Kong: Skull Island leads the new cinema releases and trailers March 10th 2017

Kong: Skull IslandThis week, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from: The King of the Apes returns in Kong: Skull Island, Pierce Brosnan needs a tech genius in I.T., Isabelle Huppert tracks down her rapist in Elle, Brendon Gleeson is a conscientious objector with a dodgy German accent in Alone in Berlin, there’s fantasy tosh for teenage girls in Fallen, two women punch each other in a film about two women punching each other called Catfight, there’s ’70s-inspired drama in The Love Witch, a group of people are trapped in The Chamber of a small submersible craft, and Joan Collins and Pauline Collins (no relation) have The Time of Their Lives.

Kong: Skull Island reboots the classic story once again. While I never got round to watching Peter Jackson’s King Kong (I have an aversion to overlong movies, sometimes, and that one’s over three hours in both its regular and extended forms), this one is thankfully done and dusted in two hours.

The film takes a trip back to the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes, following a team of explorers, led by Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), who venture deep inside the treacherous, primordial island to find the leaders brother and a mythical serum, confronting extraordinary creatures along the way. From the look of the below King Kong set photos, the production appears to be on the right track as far as monsters go.

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, from a script by Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins and Dan Gilroy, the film also stars Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Jing Tian, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: review coming soon…

I.T. stars Pierce Brosnan as Mike Regan, a man who has everything he could ever want – a beautiful family and a top of the line smart house. The company he owns is on the verge of changing flight leasing forever. That is, until the relationship with his closest advisor turns nasty, to the point where his teenage daughter is being stalked and his family is under attack through every technological facet of their lives.

Interesting idea, but these kind of ‘madman trying to kill family’ thrillers are ten-a-penny and can go one way or the other. It doesn’t look at all original, but there could be a film worth watching in there, even if it comes from the director of A Good Day To Die Hard, John Moore.

And he actually directs in 2.35:1, as he should’ve done for that Bruce Willis movie! (even though he went with 1.85:1 as he felt it was better for the opening car chase… yet, the whole thing was terrible)

With a script from Daniel Kay and William Wisher Jr, the film also stars Anna Friel, Stefanie Scott, Michael Nyqvist, James Frecheville and Clare-Hope Ashitey, and you can read my review here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Well, read the review!

Elle stars Isabelle Huppert as a successful businesswoman who gets caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse as she goes after and tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the film also stars Laurent Lafitte and Anne Consigny, but while it’s had a lot of plaudits, this one really didn’t work for me based on the trailer.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Alone in Berlin features some dodgy German accents as Brendan Gleeson plays conscientious objector Otto Quangel in 1940 Berlin, when, after he and wife Anna (Emma Thompson) learn that their only son has lost his life in the battlefield, they decide to resist the Nazi regime in their very own way by leaving notes here and there for anyone to find, trying to draw attention to what’s really going on. Before long, the Gestapo is hunting “the threat”.

Directed by Vincent Perez (best known as an actor in Indochine, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Crow: City of Angels), who co-wrote the script with Achim von Borries and Bettine von Borries, based on the novel by Hans Fallada, the film also stars Daniel Brühl, Mikael Persbrandt and Katharina Schüttler, and you’ll be alone without me in the cinema, because it looks pretty poor.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Fallen stars Hermione Corfield as a young girl who finds herself in a reform school after therapy since she was blamed for the death of a young boy. At the school, she’s drawn to a fellow student, unaware that he is an angel, and has loved her for thousands of years.

So – Girl loves boy, boy has a lot of weird, supernatural stuff going on in the background. None of it makes any sense. Teenage girls will love it. Men will hate it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Catfight tells of the rivalry between two former college friends comes to a head when they both attend the same glamorous event.

Cue lots of punching in the face between Sandra Oh and Anne Heche, for seemingly no real reason, and it really was irritating to just watch the trailer. Alicia Silverstone also wastes her time in this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Love Witch centres aroudn Elaine, a beautiful young witch who is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, the film explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism… it says here.

Maybe you’ll get it from the trailer, but for me, I was left too bemused to watch it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Chamber in the title refers to the inside of a small submersible craft containing a Special Ops team on a recovery mission who end up in need of recovery themselves, as they’re trapped underwater.

Starring Johannes Kuhnke, Charlotte Salt, James McArdle, Elliot Levey and Christian Hillborg, the billing states this is a “claustrophobic survival thriller”, but I didn’t feel much in the way of thrills from this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Time of Their Lives? Maybe for them, but not the rest of the audience as Joan Collins and Pauline Collins (no relation) go from London to France for the former’s ex-lover’s funeral, with the allegedly various mishaps en route making the trip unforgettable.

Franco Nero, Sian Reeves, Joely Richardson and Ronald Pickup clearly had nothing better to do, hence why they’re here, too.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!