Out Now – 25th July 2014

The Purge Hercules

I’ve heard whispers that this latest version of the legend of Hercules starring The “Dwayne Johnson” Rock is not completely awful. I refuse to believe these rumours and instead rely on my personal bias and prejudices which tell me it will be terrible.

The Purge: Anarchy
Last year’s The Purge brought us the interesting concept of an annual event during which all laws in America are suspended and raised the eternal debate as to whether Ethan Hawke should be taken seriously or not. The concept is back with a wider scope but without Hawke and reviews are mixed.

Earth to Echo
An alien needs help from a group of children to get home. What new element can they possibly bring to the formula so classically realised in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? “The movie is shot in found footage format.” Oh good grief.

A period (1984) family drama about a young lad who does wrong but finds rehabilitation through his love for football. A film couldn’t appeal to me much less than this.

The House of Magic
Belgian animated adventure about a cat who goes into a house of magic. Sorry, not a house of magic. The cat in question enters The House of Magic. Hilarity ensues and everyone learns a valuable lesson.

The Lady from Shanghai
Orson Welles’ famously shambolic film noir gets a second run in UK cinemas sixty-six years after its original release. Go for the atmosphere, not the plot.

Both director David Gordon Green and star Nicolas Cage are known to be hit and miss with their output. United they are getting a great response for this low-key drama about a convict finding redemption through his relationship (not like that) with a teenage boy.

Who is Dayani Cristal?
I have no idea. Sorry.

Hindi action drama about an adrenaline junkie starting a new career as a thief. Not an option you’ll normally find at the Jobcentre.

Danish crime drama about skinheads in grey hoodies.

Scar Tissue
British thriller in which a young man finds himself being stalked by a serial killer… WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD! If your mind isn’t blown simply by reading that sentence then maybe you can handle this film.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
Documentary about some unsolved disappearances on the Galapagos Island of Floreana in the 1930s. A classic example of spicing up a weak title with an overly dramatic subtitle.

Branded to Kill
1960s Japanese action drama about a hitman who, I kid you not, has “a fetish for sniffing boiling rice”. If you find yourself targeted by such a man my suggestion would be to get some rice on the hob ASAP.

Smart Ass (Cine Lumiere only)
French comedy drama about business school students who set up a prostitution ring. I did Business Studies many years ago and we sold balloons for Valentines Day. We certainly missed a trick or two.

Mindscape (Empire Leicester Square only)
“A man with the ability to enter peoples’ memories takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled sixteen-year-old girl to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma.”

Out Now – 11th July 2014

Richard Linklater, the man who made you cry through the entire Before trilogy, has made a low budget epic about one boy and his family that is set and shot over the space of 12 years. It’s lovely that this film is getting as much press as it is and I can’t wait to see it this weekend.

Transformers: Age of Extinction
This came out either last Saturday or yesterday depending on how you fancy treating a five-day preview window that ends when the film comes out. More robots transform with the added bonus of Mark Wahlberg with his perplexed face and flexed muscles.

Begin Again
John Carney, writer/director of Once, return to the genre that he mastered with a romantic musical comedy with a little more sheen than his previous outing. Knightley and Ruffalo star in a film that I suspect is slightly less cringeworthy than it might at first seem.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
The synopsis is too long and convoluted for me to translate here so let’s just say that it is an Indian romantic comedy drama and be done with it.

Moroccan documentary about a woman fighting to get her marriage recognised and earn her daughter legitimate status. “It is also a complex and compelling portrait of Moroccan society and its attitudes to women, female sexuality, their position in society and access to education.”

Goltzius and the Pelican Company
Biopic about Hendrik Goltzius, “a late 16th century Dutch printer and engraver of erotic prints”. Apparently his focus was on erotic illustration of stories from the Old Testament which is not a book I have found particularly sexy in the past.

