’s stylistic twists and turns to properly realise it in the 21st century.
An ingenious satire on the detective genre based on the play by Anthony Shaffer, Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Sleuth’ exchanges a world of Edwardian charm for a more palpable bleakness. Michael Caine, once the younger character in the 1972 version, plays the older role with visceral brutality, filling the screen with a frightening menace.
Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller’s sort-of-reboot of his 80s trilogy is as ambitious and technically astounding as any action film this century. We follow Max and Furiosa as they battle through sky-consuming sandstorms and flamethrower guitarists, in a fully realised Aussie dystopia. Its plot is simple. Its storytelling and action choreography is anything but.
As nonsensically silly and over-the-top as the series, this action comedy perfectly translates its source material and in doing so proves that if you can get an audience to suspend their disbelief, they can literally enjoy anything.
The Karate Kid
Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan kick ass in the 2010 remake of Karate-Kid. This film surpasses the original by putting Dre (Smith) in the country where Kung-Fu was born, giving the martial art the spiritual respect it deserves. The montage scenes are badass and the spectacle is even grander.
The Legend of Tarzan
The Legend of Tarzan is a far better film than you might remember that came and went out of cinemas very quickly last year. It’s entertaining, well-paced and has some great performances from Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. David Yates’ direction is assured and very cine-literate.
A Bigger Splash
Last year’s loose remake of 1969’s ‘Piscine’ is a visually engaging and deftly acted study on lust and desire, focusing on four wealthy characters stuck together on an Italian island. From Ralph Fiennes’ extravagant performance to fourth wall breaks and wild camera techniques, everything is just so damn interesting.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The 2005 remake of Roald Dahl’s beloved childhood story is a comedic and fantastical success. While the 1971 version of ‘Willly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ was a well-received classic, Tim Burton’s 2005 reboot enthralled a new audience and did well to capture the source material creatively and with accuracy.
Brian De Palma takes the already great 1932 version and makes it a classic, detailing Cuban refugee Tony Montana’s rise to power as a drug crimelord. Packed with crazy violence, a great script, and a career highlight performance from Al Pacino, this is a classic crime flick that keeps getting referenced today.