Interstellar and The November Man lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e November 7th 2014

interstellarThis weekend there are six new films out for you to choose from: space epic-ness in Interstellar, action in The November Man, Russian drama in Leviathan, dippy comedy in Say When, plus more comedy in different styles in Set Fire To The Stars and The Skeleton Twins.

Interstellar is the first new film from Christopher Nolan following the completion of his Dark Knight Trilogy, and features Matthew McConaughey and features as one of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Like the second and third Batman films from Nolan, Interstellar will also contain footage shot in the full IMAX ratio of 1.44:1, which is such a rarity these days because you have to shoot on film, and such stocks of film are depleting, meaning that this is most likely to be the LAST EVER FILM which features IMAX footage in 1.44:1. Lots of films contain IMAX footage shot digitally, but that ratio only opens up to a maximum of 1.90:1.

This film looks a bit like 1997’s Contact, given the subject matter, and that film also featured McConaughey, who appeared alongside Jodie Foster.

Interstellar has a cast of fantastic stars including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, William Devane, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and David Oyelowo.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The November Man stars Pierce Brosnan as an ex-CIA operative, who is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect.

Also starring Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko and Bill Smitrovich, this looks intriguing, but sadly has had zero publicity anywhere.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Leviathan is the stunning new film from modern Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena), and is a gripping (it says here) parable of class, faith and corruption, centering on a land dispute between a small-time mechanic and his local authorities that reaps unimaginable consequences.

Kolia (Alexey Serebryakov) lives in a coastal village near the Barents Sea in Northern Russia, running an auto-repair shop from the garage of his childhood home, shared with young wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and his teenage son from a previous marriage.

The family’s world is under threat: Vadim Sergeyich (Roman Madyanov), the imperious town Mayor, has slapped a compulsory acquisition order on Kolia’s prime land, earmarking the site for a development of undetermined but dubious funding (and offering risible, token compensation). To Sergeyich’s great surprise, Kolia enlists the help of ex-army friend Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovitchenkov), now a hotshot lawyer from Moscow. Dmitri has uncovered some highly incriminating evidence that he believes will force the Mayor to back down, even if he has secrets of his own. Soon tempers and passions are inflamed, events spiral out of control, and lives are placed at stake.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Say When (aka Laggies)

Say When is probably a better title for a UK release than the US one, Laggies, where, in the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan (Keira Knightley) panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz), who lives with her world-weary single dad.

Also starring Sam Rockwell and Mark Webber, I wasn’t won over by the trailer in either name.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Set Fire To The Stars

An aspiring poet in 1950s New York has his ordered world shaken when he embarks on a week-long retreat to save his hell raising hero, Dylan Thomas.

Starring Celyn Jones as Dylan Thomas, Elijah Wood, Kelly Reilly, Steven Mackintosh, Shirley Henderson, the actor Kevin Eldon, and Nicola Duffett from Eastenders, it looks a bit of a slow burner, but I’m going to err on the side of…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Skeleton Twins

After ten years of estrangement, twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront how their lives went so wrong. As the twins’ reunion reinvigorates them both, they realize that the key to fixing their lives just may lie in fixing their relationship with each other.

Starring Kristen Wiig, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Bill Hader and Luke Wilson, this looks like a bittersweet comedy that actually is funny and which works.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!