Ad Astra leads the new cinema releases September 20th 2019

Ad AstraThis week, there are FIVE new films out for you to choose from, led by Ad Astra. Here are the titles, with more info below:

    Ad Astra
    The Farewell
    Malibu Road
    The Kitchen
    Rambo: Last Blood

Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as astronaut Roy McBride, who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos…

This sounds a little bit ‘Interstellar‘ but that’s no problem since that was a fantastic film.

In addition, Ad Astra is released on Wednesday this week, so a little earlier than the actual weekend and I’m looking forward to checking this out in IMAX.

Director: James Gray
Writers: James Gray, Ethan Gross
Also stars: Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Ruth Negga, Ravi Kapoor, John Ortiz, Greg Bryk, Kimberly Elise, LisaGay Hamilton

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Farewell

In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, US-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai (grandma), has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai, herself.

To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken.

With The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.

Based on the trailer, I really like the look of this as it shows it has a lot of heart as well as a lot of humour in such difficult times.

Writer/Director: Lulu Wang
Stars: Shuzhen Zhao, Awkwafina, X Mayo

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, and I’ve been looking forward to it for some time, since it was originally due out in 2017 on March 17th, then May 5th, and now hopefully this week!

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

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Kitchen…. Hell’s Kitchen, that is, and the wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen, in the 1970s, continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.

As with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, this looks like a second Melissa McCarthy movie that’s worth watching! Perhaps she should just do drama from now on?

Writer/Director: Andrea Berloff
Also stars: Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Domhnall Gleeson, Common, James Badge Dale, Bill Camp

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Rambo: Last Blood confirms that Sylvester Stallone not only has zero ideas left, but also zero shame, after multiple Rocky films leading to the terrible Creed, and I can only presume Creed II was even worse, but I just couldn’t face it.

Then Stallone lowered himself to the recent Escape Plan 2: Hades, to the point that it turned out to be the worst film I saw in 2018… and then Escape Plan 3 came along.

And despite the first three Rambo films being brilliant, 2008’s Rambo really was the nail in the coffin for this franchise, but no, Stallone wants to whore himself out one last time.

Plot? “Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. A deadly journey of vengeance, this marks the last chapter of the legendary series.”

Let’s hope so… until Rambo: Last Blood Part 2, no doubt.

Director: Adrian Grunberg
Screenplay: Matthew Cirulnick, Sylvester Stallone
Also stars: Paz Vega, Louis Mandylor, Sheila Shah, Yvette Monreal, Óscar Jaenada

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!