What's on the big screen this week
THERE has been no shortage of Spider-Man remakes over the years, but the latest iteration of the web-slinger stands out from the crowd.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, deliver a fresh vision of an animated Spider-Man Universe where multiple people can wear the mask.
Also out this week is the action thriller Peppermint, in which Alias star Jennifer Garner returns to her action roots as a mother out for revenge against the criminals who killed her family, and an M-rated version of Deadpool 2 released for the holiday season.
Here are this week's highlights of the big screen and why you should see them:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)
Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.
Why you should see it: The creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street have delivered an entertaining and fresh take on the Spider-Man franchise with its own unique visual style. Read the interview with star Shameik Moore.
Peppermint (MA 15+)
Five years after her husband and daughter are killed in a senseless act of violence, a woman comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free.
Why you should see it: This vigilante revenge story treads the well-worn path of many other films, the only novelty being it's a woman kicking butt. Jennifer Garner puts in a strong performances but it's not enough to save this underwhelming action thriller.
Once Upon A Deadpool (M)
Fred Savage joins Ryan Reynolds in new scenes for this M-rated version of Deadpool 2 to benefit charity.
Why you should see it: This charming release opens up Reynold's R-rated superhero to a much wider demographic, and Savage is a great foil, but this is no substitute for the original.
Mortal Engines (M)
Many years after the Sixty Minute War, cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.
Why you should see it: Director Christian Rivers and producer Peter Jackson have created some stunning action sequences in cinema's first steampunk epic. Read the review.
Second Act (M)
Jennifer Lopez stars as a big box store worker reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street smarts can do.
Why you should see it: This modern Cinderella story, minus the prince, is sure to stick to the rom-com formula audiences know well. But, like a warm blanket, that can be a good thing. Read the review.
On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion's success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.
Why you should see it: If you're a fan of gore, then you'll love this reboot of the 1975 film of the same name which is part war drama and part zombie thriller.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (M)
The true story of bestselling celebrity biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), who made her living in the 1970s and '80s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Estee Lauder. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception abetted by her loyal friend Jack.
Why you should see it: Melissa McCarthy shines in her first big dramatic role, thanks in part to her strange but successful on-screen coupling with Richard E Grant. Read the review.
Elliot the Littlest Reindeer (G)
When Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st, a miniature horse has three days to fulfil his lifelong dream of earning a spot on Santa's team at the North Pole try-outs.
Why you should see it: It's not the worst animated Christmas film, but this reindeer romp is pretty charmless and unimaginative.
The Grinch (G)
A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
Why you should see it: In the latest iteration of Dr. Seuss' story, kids are discovering a new, more considerate, less-scary Grinch. Read the interview with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Creed II (M)
Adonis Creed tries to seek revenge when he goes toe to toe with the man who killed his father.
Why you should see it: There are few surprises in this latest addition to the boxing franchise, in which Sly's Rocky Balboa is now mentor to young Adonis, but it still lands a solid punch by sticking to a tried and true formula. Read the review.