There’s a lot of new releases hitting cinemas this week with the major ones being kidnap-thriller Gone, Sci-Fi Actioner Lockout and comedy drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The trailer for Gone has been on in cinemas for what seems like months now, and the more I see it, the less interesting it becomes. Lockout looks suitably bonkers and could well prove to be a real guilty pleasure from the sound of reviews I’ve been getting. Meanwhile Salmon Fishing in the Yemen looks like it may be a little too saccharine and mumsy for some tastes, but who knows, the trailer may be slightly misleading.
Of last week’s offerings, it’s Cabin in the Woods which has been receiving all the plaudits with everyone I know who has seen it telling me “don’t let anyone spoil it for you” and “watch it without knowing what happens”. Which while no doubt sound advice, does now mean that when I do see it I’ll spend the whole film trying to ‘figure it out’ . Battleship has been met pretty much as expected, the odd reviewer seeing it as a guilty piece of fun popcorn cinema but the majority finding it fairly hollow, cliché ridden and far too reliant on big explosions. Obviously, that’s not a problem if you like that sort of thing.
If you want to check to see if any of these films are playing near you, you can visit Find Any Film and they’ll be able to help
Marley *Pick of the Week*
An in-depth look at the life and legacy of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley. Directed by Kevin Macdonald who has had previous success with documentaries Touching the Void and Life in a Day, as well as movies such as The Last King of Scotland and State of Play. It has received almost unanimously positive reviews across the board and looks like a really intriguing prospect. I was a massive fan of Senna last year and this looks like it could be comparable to that movie in that its a profile of an enigmatic star taken before his time and looks set to appeal to broad audience regardless of their prior knowledge of the subject matter.
You can read Will Jones’ review here.
You can also check out our interview with Kevin Macdonald here.
Never judge a book by its cover they say, and by the same extension, never judge a film by its trailer. With that in mind, let me say this about Gone, from what I’ve seen of the trailer and the reviews I’ve read, it looks like a run of the mill thriller with all the suspense and mystery of an episode of Scooby-Doo. As always though, I am happy to be proven wrong.
The plot revolves around a young woman called Jill who was escaped from the clutches of a crazed kidnapper a year previously. She returns home one day to find her sister mysteriously disappeared and soon realizes her kidnapper has returned. The police however had no interest in the case the first time round as they found no evidence supporting Jill’s claim and found out that she had been committed to a psychiatric hospital some years previously. Jill is determined to find her sister though and takes matter into her own hands.
Guy Pearce stars in this Sci-Fi Thriller written and produced by Luc Besson. The plot is simple, a former government agent who has been wrongly convicted of spying on his own country, is offered a chance of salvation if he can rescue the President’s daughter from a space prison overrun by its dangerous inmates. 20 years ago and this would have been a Van Damme or even Lundgren straight-to-video special, yet somehow, here it is in 2012 on the big screen with one of Hollywood’s go-to guys, Guy Pearce in the leading role. Judging from early reviews and the all-action trailer, I sense this will be a movie that won’t appeal to everyone, but could still be an enjoyable action romp for many others.
Tracy Ladd says:
IT’S AWESOME! I loved every single beefed up, cheesy, ridiculous minute of it. I think it’s even worth a double tap so chances are good I’ll see it again.
Dave Sztypuljak says:
Lockout is currently my favourite film of the year. It’s 90 minutes of Guy Pearce being an action hero delivering one sarcastic line after! It’s a completely bonkers movie but it’s been written like that so that you come out laughing and talking about the ridiculousness of it!
You can watch the first five minutes of Lockout here.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Based on the Paul Torday novel of the same name, this romantic comedy-drama is directed by Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallstrom. Hallstrom’s previous works include What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, so he’s clearly a man with some fair dramatic pedigree. Incidentally he also directed a large number of Abba videos including Mamma Mia, S.O.S. and Dancing Queen. Just a bit of trivia there for you fact fans.
Starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, it’s follows the trials and tribulations of a British Fisheries expert and Asperges sufferer who is reluctantly brought in to assist on a project to introduce salmon fishing to the highland of Yemen (hence the name). The UK government takes a great interest in the project as they see it as a novel way to improve Anglo-Arab relations. Kristen Scott-Thomas also stars in an apparently scene-stealing role as a no-nonsense government spin doctor straight out of the Malcolm Tucker school of diplomacy.
You can read Jamie Neish’s review here.
