The Big Short leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e January 22nd 2016

the-big-short This weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: drama in The Big Short, end-of-the-world sci-fi in The 5th Wave, comedy/documentary-style in Our Brand Is Crisis, more end-of-the-world drama in These Final Hours, potential comedy in Dirty Grandpa, samurai action in The Assassin, and lame attempts at comedy in Ride Along 2.

The Big Short is a drama about the men who made millions from global financial crisis before it happened, as the economy went into meltdown with short-selling and mortgages of over 125%.

Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 and 2), who also wrote the screenplay based on the Michael Lewis novel, is in charge of a fantastic cast – Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Karen Gillan, Ryan Gosling, Selena Gomez, Marisa Tomei, Steve Carell, Melissa Leo and Black Mirror: White ChristmasRafe Spall.

You can also read our review of this here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The 5th Wave is another of those ‘end of the world’ sci-fi dramas, but I do like that sort of nonsense.

Why “The 5th Wave”? Well, the first wave was to take away all our power sources (wot no internet?), then the 2nd was to destroy all towns and cities; The 3rd is to infect as many people as possible with an airborne virus; then the 4th is your standard alien invasion.

And then the 5th wave, which is to take over all human bodies still alive. Yes, you get the feeling they only really needed three of them and they’ve just embelished the number required because five sounds good… except when it refers to the boyband “5ive”.

The only downside is that the billing is very ‘seen it all before’ as it says Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is desperately trying to save her younger brother, and as she prepares for the final wave, she “teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him”. Oh, purlease!

The 5th Wave also stars Liev Schreiber, Nick Robinson, Maria Bello, Ron Livingston and Maika Monroe (The Guest, It Follows)

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Our Brand Is Crisis turns a documentary with the same name into a comedic-toned movie focusing on the use of American political campaign strategies in South America, with Sandra Bullock in the lead as ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine.

A great supporting cast also includes Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo Season 1), Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man), Zoe Kazan (What If) and Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly, Argo, The Rover). It’s written by Peter Straughan and directed by David Gordon Green (Joe, The Sitter, and Al Pacino’s recent Manglehorn).

However, while I want to see this, precious few cinemas are actually showing it because its been released amongst great films like The Big Short and rubbish like Ride Along 2, so it looks like one we’ll have to wait for the Blu-ray or DVD.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

These Final Hours is one of those films I’m a sucker for an end-of-the-world movie.

In this one, Nathan Phillips is James, a self-obsessed young man who makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.

So, a bit of a sickly-sweet tale, but the basic ‘end of the world’ premise makes it a must-see for me.

Directed by Zak Hilditch, and also starring Jessica De Gouw, Sarah Snook, David Field, Daniel Henshall and Angourie Rice, there’s no release date set for These Final Hours yet in any country, other than a festival in Melbourne, Australia last August.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Dirty Grandpa will be an interesting film title to see blaring out of cinema auditoriums as families with young children walk past, right up there with Sex Tape.

Right before his wedding, uptight Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is tricked into driving his grandfather – Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro) – a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.

Also starring Julianne Hough, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza and Dermot Mulroney, this made me laugh more than I was expecting to and so while it’s not exactly groundbreaking, it may be worth a watch upon its release, although it was put back from today (January 22nd) to Monday next week, pulling a similar stunt as Bad Neighbours (aka Neighbors), which came out on a Saturday, so it gets a very long “weekend”‘s worth of gross.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Assassin is set during the mighty Tang Dynasty-period in Chinese history with Qi Shu as the titular assassin.

Nie Yinniang returns to family after several years in exile. The mission of her order is to eliminate the tyrany of the Governors who avoid the authority of the Emperor. Now she will have to choose between sacrificing the man she loves, or break definitively with the “order of the Assassins”. Alas, this was a great example of style over substance and bored the backside off me, however hot Qi Shu is.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Ride Along 2

Ride Along 2 proves the old adage of why have one terrible movie when you can suffer two for twice the price.

And now we have to suffer a second trailer.

It was bad enough in 2014 when Ice Cube teamed up with Kevin Hart (seriously – who keeps paying this moron to get screen time?) when the latter’s character wanted to date the former character’s sister and he tries to prove he’s god enough by going on a “Ride Along” to show that he is not weak and he will do whatever it takes to get James’ approval but along the way runs into a few obstacles that he has to overcome in a very funny way.

As his wedding day approaches, Ben (Hart) heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James (Cube) to bring down a drug dealer who’s supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product.

Directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Think Like A Man Too) and also starring Olivia Munn, Glen Powell, Ken Jeong, Tika Sumpter and Nadine Velazquez, this film has made No.1 in the US, so no doubt, Ride Along 3 will be on its way in 2018.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!