The Belko Experiment leads the new cinema releases and trailers April 21st 2017

The Belko ExperimentThis week, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from: Everyone gets the chance to kill their horrible colleagues in The Belko Experiment, Shahid is looking for the love of his life in comedy Finding Fatimah, there’s Finnish boxing comedy in The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, a French/Egyptian thriller in Clash, Rules Don’t Apply isn’t about how Warren Beatty made a muck-up at the Best Film announcement at the Oscars but looks a decent movie, Their Finest is an alleged British comedy that’s getting all the hype this week, The Zookeeper’s Wife also goes back to World War II but looks to be a tedious drama, vampires are about in The Transfiguration, and the least unforgettable thriller out this week is Unforgettable.

The Belko Experiment looks like Battle Royale in an office block of 80 Americans, in high-rise corporate office in Bogata, Colombia as a message booms out over the tannoy that they each have to kill 3 of their colleagues, or six of them will be killed instead. Naturally, they try to rally against this situation, but quickly find they have trackers in the back of their heads that will explode due to non-compliance.

With no means of escape, they don’t have long to comply…. perhaps more than 20 seconds, though.

Directed by Greg McLean, from a script by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), and starring Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, Adria Arjona, John C McGinley (Scrubs) and Tony Goldwyn (Ghost), this looks awesome, even if the whole deal has been done before.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Finding Fatimah won’t be the most promoted comedy released this week (that’ll come later) but it certainly deserves to be.

Single Muslim man Shahid (Danny Ashok Capital) is struggling to find love in the Asian community due to the stigma of his divorce, several years ago, so if you thought people were picky on Plenty of Fish… 😉

Also starring Asmara Gabrielle as Fatimah, plus Nina Wadia, Wahab Sheikh, Ewen MacIntosh, Dave Spikey, Denise Welch and Mandeep Dhillon (Some Girls, Hospital People, Doctor Who), this looks brilliant and I figure I’ll end up seeing this on Blu-ray as it’ll get pushed out by other big films out this week including the alleged comedy further down this article….

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is a Finnish comedy telling the true story of the titular character, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title.

Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli’s (Jarkko Lahti) small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. There’s only one problem: Olli has just fallen in love. Inside of the ring, it’s Finland vs. the USA, but outside, boxing and romance become unlikely adversaries vying for Olli’s attention.

Director and co-writer Juho Kuosmanen was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The film also stars Oona Airola and Eero Milonoff, and I can’t wait to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Clash (aka Eshtebak) is a French/Egyptian co-production set entirely in an 8m police truck in Egypt, where a number of detainees from different political and social backgrounds are brought together by their inevitable fate, during the turmoil that followed the ousting of former president Morsi from power.

Starring Nelly Karim, Hani Adel and El Sebaii Mohamed, this looks like gripping drama.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Rules Don’t Apply isn’t about how Warren Beatty made a muck-up at the Best Film announcement at the Oscars, but tells the unconventional love story of aspiring actress Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), her determined driver, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), and the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), for whom they work.

Set in 1958 Hollywood, small town beauty queen and devout Baptist Marla is under contract to the latter and arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets Frank after only two weeks on the job and he’s also from a religiously conservative background. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have an intimate relationship with a contract actress. But Hughes’ absurd behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.

Written and directed by Warren Beatty and starring Annette Bening (who don’t look like they’ve aged since 1991’s Bugsy where they both starred and Beatty wrote and directed), the cast also includes Haley Bennett, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Matthew Broderick, Chace Crawford, Martin Sheen, Steve Coogan, Candice Bergen and Oliver Platt.

Rules Don’t Apply is overladen with stars but certainly looks worth a watch.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Their Finest is the supposed comedy that looks like it was written by committee, and with a dreadful trailer that does nothing but tell you how AMAZING everyone is in it.

The threadbare plit tells of a British film crew which attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg, co-written by typewriter girl Catrin Cole (Gemma Arteton). It has a decent cast, but the trailer oversells it. Still, the cast includes Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Paul Ritter, Rachael Stirling, Richard E Grant, Jeremy Irons, Eddie Marsan, Helen McCrory, Line of Duty’s Claudia Jessie (Thandie Newton’s right-hand woman), plus Stephanie Hyam who was the best thing about last week’s Doctor Who as Heather.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Zookeeper’s Wife also goes back to World War II but looks to be a tedious drama, as it sees Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) attempt the worst Polish accent ever as she has a dalliance with Daniel Brühl (Rush) when she and her hubby are meant to be keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Transfiguration – Vampires! Blood! Gore! Again!

When troubled teen Milo (Eric Ruffin), who has a fascination with vampire lore, meets the equally alienated Sophie (Chloe Levine), the two form a bond that begins to blur Milo’s fantasy into reality. This could be okay.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Unforgettable stars Katherine Heigl as Tessa Connover, the psycho blonde friend of lead actress Rosario Dawson, as Julia Banks, her ex-husband’s new wife, and she sets out to make life hell for her. How nice.

I can’t say Unforgettableis unforgettable, though, as I’ve forgotten what happened in the trailer already.

Director: Denise Di Novi (producer of Edward Scissorhands, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Writers: Christina Hodson, David Johnson
Additional cast: Geoff Stults, Whitney Cummings, Cheryl Ladd

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!