Four new films to restore your faith in cinema
Good films these days seem to be few and far between, and bona-fide classics are even rarer. Look through the latest cinema listings and you’re likely to find a slew of yawn-inducing flicks with synopses that should read something along the lines of:
Honeymoon Sex Tape – Overtly crude and un-funny sex rom-com starring Cameron Diaz and some douche you recognise from another crap film.
A Long and Boring Drive Through the Pine Trees – Pretentious and dull crime-drama featuring cool, moody electro soundtrack, retro muscle cars and minimalist script – stars Ryan Gosling.
The Unbearables: Part Six – Half-baked action sequel starring two dozen washed up beefcakes from the 80’s and a shit load of unnecessary explosions.
Chipmunk Ninja Panda Bears – Pointless live action revival of a 30 year old children’s show that nobody cares about anymore. Stars annoying, pizza loving mutants, Megan Fox and some bloke who used to be in New Kids on the Block.
…and so on.
Don’t lose faith in cinema just yet however; the final third of the 2104 film season has a fair selection of potential gems coming your way. Here’s my pick of some of the most promising titles set for release between now and November:
The Guest (Icon Films)
Horror fans may be familiar with my favourite genre film of last summer, home-invasion slasher flick, You’re Next – a nasty little picture which really delivered the goods where so many others fail.
The pair have collaborated once more on The Guest, which focuses on the Peterson family, who are mourning the death of their son Caleb, a young soldier killed in action whilst touring Afghanistan.
When the mother answers a knock at the door, she finds a charismatic young man called David (Dan Stevens), claiming to be a discharged soldier, and friend of their sons, who is visiting to fulfil a promise to his deceased comrade.
No sooner has David won over the entire family, and planted his feet comfortably under the table, a string of brutal and disturbing murders begins to occur, with all eyes pointing towards him.
You can’t beat a good schlock-thriller, and this film has been heaped with praise from critics, who have raved about the excellent performances and sheer entertainment value, which oozes with 80’s panache. Let’s see if the film delivers the goods, when it’s released on 5 September.
Get on Up (Universal Pictures)
Considering James Brown could barely string an audible sentence together, he did pretty darn well to become one of the biggest and best musical legends of all time. The late, great, Godfather of Soul sadly departed us on Christmas Day 2006, however this new biopic promises to bring him back to life – well for 139 minutes to be exact.
Much like Ray (2004) and Walk the Line (2005), Get On Up delves into the early part of the singers career, which was dogged with abuse and hardship. Much praise for the film has been heaped upon Chadwick Boseman, for his apparently flawless portrayal of Brown.
The film is directed by Tate Taylor, the man responsible for the brilliant (if a tad glossy) The Help (2011). It also co-stars Dan Ackroyd and is produced by another man who knows a move or two; rubber-lipped rocker, Mick Jagger.
Get on down to see Get On Up in UK cinemas from 21 November – if it doesn’t make you feel good, then you should be entitled to a refund.
Soul Boys of The Western World (Metrodome)
Those of you old enough to have lived through the eighties will no doubt look at the so-called ‘decade that fashion forgot’ with fond memories. I was too young (I’m not that old) to realise that Spandau Ballet were a global pop sensation, travelling the world in a decadent manner, high on life itself, and all the rest of it.
What I do recall however, was their unique brand of radio friendly, new-romantic pop – hits like ‘True’, ‘Gold’ and…some others I’m sure my parents may remember. Whether you were there or not, you can relive it all, as the band have commissioned a documentary, which charts their humble beginnings, rise to the top, fall outs, break-ups and subsequent make-ups.
Brilliantly pieced together using archive news and TV footage and private home videos, it promises to be a fascinating insight into a band that reached the top of the MTV video era. What makes it all the more appealing, is the stark contrasting lives of a super-rich band from England and Joe public. Whilst they donned naff clothes, quaffing champagne aboard private jets and sleeping with supermodels, the rest of the country was in the midst of the Thatcher ruling, the miners strike and a heavy recession.
The film was unveiled earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, to glowing reviews from audiences and critics alike. The film hits cinemas on 30 September, and coincides with the band reforming to record a new album.
Interstellar (Warner Bros)
Whilst the other films I’ve picked out in this feature have the potential to make for an enjoyable trip to the cinema, none of them bear the hallmarks to become classic blockbusters. Interstellar on the other hand, does have that potential. No pressure.
The details of director Christopher Nolan’s (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Memento, The Prestige) forthcoming sci-fi epic are being kept under wraps, but by all accounts, this picture is shaping up to be a space travel classic.
Starring current Hollywood golden boy Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street) and Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Interstellar tells the tale of a team of astronauts who venture into the depths of space to investigate a wormhole that could hold the answer to the many problems faced on earth.
Whether it’s a box-office smash, or a meteoric flop is up to the public. Let’s see if it can rival Spielberg classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey when it hits our shores on November 7.