Bridget Jones’ Baby leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e September 16th 2016

Bridget Jones' Baby This weekend there are ELEVEN new films out for you to choose from: comedy threequel in Bridget Jones’ Baby, comedy in the outback in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Bryan Cranston is The Infiltrator, time-travel intrigue in ARQ, music documentary in The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, great Irish comedy in The Young Offenders, a bog-standard ‘psycho neighbour’ movie in The Neighbour, alleged mafia comedy in El Clan, a Brit flick that shouldn’t exist in Set the Thames on Fire, a horror sequel that shouldn’t exist in Blair Witch, and the terrible Two Women.

Bridget Jones’ Baby is the third movie in the tale of the eternal singleton and, at the time of writing, I’ve seen the first one earlier this week (it was alright – 5/10), and am currently catching up with the second, prior to the release of No.3.

This time round Renée Zellweger is back with a new baby and a new face… well, as British publishing executive Bridget Jones, she’s up the duff, but who’s the daddy? Is it her ex, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) or her new beau, Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey, aka McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy)?

The film is directed by Sharon Maguire who brought us 2001’s original Bridget Jones’ Diary, but not 2004’s sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which was from the hand of Beeban Kidron, best known for the 1990 TV series, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; and the cast includes Jim Broadbent, Celia Imrie, Sally Phillips, Enzo Cilenti, Gemma Jones and, for some reason, Ed Sheeran.

No doubt, the duelling between Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey will have single women pissing in their knickers in excitement…

Oh, and the official title is Bridget Jones’s Baby, but in my book, that’s one “s” too many. So it should just be Bridget Jones’ Baby.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on the book by Barry Crump, the film stars Sam Neill, Julian Dennison and Rima Te Wiata, and it looks bloody hilarious, and far more so than most so-called comedies, so it’s a crying shame that this will struggle to find space in a multiplex, while absolute toss like the Ghostbusters reboot dominated the screens on its week of release (and still couldn’t get to No.1, even with a ‘7-day weekend’!)

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Infiltrator stars Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur, a US federal customs and excise agent, who uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Based on Mazur’s he autobiography, he used his alias “Bob Musella”.

Directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner) and with a screenplay from Ellen Sue Brown, the cast includes John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Amy Ryan, Joseph Gilgun, Benjamin Bratt, Juliet Aubrey, Elena Anaya, Jason Isaacs, Olympia Dukakis, Art Malik, Michael Paré and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty).

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

This is a documentary comprised of found footage, featuring music, interviews, and stories of The Beatles’ 250 concerts from 1963 to 1966, all assembled by directed Ron Howard.

However, this release will find most of its audience on Blu-ray and DVD, as the cinema release looks to be a one-night-only experience, on Thursday, September 15th.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Trapped in a lab and stuck in a time loop, a disoriented couple fends off masked raiders while harboring a new energy source that could save humanity.

Written and directed by Tony Elliott, and starring Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor and Gray Powell, I love any film and TV show to do with time travel, and I have to see this new Netflix movie.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Young Offenders

Inspired by the true story of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, The Young Offenders is a comedy road movie about best friends Conor and Jock, two inner-city teenagers from Cork who dress the same, act the same, and even have the same bum-fluff mustaches. Jock is a legendary bike thief who plays a daily game of cat-and-mouse with the bike-theft-obsessed Garda Sergeant Healy. When a drug-trafficking boat capsizes off the coast of West Cork and 61 bales of cocaine, each worth 7 million euro, are seized, word gets out that there is a bale missing. The boys steal two bikes and go on a road trip hoping to find a missing bale which they can sell so as to escape their troubled home lives….But Sergeant Healy is in hot pursuit.

Written and directed by Peter Foott, with a cast including Hilary Rose, Chris Walley and Ciaran Bermingham, there were a lot of laughs to be had in this trailer, but I had to play it back a second time as the dialogue is spoken so fast, and I would have to watch a whole film with the subtitles on, such is the strength of the cast’s accents.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Neighbour

In the town of Cutter, most people keep to themselves. But when John comes home to find his girlfriend missing, he becomes suspicious and sneaks into his neighbor’s house. What he finds there is unnerving, to say the least. Will he escape the house alive or become another victim? Sounds like a dark version of The New Neighbour, from Hancock’s Half Hour!

Directed by Marcus Dunstan, and starring Josh Stewart, Bill Engvall and Luke Edwards, there could be something in this, but on the whole, it looks like a bog-standard ‘psycho neighbour’ movie.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

El Clan

The Puccios…? A model family! They are few, those that could match them. The father? A dignified man, (honest) storekeeper by trade, who cares about his five children, going as far as to supervise the homework of his youngest daughter. The mother? Both a dedicated teacher and a regular Martha Stewart. The children? Well-educated and promised to a bright future. Alejandro, for one, is already an admired rugby star. Except that… all this respectability is nothing but a smokescreen! The truth is that Arquimedes Puccio is also – and mainly – the tyrannical leader of a criminal gang composed of… his wife and children. Puccio’s undercover activities ? Well, they consist in kidnapping rich people (preferably young), detaining them in his own house, torturing them gratuitously and doing away with them after cashing the ransom. The Puccios, a model family?

Directed by Pablo Trapero, and written by Julian Loyola, Esteban Student and Pablo Trapero, the film stars Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani and Lili Popovich, it looks like it’s trying too hard to be funny, and rarely succeeding. Hope I didn’t disrespect this mafia-style family…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Set the Thames on Fire

Two boys fall through the clockwork of a grotesque, nightmare London, endeavouring to survive and escape.

Starring Sally Phillips, Noel Fielding, Sadie Frost, Morgana Robinson and Lily Loveless, I had high hopes for this, but ultimately, it was massively disappointing and unfunny.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Blair Witch? What? Yet another damn reboot movie?? Or is it something else, since IMDB lists it as The Woods.

Well, something’s going bump in the night as the happy campers are picked off one by one in the dark. The ‘action’ is interspersed by quotes from film sites declaring how frightening it is. Really? It looked bloody awful from the trailer, and nothing we haven’t seen before, not least in 1999’s The Blair Witch Project.

That said, director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett worked together on the so-so You’re Next, but then the excellent The Guest, so there’s scope for pedigree in the latter, at least, although the former also had some inventive ideas.

There’s no-one famous in the cast – Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry, Callie Hernandez, James Allen McCune and Brandon Scott – but if you want to check this one out, then it’s out on Friday.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Two Women

A headstrong young woman is married to land baron. Her feelings for her son’s tutor becomes a complex web of unrequited love.

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Sylvie Testud and Aleksandr Baluev, at first, this looked like a spoof period drama, but no! It was a genuine one! And with the dialogue in French, even from Mr Fiennes, whoever did the translation to English needs shooting as the word ‘freedom’ became “freedm”, and the big, bold title at the very end proclaimed… “Two Woman”!


Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!