High-Rise leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e March 18th 2016

high-riseThis weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: bizarre drama from Ben Wheatley in High-Rise, Bill Murray growing old disgracefully in Rock The Kasbah, supernatural weirdness in 10 Cloverfield Lane, French farce in Marguerite, horror in The Boy, CGI comedy in Norm Of The North, and the resurrection returns in time for Easter with Risen.

High-Rise is the latest movie from Ben Wheatley (A Field In England, Sightseers and the first two episodes of Doctor Who Series 8 – Deep Breath and Into The Dalek) and it has a simple premise that states life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Based on the JG Ballard novel from 1975, there’s a large cast led by Tom Hiddleston, plus Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes, Dan Renton Skinner, Sienna Guillory, Inside No.9‘s Reece Shearsmith and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell‘s Enzo Cilenti.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Rock The Kasbah shows Bill Murray at his best again, here as a down-on-his-luck music manager who discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.

The film also stars Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Taylor Kinney, Danny McBride, Leem Lubany and Scott Caan, and is directed by Barry Levinson (Rainman). It looks hilarious and Bill Murray proves he doesn’t need to make Ghostbusters 3 when he can clearly grow old disgracefully with great films like this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

10 Cloverfield Lane is the latest producer project for JJ Abrams, fresh from making an okay Star Wars sequel, and this new movie is also long-awaited but for me, the original Cloverfield was a handheld-horror movie which felt very much like The Emperor’s New Clothes. Is said Emperor now donning a new set?

This trailer is more like a teaser as it features a family, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead (only appearing in the censored cinema version of A Good Day To Die Hard) and Inside Llewyn Davis’ John Goodman getting on with things to a cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” until… something starts shaking.

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and with a screenplay by Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle, who is also making the forthcoming La La Land, originally due for release in the UK on July 15th but now put back indefinitely with a December 16th date for the US, starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and again working with JK Simmons (Fletcher in Whiplash), I’m not holding out an awful lot of hope for this new overhyped movie.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Marguerite: Paris, 1920s. Marguerite Dumont is a wealthy woman, lover of the music and the opera. She loves to sing for her friends, although she’s not a good singer. Both her friends and her husband have kept her fantasy. The problem begins when she decides to perform in front of a real audience.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read our review here

The Boy is looks to be one of those old-style horror movies where lots of weird stuff happens and I’m hoping this film works out as well as the trailer because it’s really creeping me out, and actually reminds me of the 1978 horror Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins as a ventriloquist who at the mercy of his vicious dummy.

In this film, Lauren Cohan plays Greta, a young American nanny who takes a job in a remote English village. On arrival, she gets spooked out when she discovers the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. Then in a Gremlins-style situation where she has to follow a set of rules (eg. don’t let him out of your sight, don’t cover him up, and so on), she ignores them all and then the youknowwhat starts to hit the fan!

Is ‘The Boy’ actually alive?

The movie is also known as The Inhabitant, and also stars Rupert Evans, Ben Robson, Jim Norton, Jett Klyne, Diana Hardcastle and James Russell.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Norm of the North stars Rob Schneider as Norm, a polar bear who has been displaced from his Arctic home, along with his three lemming friends, and they end up in New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland.

The film also stars Heather Graham, Bill Nighy, Ken Jeong, Zachary Gordon, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine and Gabriel Iglesias, and I really can’t get worked up about this in any form whatsoever.

Norm of the North looks rather lazy compared to most CGI kids films being released these days, and rather like a bad spin-off from the Ice Age movies.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Risen follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Yahshua in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds (Waterworld – yes, exactly), and starring Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, Cliff Curtis and MarĂ­a Botto, I’m an athiest, so am I really going to go and see a movie about Jesus? No, I am not.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!