This week, there are FOUR new films out for you to choose from: Hanks and Streep take on the establishment from their newsroom in The Post, the aliens return – this time in Russia – for Attraction, there’s an animated movie with a lot of awards buzz in Coco, and Liam Neeson does more action nonsense in The Commuter.
The Post is inspired by true events and centres around a cover-up which spanned four US Presidents and pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher, Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), for The Washington Post, and a hard-driving editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this is the fifth time he has worked with Hanks,following 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, 2002’s Catch Me If You Can, 2004’s The Terminal and 2015’s Bridge of Spies.
From the moment I first saw the trailer for The Post, I figured this was Spielberg aiming for Oscar glory again and, yes indeed, it’s been released just ahead of Oscar season.
Writers: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Also stars: Alison Brie, Sarah Paulson, Carrie Coon, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jesse Plemons, Bradley Whitford, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Zach Woods, Matthew Rhys.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!
Attraction is a Russian sci-fi movie where an alien ship crash lands onto a city after being damaged by Russian fighter jets, and many who saw it *and* the occupants start to question their own existence, while there are those who demand the aliens leave Earth, especially given the devastation it caused.
Meanwhile, a school girl saves the life of one of the aliens and, together, must deal with humans who intend them harm.
It certainly looks better than Independence Day: Resurgence, although it technically came out before that, since it was released in Russia on January 28th 2017, so it’s taken some time to come out elsewhere, but I really want to see this.
Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Stars: Irina Starshenbaum, Alexander Petrov, Rinal Mukhametov, Oleg Menshikov, Sergey Garmash
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!
Coco tells the story of a 12-year-old boy called Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.
Directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina, and written by the latter, the film also stars the voices of Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Renee Victor.
Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
I was in two minds about this film, given that it’s an animation and I find those hit and miss, but I’ve heard good word about this.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!
The Commuter is Non-Stop on a train, as it comes from the same director and also stars Liam Neeson.
Again, he’s taking directions from someone over the phone to do some bad stuff, but this time, he knows who’s asking, as he’s met them on the seat opposite in a ridiculoudly over-CGI’d train carriage. You can tell it’s not First North Western, as those trains are a shithole… and I used that term in the teaser before Trump started shouting it about!
Oh, and talking of shitholes, remember when Liam Neeson movies used to be good? That was a long time ago. If this film is worth any more than a 4/10 from me, I’ll be very surprised.
Releasing a film in the January/February slot is always the dumping ground for terrible non-awards movies, so you know how this will fare. Then again, Taken 3 was released in the same slot in 2015, and that made a fortune. The only thing which makes this a ‘maybe’ is that it’s an uncut 15-certificate, rather than a censored 12-cert, like his films usually are.
The film is a PG-13 in the US, so it must’ve been tempting for Fox to cut it to a 12.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Non-Stop)
Screenplay: Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Killian Scott, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Florence Pugh
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.