St Vincent and Black Sea lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e December 5th 2014

st-vincentThis weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: comedy drama in St Vincent, tense drama in Black Sea, slice-of-life drama in Men Women and Children, horror in The Pyramid, children’s CGI nonsense in Penguins of Madagascar, biopic drama in The Grandmaster, and Christmas isn’t far away with Get Santa.

St Vincent is a film which stars Bill Murray, this time as embittered war veteran St Vincent de Van Nuys, probably embittered because of his long name. It centres on a young boy whose parents have just divorced, and finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic St Vincent, who lives next door.

St Vincent looks like a must-see, it also stars Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, and it’s the first film with Chris O’Dowd which didn’t make me want to switch the trailer off in disgust. Why is he in so many bloody films?!!!!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Black Sea

In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.

Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Ben Mendelsohn, Jodie Whittaker, David Threlfall and the excellent Michael Smiley, this looks fantastic and I really want to see it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Men Women and Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet.

As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.

Men Women and Children is directed by co-written by Jason Reitman, and stars Ansel Elgort, Judy Greer, Emma Thompson, Jennifer Garner, Dean Norris, Dennis Haysbert, J.K. Simmons, plus a rare drama turn from Adam Sandler, who was great in Punch Drunk Love. If only he’d break away from the terrible comedies more often.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Pyramid is what’s found by a team of U.S. archaeologists, which is buried deep beneath the Egyptian desert. As they search the pyramid’s depths, they become hopelessly lost in its dark and endless catacombs. Searching for a way out, they become desperate to seek daylight again. They come to realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.

It’s yet another “everyone’s trapped and we’ll run around screaming” horror film, which are coming thick and fast, but it looks okay.

The film stars The InbetweenersJames Buckley, plus Ashley Hinshaw and Denis O’Hare.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Penguins of Madagascar – Following the TV series spun-off of the Madagascar films, we now get the obligatory big-screen outing.

Super spy teams aren’t born… they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then… you know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it

As it’s the movie version, so the names are bigger, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich and Werner Herzog, to name but four. Either way, while the trailer has its moments, it’s still a CGI kids film I won’t be going to watch.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Grandmaster is the story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. His peaceful life in Foshan changes after Gong Yutian seeks an heir for his family in Southern China. He then meets Gong Er who challenges him for the sake of regaining her family’s honor. After the Second Sino-Japanese War, Ip Man moves to Hong Kong and struggles to provide for his family. In the mean time, Gong Er chooses the path of vengeance after her father was killed by Ma San.

The film stars Tony Leung, Cung Le, Qingxiang Wang and Elvis Tsui, and I was never a massive fan of Bruce Lee so I’ll be giving this one a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Get Santa

A father and son who team up to save Christmas once they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police.

Starring Jim Broadbent as Santa Claus, plus Warwick Davis, Nonso Anozie, Rafe Spall, Stephen Graham, Jodie Whittaker and Ewen Bremner, I’m not a fan of Christmas and I won’t be going to see this. Yes, I’m a “Bah, humbug!” and I don’t care.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!