This Week’s Movie Menu (13 – 19 November 2023)

Hungry for another week of fabulous film releases? Then we’ve got a packed menu for you right here, including a prequel to the century’s most beloved YA dystopia franchise, a dark story of wealth and privilege, the untold story of a Civil Rights hero, and much more…

Movie of the Week

 

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023, dir. Francis Lawrence)

CAST: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman, Viola Davis, Fionnula Flanagan, Burn Gorman, Ashley Liao, Max Raphael, Zoe Renée, Nick Benson, Isobel Jesper Jones, George Somner, Mackenzie Lansing, Cooper Dillon, Hiroki Berrecloth, Kjell Brutscheidt, Dakota Shapiro, Vaughan Reilly, Honor Gillies, Eike Onyambu, Konstantin Taffet, Michael Greco, Daniela Grubert, Carl Spencer, Scott Folan

CREW: Francis Lawrence (director, producer), Michael Arndt and Michael Lesslie (writers), Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (producers), James Newton Howard (composer), Jo Willems (cinematographer), Mark Yoshikawa (editor)

PLOT: During the tenth year of the annual Hunger Games, young Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) is assigned to mentor District 12’s tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), whose singing talent captures the attention of Panem, which Snow decides to use as a means to turn the odds in their favour…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Return to the dystopian world of Panem in a prequel that explores the imbalanced futuristic society long before Katniss Everdeen comes into the picture
  • Series director Francis Lawrence also returns for an epic journey into the cruelty and sadism that would eventually envelope young protagonist Coriolanus Snow
  • The future President of Panem is played by Tom Blyth, with West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler as a very different tribute from Katniss’ impoverished District 12
  • There are plenty of showy supporting roles for character actors like Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis, who all shine as the warped figures behind the deadly Hunger Games
  • It explores an intriguing era of the fictional world that gives new meaning to certain events during the main timeline of the original series

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Saltburn (2023, dir. Emerald Fennell)

CAST: Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Archie Madekwe, Carey Mulligan, Paul Rhys, Lolly Adefope, Ewan Mitchell, Sadie Soverall, Reese Shearsmith

CREW: Emerald Fennell (director, writer, producer), Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara and Margot Robbie (producers), Anthony Willis (composer), Linus Sandgren (cinematographer), Victoria Boydell (editor)

PLOT: In 2006, Oliver Quick (Keoghan) enrols at Oxford, where he initially struggles to fit in due to his lower status. Soon, though, he manages to befriend aristocratic student Felix Catton (Elordi), who invites Oliver to stay with him and his eccentric family for the summer at their lavish estate named Saltburn. There, Oliver finds himself drawn to the lavish lifestyle of his hosts, and experience a summer nobody is bound to forget…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Emerald Fennell’s anticipated follow-up to her Oscar-winning debut Promising Young Woman is an ambitious tale of wealth and class that is often rather shocking
  • Oscar-nominee Barry Keoghan gives a staggering lead turn where he proves to be the year’s most unreliable narrator
  • Some unforgettable supporting turns from the likes of Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, and Fennell’s Promising Young Woman lead Carey Mulligan make it a hugely entertaining ride to be on
  • Linus Sandgren’s luscious cinematography proves to be a formidable companion to Fennell’s sharp-tongued wit and stylish direction
  • Expect plenty of twists in this ever-changing story of obsession and deceit, leading to an ending that is bound to stay with you long after the credits roll

Saltburn is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

May December (2023, dir. Todd Haynes)

CAST: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, D.W. Moffett, Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu, Gabriel Chung, Cory Michael Smith, Lawrence Arancio

CREW: Todd Haynes (director), Samy Burch (writer), Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Grant S. Johnson, Pamela Koffler, Tyler W. Konney, Sophie Mas, Natalie Portman and Christine Vachon (producers), Marcelo Zarvos (composer), Christopher Blauvelt (cinematographer), Affonso Gonçalves (editor)

