The Revenant leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e January 15th 2016

the-revenantThis weekend there are six new films out for you to choose from: gritty early 19th Century true-life drama in The Revenant, a return of a boxing legend in Creed, BAFTA-nominated drama in Room, fighting action in Ip Man 3, British action in Breakdown, and a samurai-based sword-fighting epic in Dragon Blade.

The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio (right) as frontiersman Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Inspired by true events, the film captures his epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, in a quest to survive, legendary explorer Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.

Also starring Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Paul Anderson, Lukas Haas, Brendan Fletcher and Brad Carter, it’s directed by co-written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who triumphed with the Oscar and BAFTA-winning Birdman earlier this year. It’s BAFTA-nominated for Best Film and Best Actor for Leo, while it has already won these at the Golden Globes, along with Best Director.

You cna also read our review of this here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Creed is the boxing one about the son of Apollo Creed, first name Adonis, played by Michael B Jordan.

Apollo Creed is now dead and he was the former rival of one Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), who now serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis. The film also stars Graham McTavish, Phylicia Rashad, Stephanie Damiano and Selma‘s Tessa Thompson.

I can’t get excited about this, although I will see it. I enjoyed the first four Rocky films, but catching up on 5 & 6 recently, the former was better than expected, while Rocky Balboa just took forever to get going. And Stallone’s Grudge Match stank big time!

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical -they are trapped – confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room.

Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.

I know this has been given huge plaudits and is tipped for awards success, especially for Brie Larson, BAFTA-nominated for Best Actress, and who won the same award at the Golden Globes, but to me, it doesn’t grab me at all.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Ip Man 3 is the third in a series of films I’ve never begun, and sees the return of Donnie Yen as Master Ip, or Yip Man as the credits call him on IMDB.

The complex premise is: When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand.

Yen is joined by Patrick Tam, Jin Zhang, Lynn Hung and famous convicted rapist Mike Tyson, still sporting that ridiculous tattoo over his face. He’s 50 next year and really ought to know better.

Wilson Yip directs as he has done with Ip Man and Ip Man 2. How do they think of these titles for the sequels?

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Alfie Jennings (London’s Burning‘s Craig Fairbrass) – Professional contract killer. Haunted by horrific visions of the men he has killed, Alfie spirals towards the brink of madness as his past catches up with him. One of the founding members of elite hitman fraternity, Homefront, Alfie’s panic attacks now compromise this once ruthless ex-elite soldier and leader of men. His tense family life rapidly approaching boiling point, a sheltered daughter on the brink of womanhood, a beautiful, neglected wife on the brink of despair, Alfie is lost.

An embarrassing public breakdown during a torture in front of his employers and client, calls Alfie’s sanity and professionalism into question, forcing ex-Army Major, Albert Chapman (James Cosmo), the psychopathic head of Homefront, to begin threatening the lives of Alfie and his family.

However, while I like to champion British movies, this one looks an absolute stinker.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Dragon Blade is a samurai-based sword-fighting epic which was a massive success last year in its native China, and brings action spectacle on a grand scale, according to its billing. Featuring an international cast led by Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody, the film features the fight for the Silk Road when East and West collide.

When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius (Brody) arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An (Chan) and his group of trained warriors teams up with an elite legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius (Cusack) to maintain the delicate balance of power in the region.

To protect his country and his new friends, Huo An gathers the warriors of thirty-six ethnic nations together to fight Tiberius in an incredible epic battle. The film is written and directed by Daniel Lee (Black Mask) and produced by Jackie Chan and Susanna Tsang.

Alas, it didn’t work for me, based on what’s on display but it’s not quite my bag. Fans of Mr Cusack will no doubt relish his appearance 😉

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!