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 Bomb City, Holly Star, Western, A Gift For Christmas, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, A Yeti Adventure, and In Darkness.
3rd December – Bomb City
Synopsis: Based on the true story of a ruck between locally despised punks and revered college jocks in Amarillo, Texas, that left a teenager dead. Gregarious alternative rocker Brian Deneke is the ill-fated victim whose death resulted in a legal farce with the punks painted as violent anarchists while the frat-boys’ brutal antics were dismissed as high jinks.
Director: Jamie Brooks
Cast: Dave Davis, Glenn Morshower, Logan Huffman, Lorelei Linklater, Eddie Hassell, and Henry Knotts
4th December – Holly Star
Synopsis: Skint puppeteer Sloan returns home for the holidays and gets caught up in a treasure hunt with her paintball-obsessed best friend, her tango-dancing grandmother, and a childhood sweetheart.
Director: Michael A Nickles
Cast: Katlyn Carlson, Brian Muller, Teya Patt, Erik Van Wyck, Gary Galone, and Bruce-Robert Serafin
5th December – Western
Synopsis: Taciturn German-Afghan war veteran Meinhard antagonises countrymen and locals alike when he takes a job with a team of construction men sent to remote rural Bulgaria to build a modern water power plant. On the German side, there’s a boorish foreman while the Bulgarians still simmer after Germany’s brutal occupation of their country during WWII.
Director: Valeska Grisebach
Cast: Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov, Veneta Fragnova, and Vyara Borisovan
6th December – A Gift For Christmas (A Gift To Remember)
Synopsis: Bookstore worker Darcy knocks dog-walker Aidan over while she’s cycling to work. The spill leaves him with no memory so – while recuperating in hospital – Darcy looks after his pet and sets out to learn more about the man who can’t remember who he is.
Director: Kevin Fair
Cast: Ali Liebert, Peter Porte, Tina Lifford, Kristin York, and Ricky He
7th December – The Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Synopsis: In the finale to teen dystopian saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on a mission to break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.
Director: Wes Ball
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Will Poulter, and Jacob Lofland
Review: The Maze Runner: The Death Cure is a well-rounded finale to a somewhat hit and miss trilogy of adaptations. Already set up by its predecessor to be very different from the book, The Death Cure wasn’t helped by a pushed back release date when so many young adult dystopias have been attempted and mostly forgotten about over the past few years, but it may just be the instalment to remind you how good some of them were.
When you don’t think of it is an adaptation, The Death Cure is an entertaining young adult adaptation. It has some good action, likeable characters, and there are quite a few surprisingly emotional and heartfelt moments that may dupe you into thinking that you actually cared about this franchise this whole time. This instalment certainly makes up for the many mistakes in the second instalment, anyway. It just doesn’t have much substance because of everything that has been lost from it.
8th December – A Yeti Adventure
Synopsis: Ebullient novice detective Nelly Maloye joins forces with ambitious research assistant Simon Picard and sets off on a mission to prove the existence of the Abominable Snowman. To achieve this goal, Simon relies on the coded diary of a missing explorer – a diary that should lead them to the mythic creature’s lair.
Directors: Pierre Greco and Nancy Florence Savard
Voice Cast: Colm Feore, Noel Fisher, Arthur Holden, and Rachelle Lefevre
9th December – In Darkness
Synopsis: Visually impaired pianist Sofia is friendly with her upstairs neighbour Veronique. When she hears a struggle and her neighbour falls to her death, it’s revealed that she was the daughter of a Serb businessman accused of war crimes. After she’s quizzed by police, Ed Skrein’s possible killer attempts to get close to her so see if she revealed anything, and also in the hope of getting his hands on a memory stick.
Director: Anthony Byrne
Cast: Natalie Dormer, Ed Skrein, Joely Richardson, Emily Ratajkowski, Jan Bijvoet, and James Cosmo