PLOT: Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman) is cast in an upcoming film where she is to play Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore), the woman who twenty years prior caused a tabloid scandal when she was revealed to be having an affair with her young student Joe (Melton). Elizabeth visits the happily-married couple to research her upcoming role, but her presence causes their relationship to be put to the ultimate test…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The line between reality and fiction is blurred in director Todd Haynes’s frightfully entertaining satire of method acting and real-life scandals
  • Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore deliver a pair of mesmerising lead turns as the actress and her subject respectively, with Charles Melton also proving to be an unexpected secret weapon
  • It has wowed audiences at festivals across the world, including at Cannes where it had its uproarious world premiere as a contender for the Palme D’Or
  • There are certain twists and reveals that change just about everything you think this movie was going to be before going in
  • You’ll be hooked by the heightened performances and the darkly comedic tone, both of which turn it into a wild ride for everyone

May December is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Thanksgiving (2023, dir. Eli Roth)

CAST: Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque, Rick Hoffman, Gina Gershon, Tim Dillon, Gabriel Davenport, Tomaso Sanelli, Jenna Warren, Amanda Barker

CREW: Eli Roth (director, producer), Jeff Rendell (writer, producer), Roger Birnbaum (producer), Brandon Roberts (composer), Milan Chadima (cinematographer), Michel Aller and Michele Conroy (editors)

PLOT: One year after a deadly Black Friday riot devastates the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the Thanksgiving holiday – a masked serial killer disguised as a Pilgrim begins terrorising the town’s inhabitants…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Eli Roth finally gets to turn his popular faux trailer from the 2007 double-bill Grindhouse into a proper movie, and it’s as gory and hilariously demented as you could have imagined
  • Roth and screenwriter Jeff Rendell incorporate several aspects of the American holiday, including the turkey dinner ritual and the Black Friday sales, into their violent slasher
  • Patrick Dempsey leads a cast that includes TikTok star Addison Rae and camp icon Gina Gershon, all of whom may or may not eventually fall victim to the terrifying serial killer
  • The trailer promises no shortage of blood, with plenty of imaginative kills and gruesome set pieces to satisfy the hunger of any horror movie fan
  • Between this, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and even Hobo with a Shotgun (all also based on popular Grindhouse trailers), hopefully this means we’ll finally get feature-length versions of Rob Zombie’s Werewolf Women of the SS and Edgar Wright’s Don’t!

Thanksgiving is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

The Mission (2023, dirs. Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss)

CAST: John Allen Chau, Levi Davis, Adam Goodheart, Dan Everett, Pam Arlund, Dan Davis, Mary Ho, Lawrence Kao, Arin Okada, T.N. Pandit, Jimmy Shaw, David Shih, Cameron Silsbee, Cassie Simons

CREW: Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss (directors, writers, producers), Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Will Cohen and Denis Giles (producers), Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (composers), Thorsten Thielow (cinematographer), Aaron Wickenden (editor)

PLOT: The tragic life of 26-year-old American Christian missionary John Allen Chau, who in 2018 was killed after attempting to contact an indigenous tribe in India…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The shocking story of a Christian missionary’s untimely death is explored in this fascinating new documentary
  • Interviews with some of John Allen Chau’s closest associates, as well as access to his personal diaries and video archives, create a portrait of someone with truly noble intentions
  • His story is brought to the screen by filmmakers Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, who won numerous awards including an Emmy for their work on the political documentary Boys State
  • The secretive Indian tribe whom Chau fatefully attempted to contact is a looming presence throughout
  • Tackling themes such as religion and obsession, it’s a story that manages to be quite moving before it even gets to its tragic conclusion

The Mission is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Driving Madeleine (2022, dir. Christian Carion)

CAST: Line Renaud, Dany Boon, Alice Isaaz, Jérémie Laheurte, Gwendoline Hamon, Julie Delarme, Thomas Alden, Hadriel Roure

CREW: Christian Carion (director, writer, producer), Cyril Gely (writer), Laure Irrmann (producer), Philippe Rombi (composer), Pierre Cottereau (cinematographer), Loïc Lallemand (editor)

