Since I don’t get to the cinema to see new releases that often anymore, this is my new weekly feature reviewing the latest releases on Sky Cinema Premiere (and in turn, Now TV). I will write a short review and rating for each of the films that I have watched and then give you the details for the ones that I didn’t get a chance to see.
This week’s feature sees the release of The Night Watchmen, So B. It, Fatima, B&B, The Snowman, Flatliners, and Call Me By Your Name.
25th June – The Night Watchmen
Synopsis: Former death metal rocker Rajeeve joins a crew of inept night watchmen, including a jaded tabloid journalist, as they battle for their lives when a horde of bloodthirsty zombie vampires attack their office block in this gory horror-comedy.
Director: Mitchell Altieri
Cast: Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, Kevin Jiggetts and Max Gray Wilbur
26th June – So B. It
Synopsis: A young girl named Heidi lives in Reno with her mentally disabled mother under the watchful eye of kindly neighbour who is also the building’s caretaker. , Preternaturally blessed with good luck and can pass for an adult, Heidi decides to travel across the country to find out about her and her mother’s past, heading for the New York state home where she grew up. The film is based on the novel by young adult author Sarah Weeks.
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Cast: Cloris Leachman, Jacinda Barrett, Alfre Woodard and John Heard
27th June – Fatima
Synopsis: Moroccan-born single mother Fatima lives on her own with two daughters to support – 15-year old Souad, a teenager in revolt, and 18-year old Nesrine, who is starting medical school – by working as a cleaning woman in the French city of Lyon to ensure the best possible future for them. However, after a fall at work, she uses her sick leave to to write everything that she has not been able to express to her daughters in French in her native Arabic.
Director: Philippe Faucon
Cast: Soria Zeroual, Zita Hanrot, and Kenza Noah Aïche
28th June – B&B
Synopsis: A dark comic thriller following gay Londoners Marc and Fred who plan for a weekend of mischief after winning a court case. They return to a B&B to bait the strict Christian owner who had previously opposed them sharing a bed. Events take a deadly turn when another guest arrives, who they think might have something more sinister in mind.
Director: Joe Ahearne
Cast: Sean Teale, Tom Bateman, Paul McGann and James Tratas
29th June – The Snowman
Synopsis: Based on the bestselling book by Jo Nesbø, this Norweigan thriller follows hard-drinking Oslo detective, Harry Hole, on the trail of a serial killer, after the scarf of a missing woman is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, and Val Kilmer
Review: I was going to wait until I had read the book to see this film, but I was told that the film wasn’t a good adaptation so I thought I would get it out-of-the-way first.
A film like this has a potential to be a five-star film for me – a mystery thriller set in a stunning location with an exceptional cast. If it’s done right, that is, but The Snowman is lacking a certain quality to it to give the effect that a story like this should have.
If I had read the book then I would have understood this film a lot better, but it just doesn’t piece together without doing so. The structure is all over the place and there’s so much left unanswered. And when you think that you’re about to get an epic conclusion, the ending is completely rushed over.
Unlike the brilliant 2011 film Headhunters, which is also based on a Jo Nesbo book, this Norweigan thriller opts for a British/American cast, some of whom attempt a Scandi accent and some of whom just don’t bother. It’s an excellent cast, but they are so many great Norwegian actors who could have played some of the parts in this which would have given the film a bit of authenticity.
However, I visited Bergen when I went travelling around Norway so it was great to see the beautiful landscapes once again. And to see the train station which I spent hours asleep in! At least it was aesthetically pleasing, anyway.
30th June – Flatliners
Synopsis: Sci-fi horror remake about a group of young medical students whose experiments with near-death experiences take a sinister turn.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Cast: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, and Kiersey Clemons
Review: I didn’t think that Flatliners was a film that really needed to be remade, but I did quite like the modern twists to it. A great cast, each who had a great potential to make this film successful, but it didn’t succeed in zapping life back into the story.
1st July – Call Me by Your Name
Synopsis: Oscar-winning drama set in 19080s Italy, charting the summer romance between precocious teen Elio and grad student Oliver.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet
Review: Loved, loved, loved this. I think I will be watching it on repeat for the foreseeable future. It’s taken me a good while to enjoy Armie Hammer’s performances, but after The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I was quickly convinced otherwise. And now this! I am a new fan. And Timothée Chalamet! I can’t wait to see more from him (although with maybe fewer peaches involved next time).
This is such a beautiful and romantic story. I especially love the support of Elio’s family, which I think really helps to make this film feel so delicate. I could watch the closing scene of Elio staring into the fire forever. Absolutely beautiful!
“I remember everything.”