American Ultra leads the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e September 4th 2015

american-ultraThis weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: action/drama in American Ultra, comedy in Dope, action in No Escape, alleged action in The Transporter Refueled, indie drama in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, period drama in Miss Julie and godknowswhat in Ricki And The Flash.

American Ultra stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell, a stoner who is actually a government agent, who is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

Also starring Kristen Stewart as his girlfriend Phoebe, plus Walton Goggins, Connie Britton, Topher Grace, Monique Ganderton, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo and Bill Pullman, directed by Nima Nourizadeh and written by Max Landis, and this looks like one of those rare things – a comedy that’s actually hilarious!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Dope is a coming of age comedy/drama for the post hip hop generation.

Malcolm is a geek, carefully surviving life in The Bottoms, a tough neighborhood in Inglewood, CA filled gangsters and drugs dealers, while juggling his senior year of college applications, interviews and the SAT. His dream is to attend Harvard. A chance invitation to a big underground party leads Malcolm and his friends into a, only in Los Angeles, gritty adventure filed with offbeat characters and bad choices. If Malcolm can persevere, he’ll go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.

The film stars Zoë Kravitz (Divergent, Mad Max: Fury Road), Kiersey Clemons, Keith Stanfield and the voice of Forest Whitaker as the narrator. The more I’ve seen of this film in the trailers, the more I want to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

No Escape stars Owen Wilson in a rare film – (a) he plays a drama role, and (b) a film with him in the lead actually looks worth watching!

In their new overseas home, Jack (Owen Wilson) and Annie Dwyer (Lake Bell), with their children, soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

The film also stars Pierce Brosnan and Spencer Garrett, and so bears no resemblance to Ray Liotta’s 1994 fun, but nonense, actioner of the same name. This looks like another must-see this week.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Transporter Refueled is not only missing an ‘l’ in “Refuelled”, but also Jason Statham as Hollywood gets excessively lazy by not only rebooting a franchise, but doing it for one that wasn’t particularly revered, and isn’t really that old.

Game of ThronesEd Skrein takes the lead this time as Frank Martin, the most highly-skilled transporter money can buy. The stakes are greater and technology better, but the same three simple rules apply: never change the deal, no names and never open the package.

When Frank is hired by cunning femme fatale Anna and her three stunning sidekicks, he quickly discovers he’s been played. Anna and her cohorts have kidnapped his father (Ray Stevenson) in order to coerce Frank into helping them take down a ruthless group of Russian human traffickers. Fueled by revenge, he will break all his rules and stop at nothing to rescue his father in this action-packed thrill ride across the French Riviera.

Surely, if they’re going to reboot the franchise, it would’ve been better to have a female lead transporting packages about? I’d still vote for Laurie Bartram from Channel 4’s Shipping Wars UK!

The Transporter Refueled is directed by Camille Delamarre, also responsible for the daft, but highly entertaining Brick Mansions, so there’s some good news for this movie. So, on balance, it’s a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl stars Thomas Mann as 17-year-old Greg who has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends. However, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Also starring RJ Cyler, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Nick Offerman (We’re The Millers), there’s a definite intrigue I have to this indie flick with a difference and I want to check this out.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Miss Julie stars Jessica Chastain in the title role as an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, who encourages her father’s valet, John (Colin Farrell) to seduce her, over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890.

This is despite him being in a relationship with fellow servant Kathleen (Samantha Morton), thus reuiniting two of the stars from 2002’s Minority Report.

Miss Julie has taken over a year to get a UK release, which doesn’t bode well, and it didn’t work for me, but then few period dramas do.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Ricki and the Flash stars Meryl Streep as Ricki Flash, an aging rocker who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom, and returns home, looking to make things right with her family.

The film also stars Sebastian Stan, Ben Platt, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline, plus Rick Springfield, but overall it looked pretty tedious. If the Ricki and the Flash trailer works for you, then it’s out now. If it doesn’t, then disregard that last sentence.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!