Siberia leads the new cinema releases November 16th 2018

This week, there are SEVEN new films out for you to choose from, led by Siberia. Here are the titles, with more info below:

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back)
    Suspiria 2018
    Hell Fest
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Workshop (L’atelier)

Siberia gives us Keanu Reeves (above) as American diamond merchant Lucas Hill, who travels to Russia to sell rare blue diamonds of questionable origin. As the deal begins to collapse he falls into an obsessive relationship with a Russian cafe owner in a small Siberian town.

As their passion builds, so does the treacherous world of the diamond trade from which he is unable to extricate himself. Both collide as the American man desperately looks for escape in a world with no exit.

If I hadn’t read that Molly Ringwald was in this, I wouldn’t have realised, as she’s unrecognisable… or I just haven’t seen her in a film for years… which is true.

Read our review here!

Director: Matthew Ross
Also stars: Ana Ularu, Aleks Paunovic, Pasha D Lychnikoff, Veronica Ferres, Eugene Lipinski

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is the second of five all new adventures in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World and stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Jude Law and Johnny Depp.

At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

Read our review here!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!

Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back)

After his ninth unsuccessful attempt on his own life, a young man outsources his suicide to an ageing assassin, and has the tagline: “If you’re serious about ending it, you need professional help”

This looks to be a fantastic British black comedy, with everyone on-point, and I’m really looking forward to this.

Writer/Director: Tom Edmunds
Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Wilkinson, Freya Mavor, Gethin Anthony, Nigel Lindsay, Marion Bailey, Marcia Warren, Emma Campbell-Jones

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Suspiria 2018 – well, it’s Suspiria, but… hang on – is a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento horror movie, which I haven’t seen (and I know I should have done), but how often do Hollywood horror remakes work? Very rarely.

Okay, so the plot, here, is that a darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director, Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton), ambitious young dancer Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), and grieving psychotherapist Dr Jozef Klemperer (Lutz Ebersdorf).

Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Watching this full trailer, this certainly looks like it’s aiming for a ’70s vibe, given when the original was made, but I’m in two minds as to whether it’ll work as a film. A film that was directed by someone like Dario Argento in the ’70s is going to appeal to a niche audience, which is not what the Hollywood bean-counters want.

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay: David Kajganich
Also stars: Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Elena Fokina, Sylvie Testud, Renée Soutendijk, Jessica Harper, Chloë Grace Moretz

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Hell Fest

A masked serial killer turns a horror-themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

It looks a bit gory, and a bit of a laugh, but also rather too late for Halloween.

Director: Gregory Plotkin
Stars: Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, Tony Todd

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a new Netflix movie which gives us an anthology film comprised of six stories, each dealing with a different aspect of life in the Old West.

I’m not wholly sold on this, but it could be okay.

Writer/Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Liam Neeson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Clancy Brown, Brendan Gleeson, Tom Waits, Ralph Ineson, Tim Blake Nelson, Tyne Daly, Saul Rubinek

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Workshop (L’atelier)

The scene is set one Summer in La Ciotat, a town near Marseille which used to be prosperous thanks to its huge dockyard but has been in decline since its closing 25 years before. It is in this context of quiet desperation that a writing workshop has been set up to help a group of seven young people integrate into the world of work. Under the guidance of well-known novelist Olivia Dejazet, the participants are asked to write a noir fiction connected with the industrial past of their hometown.

Session after session, one of them, a boy named Antoine, stands out. Provocative and aggressive, he gets noticed by his systematic opposition to all, including Olivia. Even more alarming, the story he has devised and that he reads aloud, the cold description of a mass murder seen through the eyes of its perpetrator, proves very disturbing. Antoine understands the killer too well. At this point, Olivia starts experiencing a feeling of attraction repulsion to Antoine.

If you like slow French dramas, it looks to be your bag, but this particular one is not for me.

Director: Laurent Cantet
Writers: Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet
Stars: Marina Foïs, Matthieu Lucci, Florian Beaujean

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!