Mr. Morgan’s Last Love
Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy (forever Fleur Delacour in my heart) star in this drama that utilises that favourite plot device; the unlikely friendship. Can an old man and a young woman really be friends?!?!?

Love Me Till Monday
A phrase that has a varying level of commitment attached depend on when in the week you ask it. British comedy with a female lead! Shame she is focussed on finding herself a man.

Out Now – 4th July 2014

A Hard Days Night

We’ll be back on our feet soon, I promise! In the meantime…

Having left behind the loveable character she played in Gilmore Girls (like you didn’t watch it too) Melissa McCarthy has carved a niche for herself playing brash supporting characters and now finally that character has a film of her own. Who cares what the plot is? You’re going to get what you paid for, McCarthy saying rude things and looking a bit messy while you gasp in shock and amusement.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared follows a 100-year-old man who climbs out of the window and disappears. The rest of the plot doesn’t feature in the title so clearly isn’t worth worrying about. Features foreign languages; you have been warned.

The Anomaly
Noel Clarke continues to try to prove that British films aren’t all romances, period dramas, or comedies with his latest directorial outing, a sci-fi thriller about a man who only experiences nine minutes of each day with the rest of the time given over to mysterious exploits.

Cycling With Molière
French comedy about two actors rehearsing a play as they cycle along. By rehearsing the play and fighting over roles the pair find their relationship changing as they view it through the lens of Molière’s verse. Great for fans of Molière or… bikes.

Here and Now
“Inner-city girl Grace doesn’t want to spend a week in the country helping her parents save their marriage. Country boy Say finds Grace both obnoxious and attractive. Amongst the scenic grandeur of the dying days of summer the pair search for distraction and, against all odds, find each other.” I don’t think it was against all odds as for a boy finding someone both obnoxious and attractive only makes them that little bit more attractive.

Bobby Jasoos
Indian action comedy about an aspiring detective. Apparently a film about a “lady-detective” is a new concept in India so that’s a good thing right there.

Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
Indian romantic comedy about a newly wed couple who move to avoid the bride’s parent trying to enforce an arranged marriage. Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan has endorsed the film and its freshman lead actor Armaan Jain so we can all rest easy.

The Year And The Vineyard
Spanish comedy drama in which a Sicilian in the Spanish civil war falls through a hole in time and ends up in modern-day Spain. What’s not to love about that plot?

A Hard Day’s Night
Re-release of the classic Beatles film which serves as a reminder that there is one thing One Direction have yet to attempt; scripted films. Oh the horror!

One singer who is acting these days though; Ronan Keating. Good grief.

Out Now – 27th June 2014


Jon Favreau returns to not making Iron Man films with a comedy drama about a chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up his own food truck. Reviews are positive and it sounds like the kind of film that will have you drooling at the food on-screen. With plenty of swearing this is a grown up film that I’d quite like to see.

Walking on Sunshine
Jukebox musical featuring songs from the eighties. With its European seaside setting and British cast this is such a blatant Mamma Mia imitation that it should be applauded for its boldness. Whether is should be applauded for anything else is yet to be seen.

Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie
Contrary to popular belief I am not a fan of Mrs. Brown’s Boys though admittedly haven’t given it much of a chance. I have however seen the trailer for this big screen spin-off and frankly that was enough for me. Not a great week for British cinema this week.

“Despite being blocked at almost every turn in pursuit of the sport he loved, Seve Ballesteros fought against adversity to become the most spectacular and charismatic golfer to ever play the game.” This is the first I have heard of Seve or Seve so will probably give it a miss for better or worse.

The Return to Homs
“In the middle of Syrian Civil War, the film follows, 19 year-old national football team goalkeeper, Basset and 24-year-old Ossama, his media activist and journalist friend, their daily life in the city of Homs which has become a bombed-out ghost town by Syrian Army on Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad orders. Their homes, lives and dreams destroyed and in order to gain freedom, they are forced to change course Basset and Ossama turned from peaceful protesters into rebel insurgents.”