Aka Nazi’s on the moon. The trailer for this Finnish-German-Australian production has been doing the rounds on the web for a few months now and has turned into quite the curiosity piece. It’s billed as a Sci-Fi Action Comedy and judging by the trailer and central concept in general (Nazi’s go to the moon in 1945 and await there until 20128 plotting their return to conquer earth) tongues will be firmly in cheek throughout. It’s met with fairly mixed reviews since its release but I can definitely see it obtaining the status of cult favourite over time.
Juliette Binoche stars as a journalist for Elle magazine who is writing an article about French students moonlighting as prostitutes.
According to the official site:
Anne (Juliette Binoche), a well-off, Paris-based mother and journalist for ELLE, is writing an exposé into student prostitution. Her encounters with two fiercely independent and fascinating young women, Alicja (Joanna Kulig) and Charlotte (Anaïs Demoustier), are profoundly unsettling and in stark contrast to her own bourgeois life. As she gets more drawn into their world, Anne is forced to question her most intimate convictions about money, family and sex.
You can read Adam Lowes’ review here.
A British indie-horror movie starring father/daughter combo Ray and Jaime Winstone. Jaime stars as the titular hero, a wannabe detective living in a quiet country village. Elfie has been hit hard by the death of her own mother and seeks solace in old detective movies like The Maltese Falcon. Inspired by her cinematic heroes she decides to start carrying out investigations of her own to pass the time and stumbles onto a genuine case when mysterious new family The Gammons move into the neighborhood. Needless to say, there’s more to them than meets the eye.
A small Austrian movie about a 19-year-old ex-convict who struggles with his guilt as he tries to build a new life. Breathing was Austria’s submission to the best foreign film category at this year’s Oscars so it may be worth seeing out by art-house fans.
According to the official site:
Roman Kogler (Thomas Schubert) is 19 years old and has lived all his life in institutions. Abandoned by his mother as a young child and raised in an orphanage, he is now serving time in a juvenile detention centre having accidentally killed a boy of his own age in a brawl. A solitary boy with an uncommunicative attitude, he has no friends, family or connections to turn to in the outside world. But when threatened with a life behind bars unless he finds a job and sticks to it, he eventually finds a probation job shifting dead bodies at the municipal morgue in Vienna. The work is physically and emotionally draining and his co-workers are not exactly welcoming. But when Roman is one day faced with a dead woman who bears his family name, it occurs to him that this may be the mother who gave him up for adoption and he begins to explore his past.
Another month, another found footage horror movie. The genre is in real danger of out-staying its welcome and any new kid on the block needs to make sure it ups the ante in order to make an impact on the crowded horror market. Grave Encounters comes courtesy of directorial team ‘The Vicious Brothers’ (really) and judging by the suitably unsettling trailer it certainly looks like it has promise. The plot follows a crew from a ghost-hunting TV show who decide to venture into an abandoned psychiatric hospital renowned for its spooky goings on. After foolishly voluntarily locking themselves inside, they soon learn that the old building is very much alive and has no intention of letting them leave. Cue all sorts of jumps and scares in the dark. Could be worth a watch for any horror fans.
Jim Caviezel stars in this crime thriller which pits a gang of robbers against a suburban middle class family. The robbers have killed a truck driver and made off with around $4million in loot. However when they arrive at a police roadblock they decide to stash it in the car of a passing family’s vehicle. Once through the roadblock the follow their unsuspecting mules but when the father gets pulled over for reckless driving it sets off a series of events that spiral wildly out of control.
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy
Based on the top-selling book by author Irvine Welsh, this is a dark romantic comedy which sees hard-living Lloyd, a party boy who smuggles drugs on the side for extra cash, begin a flourishing relationship with married Heather. Warning, this has had some absolutely blisteringly scathing reviews and has been billed as one to avoid like the plague. Just so you know.
According to the official site:
Based on Irvine Welsh’s controversial book, Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, ECSTASY is a twisted tale that explores the euphoric highs and the devastating lows of a chemical romance. Lloyd (Adam Sinclair) is on top of the world – beautiful girls, great club sounds, and a never ending supply of the love drug, sustained by a smuggling sideline for the local drug boss Solo (Carlo Rota). But when he meets Heather (Kristin Kreuk) he is forced to question if the love he feels is real or just another chemical high. As cracks start to appear in his world he realises he wants out. If he can just pull off one last trip for Solo, he’ll be free.