Friday 16 October 2015

5 for Friday (October 16): Trailers, new releases and box office

1. Crimson Peak
What is it? After the action-packed excess of Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro returns to what he does best – a gothic horror tale jam-packed with ghosts, spectacular visuals and an atmosphere so thick you could slice it like bread. It stars Mia Wasikowska (pictured above), Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, and features a spooky mansion that “breathes, bleeds… and remembers".
Where in the UK can I see it? Everywhere.
Critical consensus: A ghost-bustingly average 67 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
My take: It’s difficult to see this rivalling Pan’s Labyrinth as Del Toro’s best film but if this sumptuous trailer is anything to go by, Crimson Peak will be a treat.

2. The Lobster
What is it? Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman star in a surreal and disturbing sci-fi satire on the dating game and the pressure exerted on people to find romantic love. In a dystopian future, singles must find a partner in 45 days or be transformed into animals and released into the wild. It sounds far more humane than Take Me Out.
Where in the UK can I see it? Key cities, including London, Cardiff and Manchester.
Critical consensus: A tasty 88 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
My take: The first movie I saw by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos was 2009’s Dogtooth, a piece of work that was inventive, transgressive and quite superb. Suffice to say, I have high hopes for this.

3. Howl
What is it? Passengers on a broken-down train come under attack from a werewolf in this British-made horror movie. Dog Soldiers’ Sean Pertwee’s in it although not, it seems, in a starring role.
Where in the UK can I see it? Howl is getting a very limited cinema release before clawing its way onto DVD, Blu-ray and VOD on October 26.
Critical consensus: A bitingly mediocre 57 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
My take: It’s been a while since old-school horror fans had a really cracking werewolf flick to get our teeth into (Dog Soldiers in 2002, by my reckoning) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed this contains the requisite amounts of scares, gore and black comedy.

4. The Program
What is it? The rise and fall of seven-time Tour de France winner/cancer survivor/doping cheat Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster). Chris O’Dowd plays the Irish journalist determined to prove the champion cyclist’s guilt. Stephen Frears (Philomena) directs, Dustin Hoffman co-stars.
Where in the UK can I see it? It’s getting a wide release so shouldn’t be difficult to track down.
Critical consensus: A chemically-unenhanced 52 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
My take: Armstrong’s fall from grace is one of the most extraordinary events in sporting history and fully deserving of the big movie treatment. But Frears’ film will do well to better Alex Gibney’s 2013 documentary about the same subject, The Armstrong Lie.

5. Censored Voices
What is it? Documentary about 1967’s Six Day War in which Israel defeated Egypt, Syria and Jordan and grabbed land in Gaza, Sinai, and the West Bank. The country tripled in size in under a week, leading to euphoric scenes. However, away from the celebrations, author Amos Oz recorded interviews with Israeli soldiers, fresh from the battlefield, and their take on the conflict is anything but jubilant. Nearly 50 years on (the recordings were suppressed for decades) the interviews are replayed for the same group of soldiers... 
Where in the UK can I see it? London only.
Critical consensus: An impressive 100 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, albeit after just seven reviews.
My take: Any documentary about the Israel/Palestine situation is always pertinent and prescient for one simple reason - nothing there ever seems to change. I hope this gets a speedy DVD/VOD release as its probably the only way I'll get to see it.    

Also in cinemas this week...
Back To The Future 2 (reissue, from Wednesday)
Dans La Cour
The Diabolical 
Henry V – RSC Live 2015
Hotel Transylvania 2 
The Last Witch Hunter (from Wednesday)
Le Talent De Mes Amis
Laurel & Hardy: Towed In The Hole & Way Out West (double bill) (reissue, from Tuesday)
North V South 
Rough Cut
Soaked In Bleach

UK box office top 10
1. The Martian
2. Sicario (15)
3. The Walk
4. Legend
5. The Intern
6. Everest
7. Macbeth
8. The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
9. Regression
10. Inside Out

US box office top 10

1. The Martian
2. Hotel Transylvania 2
3. Pan
4. The Intern
5. Sicario
6. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
7. The Walk 
8. Black Mass
9. Everest
10. The Visit

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