Fury and This Is Where I Leave You lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e October 24th 2014

furyThis weekend there are six new films out for you to choose from: war drama in Fury, comedy in This Is Where I Leave You, CGI for kids in The Book of Life, children’s comedy in Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, musical biopic in Jimi Hendrix: All Is By My Side, and drippy drama in Serena.

Fury puts Brad Pitt right in the heart of World War II. This time, it’s no comedy as he’s killin’ Nazis.

It’s April, 1945, and as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Fury is written and directed by David Ayer, and also stars Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Scott Eastwood, Xavier Samuel, Jason Isaacs, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack and Michael Peña.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

This Is Where I Leave You is a new comedy which begins with a death…

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide-driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

This Is Where I Leave You does have a great cast including Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda, but the trailer certainly labours the point about the family having to stay together and it’s such a preposterous premise, so whether it hangs together as a complete film is anyone’s guess. Oh, and it’s from Shawn Levy who directed last year’s Google-worshipping The Internship, so that doesn’t help.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: I’ll err on the side of… Miss!

The Book of Life bucks the trend for me in that it’s an animated film which actually looks worth watching on the big screen.

Producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez team up for this animated comedy with a unique visual style and it follows the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, it encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.

The Book of Life stars Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Diego Luna, Hector Elizondo, Cheech Marin and Gabriel Iglesias.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day must rank as the film with the least snappy title of 2014 and is a rare thing – a family film that’s NOT full of CGI!

Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) wakes up with gum in his hair, and things just get worse as his day progresses. He trips up on the skateboard, drops his sweater into the sink when it’s full of water, his siblings Anthony and Emily find loads of prizes in their cereal boxes, whereas he gets none, he doesn’t get the window seat in the carpool, his teacher doesn’t like his picture of an invisible castle, he’s criticised for singing too loud, his best friend deserts him for his third best friend, there’s no dessert in his lunchbag, the dentist tells him he has a cavity, the elevator door closes on his foot…

And then everything goes bad for everyone else in his family, too.

It also stars Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner as his parents, with Dylan Minnette and Kerris Dorsey as his siblings, and it’s certainly not one I’ll be going to see. But then I don’t have kids to take to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Jimi Hendrix: All Is By My Side

This is a drama based on Jimi Hendrix’s pre-fame years, starring Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell and Burn Gorman, plus Outkast’s André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix.

I love the man’s music, so this is a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton’s timber empire becomes complicated when it is learned that his wife, Serena, cannot bear children.

I still haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook, but I don’t do romantic dramas, and even the poster of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper grinning inanely at me, for that film, just makes me want to vomit.

And apparently, Serena was filmed BEFORE they made Silver… and American Hustle (which I also haven’t yet seen), so trotting it out now seems like rather a cash-in. How Hollywood!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!