Book Club leads the new cinema releases and trailers June 1st 2018

Book Club This week, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from: Book Club is the big one if you like watching pensioners wanting to do the business, there’s documentaries about Bobby Robson, Ian McKellen and Glastonbury, Marion Cotillard delivers a blast from the past in Ismael’s Ghosts, the classic Pandora’s Box is re-released, there’s the making of a murderer in My Friend Dahmer, there’s a British comedy in The Bromley Boys, and French drama in L’Amant Double.

Book Club centres around four lifelong friends who have their lives forever changed after reading Fifty Shades of Grey in their monthly book club… clearly, almost ten years after everyone else has heard of it. Where have they been??

This film looks like a shoe-in for Worst Movie of 2018. So far, Tomb Raider 2018 holds that title, but its fought off great competition from Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Diane Keaton appears to replay The First Wives Club where a group of middle-aged women want to take their lives back against complete bastard ex-husbands. This time, they’re grannies and in need of a hearty shag. Cue all the obvious jokes about getting old, and buying Viagra, etc. It feels like this was written just after FWC and it’s been sitting around, waiting for Ms Keaton to age accordingly.

Director: Bill Holderman
Screenplay: Bill Holderman, Erin Simms
Stars: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T Nelson, Don Johnson, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr, Wallace Shawn, Tommy Dewey, Katie Aselton

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager

In the summer of 1995, Bobby Robson was diagnosed with cancer and given just months to live. Miraculously, in less than a year, Robson was managing the legendary F.C. Barcelona – motto ‘More Than a Club’. But Bobby Robson was more than a manager. The miner’s son from Newcastle played for his country. When he transformed Ipswich into European winners it was clear his real talent lay in coaching. Fearless, his gift was to be at his best when the worst threatened. Via the “Hand of God”, Gazza’s tears, England’s greatest World Cup abroad to titles in Europe’s top leagues, including a Barcelona treble, Robson overcame the most extreme challenges before a career like no other came full circle when he returned to ‘save’ his beloved Newcastle United. Many of today’s great managers owe their rise to Robson; a daring coach who could spot genius and help it grow.

Personally, I don’t follow football at all, even though I did used to be into it when I was a kid, and I was a fan of Manchester United at the time, but documentaries about people involved in elemnts of life of which I know little or nothing, turn out to be the best documentaries. Whitney: Can I Be Me was a fantastic documentary of the late singer, for example, and I much more enjoyed Mark Kermode’s BBC hour-long documentary about The Exorcist than I did the film.

Director: Gabriel Clarke, Torquil Jones
Starring: Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Ronaldo, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Ismael’s Ghosts

21 years ago, she ran away. And 21 years later, Carlotta (Marion Cotillard) is back from the void. But Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) has been busy rebuilding a life for himself with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and working on his next feature film. As Ismael’s trials and tribulations unfurl, so too do those of his film’s protagonist: the idle, funny and reckless diplomat Ivan Dédalus (Louis Garrel).

The character is a nod to the ghost of another of Desplechin’s creations, the brother of Paul Dédalus, three-time hero of My Sex Life – or How I Got Into an Argument, A Christmas Tale and My Golden Days. A film within a film – and then some, Desplechin layers narrative upon narrative. With this film, Desplechin returns once more to the past, creating film after film as his way of stepping back in time, and proving yet again that his brand of genius lies in his ability to find light in the darkest of places.

So, that’s the official synopsis, but I have to say that this did look pretty interesting, given how life can be turned on its head.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Pandora’s Box

Lulu is a beautiful young woman who can seemingly work her charms on all of the men around her. She is currently being kept by the rich editor Dr. Ludwig Schön. She is just a plaything however and he is engaged to be married to Charlotte, a woman of his own class. He arranges for Lulu to appear in his son Alwa’s musical revue and he too falls for all of her charms.

When Dr. Schön and his fiancée go to the theater, Lulu ensures that he is put in a compromising situation and the elder Schön feels he now must marry her, knowing full well it will ruin his reputation. On his wedding day, Dr. Schön reaches his breaking point. His actions cost him his life however and Lulu is convicted of manslaughter. She escapes with the help of her old cronies but together they begin a downward spiral.

I’ve never seen this before, but while Mark Kermode is bigging up the cinema re-release of this movie (below), it won’t be showing anywhere outside London, so while it looks interesting, I guess I’ll see it on the inevitable restored Blu-ray disc.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Writers: Frank Wedekind (plays), Ladislaus Vajda (scenario)
Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

My Friend Dahmer

This is a docudrama about how a young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school, so not too much has been given away other than what we already know about the man, but I am looking forward to this.

Writer/Director: Marc Meyers
Novel: John Backderf
Stars: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Vincent Kartheiser

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

McKellen: Playing the Part is, in short, a documentary on the life and work of the knighted legend, and I can’t wait to see this.

Director: Joe Stephenson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Scott Chambers, Luke Evans

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Lost in Vagueness

This is a music documentary that tells the story of Roy Gurvitz, who created Lost Vagueness, at Glastonbury and who, as legendary founder, Michael Eavis says, reinvigorated the festival. With the decadence of 1920’s Berlin, but all in a muddy field. A film of the dark, self-destructive side of creativity and the personal trauma behind it.

The trailer for this is very short, but it could make for a decent documentary.

Director: Sophia Ollins
Starring: Roy Gurvitz, Michael Eavis, Leila Jones

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Bromley Boys

This is a funny yet touching (it says here) coming of age football memoir played out to the sights and sounds of late 60’s Britain. Based on the hilarious novel by Dave Roberts, it recounts the author’s highs and the lows supporting the worst football team in the country at the time – Bromley FC.

This could possibly work, but it looks like a pet project for Alan Davies with an underdog tale we’ve seen done many times before.

Director: Steve Kelly
Screenplay: Warren Dudley
Stars: Martine McCutcheon, Alan Davies, Jamie Foreman, Adam Deacon, Ewen MacIntosh, Lucy-Jane Quinlan

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

L’Amant Double (Double Lover)

Disenchanted with the ephemeral glamour of the modelling world, Chloé, a vulnerable Parisian woman of 25, is convinced that the severe and persistent abdominal pains she’s been suffering, stem mainly from a psychosomatic disorder. As a result, the reserved beauty will soon find herself on the couch of the charming therapist, Dr Paul Meyer, nevertheless, the mutual and unfailing sexual attraction between them will make it impossible to continue with the therapy. Before long, the ecstatic, yet unexplored lovers will move in together, however, Paul’s obscure past will inevitably lead Chloé to the conclusion that there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye. Is the doe-eyed woman lured into a world of hallucinations and dream-like sequences?

Director: Francois Ozon
Starring: Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier, Jacqueline Bisset, Myriam Boyer, Dominique Reymond, Fanny Sage

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!