PLOT: Madeleine (Renaud), an elderly woman living in a care home just outside of Paris, hires taxi driver Charles (Boon) to transport her to several locations throughout the city, all of which have a meaningful connection to her life…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • More than just the French Driving Miss Daisy, this charming comedy-drama has plenty of emotion to offer
  • The legendary actor and singer Line Renaud, now aged 95, shines in a compelling lead role that becomes more layered as the film goes along
  • She shares a sweet chemistry with her co-star Dany Boon, who similarly plays a part you understand more and more about
  • Writer-director Christian Carion, perhaps best known for his Christmas-themed war drama Joyeux Noël, brings tenderness and a warm sense of humour to some of the moving displays of emotion
  • It’s a film where you’ll laugh, cry, and maybe even hug the person next to you thanks to the sheer amount of goodwill that it departs

Driving Madeleine is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Mami Wata (2023, dir. C.J. “Fiery” Obasi)

CAST: Evelyne Ily Juhen, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Kelechi Udegbe, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie, Tough Bone, Jakob Kerstan, C.J. “Fiery” Obasi

CREW: C.J. “Fiery” Obasi (director, writer), Oge Obasi (producer), Tunde Jegede (composer), Lílis Soares (cinematographer), Nathan Delannoy (editor)

PLOT: In the West African village of Iyi, the residents worship the mermaid deity Mami Wata, with their healer Mama Efi (Edochie) serving as its intermediary. However, when outside forces threaten the village’s harmony, sisters Prisca (Juhen) and Zinwe (Aniunoh) must attempt to save their people and restore the mermaid goddess’s sovereignty…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A bold new vision emerges from West Africa, with filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obasi proudly presenting a fairy tale unlike any other
  • Fiery’s fantastical film is heavily inspired by West African folklore, particularly the myth surrounding the water spirit whose name forms the title
  • Its striking black-and-white cinematography won the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival
  • There might be further awards prospects in its future, with Nigeria selecting it as their official entry for the International Feature Film Oscar at next year’s ceremony
  • You will find yourself enchanted by Fiery’s confident filmmaking that gifts audience a whole new perspective on the classic fairy tale structure

Mami Wata is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Tish (2022, dir. Paul Sng)

CAST: Tish Murtha, Maxine Peake, Shin-Fei Chen, Ella Murtha

CREW: Paul Sng (director), Jennifer Corcoran (producer), Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres (composer), Hollie Galloway and David Lee (cienmatographers), Angela Slaven and Lindsay Watson (editors)

PLOT: The life and career of Tish Murtha, the photographer and activist who dedicated her life to documenting the lives of working-class communities in North-East England…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The trailblazing social documentarian Tish Murtha is celebrated in this revealing new documentary about her life and achievements
  • Murtha, who passed away in 2013, is represented here through her work, with actor Maxine Peake relaying her own words over images of her striking photographs
  • Her daughter, Ella Murtha, is also followed as she sets out to preserve her mother’s legacy that had been seemingly lost to the ages
  • We learn several heart-breaking facts about the artist, including her struggle to make a name for herself despite her iconic images
  • Most of all, the film serves to carry on Tish’s mission of bringing the difficulties faced by those in poverty to the public eye

Tish is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Journey to Bethlehem (2022, dir. Adam Anders)

CAST: Antonio Banderas, Fiona Palomo, Milo Manheim, Geno Segers, Omid Djalili, Rizwan Manji, Stephanie Gil, Joel Smallbone, Moriah, Antonio Gil, Alicia Borrachero, Lecrae, Maria Pau Pigem, Antonio Cantos

CREW: Adam Anders (director, writer, producer, composer), Peter Barsocchini (writer), Brandt Andersen, Steve Barnett, Ryan Busse, Stephen Meinen and Alan Powell (producers), Nikki Anders and Peer Astrom (composers), Xavi Giménez (cinematographer), Sabrina Plisco (editor)

PLOT: Young virgin Mary (Palomo) is visited by the angel Gabriel (Lecrae), who tells her that she has been chosen by God to carry his son. She and her partner Joseph (Manheim) soon set out to the town of Bethlehem to give birth, only to find themselves targeted by the ruthless King Herod (Banderas)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The birth of Jesus is given the movie musical treatment in this faith-based adventure for the whole family to enjoy
  • Experience the familiar story that kick-started the New Testament with plenty of show-stopping numbers that will put a step in your soul
  • Disney Channel star Milo Manheim is Joseph, while Outer Banks actor Fiona Palomo plays the all-important role of Mary
  • The biggest headliner, though, is Antonio Banderas as none other than that delightful baby-murdering monarch himself, King Herod (and yes, he sings in this too!)
  • Kids who might not be familiar with the Biblical story will be able to enjoy the song-filled storytelling, while adults can appreciate the fresh new spin on this classic tale

