Assassins Creed leads the new cinema releases & trailers January 1st-6th 2017

Assassins Creed This time, there are six new films out for you to choose from, most of which are released tomorrow (New Year’s Day), and by doing so, it means their ‘weekend’ gross take will actually last a full EIGHT DAYS from New Year’s Day up until January 8th, inclusive. There’s videogame-into-movie with Assassins Creed, Liam Neeson calls in fantasy drama A Monster Calls, Martin Scorsese releases a new epic in Silence, a Chilean poet becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s in Neruda, a woman gets a job as a taste tester at a chocolate factory in Kate’s Chocolates, and Dylan Jones hears spooky things in The Writer: Part One.

Assassins Creed is a long-running series of videogames which have been hit and miss over the years, with Assassins Creed Unity really suffering from glitches in its launch offering. However, videogames always make great movies, right?

Oh, so wrong… still, that never stops them trying.

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender Prometheus, Shame, Frank) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

A picture of Fassbender was released last August, and the film also stars Marion Cotillard (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises), Michael Kenneth Williams (best known as Omar Little in The Wire) and Ariane Labed (Before Midnight, Love Island – no, not that crap on ITV2!)

Directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown and Fassbender’s Macbeth), from a script by Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Michael Lesslie, the film also stars Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Brendan Gleeson (The Guard).

Note, however, that on a budget of around $125m, it only returned $10m in its opening weekend in the US! And in just under 3,000 cinema screens!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

A Monster Calls features a monster in a tree. Or is the tree the monster? When I first saw the teaser, I didn’t care either way, but now I’ve seen this trailer which gives more to get stuck into this time round, and has left me feeling that I do now want to catch this on the big screen as it looks superb.

According to the billing, the monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor (Lewis MacDougall), and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother’s sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?

The film has a good cast, though, with Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and Toby Kebbell (The Veteran, Fantastic Four) as his mum and dad, plus Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Rampart) as his Grandma. The cast is rounded out by Geraldine Chaplin, plus Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster.

A Monster Calls is written by Patrick Ness and directed by JA Bayona, responsible for the godawful The Impossible. Hopefully this film will be good, but since the UK release date was put back from October 21st to January 1st, and since Jan and Feb are the times when non-BAFTA/Oscar contenders are dumped because they’re not good enough for Summer/Christmas releases, that doesn’t bode well.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Silence tells the story of two Catholic missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

I know this is a big film from Martin Scorsese and it’s got big names such as Garfield and Neeson, plus Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens‘ Adam Driver, but I’m not hugely sold on this film from the trailer. However, given the critical acclaim it’s getting, I’ll put ths one down as a maybe.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!


An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.

Starring Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, Luis Gnecco and Alfredo Castro, it looks pretty reasonable, but I’d need to see it to be 100% sure. This one is released on January 6th.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Kate’s Chocolates

Kate is a quiet girl and is lucky enough to get a job as a taste tester at a chocolate factory. She’s asked to promote the company on camera but as she starts to put weight on, her boss fires her, she takes the company to court.

Sounds like a TV movie that even Channel 5 would pass on!

Written and directed by Ian Paterson, and starring Gabriele Fritz, Martin Pennell and Barkha Thapa, I’ll just stick with the chocolate, thanks.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Writer: Part One

Dylan Jones rents a lovely beach house to finish the rest of his book. He soon is aware that he is not alone. Will Dylan soon be able to discover the events that happened. Dylan Jones is not alone…

Directed by Ronan Rice who also stars in the lead role, alongside Conor Molloy, Part Two is due out in 2018, but the film is also known as The Writer: Beach House and could be worth a watch based on the trailer, so it’s a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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