Now You See Me 2 leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e July 1st 2016

Now You See Me 2This weekend there are nine new films out for you to choose from: less than magical sequel in Now You See Me 2, black comedy in The Mafia Kills Only in Summer, something quite different in Queen Of Earth, action/comedy in American Hero, ‘Angelos Epithemiou’ as theologian John Hull in Notes on Blindness, historical drama in The Colony, more drama in From Afar, and alleged comedy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Central Intelligence.

Now You See Me 2 follows one year on from Now You See Me‘s antics of outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles as The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate.

The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe), a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.

The film is directed by Jon M Chu and stars Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Sanaa Lathan, Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Jay Chou.

Now You See Me 2 is released almost exactly 3 years after the first film, as it was put back 3 weeks to July 4th. Since I saw the first trailer for this, I’ve since seen the first movie and it was terrible – instead of getting to see proper magic tricks, they just used crappy CGI. And this second film just appears to repeat everything we saw before, except adding Harry Potter into the mix. What’s the point??

Whatever you think of it, it has a good chance getting to No.1 next time, since it’s released next Monday, rather than the usual Friday, which means that the film has a SEVEN-day ‘weekend’. The most a film can get is nine days, by being released on a Saturday, but even a Monday shows that the studio are running scared.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer is a black comedy, inspired by real events, about 20 years of history of Sicily from the 70s to 90s, mocking Mafia Bosses and restoring the generosity of the heroes of Antimafia. It focuses on Arturo, a young boy who grows up in Palermo and tries to conquer his beloved Flora.

Directed by Pif, who also stars alongside Cristiana Capotondi, Alex Bisconti and Ginevra Antona, this looks hilarious from the trailer and I’m really looking forward to it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Queen of Earth centres around two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.

Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), and starring Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston and Patrick Fugit, I love the style of this trailer. Very late ’70s/early ’80s in its fluidity, along with the deep voice in the background – not the action-movie-style deep voice of Don La Fontaine, but that horror-style voice.

It’s also released on Blu-ray/DVD double pack on July 11th.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

American Hero stars Stephen Dorff as Melvin, a reluctant superhero, who lives only for crime, women and drugs, but the trailer just shows him having a good time by flinging a lot of stuff about. The billing then states he stops doing this when he realises that the only way he will ever get to see his estranged son is to go straight and fulfil his potential as a crime fighter, yet there’s nothing about his son in this trailer.

The cast also includes Andrea Cohen, Luis Da Silva Jr, Keena Ferguson and the preposterously-named Bill Billions and Jonathan Billions. However, it does look like a cracking movie and I’m looking forward to it.

Written and directed by Nick Love who’s also responsible for 2012’s The Sweeney movie which was so lame, but let’s hope the full film of this will be worth watching.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Notes on Blindness

In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull (Dan Renton Skinner) went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary on audiocassette. Upon their publication in 1990, Oliver Sacks described the work as ‘the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read. It is to my mind a masterpiece.’ With exclusive access to these original recordings, this film encompasses dreams, memory and imaginative life, excavating the interior world of blindness.

It looks very intriguing and Mark Kermode reckons it could well end up one of his Top 10 films of 2016!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Colony (formerly known as Colonia) is a drama based on true events about Lena (Emma Watson) and Daniel (Daniel Brühl), a young couple who become entangled in the Chilean military coup of 1973.

Daniel is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police and Lena tracks him to a sealed off area in the South of the country, called Colonia Dignidad. The Colonia presents itself as a charitable mission run by lay preacher Paul Schäfer (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and The Millennium Trilogy‘s Michael Nyqvist) but, in fact, is a place nobody ever escaped from. Lena decides to join the cult in order to find Daniel.

The film is directed by Florian Gallenberger, who co-wrote it with Torsten Wenzel, while it also stars Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps and Jeanne Werner. It looks quite interesting and it’s always worth filling in the gaps of my history knowledge.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

From Afar

Armando (Alfredo Castro), a middle-aged owner of a Caracas dental prosthesis business, is estranged from his father, who he observes occasionally from a distance. He finds a young man of the streets who negotiates a fee high enough for the boy to be used to provide Armando’s masturbatory object. Although a following encounter ends in a beating for Armando, he continues to make the boy dependent. What is the final result that Armando desires? Is it something more than a conflicted relationship with a hustler?

Also starring Luis Silva, Jericó Montilla and Catherina Cardozo, this looks a bit bizarre, but could be worth a watch. On balance….

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie answers the question – what do you do when you’ve completely run out of ideas with your sitcom? In the case of Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, it was usually to make the occasional special, but now they’ve finally got round to a spin-off movie and it’s not far away, hence the teaser now giving way to the trailer.

And, as you’d expect, they’ve filled it with pointless cameos from pointless female Z-list celebs who fill the fashion magazines and internet with pictures of their gen -itals, such as Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian West, Gwendoline Christie and, heaven forbid, Rebel Wilson.

The plot synopsis is as follows (and I can’t be bothered to make it sound good): Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!

British roles come from Joan Collins, Celia Imrie, Kate Moss, Jane Horrocks, Dawn French, Jerry Hall and Emma Bunton.

And what’s the “major incident”? They kill Kate Moss. Oh, my aching sides(!) This film is more about the celeb cameos than the content of the film and it looks utterly unfunny.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Central Intelligence“Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson” according to this awful trailer as Kevin Hart is a mild-mannered accountant (yes, me neither) reuniting with old pal Dwayne Johnson via Facebook, and he gets lured into the world of international espionage.

But it doesn’t really matter what the plot is because subtlety goes totally out the window and Hart behaves the same way he does in every single bloody movie he makes.

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Amy Ryan (Birdman, The Wire) also get caught up in this rubbish.

There’s no other cast members you’ll recognise, except for a rumoured appearance from Bobby Brown, and the film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who brought us We’re The Millers, which was brilliant, but “Central Intelligence” looks decidedly lacking in the latter.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!