Out Now – 5th December 2014

Me Myself and Mum

Penguins of Madagascar
Like the rats in the Muppet films the penguins serve as amusing minor characters in the otherwise unremarkable Madagascar series. While entertaining in small doses it remains to be seen whether these comedy birds can hold their own in a film. I just hope John Lewis have had the forethought to place their Christmas ad in front of every screening. Synergy!

Men, Women & Children
Jason Reitman’s latest has performed terribly in America and quite rightly so. This film about the horrors of the internet is patronising, fear mongering, and boring. I did not enjoy.

Get Santa
It’s hard to get annoyed by a family friendly Christmas film starring Jim Broadbent as an imprisoned Santa who brings a father and son closer together. That said I don’t feel the need to watch this one. Ever.

Black Sea
Jude Law in a submarine.

St. Vincent
A comedy starring Bill Murray! I love Bill Murray! Not in the way the rest of you do though. Our love is special.

Me, Myself and Mum
Easily the best comedy I have seen in a long, long time. The autobiographical story of French comedian Guillaume Gallienne’s relationship with his mother, his childhood, and his search for a sexual identity. Gallienne plays both himself and his mother in a fantastically convincing manner a million miles away from how a British comedy would utilise a man in drag. I loved it and so will you.

Bonobo
British comedy drama in which a mother and daughter spend a day with a commune who live their lives based on the behaviours of the bonobo ape. Expect lots of nudity and a monkey if you’re lucky.

The Pyramid
Western horror set in Egypt. Expect low budget scares and questionable casual racism. Oh, and that guy from The Inbetweeners.

Eastern Boys
Erotic thriller about a French businessman and the Eastern European hustler he takes home with him. Love! Intrigue! Europe!

The Grandmaster
“The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.”

Action Jackson
Let’s not get bogged down in the plot. Let’s just appreciate how fun it is to say the title out loud.

Montana
A Serbian assassin takes on a teenage apprentice as he fights a crime lord in London’s East End in the BBC’s most ludicrous episode of EastEnders ever.

Mea culpa
An acknowledgement of one’s fault or error.

Hello Carter
This is embarrassing. I saw Hello Carter a year ago at the London Film Festival and was so unaffected by it that I forgot to write a review. Not terrible but not one that I actually remember watching either.

Out Now – 28th November 2014

2001 A Space Odyssey

Frozen
It hasn’t even been a full year since Frozen was first released but it is back in cinemas, and on DVD of course, for you to enjoy once more. This means that for the second Christmas in a row everyone will be singing Let it Go endlessly without realising the irony of their persistent karaoke.

Horrible Bosses 2
Sexist, racist, homophobic, and unfunny. What more could you ask for? Maybe a better standard of comedy for a start. I did not like this one.

Paddington
The polite marmalade obsessed Peruvian immigrant gets a live action feature film of his very own. Will it be childish nonsense or a charming masterpiece? Reviews are wildly positive so it looks to be the latter.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Forget Frozen, this is the re-release worth given a second look this week. As part of the BFI’s sci-fi season Kubrick’s epic entry into the genre is back in cinemas. Try for a double bill with Interstellar and let me know how your brain reacts.

I Am Ali
This is Ali.

Kajaki: The True Story
British war drama set in Afghanistan centering on three soldiers crossing a river bed riddled with mines. Expect as many jokes as in Horrible Bosses 2.

Ungli
Bollywood comedy drama in which “a gang of friends decide to take justice into their own hands.”

Stations of the Cross
A 14-year-old girl is so devoted to Jesus she tries to become a saint by going through her own 14 stations. Interestingly the film is made up of only 14 shots. Intriguing…

Concerning Violence
Documentary concerning violence and “the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule.”

Hockney
I’ll let you guess… Go on… Correct!

Dr. Cabbie
An Indian doctor moves to Canada and fails to get a job as a doctor so becomes a taxi driver instead. Naturally he starts seeing patients in his taxi.

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno
Japanese drama about people fighting with swords. Fighting each other with swords. Not them fighting against swords. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

Out Now – 21st November 2014

The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Oh my days. Katniss is back. The first half of the final third of the Hunger Games trilogy (plus one) is here and everyone is thoroughly excited. As for plot? Katniss becomes a symbol for the rebellion against the Capitol and tries to save Peeta from the grip of President Snow. If this doesn’t immediately make sense you might need to do some homework.

Get on Up
A music biopic about the life and rhymes of James Brown. Expect a real rock and roll lifestyle; sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, and swearing. But all in a nice 12A fashion.

The Homesman
Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a feminist western about a woman travelling across America. Her journey will take five weeks as transports three insane women to Iowa. I don’t necessarily understand the plot but reviews are good and a female lead in a western is a rare thing.

My Old Lady
An English/French comedy/drama so mediocre and harmless that my review bores me a little. Maggie Smith is mean and then sweet to some people if you need that gap filling now Downton is on a break.