Journey to Bethlehem is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Is There Anybody Out There? (2022, dir. Ella Glendining)

CAST: Ella Glendining

CREW: Ella Glendining (director), Janine Marmot (producer), Erland Cooper (composer), Annemarie Lean-Vercoe (cinematographer), Rachel Roberts (editor)

PLOT: Filmmaker Ella Glendining, who was born with a rare physical condition, searches for other people who share the same disability and invites them to share their own experiences…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This deeply moving and personal documentary explores the underrepresented world of disability and the devastating prejudices against it
  • It is the brainchild of filmmaker Ella Glendining, whose condition of being born with short femurs and no hip joints is so rare that there isn’t a lot of reliable information about it
  • Throughout her film, Glendining reaches out to others in similar circumstances, in the process forming a community that is united in its shared optimism and good nature
  • The film also tackles a number of issues surrounding the biased ableism that prevents those with disability, physical or otherwise, from succeeding in life
  • All the while, it gives disabled people a genuine voice that should not be ignored in cinema or society in general

Is There Anybody Out There? is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Rustin (2023, dir. George C. Wolfe)

CAST: Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, CCH Pounder, Michael Potts, Jeffrey Wright, Audra McDonald, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Bill Irwin, Gus Halper, Johnny Ramey, Lilli Kay, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Jakeem Powell, Grantham Coleman, Jamilah Rosemond, Jules Latimer, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper, Frank Harts, Kevin Mambo, Cotter Smith, Carra Patterson, Adrienne Warren, Ayana Workman

CREW: George C. Wolfe (director), Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black (writers), Bruce Cohen and Tonia Davis (producers), Branford Marsalis (composer), Tobias Schliessler (cinematographer), Andrew Mondshein (editor)

PLOT: In 1963, activist Bayard Rustin (Domingo) is tasked with helping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Ameen) and other civil rights figures organise a historic March on Washington, but eventually his sexual orientation leads him to become removed from history…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A forgotten hero of the Civil Rights Movement is finally given their moment in the spotlight, in this crowd-pleasing biographical drama about his life and successes
  • Colman Domingo puts in the performance of his career thus far as Bayard Rustin, whose noble contribution to the movement was sadly undermined by hostility at the time to the fact that he was also gay
  • The film also has a number of eye-catching supporting players, including Chris Rock in a rare dramatic turn as fellow activist Roy Wilkins, Da’Vine Joy Randolph who can soon be seen stealing scenes in The Holdovers, and Aml Ameen as the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • None other than Barack and Michelle Obama are executive producers on the film, through their production company Higher Ground Productions
  • With Domingo’s performance already gaining plenty of awards buzz, you can bet that it’s going to be a contender as one of the year’s most talked-about films

Rustin is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023, dir. Mary Lambert)

CAST: Brandy Norwood, Heather Graham, Jason Biggs, Matt Cedeño, Madison Skye Validum, Abby Villasmil, Wyatt Hunt, Nadia Sine, Janet Lo, Randy Mundy, Camille Cadarette, Chase Ramsey

CREW: Mary Lambert (director), Todd Calgi Gallicano and Charles Shyer (writers), Brad Krevoy (producer), Jeff Rona (composer), Graham Robbins (cinematographer), Jeffrey Wolf (editor)

PLOT: After receiving a boastful Christmas newsletter from her old college friend Jackie (Norwood), Charlotte (Graham) decides to drop in on her longtime frenemy mere days before the holidays, to see if Jackie’s life really is as perfect as she claims it to be…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Netflix’s festive slate kicks off with this heartwarming new comedy about the necessity of being considerate at Christmas
  • Singer-actor Brandy Norwood stars as the seemingly perfect woman who forms co-star Heather Graham’s jealous obsession (and American Pie alumni – alum-pie? – Jason Biggs is there too!)
  • The film is directed by Mary Lambert, best known for the 1989 version of Pet Sematary and the recent Netflix festive flick A Castle for Christmas
  • As you might expect, Christmas is plastered all over the screen, from its snowy landscapes to the decorations to the festive red-and-green colour palette
  • Hopefully, it will get as entertainingly bonkers as last year’s Christmas offering from Netflix, Falling for Christmas in which Lindsay Lohan got amnesia after actual Santa Claus caused an avalanche to magically occur (yes, that really happened!)

