Can You Ever Forgive Me? leads the new cinema releases February 1st 2019

Can You Ever Forgive MeThis time, there are SEVEN new films out for you to choose from, led by Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Here are the titles, with more info below:

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?
    Green Book
    Velvet Buzzsaw
    Escape Room
    Crucible of the Vampire
    How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World

Can You Ever Forgive Me? stars Melissa McCarthy in a drama… yes, a drama! Hopefully this marks a change in direction, since all her comedies tend to drift into one another.

The film tells the true story of bestselling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats) Lee Israel (McCarthy), who made her living in the ’70s and ’80s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E Grant).

It looks a pretty decent film and, sometimes, when you’re sick of someone making comedies, a drama can be that perfect turning point. I always cite the example of after Lenny Henry stopping being funny when the ’80s ended, but in the ’90s, he made the dramas Alive and Kicking and the series, Hope and Glory, as well as more recently starring in Broadchurch.

Read our review here!

Director: Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Lee Israel, Jeff Whitty
Also stars: Anna Deavere Smith, Alice Kremelberg, Julie Ann Emery, Joanna Adler, Marc Evan Jackson, Christian Navarro, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jane Curtin

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Green Book looks like a colour-swap version of Driving Miss Daisy, as working-class Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) becomes the driver for African-American classical pianist Don Shirley (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse‘s Mahershala Ali) on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

I was struggling to stay awake while watching this trailer…

Read our review here!

Director: Peter Farrelly
Also stars: Linda Cardellini, Don Stark, PJ Byrne, Brian Stepanek, Sebastian Maniscalco, Iqbal Theba

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Velvet Buzzsaw looks to me like Netflix has knocked it out of the park again, as it teams up Nightcrawler (one of the best films of its year) with its effervescent star Jake Gyllenhaal, with his co-star, Rene Russo (also Freejack) and its writer/director Dan Gilroy (Kong: Skull Island as well as the awesome Freejack).

A series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, and after Zawe Ashton (Guerilla) takes the credit, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.

This looks ace and I can’t wait to see it!

The film also stars John Malkovich (Bird Box), Billy Magnussen (US Callister: Black Mirror), Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting), Peter Gadiot (13 Hrs), Tom Sturridge (Journey’s End), Toni Collette (Wanderlust, alongside Zawe Ashton) and Natalia Dyer.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Jong-su, a part-time worker, bumps into Hae-mi while delivering, who used to live in the same neighborhood. Hae-mi asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa. When Hae-mi comes back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met in Africa, to Jong-su. One day, Ben visits Jong-su’s with Hae-mi and confesses his own secret hobby.

This certainly looks like an intrguing film so I definitely want to check this one out.

Director: Chang-dong Lee
Stars: Ah-in Yoo, Steven Yeun (as Yeun Sang-yeop), Jong-seo Jun, Soo-Kyung Kim

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Escape Room centres around six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control, and who must use their wits to survive, and in this time of low-budget film, there’s not a well-known name amongst them, although director Adam Robitel did bring us 2018’s Insidious Chapter 4: The Last Key

The tagline emblazons: Solve the puzzle. Escape the room.

Of course, this being Hollywood, they don’t *stay* in the room… or do they? They appear to be outside, but is it just an illusion? Who knows? (Who cares!)

Escape Room is released in the UK in the Jan/Feb dumper slot, which usually means the time of the dumping ground for rubbish films that aren’t Oscar/BAFTA contenders, but sometimes there’s the odd gem in there. Could this be one of those?

Director: Adam Robitel
Stars: Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Nik Dodani, Adam Robitel, Jessica Sutton, Jay Ellis, Jamie-Lee Money, Vere Tindale, Paul Hampshire, Cornelius Geaney Jr, Kenneth Fok, Gino Lee

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Crucible of the Vampire

An ancient, cursed artefact draws a young, university researcher (Katie Goldfinch) to an old house which holds a dark and terrible secret. The young woman discovers the truth within the grim, foreboding walls of the house, but once in the clutches of its malevolent occupants, will she be able to leave with her life?

This Brit flick could work but I’m not wholly convinced, but if I get the chance, I’ll give it a go.

Director: Iain Ross-McNamee
Stars: Neil Morrissey, Brian Croucher, Charles O’Neill, Aaron Jeffcoate, Katie Goldfinch

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World sees Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) return, fulfilling his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia. Meanwhile, Toothless’ discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup’s reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.

I didn’t care for 1 and 2, so I don’t care for 3.

If you do, then How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World is released in the UK on February 1st 2019.

Writer/Director: Dean DeBlois
Based upon the books by Cressida Cowell
Also stars: Cate Blanchett, TJ Miller, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Djimon Hounsou, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, F Murray Abraham, Craig Ferguson

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!