This Week’s Movie Menu (26 February – 3 March 2024)

A truly epic week at the movies awaits you, with the big releases including an epic new chapter in a classic space opera, a hilarious teen riff on a classic piece of gothic literature, Adam Sandler in space with a giant alien spider, and much more…

Movie of the Week

 

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

CAST: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Souheila Yacoub, Tim Blake Nelson

CREW: Denis Villeneuve (director, writer, producer), Jon Spaihts (writer), Cale Boyter, Tanya Lapointe, Patrick McCormick and Mary Parent (producers), Hans Zimmer (composer), Greig Fraser (cinematographer), Joe Walker (editor)

PLOT: After being exiled on the desert planet Arrakis following a coup led by Baron Harkonnen (Skarsgård), which has resulted in the destruction of his family, Paul Atreides (Chalamet) forms an alliance with the planet’s native Fremen, including the beautiful and strong-willed Chani (Zendaya), to take revenge on his conspirators. However, as the two sides prepare to face battle, Paul must confront a terrible choice to prevent a devastating future that only he can see…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • After more than two years of waiting, the second half of director Denis Villeneuve’s two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel is finally upon us
  • Most of the star-studded cast is back, including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya (who gets a lot more to do this time), while new additions include Oscar nominees Florence Pugh and Austin Butler, as well as the legendary Christopher Walken
  • Also returning are many of the crew members that won Oscars for their work on the first film, including cinematographer Greig Fraser, and composer Hans Zimmer who once again provides plenty of euphoric musical tracks to listen in awe to
  • While the first part was considerably more world-building and stoic in tone, this one contains a lot more action, much of it on a scale that makes for truly epic filmmaking
  • With Villeneuve rumoured to be circling an adaptation of sequel novel Dune: Messiah, don’t rule out the possibility that this is the last time we’ll be on the planet of Arrakis with these characters in this stunning sci-fi universe!

Dune Part Two is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Lisa Frankenstein (2024, dir. Zelda Williams)

CAST: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Henry Eikenberry, Joe Chrest, Carla Gugino, Jenna Davis, Trina LaFargue, Paola Andino, Joshua Montes, Joey Bree Harris, Jennifer Pierce Mathus

CREW: Zelda Williams (director), Diablo Cody (writer, producer), Mason Novick (producer), Isabella Summers (composer), Paula Huidobro (cinematographer), Brad Turner (editor)

PLOT: In 1989, teenager Lisa Swallows (Newton) has developed a crush on a 19th century corpse (Sprouse). She soon brings the handsome body back to life, and the two are soon thrust onto a journey to find love, acceptance, and a few missing body parts…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Mary Shelley’s classic gothic horror story comes alive once more in this darkly funny teen-centric makeover
  • Zelda Williams, making her feature directing debut, brings to life a script by Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody, previously of Juno and Jennifer’s Body
  • Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse share unusual romantic chemistry as the film’s equivalent to Dr. Frankenstein and the nefarious creation
  • With its late 80s aesthetic, with considerable gothic overtones, it radiates neon-drenched style from every single corner of the frame
  • You’ll laugh, wince, and then laugh some more at the devilish and possibly even deadly antics that make up this strange yet endearing horror-comedy

Lisa Frankenstein is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Red Island (2023, dir. Robin Campillo)

CAST: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Quim Gutiérrez, Charlie Vauselle, Amely Rakotoarimalala, Hugues Delamarlière, Sophie Guillemin, David Serero, Luna Carpiaux, Mitia Ralaivita, Cathy Pham, Mathis Piberne, Sacha Cosar-Accaoui, Calissa Oskal-Ool

CREW: Robin Campillo (director, writer, editor), Gilles Marchand (writer), Marie-Ange Luciani (producer), Arnaud Rebotini (composer), Jeanne Lapoirie (cinematographer), Stephanie Leger and Anita Roth (editors)

PLOT: In the early 1970s, eight-year-old Thomas (Vauselle) lives with his parents Robert (Quim Gutiérrez) and Colette (Tereszkiewicz) on a French military base within the colony of Madagascar, where he frequently imagines adventures with the comic superhero Fantômette (Oskal-Ool) amidst the complicated political climate of the area…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Writer-director Robin Campillo explores the far-reaching effects of colonialism in this studious historical drama
  • Campillo took inspiration from his actual childhood, which was primarily spent in French-occupied Madagascar, for his film’s slightly more fictionalised turn of events
  • Childhood fantasies reign supreme in stark contrast to the more adult concerns of living on inhabited space
  • Unlike in the recent Oscar contender The Zone of Interest, the harsh underlying realities are directly addressed here, but never to where it takes away from the innocent perspective
  • It’s an interesting way of showing the international power that France still had in the 20th century, and should open up the conversation about colonial territories across the world

Red Island is showing in cinemas (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema) from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Four Daughters (2023, dir. Kaouther Ben Hania)

CAST: Hend Sabri, Olfa Hamrouni, Eya Chikahoui, Tayssir Chikhaoui, Nour Karoui, Ichraq Matar, Majd Mastoura

CREW: Kaouther Ben Hania (director, writer), Nadim Cheikhrouha, Martin Hampel and Thanassis Karathanos (producers), Amin Bouhafa (composer), Farouk Laâridh (cinematographer), Qutaiba Barhamji (editor)