Best. Christmas. Ever! is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Thursday 16th November 2023

 

Stamped from the Beginning (2023, dir. Roger Ross Williams)

CAST: Angela Davis, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Julian Joseph, Alexa Rachelle Jennings, Lynae Vanee, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Rafa Marinho, John Gazzale, Paisley Rose Carswell, Phyllis Wheatley, Elizabeth Hinton, Imani Perry, Dorothy Roberts, Autumn Womack, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, Jennifer Morgan, Carol Anderson, Ruha Benjamin, Kellie Carter Jackson, Brittney Cooper, Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

CREW: Roger Ross Williams (director, producer), David Teague (writer, producer), Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (writer), Alisa Payne (producer), John Steven Fisher and Francesca Sharper (editors)

PLOT: The story of racist anti-Black rhetoric, and how it has persisted over the course of American history…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • After pleasing critics and audiences with his dramatized wrestler biopic Cassandro, Oscar-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams returns to the factual format for a sobering look at the history of racism
  • The film adapts Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book of the same name, and expands upon its depressing account of how prejudice, particularly towards Black people, is firmly rooted into American life
  • It combines on-screen interviews with experts that provide harrowing facts about historical racism, and lucrative animation to illustrate its devastating power
  • Some of history’s most celebrated figures, including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, are revisited under new contexts, with a stern focus on their whitewashed legacies when it comes to Black relations
  • You’ll have a whole new view of America after watching this documentary, and not necessarily for the better

Stamped from the Beginning is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Wednesday 15th November 2023

 

Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story (2023, dirs. Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz)

CAST: Tyler Perry, Ozzie Areu, Kenya Barris, Derrick Doose, Ari Emanuel, Whoopi Goldberg, Mellody Hobson, Mark Itkin, T.D. Jakes, Lucky Johnson, Gayle King, Debra Lee, Killer Mike, Keleigh Thomas Morgan, Andy Norman, Tim Palen, Michael Paseornek, Kasim Reed, Elvin Ross, Mark E. Swinton, Oprah Winfrey

CREW: Gelila Bekele (director, writer, producer), Armani Ortiz (director), Asante White and Jasmine K. White (producers), James Poyser (composer), Nelson Hume (cinematographer), Jon Bertain and Erick Sasso (editors)

PLOT: An in-depth look at the rise of entertainment icon Tyler Perry, and how he overcame childhood trauma to become one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This powerful and uplifting documentary presents the multi-faceted Tyler Perry in a whole new light
  • Filmmakers Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz explore numerous aspects of Perry’s early life, including his traumatic experiences with his father and other unspeakable crimes
  • However, the film rarely treats him as a victim, instead focusing on how Perry channelled his pain into creating his own media brand that ranks among the most lucrative in the industry
  • Perry’s numerous successes with the Madea franchise, as well as his other projects across film, television and the stage, are all covered here too, in addition to his commendable humanitarian work
  • Love him or loathe him, it’ll be impossible for you to see Tyler Perry in quite the same way again after this

Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Muzzle (2023, dir. John Stalberg Jr.)

