Bad Neighbours 2 leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e May 6th 2016

Bad Neighbours 2 This weekend there are eight new films out for you to choose from: possible comedy in Bad Neighbours 2, bad singing in Florence Foster Jenkins, end-of-the-world drama in These Final Hours, doggy drama in Truman, something bizarre in Evolution, tediousness abound in Knight of Cups, Hank Williams biopic in I Saw The Light, and poor man’s CGI in Robinson Crusoe.

Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising is better known in the US as ‘Neighbors 2’, but (a) we spell that word differently, and (b) Neighbours is the name of an Aussie soap that I long since stopped watching.

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are ready to make the final move into adulthood. But just as they thought they have reclaimed the neighbourhood, new sorority houses move in, one led by Madison (Selena Gomez) – who don’t have any parties (initially, at least), and one led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), and the latter at least is even more out of control than the last.

How to resolve this? It can only be from their ex-neighbour, Teddy (Zac Efron), who made the couple’s life a misery in Bad Neighbours.

Also starring Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow and Dope‘s Kiersey Clemons who’s in the latter sorority house, like the first film, the trailer did give me a few laughs (even if it did repeat the airbag gag), but most of the jokes were in the trailer. And the Blu-ray and DVD featured more footage than in the cinema, as is often the case these days in a bid to make you buy it twice, so I’ll wait for that one.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Florence Foster Jenkins looks like a period drama mixed with alleged comedy that comes across as exciting as looking forward to the next time I trap my fingers in a door.

Meryl Streep plays the titular heroine, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice. Along the way, she romances Hugh Grant as St Clair Bayfield, and the film also stars Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Simon Helberg and Neve Gachev.

It looks terrible and it also rips off the equally terrible Marguerite.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

These Final Hours is one of those films where I’m a sucker for an end-of-the-world movie.

In this one, Nathan Phillips is James, a self-obsessed young man who makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.

So, a bit of a sickly-sweet tale, but the basic ‘end of the world’ premise makes it a must-see for me.

Directed by Zak Hilditch, and also starring Jessica De Gouw, Sarah Snook, David Field, Daniel Henshall and Angourie Rice, this was originally due out on January 22nd. I guess the world didn’t end early?

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Truman centres around Julián (Ricardo Darín Wild Tales) who receives an unexpected visit from his friend Tomás (Javier Cámara), who has come over from Canada. The two men, accompanied by Julián’s faithful dog, Truman, will share emotional and surprising moments prompted by Julián’s complicated situation.

Also starring Dolores Fonzi and Eduard Fernández, there must be more to grab you than is in this trailer as I wasn’t feeling that from what I saw here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!


Nicolas (Max Brebant) is a boy living on a remote island set in the future, or another planet – or is it a dream? His village consists of white-painted houses located above the sea with a volcanic rock and black sand coastline, populated by young women and boys all of a similar age to Nicolas. Whilst swimming, Nicolas makes a discovery in the ocean, which is shrugged off my his mother, who, like all the women in the town has tied-back hair, is pale and wears a simple thin beige dress.

Nicolas is curious, thinks that he is being lied to and starts to explore his environment, witnessing some unsettling scenes. He then finds himself taken to a hospital-like building where he along, with the others, undergoes a series of medical procedures by the women, dressed as nurses. He is befriended by one nurse, who becomes instrumental in the film’s denouement. The film is not easy to categorise; it is not only enigmatic but beautifully filmed with deeply poetic imagery. It reflects the fear of the unknown, experienced by a boy on the cusp of adolescence.

Also starring Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier and Mathieu Goldfeld, the trailer was weird as hell, but there could be something there, so I think it might be worth a watch.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Knight Of Cups stars Christian Bale as Rick, a screenwriter who’s a slave to the Hollywood system. The billing reads like a cologne commercial: He is addicted to success but simultaneously despairs at the emptiness of his life. He is at home in a world of illusions but seeks real life. Like the tarot card of the title, Rick is easily bored and needs outside stimulation. But the Knight of Cups is also an artist, a romantic and an adventurer.

Knight of Cups… for men.

Anyhoo this looks intensely showy and tedious, despite being written and directed by Terrence Malick, and also stars Natalie Portman, Teresa Palmer, Cate Blanchett, Wes Bentley, Joe Manganiello, Nick Offerman, Imogen Poots, Jason Clarke, Nicky Whelan, Antonio Banderas, Joel Kinnaman, Ben Kingsley, Isabel Lucas and Freida Pinto.

It’s also been put back from an original release date of January 1st, part of the Oscar round-up, so clearly it’s a duffer.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

I Saw The Light stars Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) as the legendary (and womanising) Hank Williams.

It’s the story of the country and western singer who, in his brief life, created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

Directed and written by Marc Abraham (In Time, 2004’s Dawn Of The Dead remake, and the incredible Children Of Men), based on the biography by Colin Escott, this film also features Marvel co-star Elizabeth Olsen as Hank’s wife, Audrey Mae Williams, plus David Krumholtz and Bradley Whitford.

I Saw The Light has also been put back months, this missing the Oscar/BAFTA season, as it was due out on February 5th. However, we’ve had a lot of biopics over the years including Walk The Line with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead as Johnny Cash, accompanied by Reece Witherspoon, so do we need another?

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Robinson Crusoe

On a tiny exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can’t stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn’t always easy at first, as the animals don’t speak “human.” Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day, when their comfortable life is overturned by two savage cats, who wish to take control of the island. A battle ensues between the cats and the group of friends but Crusoe and the animals soon discover the true power of friendship up against all odds (even savage cats).

Amongst the overabundance of CGI films for kids comes this. Given that it’s available in both 3D and 2D, and my local Odeon (where lots of families go) aren’t bothering to show it in 3D, I don’t think there’s much longevity for this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!