Love And Mercy and Ted 2 lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e July 10th 2015

love-and-mercyThis weekend there are eight new films out for you to choose from: drama in Love and Mercy, gross-out alleged comedy in Ted 2, even more gross-out horror in The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence), charming animation in Song of the Sea, London-based thriller in Nana Means King, tedious period drama in Miss Julie, alleged comedy in Dear White People, and tedious drama in The Choir.

Love and Mercy begins in the 1960s, as Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson (Paul Dano) struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, as portrayed by John Cusack, Wilson is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).

The film also stars Elizabeth Banks, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald and ET‘s Dee Wallace, and while I’m not familiar with Paul Dano, I do enjoy most things with Cusack. However, I can’t quite see him as Brian Wilson, though. However, this does look an intriguing drama.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Ted 2 is the sequel to 2012’s Ted, a film which I never got round to seeing at the time but everyone seemed to rave about a bear that swears. Well, I later saw it when it was shown on TV and… it was terrible.

In this sequel, Ted wants to marry his girlfriend and then have children, but he doesn’t have a penis and can’t provide sperm, hence, cue lots of messing about in a sperm donor clinic, and Mark Wahlberg going along with it again.

Ted is again voiced by Seth MacFarlane, and the cast also includes Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Warburton, Dennis Haysbert, Lexi Atkins, Michael Dorn, Richard Schiff, Amanda Seyfried as Samantha Leslie Jackson (who’s never heard of Samuel L Jackson – laugh? I never started!) and Sam J Jones (yes, Flash Gordon! He’s alive!)

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

Prison warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser) has tried everything to keep his inmates in line, but nothing works. When riots, staff turmoil and scorching heat finally drive him to the brink, Boss agrees to a horrific plan to turn the prisoners into a 500-strong human centipede.

Just be glad if you’re the guy at the front…

The film also stars Eric Roberts and porn star Bree Olson, and while I’ve still not got round to seeing the first two films, I think I’ll have to settle down with the full trilogy at some point…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Song of the Sea

Saoirse (voiced by Lucy O’Connell), a little girl who can turn into a seal, goes on an adventure with her brother to save the spirit world and other magical beings like her.

This charming animation also features the voices of David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan, Fionnula Flanagan, and it’s written by William Collins and Tomm Moore, the latter of whom also directs.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Nana Means King

Chris is a hardened fraudster luring unsuspecting Africans into the UK with promises of residency and a better life. Instead they receive dodgy documents, are over-worked and are cheated and threatened with deportation if they resist. The emotionally bitter Chris uses his faceless victims as a source of revenge until he traps the wrong man. Wale has more to fight for than his life, he came to save his dying wife and nothing will stand in his way or stop him. Faced with a worthy foe and hunted by his former mob partners, Chris must call on his conscience and decide what matters more; his life or a greater good…

The film also stars Richard Armah, Prince David Oseia and the stunning duo of Roxana Zachos and Shina Shihoko Nagai, the latter of whom also stars in the forthcoming Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and this homegrown movie certainly looks worth a watch.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Miss Julie stars Jessica Chastain in the title role as an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, who encourages her father’s valet, John (Colin Farrell) to seduce her, over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890.

This is despite him being in a relationship with fellow servant Kathleen (Samantha Morton), thus reuiniting two of the stars from 2002’s Minority Report.

Miss Julie‘s trailer was first released in August 2014, and the film was also premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2014, but to take a year to be released? That can’t be good. This one didn’t work for me, but then few period dramas do.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Dear White People is described in its billing as a social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.

However, this satire did not work on me. And it’s another film which has taken almost a whole year to come out in the UK.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Choir

Also known as Boychoir in the US, Stet (Garrett Wareing), a troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan from a small Texas town, ends up at a Boy Choir school back East after the death of his single mom. Completely out of his element, he finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy as he pushes him to discover his creative heart and soul in music.

Also starring Dustin Hoffman, Kevin McHale, Debra Winger and Eddie Izzard, this choir story can stay muted for me as it’s not my bag whatsoever.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!