CAST: Aaron Eckhart, Penelope Mitchell, Diego Tinoco, Paul Johansson, Kyle Smithson, Delissa Reynolds, Stephen Lang, Grainger Hines, Nick Searcy, Hemky Madera

CREW: John Stalberg Jr. (director, producer), Carlyle Eubank (writer), Ford Corbett, David Frigerio, B.D. Gunnell, Nathan Klingher and Ryan Winterstern (producers), Paul Gallister (composer), Pieter Vermeer (cinematographer), Bella Erikson (editor)

PLOT: Jake Rosser (Eckhart) is an LAPD K-9 officer who is left devastated when his K-9 partner Ace is shot dead by local drug dealers. After getting himself suspended from the force, a vengeful Rosser goes rogue and, along with vicious K-9 Socks, uncovers a deadly city-wide conspiracy…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This gritty, violent crime thriller dares to ask the question: “What if John Wick was a police procedural?”
  • Aaron Eckhart stars as the dog-avenging cop who embarks on his own vigilante mission to exact justice in his own way
  • With the famously fierce Stephen Lang in a supporting role, it shouldn’t take a genius to figure out who exactly may be behind much of the central conspiracy (though the film could still surprise in that department)
  • There is a tough-as-nails dog acting opposite Eckhart that’s as adorable as they are violently unhinged
  • With its mysterious plotting, there’s plenty of suspense and shocking revelations to keep you invested

Muzzle is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Tuesday 14th November 2023

 

Mafia Mamma (2023, dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

CAST: Toni Collette, Monica Bellucci, Sophia Nomvete, Eduardo Scarpetta, Alfonso Perugini, Francesco Mastroianni, Giulio Corso, Dora Romano, Giuseppe Zeno, Vincenzo Pirrotta, Tommy Rodger, Alessandro Cremona, Alessandro Bressanello, Tim Daish

CREW: Catherine Hardwicke (director), Michael J. Feldman and Debbie Jhoon (writers), Toni Collette, Christopher Simon and Amanda Sthers (producers), Alex Heffes (composer), Patrick Murguia (cinematographer), Waldemar Centeno (editor)

PLOT: Kristin (Collette), an American suburban mother, unexpectedly inherits her grandfather’s mafia empire in Italy. Under the guidance of local consigliere Bianca (Bellucci), Kristin soon defies everyone’s expectations, including her own, as she takes up the family business…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Toni Collette makes you an offer you can’t refuse as both the lead actor and a producer on this hilarious mafia crime comedy
  • Catherine Hardwicke is behind the camera on this, which is a radical departure for the director whose previous works include teen drama Thirteen and the first Twilight movie
  • Fans of classic mobster movies like The Godfather will find those movies and more respectfully paid homage to at several points
  • You can expect a surprising level of violence in a movie that at first seems as though it’s geared toward a safer audience
  • With laughs aplenty and many unexpected circumstances, this is a film that you’ll find yourself fascinated by

Mafia Mamma is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Dashing Through the Snow (2023, dir. Tim Story)

CAST: Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris, Oscar Nuñez, Gina Brillon, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Ravi Patel, Marcus Lewis, Madison Skye Validum, Sebastian Sozzi, Kevin Connolly, Zulay Henao

CREW: Tim Story (director, producer), Paula Pell and Scott Rosenberg (writers), John Jacobs, Will Packer and Jessica Virtue (producers), Christopher Lennertz (composer), Christopher Duskin (cinematographer), David S. Clark and David Rennie (editors)

PLOT: Eddie Garrick (Bridges), a divorced social worker who has turned his back on Christmas due to a traumatic childhood experience, takes his young daughter Charlotte (Validum) to work with him on Christmas Eve. During his shift, they encounter Nick (Howery), a seemingly delusional man in a red suit, but when they evoke the wrath of a local politician (Nuñez), Eddie and his daughter are whisked away on a magical adventure that might restore his faith in Christmas…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Director Tim Story, who earlier this year sent up the slasher movie with The Blackening, delivers a much more family-friendly new take on the classic festive film
  • In addition to starring Fast & Furious family member Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, the film also features Lil Rel Howery as a very different take on a rather familiar Christmas icon
  • It seeks to become the latest Disney film to become a regular fixture at Christmas, after certified classics like The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Santa Clause
  • There are enough surprises to enchant younger viewers, who will enjoy all the imaginative Christmas imagery
  • Filled with plenty of festive cheer and magic, it should get you right in the mood for the big day in just over a month’s time

Dashing Through the Snow is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 17th November 2023

 

Showdown at the Grand (2023, dir. Orson Oblowitz)

