Suburbicon leads the new cinema releases and trailers November 24th 2017

SuburbiconThis week, there are EIGHT new films out for you to choose from: a suburban thriller from Matt Damon, George Clooney and The Coen Brothers in Suburbicon, Cate Blanchett aplenty in Manifesto, improv comedy in Brakes, offbeat and bizarre lead the way for Hi-Lo Joe, ’70s tennis drama in Battle of the Sexes, Christmas CGI in The Star, biopic drama in Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, and a complete waste of time in Daddy’s Home 2.

Suburbicon centres around a home invasion which rattles a quiet family town, but this looks a hilarious and punchy (literally) comedy, led by Matt Damon as Gardner, whose wife has been bumped off and now he has to protect what’s left of his family.

I loved every moment of this trailer, and hopefully it’ll be good, as usual actor George Clooney also made a great movie with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. This film is also co-written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.

Also stars: Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore, Glenn Fleshler, Megan Ferguson, Jack Conley, Noah Jupe, Gary Basaraba, Michael D Cohen, Marah Fairclough

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situtationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, editing and reassembling them as a collage of artists’ manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Performing these ‘new manifestos’ while inhabiting thirteen different personas – among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man – Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into these famous words in unexpected contexts.

Before or after reading this, I thought – this is easily the weirdest film of the year! But great, too! I can’t wait to see this.

Writer/Director: Julian Rosefeldt
Also stars: Erika Bauer, Ruby Bustamante

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Brakes has a simple premise, stating it’s an improv-based dark comedy set in London… so not much of a premise, and the trailer’s all over the place, but with the huge cast of British comedy names involved, I’m sold. I love the look of this!

Writer.Director: Mercedes Grower
Stars: Julian Barratt, Kelly Campbell, Seb Cardinal, Juliet Cowan, Julia Davis, Noel Fielding, Jess-Luisa Flynn, Kerry Fox, Roland Gift, Salena Godden, Mercedes Grower, Martin Hancock, Kate Hardie, Siobhan Hewlett, Oliver Maltman

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Hi-Lo Joe

Joe Ridley (Matthew Stathers) is the life and soul of the party, every party. Loved by all and in seemingly in love with life he leads a rock and roll lifestyle. But underneath it all, beneath his skin and buried in his mind is a dark, destructive depression fogging his very existence. When he meets Elly, they fall in love and all seems well on the surface. But as his fears begin to bubble to the surface their relationship begins to suffer and with it is his mental health.

This looks a little bit offbeat, but I am drawn to it.

Writer/Director: James Kermack
Also stars: Tom Bateman, Gethin Anthony, Joe Dixon

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Battle of the Sexes

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the Battle of the Sexes and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.

As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms…

Why we’ve had no tennis films for years and then in quick succession we get this coming soon after Borg vs McEnroe, but I know less about the two in this week’s film, so I’m not massively fussed. The ’70s style is cool, though.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Star is a new animation about the tale of Christmas, and looks terrible.

The story revolves around a small but brave donkey named Bo (Steven Yeun), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

I’d rather hammer nails into my hands and feet than watch this film.

Director: Timothy Reckart
Also stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Oprah Winfrey, Christopher Plummer, Gina Rodriguez, Ving Rhames, Kris Kristofferson, Tyler Perry, Gabriel Iglesias, Tracy Morgan, Kelly Clarkson

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge follows the famous physicist and chemist, and her struggle for recognition in the male-dominated science community in early 20th century France.

Alas, from the trailer, it appears to descend into a romantic drama and bored me silly. There was no cure for that.

Director: Marie Noelle
Writers: Marie Noelle, Andrea Stoll
Stars: Karolina Gruszka, Arieh Worthalter, Charles Berling

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Daddy’s Home 2 retreads 2015’s Daddy’s Home, but now Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) and Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) have to deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays, and there’s also a new perfect Dad on the horizon, Roger (John Cena).

Mel Gibson and John Lithgow both pop up as Mel Gibson and John Lithgow. Hilarity ensues… and I got one laugh out of the trailer.

Daddy’s Home 2 is out in UK cinemas now. Stay home, instead.

Director: Sean Anders
Also stars: Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio, Owen Vaccaro, Anastasia Mousis Sanidopoulos, Didi Costine, Oscar Wahlberg