Detour and Pirates 5: Salazar’s Revenge lead the new cinema releases and trailers May 26th 2017

DetourThis week, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from: noirish thriller in Detour, quinquel… pentquel… oh, it’s the fifth Captain Jack movie in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, Bingbing Fan turns hitwoman in I Am Not Madame Bovary, Brad Pitt turns conflict into comedy in War Machine, Baywatch is a reboot no-one asked for, Stephen Fry’s The Hippopotamus comes to the big screen, there’s one for the kids this half-term in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Studio Ghibli return to the cinema with The Red Turtle, and there’s CGI dross to miss in Spark: A Space Tail.

Detour centres around law student and all round good guy, Harper (Tye Sheridan Joe), who suspects that his scheming step-father, Vincent, is responsible for the car crash that sent his mother into a coma.

Drowning his sorrows one evening in a seedy L.A whiskey bar, Harper is interrupted by a tough looking redneck called Johnny Ray (Emory Cohen) who offers to ‘take care’ of his step-dad for the cool sum of $20,000. Angry, intent on revenge and fuelled by alcohol, Harper agrees to the deal and spends the rest of his evening downing shots with him. The next morning, Harper awakes to the mother of all hangovers with hazy memory of the previous night’s events. After what follows, our lead character quickly realises that there is no easy way out.

Written and directed by Christopher Smith, and also starring Stephen Moyer, Bel Powley and John Lynch, at first, this trailer looked like the film would be hit-and-miss, but how did it fare in full?

Read our review here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is the new name for the fifth in the Pirates franchise, which was originally subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Jack is back, and his luck has run out. Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) has released the most deadly ghost pirates of the sea from the devil’s Triangle. Salazar is the oldest villain of Jack Sparrow. The ghost pirates hunt on every single pirate on sea, including Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The only hope to survive this adventure is to collect the legendary Trident of Poseidon. This weapon is the most powerful weapon and the owner gets control of all seas. Is Jack going to collect this powerful weapon and can he insure he is not going to get killed by Captain Salazar and his pirate ghosts?

For some reason, this film has two directors (Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg), and that’s rarely a good sign. Apparently, the first film in the series was the best, but when I saw that (rather late, compared to most people), I wasn’t impressed with it. Went on too long, and based on the running times, the others have, too.

The cast, some of them returning, includes Kaya Scodelario, Orlando Bloom, Golshifteh Farahani, Kevin McNally, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush, Stephen Graham, and apparently, Paul McCartney.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

I Am Not Madame Bovary (aka Wo bu shi Pan Jin Lian)

After being swindled by her ex-husband, Li Xuelian (Bingbing Fan) takes on the Chinese legal system… whilst also having murder in mind.

Check out the trailer because this does look very intriguing. I also wondered if the aspect ratio in the trailer is how it appears throughout… and it looks like it does – a circular 1:1 ratio! There appears to be one scene in 1.85:1 and another in 2.39:1, but that’s something I’ve never seen before.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Also stars: Da Peng, Wei Fan, Xiaogang Feng

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

War Machine looks to be a superb comedy that’d look great on any cinema screen, but this one is reserved solely for Netflix and stars Brad Pitt as Gen. Glen McMahon, a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.

The film tells an absurdist war story for our times, as writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates the man’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part-reality, part-savage parody – raising the spectre of just where the line between them lies today. His is an exploration of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly.

War Machine also stars Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Anthony Michael Hall, Emory Cohe, Topher Grace, Daniel Betts, Alan Ruck, Will Poulter, Keith Stanfield, Ben Kingsley, Meg Tilly and Griffin Dunne, and I can’t wait to see it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Baywatch – another reboot no-one asked for. And it’s one I initially thought would be another case of a 12A film where the men will show their moobs, but the women won’t show their boobs… but as we got closer to the release date, it’s become a 15-cert with lots of f-words, so like all of Zac Efron‘s other films of the last few years, then.

The plot is clearly a complex one – the council have cut their funding for the lifeguard service, but the Baywatch brand still has to be maintained.

Efron (as David Charvet’s character Matt Brody) drinks shots, like he did in Dirty Grandpa; while The Rock (as David Hasslehoff’s Mitch Buchanan) swims under fire, like you do, and his San Andreas daughter co-star Alexandra Daddario is Nicole Eggert’s character, Summer Quinn. Kelly Rohrbach (who?) is Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker, but both Ms Anderson and The Hoff appear in this, too, according to IMDB.

Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief – both very average films) from a script by (like Spider-Man Homecoming, this takes SIX writers! Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, David Ronn, Jay Scherick, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift), the cast also includes Priyanka Chopra, Angelique Kenney, Charlotte McKinney, Ilfenesh Hadera and Hannibal Buress.

The trailer also sounds like it has a snatch of the second Baywatch TV theme, “I’m Always Here”, performed by Survivor’s Jimi Jamison, but I always preferred the original track, “Save Me” by Peter Cetera, even if it was only used for the first season when the show was still on NBC, who cancelled it after that, but then later revived it. Yes! A show cancelled after one year has now spawned a movie over 25 years later!

A big sign of desperation for this movie is that it’s released next Monday, May 29th, i.e. a Bank Holiday, but given that it’s a Monday, that means that rather than a 3-day weekend gross, it will actually have a SEVEN-day ‘weekend’, from Monday to Sunday. Last year’s Ghostbusters reboot tried that scam. It didn’t pay off.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Hippopotamus is looking in a similar direction to Baywatch, as rather than Monday, it’s released on *Sunday*, so it’ll have an EIGHT-day weekend. However, this will have a much smaller release in cinemas. Okay… slight correction in that – the Sunday showing is a one-off including a Q&A with its writer, Stephen Fry, appearing in other cinemas from next Friday. But, techincally, it’s STILL an 8-day weekend.

A country manor mystery that’s actually a deliciously wicked comedy of manners, The Hippopotamus is a rollicking adaptation of the best-selling novel. It centers on a lapsed poet, failed drama critic, redundant husband and hard-working drunk, Ted Wallace (the mellifluously voiced Roger Allam in a rare starring role). Fired from his newspaper job, Ted leaps at the chance to drown his sorrows at his old friend’s country estate, Swafford Hall. A series of spiritual healings have recently put the household in a tizzy.

The purported miracle worker is his hosts’ teenage son, Ted’s godson, David (Tommy Knight). Lord and Lady Logan are set on sharing their boy’s “gift” with the world, blissfully unaware that his “laying on of hands” trick involves, well, an emphasis on “laying.” At odds with a colorful party of fellow guests only too ready to swallow anything they’re told, Ted sets out to prove the miracles are a hoax and save the young man from a lifetime of embarrassment.

Allam rarely goes wrong in whatever he does, and based on this trailer, it looks well worth a watch.

Director: John Jencks
Also stars: Matthew Modine, Lyne Renee, Russell Tovey

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention.

The fourth in the long-running series, and with an all-new cast, this film marks a return to the big screen, during the half-term holidays, as the other sequels went straight to DVD.

Stars: Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Red Turtle

Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles all alone for his life with the relentless towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man set adrift by the raging tempest washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but graceful swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet, determined to break free from his Eden-like prison, after foraging for food and fresh water and encouraged by the dense forest, the stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to the wide sea, however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping.

Each day, the exhausted man never giving up hope will attempt to make a new, more improved raft, but the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures and the island’s only red turtle won’t let the weary survivor escape that easily. Is this the heartless enemy?

I’m not a massive fan of animated movies, but this is Studio Ghibli rather than traditional Hollywood.

Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Cast: Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy, Axel Devillers, Barbara Beretta

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Spark: A Space Tail

And for an animation to DEFINITELY give a miss, it’s this one.

Thirteen years ago, the power-mad General Zhong seized control of Planet Bana and tore it to pieces in the process. Now splintered into hundreds of shards, Zhong is Bana’s evil-overlord, ruling with an iron fist. Enter Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Vix, a battle-ready fox, and Chunk, a tech-savvy pig. Spark learns of Zhong’s secret plan to take over the universe by capturing a giant space monster known as the Kraken – a beast that has the power to create black holes.

If Zhong manages to harness the Kraken’s power, he’ll have history’s deadliest weapon at his fingertips, and it’s up to Spark and his friends to stop him. Spark’s journey takes him to the farthest reaches of the universe, where he encounters great dangers and discovers the secret of his true identity. An action-packed space adventure full of humor and heart, Spark is the story of a boy who takes on great responsibility and in the process discovers his rightful place in the universe.

Stars: Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart, Hilary Swank

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!