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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD AND THE OTHER FILMS OUT THIS FORTNIGHT

It’s the return of Mad Max with a new star after 30 years away from the big-screen. We’ve also got that rare beast – an original summer blockbuster that doesn’t rely on superheroes or some kind of franchise (although we’re sure they’re hoping to create one)

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Writer/director’s fourth entry in the Mad Max franchise was originally announced in 2003 and since then technology has come on leaps and bounds, while original Max Mel Gibson has made way for Tom Hardy. In a post-apocalyptic world, Theron plays a woman, who teams up with our hero while on the run from a savage dictator, aided by a supporting cast which includes an unrecognisable Hoult as well as supermodels Abbey Lee and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The original trilogy put some of the most staggering car chases ever on film and this is no different. Relentlessly intense, you’ll barely breathe for the two hour running time.

Tomorrowland – A World Beyond

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Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie

The teasers for this big-budget (and original don’t you know!) fantasy were tantalising, with dazzling CGI and not much plot. We don’t want to spoil said narrative too much for you here. Suffice to say Robertson is a regular but scientifically astute girl who finds herself with seemingly accidental access to a highly-advanced, lost society and turns to a reclusive former inventor (Clooney) to show her what to do. Cryptic? Sure. Exciting and imaginative, definitely.

Pitch Perfect 2

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Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld

Something of a sleeper hit when it was released in 2012, the original Pitch Perfect built up such a loyal following that a sequel became a necessity. Still focusing the world of college a cappella groups, the follow-up sees Steinfeld as a Bellas newbie as they compete against the best singers in the world. What it has going for it – a great and eclectic soundtrack, a refreshing lack of Glee-style schmaltz and some proper zingers.

San Andreas

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Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino

It’s been a while since we’ve had a corking disaster movie and this certainly looks the part. The titular fault finally gives way in California causing not just a mighty earthquake, but everything that would result from that. It’s up to a stoic Johnson to rescue his daughter (Daddario) from the ensuing carnage. Expect noise – lots and lots of noise.

Poltergeist

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Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris

The 1982 original was scary and fun (and co-written by Steven Spielberg) and this remake of a story about a family whose daughter is taken into a supernatural realm by malevolent ghosties retains that sense of spookiness mixed with thrills. It’s a PG-13 in the States, which means it’s not going to be too graphic, but Harris’s role as an Irish ghost expert is fun and director Gil Kenan manipulates the shocks effectively.

Man Up

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Starring: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Ophelia Lovibond

It’s a perfect romcom set-up – a single woman accidentally bumps into another girl’s blind date at a station, he gets the wrong idea and she decides not to tell him. But from the producers of ‘Spaced’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’, two other non-traditional romance stories, this is a clever and more biting comedy, mainly thanks to Bell, whose charisma (and impressive English accent) lend it layers you don’t usually get with a cheesy Heigl vehicle.

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