Two years ago, Marvel refreshed the superhero genre when they re-introduced Deadpool, an X-rated, fast-talking crime fighter like nobody else we’d seen in spandex on the silver screen. Now the fourth-wall smashing ‘merc with a mouth’ is back for his much-anticipated sequel. Directed by David Leitch, the plot sees Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) reunite with a gang of B-team X-Men members after he suffers a personal tragedy. They encounter a teen mutant who goes by the name Firefist (Julian Dennison) who is being targeted by Cable (Josh Brolin), a cybernetic soldier who has travelled back in time to save his family. To protect Firefist and bring down the villain of the piece, Deadpool must form his own alliance.
After proving to be more than capable in a number of different genres, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa delves into challenging sci-fi horror territory with Life. The story follows the studies of scientists aboard the International Space Station, on an explorative mission to find life on Mars. Led by Russian commander Katerina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya), the crew consists of Dr David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), pilot Rory (Ryan Reynolds), quarantine officer Miranda (Rebecca Ferguson), engineer Sho (Hiroyuki Sanada) and biologist Hugh (Ariyon Bakare). The team are initially delighted by their groundbreaking discovery of a living organism, which is later named Calvin, but are soon put in danger when it rapidly grows outwith their control.
After the release of a staggering 36 films since the turn of the century, we’ve come to know what to expect from films based on Marvel Comics, whether it’s an origin story or ensemble, or should that be ‘assemble’, piece where characters weave in and out of each others movies. In to mix up the formula as part of the X-Men series strand is self-referential comedy ‘Deadpool’, marking the directorial debut of Tim Miller, who is jokingly labelled an ‘overpaid tool’ in the titles. Ryan Reynolds takes the leading role, eager to leave the green mask of universally panned ‘Green Lantern’ behind him. The plot centres around mercenary Wade Wilson (Reynolds) who undergoes an experimental treatment that goes horribly wrong, but leaves him with superpowers. Out to reconcile with girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and get revenge on villainous Ajax (Ed Skrein), can he undo the damage and get the girl?
In cinema, gambling has the tendency to be glamourised and sensationalised, casinos portrayed as slick, stylish dens where dreams come true and everyone goes home a winner. Showing the dirtier side of the coin, and tackling the addictiveness of the habit are writers and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who are best known for their collaboration on Half Nelson, which told the story of a school teacher hooked on drugs. Their latest project ‘Mississippi Grind’ focuses in on Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn), a down-trodden chancer on a losing streak. At the poker table, he meets Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), a happy-go-lucky ladies’ man who likes a flutter but confidently claims that he doesn’t play to win. In an attempt to overturn Gerry’s misfortune and make enough profit to repay his debts, they embark on a betting-fuelled road trip down the Mississippi River.