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 Psych: The Movie, Never Steady Never Still, Hatred, My Friend Dahmer, Murder On The Orient Express, Oddsockeaters, and The Forgiven.
10th September – Psych: The Movie
Synopsis: Based on the USA Network dramedy series, Psych, the film follows psychic detective Shawn Spencer who returns to the police force when he takes up a case involving his longtime girlfriend, officer Juliet O’Hara. He persuades his reluctant best friend, Gus, into joining him on his mission to unmask the killer of Juliet’s partner after she is also targeted.
Director: Steve Franks
Cast: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, and Corbin Bernsen
11th September – Never Steady, Never Still
Synopsis: A mother struggles to take control of her life in the face of advanced Parkinson’s disease, while her rudderless teenage son, Jamie, battles his sexual and emotional identity amongst the violence of Alberta’s oil field work camps. Their fragile family dynamic is worsened when Judy’s devoted husband and carer Ed suffers a fatal heart attack, knocking Jamie off-kilter.
Director: Kathleen Hepburn
Cast: Shirley Henderson, Théodore Pellerin, Mary Galloway, Nicholas Campbell, Jared Abrahamson, and Jonathan Whitesell
12th September – Hatred (Wolyn)
Synopsis: Between 1943 and 1945, up to 100,000 Polish civilians were massacred by the nationalist Ukrainian forces (UPA) on the eastern borderlands of Nazi-occupied Poland. This controversial film charts the atrocity through the eyes of a Polish peasant girl who falls for a Ukrainian boy from the same village, but who is then forced into marrying a wealthy widower. Soon, World War II begins and ethnic tensions arise.
Director: Wojciech Smarzowski
Cast: Michalina Labacz, Arkadiusz Jakubik, Wasyl Wasylik, Adrian Zaremba, Izabela Kuna, and Jacek Braciak
13th September – My Friend Dahmer
Synopsis: Exploring the childhood of the notorious cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the film follows a year in the life of the awkward gay student when he’s adopted by a trio of bohemians who judge him to be so crazy that he’s cool. He certainly turns out to be crazy, anyway.
Director: Marc Meyers
Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Miles Robbins, and Vincent Kartheiser
Review:I didn’t know anything about Jeffrey Dahmer (somehow?) so I thought it was interesting to find out about his childhood and see the beginnings of a serial killer. But now I want to know more about what happened next! It’s a great character study and Ross Lynch gives a brilliant performance. He really reminded me of Evan Peters in this, which is never a bad thing.
14th September – Murder On The Orient Express
Synopsis: Centring on the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, created by Agatha Christie, the film is an adaptation of the train-set 1934 whodunnit. When a passenger is murdered in his compartment aboard the Simplon-Istanbul Express, Poirot has to work out who did the dirty deed on the snow drift-stalled train.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, and Olivia Colman
Review: There’s nothing like a good murder mystery, and the classic book that this film is based delivers everything perfectly. So when I saw the cast list for this adaptation, I was supperrrr excited. I love Kenneth Branagh as a director and an actor, and every member of the cast was another reason to get excited about this film.
But it just didn’t have the same feel to it. There wasn’t enough mystery or suspense, for me, and certain things were made a little too obvious. It’s one of those films where you come away from it thinking “meh”. It definitely wasn’t a bad film as there’s a lot to like about it, but it just didn’t grip me in the same way that the book did. Then again, I chose to read the book first as I wanted to read the twists rather than see them onscreen, so maybe that, in turn, ruined my viewing of the film. But that was my choice to make, and I’m glad that I read the book beforehand.
15th September – Oddsockeaters (Lichozrouti)
Synopsis: This Czech animation tells the tale of the Oddsockeaters, a bunch of small, woolly creatures who live alongside humans in Prague, unseen, and who are responsible for socks that go missing when we only have one left from a pair – the odd sock. They are the odd sock eaters! No socks are safe.
Director: Galina Miklínová
Voice Cast: Krystof Hádek, Jan Maxián, and David Novotný
Review: This Czech animation reminded me of some of Laika studios’ films. It has that darker feel to it, but also a warm heart that explores family and friendships. The animation was great, but I just wasn’t overly invested in the story.
16th September – The Forgiven
Synopsis: Fictional drama following Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the post-apartheid chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and his visit to an imprisoned racist government death-squad assassin who is seeking clemency.
Director: Roland Joffé
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana, Jeff Gum, Morné Visser, Thandi Makhubele, and Terry Norton