Unlocked leads the new cinema releases and trailers May 5th 2017

UnlockedThis week, there are EIGHT new films out for you to choose from: Noomi Rapace kicks ass in Unlocked, a late ’80s TV detective returns in Mindhorn, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness take a trip in The Journey, there’s LSD-induced weirdness in Malibu Road, Jamie Foxx’s Sleepless will make you sleepy, there’s Japanese drama in Harmonium, alleged comedy in Saving Jane, and will anyone care about A Dog’s Purpose?

Unlocked stars Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, Rupture) as an as-yet-unnamed action heroine CIA interrogator who’s lured into a ruse that puts London at risk of a biological attack.

Directed by Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough), from a script by Peter O’Brien, and also starring Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich and Michael Douglas, this looks like an enjoyable action romp with Ms Rapace getting to flash her biceps (f’nar, f’nar) and beat up the bad guys.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Mindhorn is the name of the late ’80s TV detective played by Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh), or so this film would have you believe as… yes, it’s a spoof/comedy!

He plays Richard Thorncroft, the titular has-been British TV actor in the series, and in similar style to Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, must work with the police when a serial killer says that he will *only* speak with Detective Mindhorn, despite the character being a work of fiction.

Set on the Isle of Man, Mindhorn was a show about a character with a Robotic eye that can literally “see the truth”. Unfortunately, after becoming a little too pompous and arrogant, Richard ends up insulting both the Isle of Man and his fellow cast members on the Wogan chat-show, including his on-screen and real life love interest Patricia DeVille (Effie Davies) his Stuntman, (Simon Farnaby) and bit-part costar Peter Easterman (Steve Coogan).

He decides to leave to try and make it big in Hollywood, but 25 years later and he’s balding in a flat in North London and has recently been replaced for an orthopaedic sock advert by John Nettles, much to his chagrin. He is even more jealous that Easterman now fronts a long running spin-off show which has far eclipsed the success of Mindhorn. Richard has an unexpected opportunity to reignite his career, though …

This is the sort of thing that can either work or not, but based on the trailer, it looks a hit. It was the first trailer that showed up in the cinema before Free Fire, and I was cracking up on a regular basis over the two minutes or so it lasted.

I wanted to see it this weekend, too, but it’s hardly showing anywhere, which is a great shame.

Director: Sean Foley
Writers: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby
Also stars: Andrea Riseborough, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, David Schofield, Nicholas Farrell, Tony Way, Richard McCabe

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


The Journey is a fictional account of the extraordinary story of two implacable enemies in Northern Ireland – firebrand Democratic Unionist Party leader Paisley and Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney) – who are forced to take a short journey together in which they will take the biggest leap of faith and change the course of history.

I love the look of this, especially with Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley, and the two leads are always worth a watch. How truthful it is I don’t know, but then again, it says it’s a fictional account….

Director: Nick Hamm
Writer: Colin Bateman
Also stars: Freddie Highmore, Toby Stephens, John Hurt, Catherine McCormack

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Malibu Road

Dr. Raymond Forrester, professor of psychology at UCLA, takes student and Hollywood starlet Dorothy Crowder to a Malibu hotel of questionable reputation. The two ingest LSD, sent in a mysterious package to Forrester, and become some of the first Americans to go on a psychedelic experience. The experience takes a turn for the deadly during New Year’s Eve 1960 and now the duo must rediscover reality or be trapped in an endless cycle of sex, drugs and murder in ‘paradise.’

This looks weird as hell, but is a film I’m looking forward to.

Director: Montgomery Markland
Writers: Montgomery Markland, Emilia Bogdanova, Ryan Placchetti
Stars: Jessica Jade Andres, Michael Andricopoulos, Lillian Solange Beaudoin

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Sleepless stars Jamie Foxx as FBI bloke Vincent Downs, and his son has been…. TAKEN!

Yes, you can see where this is going from the off. Still, if it works for Liam Neeson, why not do it again here.

Directed by Baran bo Odar, and also starring Michelle Monaghan, David Harbour, Dermot Mulroney, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Battista and Scoot McNairy, you can imagine how this will play out from start to finish, especially with lines like, “Whatever you’re pointing at, be sure to kill it” (Zzzzzz….)

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Harmonium

Toshio hires Yasaka in his workshop. This old acquaintance, who has just been released from prison, begins to meddle in Toshio’s family life.

For me, however, I couldn’t get into this from the trailer, and it’s not exactly set IMDB alight with a 6.9/10 score.

Writer/Director: Kôji Fukada
Stars: Mariko Tsutsui, Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Saving Jane

Dubbed one of the funniest movies of the year! (says the billing) Jane and her brother Elton find themselves under the control of a well known hit-man (Bo) who has been ordered by their father (an established crime lord) to make them cool. But the road to becoming cool is full of obstacles.

Having two directors for a comedy? That rarely bodes well. This looks like it could go either way, since the trailer rambles on for three minutes.

Directors: Matthew Johnson, Rob Kairns
Writer: Matthew Johnson
Stars: Alphonso Austin, Yumiko Hanasaka, Elena Valdameri

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


A Dog’s Purpose

A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. Doesn’t sound in the least bit thrilling.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


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