The Courier 2019 leads the new cinema releases Christmas 2019 to New Year 2020

The CourierThis time, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from, led by The Courier. Here are the titles, with more info below:

    The Courier (2019)
    Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker
    In The Line of Duty
    Jojo Rabbit
    The Gentlemen
    Little Women 2019
    Playing With Fire
    Spies In Disguise

For anything not released this weekend, I’ll add in the release dates with each title.

The Courier (2019)

Set against a gritty London backdrop, Olga Kurylenko plays a tough motorbike courier whose delivery is interrupted when she discovers one of the packages she’s transporting is a bomb. The gas bomb she’s carrying is set to kill Nick Murch (Amit Shah), the only witness able to testify in Washington DC against ruthless crime lord Ezekiel Mannings (Gary Oldman).

As the British Police and FBI scramble to try and deal with the mess, the mysteriously well-trained and equipped courier teams up with unlikely partner Nick to evade Mannings’ heavily armed goons and make sure that justice is delivered.

Read our review of The Courier here!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read our review!

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker is finally here, but I can’t get excited for it, knowing what a dumpster fire The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were. To borrow a line from Jurassic Park, these last three films have only been made because they ‘could’, and they didn’t stop to think about whether they ‘should’.

Lines such as C-3PO moaning about how it’s the last time he’ll see his friends looks entirely manufactured for the sake of making fanbois teary-eyed, rather than being something which will have an organic place in the movie. Plus, throw in Carrie Fisher purely because it’ll be her last ever movie, rather than her character having anything realistic to do in it, as The Last Jedi showed when she ended up flying about in space, which was the dumbest scene ever in the history of Star Wars movies.

I suspect this will be on a few more screens than The Courier.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

In The Line of Duty

Frank Penny (Aaron Eckhart) is a disgraced cop looking for a shot at redemption after killing a child abd -uctor. With the police chief’s 11-year-old daughter’ life on the line, Frank goes rogue to try and save her.

But to find the girl, Frank will need the help of vlogger Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton), whose live-streaming news channel is broadcasting Frank’s every move. While a city watches, Frank and Ava race against time and not only do they have to face every daring obstacle but also the abductor’ brother whose out for revenge.

Eckhart can’t act to save his life, but I’m watching this for Ben McKenzie who was so good in Southland, which lasted five seasons and if you haven’t seen it, get it watched.

This film is known in the US as Line of Duty but, y’know, the BBC drama of the same name.

Released January 3rd.

Director: Steven C Miller
Writer: Jeremy Drysdale
Stars: Dina Meyer, Giancarlo Esposito, Courtney Eaton, Aaron Eckhart, Ben McKenzie, Jessica Lu

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Jojo Rabbit centres around Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), a young boy in Hitler’s army, who finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. I can see the satire in this, but…

it looks like the kind of film that Wes Anderson would make, albeit given the scouting theme, one more like Moonrise Kingdom – as well as having an electic cast mix of well-known names amongst the unknown, and that one really didn’t work for me.

Synopsis: A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

Interestingly, the Nazi leader is played by writer/director Taika Waititi, himself.

Released January 1st.

Writer/Director: Taika Waititi
Novel: Christine Leunens
Also stars: Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Gentlemen centres around a very British drug lord (Hugh Grant), who tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.

This looks like it could be okay, but…

The Gentlemen is released in the UK on January 1st 2020. so with the cast, I’d say it was seeking Oscar glory, but with the director – and Guy Ritchie has been far more ‘miss’ than ‘hit’ in recent times – I’d say it’s been released there as it’s a stinker.

Writer/Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Hugh Grant, Jason Wong, Chloe Arrowsmith, Brittany Ashworth

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Cats. Yes, it’s musical time, again. After 2017’s The Greatest Showman, it’s time for more loud shouting masquerading as singing.

It’s got a large cast including Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ray Winstone, Jennifer Hudson, Laurent Bourgeois, Laurie Davidson, Jason Derulo, Zizi Strallen and… bloody James Corden. Who the hell keeps hiring that grotesque, zero-talented oaf?

This new movie, based on rubber-faced Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s ’80s musical, and TS Eliot‘s poetry collection “Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats”, is released in the UK on December 20th. Do you think I’ll be going to see it? NO!

Still, it’ll make bloody millions. And then again from the singalong re-release. And then again from the musical based on the movie based on the musical…

Director: Tom Hooper
Writers: Lee Hall, Tom Hooper

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Little Women 2019 sees the Louisa May Alcott story dragged out once again, the last time I remember being in 1994 when Winona Ryder starred in it.

Once again, four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War, but when it comes to period dramas, they’re rarely my bag. Hence, this is not for me.

Released December 26th.

Director: Greta Gerwig
Adaptation: Sarah Polley
Stars: Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Louis Garrel, Meryl Streep, James Norton, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Chris Cooper

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Playing With Fire: Macho firefighters mixed with annoying kids – the fun never starts!

Well, the trailer gave me ONE laugh, when one girl charged at John Cena, and as she arrived at him, he grabbed her head, turned her around, and pushed her back the other way.

Playing With Fire is released on December 26th in the UK, so aiming for the Xmas market, or “holidays”, as the Americans keep calling it.

Director: Andy Fickman
Writers: Dan Ewen, Matt Lieberman
Also stars: Brianna Hildebrand, Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Tyler Mane

Released December 26th.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Spies In Disguise is a shoe-in for one of the worst films of 2019, based on this trailer.

Looking more like Idris Elba than Will Smith, Will Smith is the voice of Lance Sterling, who effortly sorts out all the bad guys until the day when…

…annoying kid/inventor Walter Beckett (voiced by the ever-annoying Tom Holland) turns him into a pigeon. He apparently has other gadgets and will now help Lance catch the bad guys this way because “No-one notices pigeons”.

Really? Well, check out Grand Theft Auto IV where one of the side quests is to blow away 100 pigeons in the city!

Spies In Disguise is released in the UK on September 13th.

Directors: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Also stars: Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Masi Oka, DJ Khaled

Released December 26th.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!