John Wick and Lost River lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e April 10th 2015

john-wickThis weekend there are TEN new films out for you to choose from: action in John Wick, drama in Lost River, action/drama in Good Kill, documentary in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, something I’m not quite sure of in Force Majeure, horror in The Town That Dreaded Sundown, more drama in Jauja, Broken Horses and Woman In Gold, plus alleged comedy in Hot Tub Time Machine 2.

John Wick places Keanu Reeves in the title role of a man where (deep cinema voice) “…they killed his puppy …and now he’s going to murder them all!”

Okay, so it’s the last gift he received from his late wife, so there’s sentimental value there, but then Keanu’s done ridiculous premises before, and it expands slightly, since he’s a former hit man who is pursued by an old friend who was contracted to kill him.

The large cast also features Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, Jason Isaacs, Alfie Allen, Lance Reddick, Dean Winters, David Patrick Kelly and Kevin Nash, and it’s the directorial debut for Chad Stahelski, who’s been working in the film industry for a long time, mostly as a stunt director, starting off with 1991’s Point Break, where he doubled for Keanu Reeves!

I love the line: “People keep asking if I’m back… yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!”

Erm… back from where? We’ve never heard of you!

John Wick looks worth a watch, so it’s a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Lost River‘s premise is about towns being lost under water, thus causing a river, so it should really be called Lost Towns. But anyway…

This is the one which is directed by Ryan Gosling, and which Matt Smith left Doctor Who for to go and star in, and was originally due to be called How To Catch a Monster.

It’s a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger. In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is led into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together. Her teenage son Bones (Iain De Casestecker) discovers a mystery about the origins of Lost River that triggers his curiosity and sets into motion an unexpected journey that will test his limits and the limits of those he loves.

I’ve been looking looking forward to this, so it’s a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Good Kill stars Ethan Hawke as Tom Egan, a Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot, who fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife, Molly (January Jones), and kids for the other 12.

But he’s starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he’s killing? Is he fighting a war without end?

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (Lord of War, and the Hawke-starring Gattaca), the film also stars Jake Abel, Bruce Greenwood and Zoë Kravitz (X-Men: First Class).

Good Kill and looks very engaging, so I’ll definitely go to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is an authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

With a cast including Dave Grohl, Courtney Love, plus archive footage of Kurt Cobain, himself, they made some great music which is still played to this day, so I definitely want to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Force Majeure

A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life…

The anticipated disaster failed to occur, and yet the family’s world has been shaken to its core, a question mark hanging over their father in particular. Tomas and Ebba’s marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

Starring Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren and Clara Wettergren, it didn’t really grab me.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is Texarkana, and 65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of the so-called ‘moonlight murders’, they begin again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl, with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching him.

This so-called thriller looks like formulaic dross, and those with clearly nothing better to do with their careers include Addison Timlin, Gary Cole, Spencer Treat Clark, Veronica Cartwright and Ed Lauter.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is has taken since October to reach us from the US. I hope you haven’t held your breath waiting…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Jauja tells the tale of a father, Gunnar Dinesen (Viggo Mortensen) and his daughter who journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization.

Hopefully, Viggo will come off better in the desert than he did in 2004’s Hidalgo.

The film is directed by Lisandro Alonso, who co-wrote it with Fabian Casas, and also stars Diego Roman, Ghita Nørby, Mariano Arce and Viilbjørk Malling Agger. This is another film which has taken months to reach us, and personally, I’m not in a rush to see it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Broken Horses

The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.

Starring María Valverde, Vincent D’Onofrio, Thomas Jane, Anton Yelchin and Sean Patrick Flanery, the trailer didn’t excite me.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Woman in Gold stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee who takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Also starring Ryan Reynolds, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth McGovern, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Frances Fisher and Jonathan Pryce, i can see there’s a market for this film, but for my money, it looked tedious as hell.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 follows on from the original where the guys went back to 1986, which was my era for growing up in. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite gel together. And even worse, this time there’s no John Cusack! Hence, it looks like one of those terrible straight-to-video sequels… except this one’s getting quite a high priority cinema release!

This time round, Lou (Rob Corddry) has fixed things so he becomes the “father of the Internet,” and gets shot by an unknown assailant, causing Jacob (Clark Duke) and Nick (Craig Robinson) to fire up the time machine again to save their friend.

The trailer looks pretty good, but that’s only because I love films with time travel in. However, it looks like everything good has been shoved into the trailer so there’s nothing else to see. It’s also been pushed back from Boxing Day to now, so that doesn’t bode well.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!