End Credits: Life

Plus CHiPS and Power Rangers

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With the recent discovery of the world’s oldest fossil that indicates life could have existed on Mars, the timing for the release of Life seems apt. Set on the International Space Station, the crew receives a returning probe containing samples from the surface of Mars. After studying it they find conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life and, being a sci-fi horror, things take a sharp turn for the worse. The quickly growing organism puts all the crew at risk and could wipe out life on Earth if it escapes. Not the most original concept but a claustrophobic setting and fleeting moments of dark and dry humour give this space flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds more hope.

Also out this week are two reboots we never thought we’d need. First up is CHiPS – yes, the motorcycle-based Californian cop show is getting a comedy rehash. Going down the same route as they did with the 21 Jump Street movie, the late 1970s/early 1980s Saturday teatime staple is lovingly and ruthlessly lampooned, in a surprisingly funny movie this time not suitable for family viewing.

And getting a drastic update is Power Rangers. Gone are the dodgy monster suits and stock footage from Japanese TV shows in favour of slick CG and big-budget action. The villains may be familiar in name but Elizabeth Banks’s Rita Repulsa and her lackey Goldar are barely recognisable to anyone who remembers the 1990s colour-coded dino-robot original. One interesting fact though – the blue ranger (Billy Cranston) was named after Bryan Cranston who lent his voice to a few of the monsters in the TV show and now appears as the floating head and mentor to the rangers, Zordon.

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