Christmas has gone and the nights are getting brighter (well, by 15 minutes a week) and a New Year is on the horizon. There’s only a handful of new films out this week, but they’re all from big names: 47 Ronin, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and All Is Lost.
47 Ronin shows a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenge the murder of their master.
Starring Keanu Reeves in the lead role of Kai, plus Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasak, Tadanobu Asano and Min Tanaka, this film was released in the UK this week, getting a Christmas Day opening in the U.S. and has seriously tanked. It reportedly cost $175m to make and has only taken around $10m so far, looking to make around double that once the weekend is out. This is going to be one of the most expensive flops around…
However, from the trailer it looks like it could be reasonably entertaining two-hour fantasy-style romp and it’s currently got a score of 7/10 on IMDB, so one, perhaps, to check out when it’s released on Blu-ray, but I’m not going to rush for the cinema release.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Critical miss, but possibly enjoyable Hit!
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
Written and directed by Ben Stiller, in the lead role, as well as featuring Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly and Kathryn Hahn, the trailer really doesn’t grab me. Again, it’s one of those remakes, but at least it’s one that hasn’t been remade for some time (the original film with Danny Kaye came out in 1947) but it just looks rather dull, and the trailer tells you everything you need to know about it and that it will hold few surprises as a result.
This film was originally rated a 12A for the cinema by the BBFC, but the studio decided to censor it down to a PG. Given how 12A films can be seen by anyone under that age as long as they’re with a parent, what’s the deal with the need to censor it? Taken from the BBFC website:
During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission
Note: The following text may contain spoilers
This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 12A rating but that their preferred PG rating could be achieved by making limited changes, including to remove sight of naked female pin-up pictures and to reduce violent threat in a fight scene. When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal classification, these scenes had been addressed and the film was consequently rated PG.”
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!
All Is Lost
After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face. With Robert Redford as that sailor, and the only member of the cast, and with only a small amount of dialogue in the film, this has the tendancy to go either way.
The trailer also seems to concentrate more on the plaudits its received rather than the film itself. It has a score of 7.5/10 on IMDB, but since the trailer doesn’t particularly grab me, then for now it’s a…
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.