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 Dark Crimes, A Bramble House Christmas, Let The Sunshine In, Stephanie, Game Night, Mom and Dad, and Beyond Suspicion.
12th November – Dark Crimes (Also known as ‘True Crimes’)
Synopsis: Based on a true story, a Polish detective returns to an unsolved murder after suspecting his boss might have been involved. Realising that the murder has been described in forensic detail in a novel by acclaimed author Krystov Kozlow, the detective turns to clues in the book which details an eerily similar crime. Based on the 2008 article “True Crimes – A Postmodern Murder Mystery” by David Grann.
Director: Alexandros Avranas
Cast: Jim Carrey, Marton Csokas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vlad Ivanov, Robert Wieckiewicz, and Agata Kulesza
Review: Jim Carrey is great in this and it’s a very interesting character for him to take on, knowing him so well for his comedy acting, but the story itself is so unengaging. I like the blue/grey toned filter when used effectively, but here it only highlights the dullness of the story and characters. Everything is very basic and cliché; I hope the true story it’s based on was more exciting than this.
13th November – A Bramble House Christmas
Synopsis: Single mum and nurse Willa is offered the chance to spend Christmas at the Oregon home of one of her elderly patients with her son, Scout. When they turn up, they meet Finn, the generous benefactor’s son. But Finn has gone undercover, suspecting Willa of manipulating his dad for a share of the will, and doesn’t let on to who he is. When she discovers his true identity, will it keep her from ever trusting him again?
Director: Steven R Monroe
Cast: Autumn Reeser, David Haydn-Jones, Liam Hughes, Teryl Rothery, Andrew Airlie, and Bruce Dawson
14th November – Let The Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur)
Synopsis: In her search for the ideal man, unhappily divorced artist Isabelle makes all the wrong choices – from libidinous married banker Vincent to a suave actor, who also happens to have a wife. Can she find true love at last? In French with English subs.
Director: Claire Denis
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine, Josiane Balasko, Sandrine Dumas, Nicolas Duvauchelle
15th November – Stephanie
Synopsis: In 2027 America, an unspecified epidemic has quarantined survivors hiding in homes from unseen monsters. Stephanie is an apparent orphan living alone in her family’s house, dodging the forces lurking outside, until the return of her parents. But when they do, it’s obvious that there are a lot more questions to be answered.
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Cast: Shree Crooks, Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Jonah Beres, and Samantha Smith
16th November – Game Night
Synopsis: A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery when Max’s successful brother, Brooks, rocks up to stage his own night, seemingly getting kidnapped by dangerous gangsters. But it doesn’t turn out quite as expected.
Directors: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
Cast: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen, Jesse Plemons, and Kylie Bunbury
Review: I definitely agree that this is one of the best mainstream comedy films of recent years, but that doesn’t make it the standout film people are going on about; it just means that there are a lot of bad comedy films out there and that we have forgotten what it’s like to see a good one.
Game Night has an enjoyable story and cast and it’s definitely a lot of fun. It certainly deserves the recognition it has received and for not flopping, but there are still aspects of it that I felt were overdone and predictable, so it could have been more original.
17th November – Mom And Dad
Synopsis: Doting dad Brent and his wife Kendall become infanticidal predators when mass hysteria causes parents to turn on their own kids for 24 hours. Their targets are their mobile phone-obsessed teenage daughter, Carly, and her brattish little brother, Joshua.
Director: Brian Taylor
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Zackary Arthur, Olivia Crocicchia, Lance Henriksen, and Samantha Lemole
18th November – Beyond Suspicion (Also known as ‘Bent’)
Synopsis: Disgraced ex-cop Danny Gallagher embarks on a quest for justice that leads him to the car bomb murder of a government official’s wife. To muddy the waters, it also turns out that the woman’s secret lover was a seductive federal agent, as Danny connects the murder case to a government conspiracy involving rogue agents from a top spy agency.
Director: Robert Moresco
Cast: Karl Urban, Sofía Vergara, Andy Garcia, Grace Byers, Vincent Spano, and John Finn