Whiplash and American Sniper lead the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e January 16th 2015

whiplashThis weekend there are four new films out for you to choose from: musical drama in Whiplash, war drama in American Sniper, outback adventures in Wild, and period war-time drama in Testament of Youth.

Whiplash stars Miles Teller as a young and talented drummer, attending a prestigious music academy who ends up under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, played by JK Simmons, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student tries to achieve greatness, and the professor tries to stop him.

Also starring Paul Reiser and Melissa Benoist, you can read our review here, and the film is a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was nothing more than a Texan man who wanted to become a cowboy, but in his thirties he found out that maybe his life needed something different, something where he could express his real talent, something that could help America in its fight against terrorism.

So he joined the SEALs in order to become a sniper. After marrying, Kyle and the other members of the team are called for their first tour of Iraq. Kyle’s struggle isn’t with his missions, but about his relationship with the reality of the war and, once returned at home, how he manages to handle it with his urban life, his wife and kids.

I’m a bit undecided on this one based on the trailer, but with Clint Eastwood behind it, I’m going to verge on the side of…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Wild stars Reese Witherspoon in the chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe. Laura Dern co-stars.

However, it looks exceptionally tedious, and I’m going to give this a…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Testament of Youth is (it says here) a powerful coming-of-age story which tackles love, war, loss and remembrance. It’s based on the beloved WW1 memoir by Vera Brittain, which was a bestseller on publication, heralded as the voice of a generation and has become the classic testimony of that war, from a woman’s point of view.

Vera’s story encompasses vast themes – youth, hope, dreams, love, war, futility, and how to make sense of the darkest times. It’s a key witness account of WW1, which continues to resonate because it is above all a personal story of how one person faces war and tragedy, and rises above them.

This film has a great cast including Hayley Atwell, Kit Harington, Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Anna Chancellor, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Charlotte Hope and Joanna Scanlan, but despite all that, this period drama looks dull as ditchwater.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!