John Wick Chapter 2 leads the new cinema releases and trailers February 17th 2017

John Wick Chapter 2This week, there are SIX new films out for you to choose from: John Wick is back in… John Wick Chapter 2, Anna Chancellor takes the lead in new British comedy Love Of My Life, Michael Keaton plays The Founder of McDonalds, Matt Damon tackles monsters coming across The Great Wall, there’s the untold story about the women behind the first successful space missions in Hidden Figures, and drama during the “War on Drugs” era in Moonlight.

John Wick Chapter 2: John Wick is back? Yeah, I’m thinking he’s back!

Keanu Reeves returns as the man who shoots those who wronged his dog last time, and he shoots them in the face, with lots of great CGI blood splatter.

The first John Wick was a great movie and I really had my doubts after it took six months to come to the UK, but it blew me away, as he does to a lot of baddies.

The first one was produced and directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, and while only the former is credited as director this time, the latter is on hand as executive producer, but as long as both are involved, we should be onto a winner.

As for the plot? Bah! Mere details! But the cast includes Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, John Leguizamo, Laurence Fishburne, David Patrick Kelly, Thomas Sadoski, Common, Lance Reddick and Oleg Prudius as Russian Assassin… as if they need a name in a daft piece of entertainment like this.

Alas… I only learned today that the film has been censored by 23 seconds. I’m NOT happy! 🙁

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit! (but with reservations about Warner Bros)

Love Of My Life is a new British comedy (which could be classed as a romantic comedy, but don’t let that make you run for the hills), where Grace (Anna Chancellor) has just five days left to life, and she has to figure out everything in her life including whether she really likes her husband, Tom (James Fleet) or if she should have a fling with ex-loves Richard (John Hannah) and Ben (Greg Wise).

Also starring Hermione Norris, yes this could go down a very predictable path, and I hope it’s not just a case of the trailer being brilliantly put-together, but damn, this looks very good indeed!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Founder tells the story of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, portrayed by Michael Keaton, who did great work recently with Birdman and Spotlight, yet certainly not with the Robocop reboot, but I was initially in two minds about this one, since I don’t know anything about the guy and the trailer didn’t particularly grab me, but when he’s on-point, Keaton can be on fire.

The film is directed by John Lee Hancock, written by Robert D Siegel, and also stars Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern and John Carroll Lynch.

All that said, I prefer Burger King, anyway.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Great Wall is situated around said landmark in China, with the tagline: 1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out? Well, some form of monsters, it seems.

Thanks to the directorial hand of Yimou Zhang (House of Flying Daggers), everyone flies about or jumps into oblivion and survives, and with a script from Max Brooks and Tony Gilroy (the latter responsible for The Bourne Legacy), the Bourne who escaped that one appears here – Matt Damon, along with Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau and the film’s token hottie, Jing Tian, so I definitely want to check this out.

I just hope that, with Matt Damon’s presence, this doesn’t turn out awful like the other recent “Hollywood A-lister in Asian movie” that was Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Hidden Figures centres around a team of African-American women who provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.

The US are racing against Russia to put a man in space, and NASA found the answer in the untapped talent of a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in US history.

Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, the film follows these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds, specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, while guaranteeing his safe return.

Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes (it says here).

Personally, I think the trailer tells the entire story without needing to go and see it on the big screen… or any screen.

Directed by Theodore Melfi, the film stars Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali.

Hidden Figures also needs a better title.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Moonlight tells the story of Juan (Mahershala Ali), a young man dealing with his dysfunctional home life and coming of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era. The story of his struggle to find himself is told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality.

Also starring Naomie Harris, I know this has had many Oscar and BAFTA nominations, but the trailer really did nothing for me so I won’t be rushing to see it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!