Warcraft leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e May 27th 2016

warcraftThis weekend there are TWELVE new films out for you to choose from: videogame-to-movie action in Warcraft, British drama in Remainder, comedy in Love and Friendship, a return down the rabbit hole in Alice Through The Looking Glass, George Clooney drama in Money Monster, the return of the turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Nicolas Cage trots out another dud in The Trust, Adam Sandler sticks to Netflix comedies in The Do Over, CGI for kids in Minuscule, tedious drama in The Price of Desire, a prequel reboot in Top Cat Begins, and man-made global warming propaganda in A Beautiful Planet.

Warcraft is another videogame-to-movie transformation, but this one’s going to be one of the biggest around as it’s for the game World of Warcraft. How it ties in with the game, I have no idea, as role-playing games are not my cup of team. However, I know people who can play this until even after the cows have come home. That said, when I was a kid I dabbled in a bit of Dungeons and Dragons.

The film will take on the origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both the Alliance’s and the Horde’s sides of their conflict. Featuring characters such as Durotan (Toby KebbellFantastic Four, The Veteran) and Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the film will take place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.

The film also has a strong additional cast of Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Clancy Brown, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga and Callum Keith Rennie, and I wasn’t originally sold on seeing this, but given that it comes from the directorialship of Duncan Jones, who brought us the incredible Moon, then I have to see this. He’s also the son of the late, great David Bowie, if you didn’t know.

Note: Warcraft isn’t released until Monday, hence is another of those films which will get almost two weeks’ worth of box office receipts in its first ‘week’ of release, since any film put out on a Saturday or later can’t can’t towards that first weekend’s Top 10.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Remainder tells the tale of a London man who loses his memory when he’s struck by a falling object develops a way to reconstruct his past.

Directed by Omer Fast and starring Tom Sturridge, Cush Jumbo, Ed Speleers, Shaun Prendergast and Arsher Ali (Line of Duty), this looks a gripping drama and I definitely want to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Love and Friendship is a comedy set in the 1790s, centring on beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate BeckinsaleUnderworld Awakening), who has come to the estate of her in-laws to wait out colourful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society.

Whilst there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and her rather reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica (Morfydd ClarkPride and Prejudice and Zombies)

The film is written and directed by Whit Stillman, based on Jane Austen, based on her novella “Lady Susan”, and also stars Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards, Tom Bennett, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Jenn Murray, Stephen Fry and Chloë Sevigny, and based on the trailer it has a very sharp script so I am very much looking forward to this. I just hope it’s better than the aforementioned Jane Austen-inspried zombie movie.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Alice Through The Looking Glass sees a return to Tim Burton‘s world and when Alice (Mia Wasikowska) wakes up in Wonderland she must travel through a mysterious new world to retrieve a magical scepter that can stop the evil Lord of Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) before he turns forward the clock and turns Wonderland into a barren, lifeless old world. With the help of some new friends, Alice must also uncover an evil plot to put the Queen of Hearts (Helena Bonham Carter) back on the throne.

I never saw the original movie, but I need to catch up as even while watching this trailer on a mobile phone, the film looks like it needs to be seen in 3D, and on the biggest screen possible.

The film also stars Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, plus Anne Hathaway, Andrew Scott, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, Timothy Spall, Ed Speleers, Frances de la Tour, Stephen Fry and Matt Lucas. Also, note that while Tim Burton’s one of the producers this time, the director is James Bobin. Who?

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Money Monster is the title of the financial network TV show hosted by Lee Gates (George Clooney), a bombastic TV personality whose made the programme incredibly popular.

It’s made him the money Wizard of Wall Street, but after he hawks a high tech stock that mysteriously crashes, irate investor Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) takes Gates, his crew, and his ace producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) hostage live on air.

The movie unfolds in real time, Gates and Fenn must find a way to keep themselves alive while simultaneously uncovering the truth behind a tangle of big money lies. The billing describes this as a taut and tense thriller, and it could well be right, based on the trailer for this forthcoming movie which is directed by Jodie Foster.

Money Monster is written by Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf and Jamie Linden. I’m not completely sold on this, but given the real-time aspect of it…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – there is no escape.

Michael Bay is still in the producer’s chair, along with Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Scott Mednick and Galen Walker, while Dave Green (Earth To Echo) takes over directing from Jonathan Liebesman, who’s busy with the Jumanji remake.

Megan Fox returns as April O’Neil along with many of the original cast, which includes Alan Ritchson, Stephen Amell, Laura Linney, William Fichtner, Alessandra Ambrosio, Brian Tee, Will Arnett, Noel Fisher, Tyler Perry, Johnny Knoxville, Jane Wu, Jeremy Howard, Tony Shalhoub, Brett Azar, Aly Mang, Gary Anthony Williams, Danny Woodburn, Pete Ploszek, and there’s also an as-yet-unnamed role for Judith Hoag, who played April O’Neil in the first film back in 1990, having subsequently been replaced by Paige Turco for the two sequels.

Note, this film ALSO isn’t released until Monday.

This looks as bad as the first film, so…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Trust stars Elijah Wood and Nicolas Cage as police officers David Waters and Jim Stone, ignored by everyone as their sit in their dull administrative jobs, making extra money on the side by selling stolen Civil Service Exams to other officers.

When Stone hears a story about a heroin dealer quickly beating his extremely high bail, the two friends set into motion a plan to find the origin of such a large amount of cash. Through diligent police work they follow a trail that leads directly to a custom bank-style vault built into the back room freezer of a small grocery store. They put a plan into motion to rob the vault and split whatever they find inside. But by the time they figure out what the vault contains, it’s already too late to turn back.

Written and directed by Adam Hirsch and Benjamin Brewer, it sounds like an interesting idea for a film but just didn’t work for me, sadly.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Do Over follows The Ridiculous 6 in being another made-for-Netflix movie starring Adam Sandler.

Charlie McMillan (David Spade) isn’t having a great time of it. He has a house with a wife, but she doesn’t love him, or even like him, and she spends more time with her ex and their children than Charlie. Reconnecting with old friend Max Kessler (Sandler) for the first time in 20 years, they’re getting on like a house on fire, until… Max fakes their deaths in a bid for a fresh start (or ‘do over’).

Naturally, things go even worse for them.

Also starring Kathryn Hahn, Sean Astin and the ex-Mrs Robin Thicke, Paula Patton, the tagline for this film is “Dying was their first mistake.” More like ‘dying on their arse’.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


In a peaceful little clearing, the remains of a picnic hastily abandoned spark warfare between two tribes of ants. A bold young ladybug finds himself caught in the middle of the battle. He befriends one of the black ants, Mandible, and helps him save the anthill from the assault of the terrible red ant warriors, led by the fearful Butor. A fantastic journey at ground level…

This is CGI for kids, which usually puts me off a film, but this one was actually intriguing from the trailer.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

The Price of Desire tells the controversial story of how Le Corbusier effaced and defaced Eileen Gray’s moral right to be recognized as the author of her work and as one of the most forceful and influential inspirations of a century of modern architecture and design. Written by Anonymous

Starring Orla Brady, Vincent Perez, Francesco Scianna, Dominique Pinon and Alanis Morissette (yes, you read right), the trailer for this bored me into a coma…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Top Cat Begins

A prequel that no-one asked for to the Mexican-made Top Cat reboot that no-one asked for, wasn’t very good, and is entirely unconnected to the use of the character in the current (and risible) Halifax adverts.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

A Beautiful Planet

Man-made global warming propaganda narrated by Katniss Everdeen. Even at a brief 45 minutes and made solely with the intention of showing on IMAX screens… Avoid.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!