This Week’s Movie Menu (18 – 24 December 2023)

Seven more sleeps until the big day… and in anticipation of the fast-incoming holiday, the usual load of new film releases is a lot lighter this week, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any movies worth watching, whether it’s an aquatic superhero epic, or a romantic tale involving one of the greatest conductors of all time…

Movie of the Week

 

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023, dir. James Wan)

CAST: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, Vincent Regan, Jani Zhao, Indya Moore, Pilou Asbæk

CREW: James Wan (director, producer), David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (writer), Rob Cowan and Peter Safran (producers), Rupert Gregson-Williams (composer), Don Burgess (cinematographer), Kirk M. Morri (editor)

PLOT: Several years after ascending the throne to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, Arthur Curry (Momoa) juggles his life as a married father, and as Atlantis’ mighty warrior Aquaman. However, when vengeful former enemy David Kane (Abdul-Mateen II) resurfaces with the cursed Black Trident to unleash an ancient power upon everyone and everything that Arthur holds dear, Aquaman is forced to partner with his Atlantean half-brother Orm (Wilson) to stop Kane from destroying everything…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Jason Momoa reprises his signature role as Arthur Curry for another epic adventure as the underwater superhero Aquaman
  • Director James Wan also returns for a captivating new journey that’s filled with exciting action and dazzling effects
  • However, the film comes with a considerable amount of baggage, ranging from lengthy post-production woes to controversy surrounding the inclusion of returning actor Amber Heard, whose publicised court case against ex-husband Johnny Depp painted her in a less favourable light
  • It is also the final film under the current DC Extended Universe, which is set to be revamped following the appointment of new DC heads James Gunn and Peter Safran
  • Hopefully, though, this film will ensure that the DC Extended Universe goes out with a major splash (especially after the dismal performance of The Flash)

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is showing in cinemas from Thursday 21 December 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Sweet Sue (2023, dir. Leo Leigh)

CAST: Maggie O’Neill, Tony Pitts, Harry Trevaldwyn, Nick Holder, James Dryden, Sandy Foster, Bryony Miller, Emma Swan

CREW: Leo Leigh (director, writer), Andy Brunskill, Tim Nash and Scott O’Donnell (producers), Simona Susnea (cinematographer), Paco Sweetman (editor)

PLOT: Sue (O’Neill), a middle-aged woman, returns to the dating scene, and soon strikes up a relationship with biker Ron (Pitts) at her brother’s funeral. However, when she meets Ron’s ambitious influencer son Anthony (Trevaldwyn), she is slowly drawn into an increasingly surreal battle of wits…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Middle-aged dating is put under an absurdist spotlight in this dark British comedy
  • It is the debut feature of writer-director Leo Leigh, the son of revered British auteur Mike Leigh
  • Maggie O’Neill, best known for her role in the UK version of Shameless, puts in a compelling lead turn as the titular Sue, while Harry Trevaldwyn is gloriously devious as her young new enemy
  • The film’s grainy cinematography gives it a purely homegrown look that feels as though it time-travelled from a few decades prior
  • Uncomfortably funny but also fittingly sweet-natured in parts, this is an unusual new take on the classic rom-com template

Sweet Sue is showing in cinemas from Friday 22 December 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire (2023, dir. Zack Snyder)

CAST: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam, Michiel Huisman, Staz Nair, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Cleopatra Coleman, E. Duffy, Dustin Ceithamer, Anthony Hopkins, Jena Malone, Ed Skrein, Fra Fee, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Charlotte Maggi, Stuart Martin, Corey Stoll, Cary Elwes, Alfonso Herrera, Rhian Rees, Ray Porter

CREW: Zack Snyder (director, writer, producer, cinematographer), Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad (writers), Wesley Coller, Eric Newman and Deborah Snyder (producers), Junkie XL (composer), Dody Dorn (editor)

