Brimstone leads the new cinema releases and trailers September 29th 2017

BrimstoneThis week, there are ELEVEN new films out for you to choose from: The wild west is still untamed in Brimstone, the story of Winnie the Pooh comes to the screen in Goodbye Christopher Robin, there’s a quirky British comedy in Daphne, Reese Witherspoon leads a sickly-sweet ‘single mom’ tale in Home Again, for some unknown reason the decision was made to remake Flatliners, Jai Courtney pretends he can act again in The Exception, things go bump in the night in the Australian outback in Killing Ground, Michael Winterbottom goes On the Road with Wolf Alice, Bruce Parry brings nature to us in Tawai: A Voice from the Forest, there’s another clucking documentary in Pecking Order, and some videogame-inspired weirdness in Hotel Inferno 2: The Cathedral of Pain.

Brimstone apparently tells a triumphant epic of survival and a tale of powerful womanhood and resistance against the unforgiving cruelty of a hell on earth. The heroine is Liz (Dakota Fanning), carved from the beautiful wilderness, full of heart and grit, hunted by a vengeful Preacher (Guy Pearce) – a diabolical zealot and her twisted nemesis. But Liz is a genuine survivor; she’s no victim – a woman of fearsome strength who responds with astonishing bravery to claim the better life she and her daughter deserve. Fear not. Retribution is coming.

Written and directed by Martin Koolhoven, and also starring Kit Harington, Carice van Houten, Paul Anderson and Emilia Jones, check out my review here!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Goodbye Christopher Robin is centered around the relationship between children’s author AA Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh.

Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive, the lad and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

The trailer didn’t do a lot for me, but it’s had a lot of good word about it.

Director: Simon Curtis (Woman In Gold)
Screenplay: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Simon Vaughan
Also stars: Kelly Macdonald, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore, Geraldine Somerville, Nico Mirallegro, Shaun Dingwall

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!


Daphne (Emily Beecham), 31, Londoner. Busy days, hectic nights, friends, people, lovers, are all welcome distractions from the constant and creeping feeling that her life is somehow stuck. Too young too settle quietly, too old to keep on messing about without aim. One night, an unexpected event slowly but steadily forces her to confront this existential limbo head on, and start looking very closely at the person she has become.

A quirky British comedy, I love the look of this and really want to see it.

Director: Peter Mackie Burns
Writer: Nico Mensinga
Also stars: Geraldine James, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Home Again tells the sickly-sweet tale, rom-com style, of ‘single mom’ Reese Witherspoon, based in Los Angeles, and for whom life takes an unexpected turn when the 40-year-old allows three young guys to move in with her, resulting in at least two relationships, according to the trailer, and no doubt lots of oh-so-hilarious misunderstandings!

This film marks the directing debut for Hallie Meyers-Shyer, who also wrote it. She’s the daughter of Nancy Meyers, who’s made lot of similar sickly-sweet junk over the years like It’s Complicated, What Women Want and The Intern.

Also stars: Lake Bell, Michael Sheen, Candice Bergen, Nat Wolff, Reid Scott.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Flatliners 2017… yes, it hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s out now.

Okay, so the original was almost 30 years ago and it’s going to make me sound really old when I say that 1990’s Flatliners was one of my favourite films of all time, but that’s the case. Director Joel Schumacher brought some incredible style to the movie, including bathing individual scenes in one whole, striking colour.

Then we have Flatliners 2017… which loses all that and looks as bland as bland can be. It centres around a group of medical students who experiment on effectively killing themselves so they can have “near death” experiences, bringing up past tragedies in their lives until the shit starts to hit the fan.

In this version, Ellen Page is clearly Kiefer Sutherland’s Nelson character*, although the ginger one onscreen gets to say his line, “It’s a good day to die”, albeit with none of the panache.

(*even though he’s in this too! What a shill!)

Overall, it looks like a bloody awful remake. I really can’t see the point. It lacks all the original’s flair and the students just each come across some different weird stuff going on. Beyond that, it looks like a carbon copy…

Director: Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Writers: Peter Filardi, Ben Ripley
Also stars: Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna, Kiersey Clemons, Charlotte McKinney, James Norton, Tyler Hynes, Beau Mirchoff, Steve Byers, Elena Khan, Daniela Barbosa

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Exception centres around German soldier Capt. Stefan Brandt, played by Jai Courtney. Yeah, I know… Jai Courtney from Terminator Genisys! He couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag!

Anyhoo, he’s trying to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but… he falls in love, for a young Jewish Dutch woman, Mieke de Jong (Lily James), during his investigation.

However, with Eddie Marsan popping up in the trailer as Heinrich Himmler, it doesn’t actually look that bad from the trailer, despite Jai Courtney!

Director: David Leveaux
Writer: Simon Burke (based on the novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by Alan Judd)
Also stars: Christopher Plummer, Ben Daniels, Janet McTeer

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Killing Ground

A couples’ camping trip turns into a frightening ordeal when they stumble across the scene of a horrific crime in the Australian outback.

This ‘rumble in the jungle’ could go either way.

Writer: Damien Power
Stars: Harriet Dyer, Mitzi Ruhlmann, Aaron Pedersen

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

On the Road (Wolf Alice)

Michael Winterbottom (The Trip) directs an intimate look at life on the road for the band Wolf Alice as they tour Great Britain.

If you like the band, you’ll like this. Personally, I’ve not heard of them.

Stars: Shirley Henderson, Paul Popplewell, James McArdle, Leah Harvey, Jamie Quinn, Ellie Rowsell

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Tawai: A Voice from the Forest

Tawai is the word the nomadic hunter gatherers of Borneo use to describe their inner feeling of connection to nature. In this dreamy, philosophical and sociological look at life, explorer Bruce Parry travels the world to learn from people living lives very different to our own. From the jungles of Malaysia to the tributaries of the Amazon, Tawai is a quest for reconnection, providing a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself.

With a documentary cast led by Bruce Parry, plus Ingrid Lewis, Jerome Lewis and Iain Mcgilchrist, this could be interesting, but it’s not my first choice for the week.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Pecking Order

Fierce rivalries, club infighting, problematic birds and irregular judging are just some of the challenges faced by a group of zealous Kiwi chicken breeders hell bent on victory at the 2015 National Poultry Show.

As the tagline says, “Who Will Rule The Roost?” (ho ho)

I’m sure for some this is clucking great, but for me, it’s a bit fowl…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Hotel Inferno 2: The Cathedral of Pain

You, Frank Zimosa, are dead – brutally killed by the Mistandrian Cultists and trapped in the nightmarish Hotel Inferno: a special layer of Hell where demons co-exist with cultists, providing them dark, forbidden knowledge in exchange for endless pain and suffering. Alongside another tormented soul, trapped in the inferno since the Middle Ages, you must locate the five elements comprising the human soul – so that you may reclaim your physical form on Earth – before your body rots away.

Do you have the strength to face the hordes of hell and take the first element – The Fire – from the hands of its powerful, ancient protector? There’s only one way to find out (it says, here)

This looks like a videogame from the trailer (which is full of gory moments that are NOT for the squeamish) but it is a film on Blu-ray and DVD from Necrostorm.

Director: Giulio De Santi
Writers: Giulio De Santi, Tiziana Machella

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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