Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi leads the new cinema releases and trailers December 15th 2017

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last JediThis week, there are FOUR new films out for you to choose from: sci-fi sequel for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, prison brawling in Shot Caller, a family mystery in The Unseen, and what’s in the bag in… The Bag?

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is coming to a cinema near you tomorrow, and the poster in this post pays tribute to Carrie Fisher, placing her right in the centre.

The film is directed by Looper and Breaking Bad‘s Rian Johnson. And starring Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Harrison Ford… maybe. Then next May will see the Young Han Solo movie. Then Episode IX will follow in Christmas 2019.

Out now is a new trailer and the phrase “Everything including the kitchen sink” comes to mind. It really does just copy everything we’ve seen before. I enjoyed Rogue One, but The Force Awakens was such a disappointment.

In addition, I see, like TFA, some of this is in 70mm IMAX 1.44:1, according to IMDB, but how much? And will we actually see it? Only one scene was shot that way last time (Finn and Rey first piloting the Millennium Falcon), and given what a tight-arse Disney was over the 70mm prints last time, that meant that the Manchester Printworks cinema didn’t get one, as only 3 prints went out across the entire UK! So I paid money in advance to see it, and just got the ‘cropped-to-1.90:1’ digital version. I’m not making that advance mistake this time. I’ll most likely just see it in regular 2.35:1 widescreen.

The extensive cast list also includes Tom Hardy, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Laura Dern, Oscar Isaac, Benicio Del Toro, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Warwick Davis, Peter Mayhew, Gareth Edwards, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Adrian Edmondson and… er.. tax-dodger Gary Barlow.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was due for release in the UK on December 15th, but as I predicted, it was moved back a day to the Thursday (14th) like they did with The Force Awakens and Rogue One.

PS. The Star Wars Episode IX subtitle is “Flange”.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Shot Caller

White-collar business professional, happily married accidentally commits a crime when a car accident results in the death of his best friend. Sentenced to prison time, he must adjust and learn the ways of prison life. Throughout this, he struggles to do what’s best for his family on the outside. The choices he makes in prison will have major repercussions, both to himself and his family, if he makes the wrong one.

That makes it actually sound quite deep, but in reality, it’s just another prison drama where everyone tries to beat each other up. Seen it all before. Next!

Writer/Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Jon Bernthal, Holt McCallany, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jeffrey Donovan, Benjamin Bratt, Lake Bell, Evan Jones, Emory Cohen, Keith Jardine

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Unseen

Gemma (Jasmine Hyde) and Will (Richard Flood) are shattered when their son dies in an accident. Gemma blames herself and starts to have panic attacks that affect her eyesight – and the audience’s point of view. Will, tormented, believes he is hearing his son’s voice calling out to him. To escape their grief, she suggests they take up Paul’s offer to stay at his Lake District country getaway. Gemma, helped by ex-pharmacist Paul, tries to stop her panic attacks with medication.

Will, unable to hear to his son in his bedroom back home, antagonises Paul and suddenly goes home. Gemma is now reliant on Paul who appears to be developing genuine feelings for her welfare. Love, grief, and the frailty of the human condition are all brought to the fore as Gemma Will and Paul are caught up in a descent into violence, both psychological and ultimately physical.

Upon watching this trailer, I think it will remain unseen for me, as it felt all over the place with no real sense of direction, and i’m not in a rush to see it.

Writer/Director: Gary Sinyor
Also stars: Simon Cotton

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Bag

We follow the activities of Chris, a deep shadow operative who uses manipulation and cunning whilst developing relationships and bonds with unwittingly knowing everyday people. Chris employs the use of his special relationships to engage in espionage and subversion which result in world changing events. Trust nobody.

What’s in the bag? Who knows, but it’s not a good sign when a horror film’s trailer ends up making you laugh, instead of being shocked.

Writer/Director: Martin J Thomas
Stars: Chris Ryman, Alex Reece, Georgina Parren

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!