Loveless leads the new cinema releases and trailers February 9th 2018

LovelessThis week, there are SEVEN new films out for you to choose from: Andrey Zvyagintsev – who gave us 2014’s brilliant Leviathan – is back with another marvellous film in Loveless, EL James‘ famous trilogy ‘comes’ to a conclusion in Fifty Shades Freed, there’s movies based on real-life situations in The 15:17 to Paris and The Mercy, there’s the obligatory kids CGI movie in Tad The Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas, Disney do social media in Status Update, and Marvel are back with another superhero movie in Black Panther.

Loveless comes from the same writer/director as the exceptional Leviathan, and with that knowledge, I was sold from the off.

Still living under the same roof, the Moscow couple of Boris and Zhenya is in the terrible final stages of a bitter divorce. Under those circumstances, as both have already found new partners, the insults pour down like rain in this toxic familial battle zone, always pivoting around the irresolvable and urgent matter of Alyosha’s custody, their 12-year-old only son.

Unheard, unloved, and above all, unwanted, the introverted and unhappy boy feels that he is an intolerable burden, however, what his parents don’t know is that he can hear every single word. As a result, when Boris and Zhenya finally realize that Alyosha has been missing for nearly two days, it is already too late. But is this a simple case of a runaway teenager?

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Screenplay: Oleg Negin, Andrey Zvyagintsev
Stars: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Fifty Shades Freed was due to be coming to cinemas on Valentine’s Day 2018, but… y’know, the Friday before is the 9th, so it’s February 9th. Anyhoo, it stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson returning as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the third chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. The film expands upon events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster movies which grossed almost $950 million globally.

The movie is directed by Fifty Shades Darker’s James Foley (House of Cards, Glengarry Glen Ross), is again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, Marcus Viscidi, as well as EL James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series. The screenplay comes from Niall Leonard, based on the novel by EL James.

The cast also includes Arielle Kebbel, Tyler Hoechlin, Max Martini, Dylan Neal, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes and Fay Masterson.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The 15:17 to Paris is a movie based by Clint Eastwood and written by Dorothy Blyskal, about three American soldiers who discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train. They are Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos , and they portray themselves in this.

The trailer doesn’t really make me desire to go and see this, but in any event, it has drawn criticism for Eastwood turning a 5-minute event into a whole feature film. Sounds rather like the dire Sully: Miracle on the Horizon.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Mercy looks like one of those movies where the lead character really should be played by someone younger, as Colin Firth takes the role of yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, who made a disastrous attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race, ending up with him creating an outrageous account of traveling the world alone by sea.

As for age comparison, Crowhurst was 36 at the time this took place, whereas Mr Firth is 57. Plus, looking at the picture of Mr Crowhurst on Wikipedia, Eddie Marsan would be a better bet. Note that I’ve linked to a picture on there of the man, and not the main Wikipedia page, so as to avoid spoilers about the trip.

I didn’t know anything about his journey before this, but just by the trailer you can see how the film’s going to pan out, and since it comes from the director of The Theory Of Everything, that film had two great lead actors and performances in Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, but the film was a bit so-so overall.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Tad The Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas

Tad Jones, the most awkward explorer, must rescue his beloved Sara from a millionaire who is looking for King Midas’ necklace.

It’s a junk CGI kids film.

Directors: David Alonso, Enrique Gato
Stars: Óscar Barberán, Michelle Jenner, Adriana Ugarte

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Status Update

Ross Lynch stars as Kyle Moore, a teenager who after being uprooted by his parents’ separation and unable to fit into his new hometown, stumbles upon a magical app that causes his social media updates to come true.

The title makes this sound like one of those thrillers like Unfriended, but it won’t be as it’s full of ex-Disney Channel stars. However, while the trailer makes the premise amusing for a minute or so, I don’t think the film, itself, will expand on that too much.

Director: Scott Speer
Screenplay: Jason Filardi
Also stars: Courtney Eaton, Olivia Holt

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Black Panther takes place after the events of the overlong mess that was Captain America: Civil War, with King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning home to the reclusive, technologically advanced nation of Wakanda (in Africa, not South America, as Andy Serkis‘ Ulysses Klaue (aka Klaw) tells us) to serve as his country’s new leader.

However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

Based on the teaser, in June, it looked like the Marvel well is getting more dry by the film, and the sound of barrels being scraped is getting louder and louder. This subsequent trailer really doesn’t help that.

Really, just how long can they keep making the same film? Civil War was just a rehash of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and while this one is out in time for the February half-term next year, so, it comes after October’s Thor: Ragnarok and before April 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

My head is starting to hurt with all this. When will it actually end? It’s all just CRASH! BASH! SMASH! and everything flipping about in slo-mo. Even Wakanda looks like EVERYTHING we’ve seen before.

Director Ryan Coogler was responsible for the majorly tedious Rocky spin-off Creed, so that doesn’t bode well for this.

Written by Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler, and based on the comic book by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the film also stars Creed‘s Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya.

Black Panther isn’t out today, but is released on Tuesday.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!