What We Do in the Shadows
Finally a comedy to get properly excited about. Co-written and co-directed by one half of Flight of the Conchords (YAY) and the guy who directed the American remake of The Inbetweeners (BOO) we have a mockumentary about three vampires who share a flat. It might not sound like much but the reviews are almost embarrassingly positive and stars are being thrown around in a generous fashion. Let’s go!

No Good Deed
Idris Elba plays an unstable escaped convict who terrorises a woman and her children. Not a lot of laughs to be had here and a step down for the man who recently played Mandela and won none of the awards for his trouble.

Happy Ending
Bollywood romantic comedy about a writer trying to write a Bollywood script in a Hollywood style in Hollywood. Can’t wait for the sequel set in Dollywood.

Winter Sleep
On the plus side this Turkish drama about a former actor running a hotel during a snowstorm won the Palme d’Or this year so is guaranteed to have all manner of artistic merit. On the minus side the film is over three hours long and not everyone has the spare time or patience for that.

Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy
Thai drama based on a Twitter feed. Sounds terrible but is apparently a timeless coming of age story. For your consideration as an alternative to the mainstream and the fêted.

Out Now – 7th November 2014

The Skeleton Twins

Interstellar
Christopher Nolan flies Matthew McConaughey through a wormhole to look for a viable new home for the human race. Time bends and audiences gasp in this visual marvel that I really enjoyed.

Say When
Keira Knightley stars as a young woman having a quarter-life crisis who forms an unlikely friendship (patent pending) with Chloë Grace Moretz and her sexy father Sam Rockwell. Interestingly Anne Hathaway was originally set to star but had to leave because Nolan needed her for Interstellar. Knightley had no such problem.

Set Fire to the Stars
Stars are already on fire you maniac. Elijah Wood stars as a young poetic trying to save Dylan Thomas in a stylish drama. By stylish I mean black and white.

Playtime
1960s French comedy about a man who explores a high-tech version of Paris with American tourists. Imagine what was considered high-tech in 1967. Electric light?

The Possibilities Are Endless
“Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language – every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? For Edwyn Collins, ‘The Possibilities Are Endless’.” You have to admire a synopsis that neatly works in the title of the film.

The Case Against 8
This is not a campaign against the number eight, because that is a perfectly fine number, but rather against Proposition 8; the piece of legislation that defined marriage in California as being “between a man and a woman”. So essentially this is a case against homophobia which is a good thing.

Leviathan
People will not shut up about this film. Despite that I have no idea what it is about. “In a Russian coastal town, Dmitri is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Dmitri and his family.” I see.

One Rogue Reporter
Former tabloid journalist Rich Peppiatt has made a documentary exposing the sweaty underbelly of tabloid journalism. According to Rich Peppiatt “Peppiatt hilariously exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of modern journalism.” Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

The Skeleton Twins
The great Kristen Wiig and the great Bill Hader play estranged twins reunited by coincidentally coinciding suicide attempts. Can they fix their relationship!!?? Will this film be as charming, funny, and heartwarming as I want it to be??!! I damn well hope so.

Sacro GRA
No idea.

The Remaining
Ooooh, it’s a horror! The apocalypse arrives during a wedding and everyone would just rather watch Melancholia.

Algorithms
Documentary about blind chess.

The November Man
Former Bond Pierce Brosnan has a gun. Former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko has a short skirt. Ah, feminism.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
This documentary about Hayao Miyazaki’s life and Studio Ghibli might be out today. Who can say?

Out Now – 31st October 2014

Horns

Multiple films worth seeing this week. I do love autumn and the overall improvement in film quality it brings.

Horns
Daniel Radcliffe plays a young man who starts to turn into the devil shortly after his girlfriend (Juno Temple) is found murdered. Reviews might be mixed but both Radcliffe and Temple make interesting film choices so I am still interested.

Nightcrawler
Jake Gyllenhaal had performed the dramatic weight loss now standard for an actor tackled something a little different to what they are known for. Here he is a hands on crime journalist; a professional rubbernecker with no moral compass. This looks fantastic.

Ouija
Young people play a board game and it all goes horribly wrong. The last time I played a board game and it went wrong we were playing Coronation Street Monopoly and I was drunkenly using a Northern accent throughout. Spooky stuff.

Extraterrestrial
Canadian horror in which friends in a cabin in the woods find themselves attacked by aliens. Gore, violence, and swears abound.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Shia LaBeouf stars. I’m not sure I can handle that.

Mr. Turner
Everyone with an opinion is agreed that Mike Leigh’s biopic starring Timothy Spall as the great painter is absolutely tops. This will be going in my eyes and ears this week.

The Overnighters
Documentary about workers in North Dakota oil fields. Migrants swarm into a small town during a small oil boom and are forced to sleep in the local church to the disapproval of nearby residents.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Not the 1978 version I know and love starring Sutherland, Goldblum, and Nimoy but the 1956 original. A more black and white PG affair but still involving aliens replacing humans with identical copies.

The Guarantee
“On the night of September 29, 2008, the Irish government decided to guarantee the entire domestic banking system. The Guarantee tells the story of that night, and what led to it.”