Fantastic Four (2015) leads the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e August 7th 2015

fantastic-fourThis weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: action in Fantastic Four, drama in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marshland, The Gift and Max, plus alleged comedy in Manglehorn.

Fantastic Four is not a third film in the series following the so-so 2005 reboot, but is yet another reboot – and they’ve also dropped the ‘The’ from the teaser, this time starring Whiplash‘s Miles Teller as Mr Fantastic, Kate Mara as The Invisible Woman, Michael B Jordan as The Human Torch and Jamie Bell as The Thing… yet, Billy Elliot! Then again, Bell was also up to all kinds of naughtyness in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, so all bets are off!

In this trailer, we get to see Doctor Doom and the whole trailer shows that it’s shaping up to be a damn sight better than films from the last decade, even if it hasn’t got Jessica Alba 😉

This new version is (it says here) a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centring on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

The Fantastic Four also stars Reg E Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson and The Veteran‘s Toby Kebbell, and is directed by Josh Trank, who wrote the daft but engaging Chronicle. It’s had a bad reception so far, and I’m not hugely looking forward to it, but the problem with all these Marvel films is that you have to watch them all because there are links from one to the next…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Diary of a Teenage Girl stars Bel Powley as teen artist Minne, living in 1970s San Francisco who enters into an affair with her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård).

While it doesn’t sound like a must-see drama, it does have something about it that’s intriguing and also stars Kristen Wiig as her mother, Charlotte, plus Christopher Meloni (Sin City 2). The film is written and directed by Marielle Heller, and based on the graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures by Phoebe Gloeckner.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


The Spanish deep South, 1980. A series of brutal murders of adolescent girls in a remote and forgotten town bring together two disparate characters – both detectives in the homicide division – to investigate the cases. With deep divisions in their ideology, detectives Juan and Pedro must put aside their differences if they are to successfully hunt down a killer who for years has terrorized a community in the shadow of a general disregard for women rooted in a misogynistic past.

Starring Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Arévalo, María Varod and Perico Cervantes, this looks like a cracking drama and far more deserving of screen time than most of the crap getting an airing this week.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Gift

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton, who also directs) at first, but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years.

As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?

While it’s good to see Bateman doing something other than mostly tired comedies, this doesn’t exactly look like a stunning departure.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Max does for war movies what Lassie did for…. kids stuck down a well.

Following an incident out in Iraqistan, or something, Max is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and things take a turn for the worse when his owner, Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell), is killed in the war.

Max is due to be put down because he has trouble listening to anyone else. Until… he meets Justin (Josh Wiggins), Kyle’s brother. Justin adopts, and saves, Max. Then, both of their lives would never be the same again. Awwwww!

Yes, it’s all-American tosh, and on top of this, the geek boy gets the hot girl, Carmen (Mia Xitlali). And I won’t be rushing to see this film – also starring Thomas Haden Church, Lauren Graham and Luke Kleintank .

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Manglehorn – No, it’s not Joe Mangle from Neighbours getting all excited, it’s a new Al Pacino film.

And it looks like a rare stinker for Pacino who, in the titular role, was left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost many years ago. He’s an eccentric small-town locksmith, who tries to start his life over again with the help of a new friend.

Also starring Holly Hunter, Chris Messina, Harmony Korine and directed by David Gordon Green, this looks dull as dishwater.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!