PLOT: In a faraway universe, where the corrupt government of the Motherworld controls everything, mysterious stranger Kora (Boutella) crash-lands on the remote moon of Veldt, where she begins a new life among a peaceful settlement of farmers. However, when the tyrannical Regent Balisarius (Fee) and his cruel emissary Admiral Noble (Skrein) discover that the farmers have been unwittingly aiding fugitive siblings Darrian (Fisher) and Devra Bloodaxe (Coleman), their only hope lies in Kora gathering a team of unlikely warriors from across the galaxy to make a stand against the Motherworld…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Zack Snyder delivers the first half of a compelling new sci-fi epic that seeks to capture the imagination of audiences everywhere
  • Snyder’s original film lists Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and the universe of Star Wars (which this project was originally developed under) as its primary influences
  • A stern ensemble cast including Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam and Djimon Hounsou make compelling cases for becoming new cinematic sci-fi heroes
  • Filled with gorgeous visuals and a keen sense of world-building, this promises to be a film that is rich with detail and endless intrigue
  • You can expect the second half of Rebel Moon, mysteriously subtitled The Scargiver, to arrive in April of next year, while there are also rumours of the film expanding into a trilogy

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 22 December 2023

 

Maestro (2023, dir. Bradley Cooper)

CAST: Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Michael Urie, Brian Klugman, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Miriam Shor, Alexa Swinton, Josh Hamilton, June Gable

CREW: Bradley Cooper (director, writer, producer), Josh Singer (writer), Fred Berner, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg (producers), Leonard Bernstein (composer), Matthew Libatique (cinematographer), Michelle Tesoro (editor)

PLOT: The lifelong relationship between renowned composer Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and his wife, actor Felicia Montealegre (Mulligan), which is complicated by Bernstein’s closeted sexual identity…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Bradley Cooper catapults himself into the awards race with his graceful directorial follow-up to A Star is Born
  • Cooper puts in a career-best turn as the legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, while Carey Mulligan is nothing short of sensational as Bernstein’s put-upon romantic partner Felicia Montealegre
  • Their tragic romance forms the undeniable core of Cooper’s film, with Bernstein’s numerous achievements wisely underplayed in favour of a much more human angle
  • Shot beautifully in crisp black-and-white for its first half, and then in burning colour for its second half, it is a gorgeously shot film that visually encapsulates the composer’s timeless appeal
  • With Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg also on-board as producers, there’s little chance that it will escape awards voters’ minds as the season heats up

Maestro is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Wednesday 20 December 2023

 

Silent Night (2023, dir. John Woo)

CAST: Joel Kinnaman, Scott Mescudi, Harold Torres, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Vinny O’Brien, Yoko Hamamura

CREW: John Woo (director, producer), Robert Archer Lynn (writer), Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christian Mercuri and Lori Tilkin (producers), Marco Beltrami (composer), Sharone Meir (cinematographer), Zach Staenberg (editor)

PLOT: Brian Godluck (Kinnaman), a devoted family man, is left devastated when his young son is caught in a gang’s deadly crossfire on Christmas Eve, which also leaves him without a voice. Over the next year, Godluck embarks on a ruthless training regimen to exact brutal vengeance…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Legendary action director John Woo is back with his first American film in twenty years
  • Woo has opted for an unusual approach to his film: there is no audible dialogue throughout the entire film, with the visuals and music telling the story in its stead
  • Joel Kinnaman works extra hard to be physically intimidating in a narrative where he literally cannot use his voice
  • Expect some brutal but beautifully choreographed action sequences this side of the John Wick universe
  • It’s a late Christmas gift for action lovers who are sick to death of the whole “is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” debate

Silent Night is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Friday 22 December 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:

The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024, dir. Renny Harlin)

A couple find themselves tormented by masked intruders…

IF (2024, dir. John Krasinski)

A young girl develops the ability to see people’s imaginary friends…

Hoard (2024, dir. Luna Carmoon)

A troubled teen begins a dysfunctional relationship with an older man…

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024, dir. Wes Ball)

Many years after the reign of Caesar, an ape-ruled kingdom comes under threat…

The Fall Guy (2024, dir. David Leitch)

A Hollywood stuntman winds up on an epic misadventure during his latest gig…

Tarot (2024, dirs. Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg)

A group of teenagers find themselves haunted after messing with spiritual tarot cards…

The Idea of You (2024, dir. Michael Showalter)

A 40-year-old single mother begins a relationship with a much younger pop star…

Love Lies Bleeding (2024, dir. Rose Glass)

A gym manager falls in love with an ambitious bodybuilder…

Jericho Ridge (2023, dir. Will Gilbey)

A group of murderous criminals target a remote Sherriff’s Office…

I.S.S. (2024, dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

A group of American and Russian astronauts find themselves up against one another…

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