The Salvation and Glassland lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e April 17th 2015

the-salvationThis weekend there are six new films out for you to choose from: Western action in The Salvation, strong drama in Glassland, war-time drama in Child 44, medieval action (we’re covering all the historical periods here!) in Last Knights, period comedy/drama in A Little Chaos and musical tripe in The Last Five Years.

The Salvation shows that you can do a Western in late 19th Century that doesn’t have Seth McFarlane trying to make an unfunny pile of tosh out of it.

We’re in 1870s America and a peaceful American settler kills his family’s murderer which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.

There’s a great cast here, including Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green (Sin City 2), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall and Jonathan Pryce, and it’s directed by Kristian Levring.

The Salvation looks well worth a watch. It’s also only a spritely 92 minutes, which is unusual for a Western, as they usually last about 3 years.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Glassland is set in Dublin, and tells the story of a young taxi driver (Jack Reynor) who gets tangled up in the world of human trafficking while trying to save his mother (Toni Collette) from addiction.

Also starring Will Poulter (We’re The Millers) and the awesome Michael Smiley (A Field In England), judging from the trailer, this looks like a fantastic strong drama, so I definitely want to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Child 44 is based on the first of a trilogy by Tom Rob Smith, and set in the Stalin era of the Soviet Union. It’s about an idealistic pro-Stalin security officer who decides to investigate a series of child murders in a country where supposedly this sort of crime doesn’t exist. The state would not hear of the existence of a child murderer let alone a serial killer. He gets demoted and exiled but decides, with just the help of his wife, to continue pursuing the case.

The film stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman, Charles Dance, Jason Clarke, Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine and the stunning Tara Fitzgerald, and is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House).

I’m not sure whether Child 44 quite works for me, but there are a lot of Tom Hardy fans out there.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Last Knights stars Clive Owen as Raiden, a fallen warrior who rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master, Bartok (Morgan Freeman, The Lego Movie 3D) in this – it says here – epic, sword-clashing adventure of loyalty, honor, and vengeance. The film is also directed by Kazuaki Kiriya, also stars Aksel Hennie (Headhunters).

However, on watching the trailer, it all looks rather predictable, so I’m not in a rush to see it.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

A Little Chaos is a romantic drama following Sabine (Kate Winslet), a talented landscape designer, who is building a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman, who also directs). Sabine struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court’s renowned landscape artist (Matthias Schoenaerts).

Watching the trailer, this looks tedious as hell. Avoid.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Last Five Years is based on musical by Tony-award winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown, and is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period.

Jamie Wellerstein (Jeremy Jordan) is a young, talented up and coming Jewish novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt (Anna Kendrick), a Shiksa Goddess struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through songs using an intercutting time line device; all of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes.

The Last Five Years looks like the kind of movie I would run a mile from, but if you like musicals then maybe it’s your bag.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!