CAST: Terrence Howard, Dolph Lundgren, Amanda Righetti, John Savage, Piper Curda, Mike Ferguson, Eric Brenner, Clemmie Dugdale, Jose Rosete, Jon Sklaroff

CREW: Orson Oblowitz (director, writer), Christian de Gallegos and Mira Pak Howard (producers), Daniel De Lara (composer), Noah Rosenthal (cinematographer), Brett Solem (editor)

PLOT: George Fuller (Howard) is the proud owner of his beloved cinema, the Warner Grand, which is being sought after by ruthless corporate developer Lynn (Righetti). As George prepares for a film retrospective of popular action star Claude Luc Hallyday (Lundgren) with the man himself making an in-person appearance, the cinema comes under attack by violent goons sent by Lynn, forcing the two men to join forces and take the action off-screen…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • One’s love for the movies is taken to hilariously violent extremes in this fun-filled action-comedy extravaganza
  • Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren make an unlikely action hero duo as they fight and slice their way through many enemies
  • Filmmaker Orson Oblowitz gives his film the feel of an anything-goes exploitation flick from the 1970s, albeit with a modern flavour
  • Expect plenty of bloody showdowns as both Howard and Lundgren kick ass and strut their action movie charisma all over the screen
  • With the cinema as its primary setting, it is also a profound love letter to the theatrical experience that nobody can ever take away

Showdown at the Grand is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 13th November 2023

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, dir. Henry Selick)

CAST: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickley, Glenn Shadix, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Joe Ranft, Paul Reubens, Kerry Katz, Carmen Twillie, Randy Crenshaw, Lisa Donovan Lukas, Debi Durst, Glenn Walters, Sherwood Ball, John Morris, Greg Proops

CREW: Henry Selick (director), Caroline Thompson (writer), Tim Burton and Denise DiNovi (producers), Danny Elfman (composer), Pete Kozachik (cinematographer), Stan Webb (editor)

PLOT: In Halloween Town, Jack Skellington (Sarandon) leads the inhabitants as the “Pumpkin King” in their annual celebration of the spooky holiday. However, Jack has grown bored of the festivities, and after stumbling upon the festive Christmas Town, he seeks to bring the very different traditions to Halloween Town, with mixed results…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The beloved stop-motion classic makes a terrifying return to cinemas for its 30th anniversary
  • Although commonly credited to Tim Burton, the filmmaker only produced and created the story, with Henry Selick – also known for Coraline and Netflix’s Wendell & Wild – actually filling the director’s position
  • Since its release, the film has gained a devoted cult following, and if often played not just during Christmas but Halloween as well
  • Burton’s regular composer Danny Elfman wrote, composed and even sang the film’s memorable collection of original songs
  • Fans who have always wanted to see the film up on the big screen will finally get their chance, while newcomers can enjoy the theatrical experience that comes with this weird and wonderful piece of animation

The Nightmare Before Christmas is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th November 2023

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Something in the Water (2024, dir. Hayley Easton Street)

A group of friends become trapped in shark-infested waters…

The Exorcism (2024, dir. Joshua John Miller)

A troubled actor encounters something demonic on the set of his new film…

The Bikeriders (2024, dir. Jeff Nichols) – Second Helping

A 60s biker gang evolves into an increasingly dangerous group…

Arcadian (2024, dir. Benjamin Brewer)

A father cares for his two sons in a post-apocalyptic world…

Freud’s Last Session (2024, dir. Matthew Brown)

In 1939, Sigmund Freud meets with C.S. Lewis…

Inside Out 2 (2024, dir. Kelsey Mann)

A new horde of emotions cause turmoil for young teen Riley…

The Watched (2024, dir. Ishana Night Shyamalan)

A group of people are trapped in a mysterious forest where they are observed by strange creatures…

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (2024, dir. Rhys Frake-Waterfield)

A murderous Winnie-the-Pooh sets his sights on a small town…

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (2024, dirs. Arbi and Fallah)

Miami detectives Mike and Marcus find themselves on the run…

The Dead Don’t Hurt (2024, dir. Viggo Mortensen)

In Civil War-era America, a European couple find themselves separated…

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