Out Now – 22nd August 2014

Deliver Us from Mild Concern

What If
Good not great romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan that can’t quite reach the heights of (500) Days of Summer to which it aspires as it fails to cast aside the genre tropes it so desperately wants to distance itself from. I saw it. I enjoyed it. I probably won’t buy the DVD.

Into the Storm
A film relying heavily so heavily on the spectacle of the titular storm it doesn’t worry itself too much with things like plot, character, and the audience’s enjoyment. I saw it. I disliked it. I definitely won’t buy the DVD.

A silly sci-fi thriller in which Scarlett Johansson becomes superhuman and evolves into a higher being over the course of ninety frenetic minutes. I totally understand if you do not enjoy the film as much as I did and realise that if I watch it again I will disagree with myself but my gut instinct was to give it five stars. I saw it. I LOVED IT. I don’t dare ever see it again.

Deliver Us from Evil
Eric Bana stars as a New York cop forced to team up with an exorcist to combat a spate of possessions across the city. To put this film in context Mark Wahlberg turned down the lead role. Imagine a film that Wahlberg doesn’t want to be in. I haven’t seen it. I might stream it one day for the sake of Joel McHale.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Nine years ago Sin City was cutting edge, edgy, and on edge. Back for a second outing will it still pack the same punch? The reviews say no. In fact the reviews all say two things; the film is awful and Eva Green is naked a lot. Therefore anyone who subsequently sees the film is doing so purely to see Eva Green naked. The film opens in London today and the rest of the UK later in the week. I haven’t seen it. I will never admit to having seen it.

Two Days, One Night
Marion Cotillard stars as a young woman who must persuade her work colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job. Critics are positively gushing about this latest feature from the Dardenne brothers. I haven’t seen it. I definitely will.

God Help the Girl
Imagine the lead singer from Belle and Sebastian wrote an indie drama set in Scotland and starring Emily Browning. IT EXISTS! You did it all with the power of your imagination! I haven’t seen it. I will at some point down the road.

Charulata / The Lonely Wife
Re-release of the 1964 Indian romantic drama about a woman who fall in love with her cousin-in-law. I have not seen it. I am bored with this joke now.

The Police Officer’s Wife
“Add a Plot”

Art Party
“Part documentary, part road movie and part political fantasy, The Art Party! feature film captures the spirit of the Scarborough conference held in November 2013; championing the importance of art and its place in education and modern politics. A kaleidoscopic mix of performance, artist interviews and imagined scenes.” I have no idea.

Out Now – 1st August 2014

Mood Indigo

Guardians of the Galaxy
The Marvel universe finally lets its hair down with the exploits of a ragtag bunch of people trying to get a thing to save another thing… IN SPACE! I defy you to accurately describe the plot of any Marvel film entirely from memory. The plot is not important, just do as Marvel ask and give them some more money. You might even enjoy it.

The Nut Job
Let me break this pun down for you.

1. The film is about squirrels planning to raid a nut store, hence the nut job.
2. A nut job is a term used to describe someone who is crazy/insane/wacky.

1 + 2 = HILARITY! It took four people to write this film.

Step Up 5: All In
Five steps and we are finally all in. I cannot wait for Step Up 6: Poking Out the Other Side or Step Up 6: All Out followed by Step Up 7: The Hokey Cokey.

Mood Indigo
Some might say that this new romantic comedy from Michel Gondry starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou looks too twee to be worthwhile but not me. I have a high tolerance for Michel Gondry. I have a high tolerance for the pairing of Duris and Tautou. I have a high tolerance for twee. I haven’t seen the film yet and I am already happy to call it my favourite film of 2014. Expect surreal moments and to roll your eyes at least once.

The Deer Hunter
Re-release of the classic Vietnam war film that we’ve all heard of but never gotten around to seeing. Oh, you’ve seen it? So have I obviously. My favourite bit is where he finally shoots the deer and they all have a merry Christmas.

Ghostly British thriller with a plot resembling The Shining. I have nothing more to add.

A Night At The Cinema In 1914
The BFI have put together a series of short features, news reels, and travelogues to create a feature-length programme that aims to recreate what an evening at the cinema would have been like 100 years ago. Click the title above to get a list of dates and venues as this is a one-off gem we shouldn’t miss. Come on everyone, the popcorn’s on me!

A Promise
British romantic drama set just before WWI and starring the likes of Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall. The twist? It’s set in Germany! Everybody is speaking English of course, just as was done in pre-war Germany.

Hide Your Smiling Faces
A young boy dies one summer in a rural community and then not much else happens in this low budget american drama that left me cold. This might be your new favourite film but it certainly isn’t mine.

“Stranded in a remote Welsh village, a former war photographer’s intense love affair with a younger man propels her into exorcising the ghosts of her past.”

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Apparently this film is about one of pop music’s greatest cult phenomenons. True to form I have never heard of Big Star.

A Tamil musical gangster film from India. Sadly IMDb simply says “Add a plot” which is useful advice but doesn’t bode well for the film.

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.