Mistaken for Strangers
Documentary about The National (American indie rock band) going on their largest ever tour as filmed by the brother of frontman Matt. It sounds as though the film quickly become more about sibling rivalries than the band and sounds all the more intriguing for it.

Cold in July
Michael C. Hall returns from disappointing everyone in Dexter to co-star in a thriller which is getting better reviews than I had thought. All synopses are suitably vague but I have been promised a few twists should that appeal to you.

A Haunted House 2
Don’t feel too bad if you don’t remember the original A Haunted House, which came out last year, as I can’t either and presumably I wrote about it at the time. The Scary Movie team has reunited and are not two films into another horror parody franchise.

Secret Sharer
A film I will be reviewed as soon as I get this train back on track but let’s just say, between us, that this is a three star film. A young Polish man takes over captaining a Chinese cargo ship and struggles to gain the respect of the crew whilst he hides a young Chinese woman in his cabin that he found naked in the sea. A little bit of a male fantasy perhaps but slightly better than it sounds.

Keeping Rosy
“All Charlotte wants from life is to be cut a slice of the media agency she has devoted herself to building. When Charlotte’s life disintegrates, we follow her on a heart-racing journey of self-discovery, atonement and danger.” Starring the wildly under-appreciated Maxine Peake this British drama was described by Kermode as “televisual” so let’s wait for it to pop up on ITV.

Under the Rainbow
French comedy about young Parisians looking for fairytale romance who quickly discover that love in real life is much more complicated.

The Villain
Indian action thriller: “When his lover becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, Guru blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.”

The Golden Dream
“A road movie about teenage Guatemalan immigrants and their journey to the U.S.”

Out Now – 20th June 2014

The Fault in our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Based on a book I read in a day, no mean feat if you’ve ever watched me try to focus on reading in this internet age, and on a screenplay by the (500) Days of Summer scribes we have a film about two teens who fall in love at a cancer support group. Dismiss it if you wish but I know I will see it and that the person sitting next to me will be weeping like a loon.

3 Days to Kill
“A dying CIA agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.” So rather than kill-or-be-killed it is kill-or-die-of-natural-causes? I’m not sure how well that stands up morally to be honest.

Chinese Puzzle
The third film in Cédric Klapisch’s international comedy trilogy that I didn’t know was a thing follows the gang to New York with Romain Duris’ Xavier as its focus. I saw the film and enjoyed it, regardless of whether or not I knew what I was watching.

Bright Days Ahead
Retired dentist has an affair with her younger computer lecturer and former patient. This is a French romantic drama so expect a healthy dose of sex and… cheese(?).

Camille Claudel 1915
Sticking with France, and joined by Juliette Binoche who was last seen sprinting in and out of Godzilla, we spend the film with a sculptor who has been sent to an asylum and is left with the task of convincing her doctors that she is completely sane.

Spring in a Small Town
The BFI are just starting a MASSIVE season of Chinese films over at the BFI Southbank and further afield and we should all try to educate ourselves before it is too late. I’ll let the BFI introduce this puppy: “Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair – now restored – is a remarkable rediscovery.”

Leave to Remain
“Three teenagers forced to leave their family, friends and homes behind learn to live in yet another hostile country. That country is the UK.” I love the way this synopsis has been written; with a little biting twist at the end. I can almost imagine then raising their eyebrows and staring you down to gauge your shocked reaction; “but… but… this is the UK!”

Miss Violence
Greek drama revolving around suicide, self harm, and child abuse. Eesh.

Humshakals translates to doppelgänger which translates to “double goer” which makes no real sense. Let’s stick with the German. Bollywood comedy about three men who each have two doppelgängers that share their name. It’s like Primer but without the time travel. Good luck following the plot!

Jersey Boys
Acclaimed director Clint Eastwood directs the big screen adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway and West End hit about the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The resulting film? Well… all reports suggest that it a stinking mess of a musical. Enjoy!