PLOT: In Tunisia, Olfa Hamrouni is the mother of four beautiful young daughters, but after two of them suddenly disappear, filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania recruits professional actors to fill their presence, setting into motion an emotional filmic experiment…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania creates a unique portrait of patriarchal Tunisian society that firmly puts the focus on the oppressed women
  • The film blends fact and fiction seamlessly with dramatized re-enactments of moments in the central family’s life
  • It opens up a wave of emotions as the family, and the actors portraying the missing members, all struggle to cope with their overwhelming feelings of loss and oppression
  • The film has been nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar at this year’s ceremony (it was also Tunisia’s entry for the International Feature Film category, but it ultimately wasn’t nominated)
  • The power of filmmaking and its various techniques are put on full display in a film that still manages to find joy and optimism even in the darkest of moments

Four Daughters is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Theatre of Violence (2023, dirs. Lukasz Konopa and Emil Langballe)

CAST: Dominic Ongwen, Krispus Ayena

CREW: Lukasz Konopa and Emil Langballe (directors, writers), Heidi Kim Andersen and Helle Faber (producers), Markus Aust (composer), Kacper Czubak (cinematographer), Michael Aaglund and Rasmus Stensgaard Madsen (editors)

PLOT: When he was just nine years old, Dominic Ongwen was abducted from his home and conscripted into Joseph Kony’s army of child soldiers. Thirty years later, Ongwen becomes the first former child soldier to be charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court, and with lawyer Krispus Ayena by his side, Ongwen prepares to make his case…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The harrowing reality of being a child soldier is the focus of this powerful legal documentary
  • It follows former child soldier Dominic Ongwen as he attempts to convince one of the most decisive courts in the world that he is a victim rather than a true killer
  • You’ll learn what it was like to serve under Joseph Kony (the figure who briefly achieved notoriety during a short-lived online activism campaign against him in 2012) through a very close perspective
  • The case drudges up the horrors of being captured and indoctrinated into murderous lifestyles from a very early age, an all-too-common process in Africa
  • Harrowing and disturbing in one fell swoop, this is a film that dares you to confront the truth about real evils in this world

Theatre of Violence is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Driving Mum (2022, dir. Hilmar Oddsson)

CAST: Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Hera Hilmar, Tómas Lemarquis, Harpa Arnardóttir, Kjartan Bjargmundsson, Þorsteinn Gunnar Bjarnason, Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson, Pétur Eggerz, Ásgrímur Egilsson, Alexander Dantes Erlendsson, Pálmi Gestsson, Einar Gunn, Halldór Gylfason, Kolbrun Halldórsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðsson, Steiney Skúladóttir, Björn Stefánsson

CREW: Hilmar Oddsson (director, writer), Hlín Jóhannesdóttir (producer), Tõnu Kõrvits (composer), Óttar Guðnason (cinematographer), Hendrik Mägar (editor)

PLOT: In 1980, the isolated world of Jón (Gunnarsson) is shaken when his domineering mother (Kjeld) suddenly dies. As per her specific instructions, Jón transports his mother’s corpse across the country to honour her final wishes…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This darkly comedic Icelandic/Estonian road trip movie presents the unusual pairing of an introverted middle-aged man and his dead mother
  • It is the first feature by writer-director Hilmar Oddsson in fifteen years, and he’s certainly picked an odd one to return with!
  • Shot in sharp black-and-white, the film takes the viewer on a picturesque tour of the country’s most lavish landscapes
  • Stealing the show from the human cast is an adorable dog named Brezhnev, who wins some of the film’s most lovable moments
  • Its slightly morbid plot aside, there is a nice bit of heart to it that makes its themes of familial grief and mid-life cluelessness more palpable

Driving Mum is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Combat Wombat: Double Trouble (2020, dir. Ricard Cussó)

CAST: Deborah Mailman, Ed Oxenbould, Frank Woodley, Judith Lucy, George Pullar, Kate Murphy, Thomas Larkin, Adam Lochowicz, Charlotte Stent, Ricard Cussó, Sharnee Tones, Michelle McGilvray

CREW: Ricard Cussó (director), Matthew James Kinmonth (writer), Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis (producers), Ack Kinmonth (composer), Michelle McGilvray (editor)

PLOT: In the animal-populated Sanctuary City, lazy wombat Maggie Diggins (Mailman) becomes its newest hero after inadvertently saving the life of a citizen. However, her heroic deeds soon draw the ire of fellow superhero Flightless Feather (Woodley), who plots his new rival’s demise…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Crime has an unlikely new adversary in this cute and cuddly Australian superhero adventure for the whole family
  • It is one of three films in the Tales from Sanctuary City franchise, with the other two being The Wishmas Tree and Daisy Quokka
  • There is plenty of amusing slapstick to keep the little ones thoroughly entertained
  • Parents will appreciate some of the heartfelt messages that it wishes to depart onto its younger audience
  • It’s light and inoffensive family entertainment that should tide over young superhero fans until the next big offering from Marvel or DC

Combat Wombat: Double Trouble is showing in cinemas from Friday 1 March 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Spaceman (2024, dir. Johan Renck)

CAST: Adam Sandler, Paul Dano, Carey Mulligan, Kunal Nayyar, Lena Olin, Isabella Rossellini

CREW: Johan Renck (director), Colby Day (writer), Lia Buman, Reid Carolin, Tim Headington, Peter Kiernan, Michael Parets, Max Silva and Channing Tatum (producers), Max Richter (composer), Jakob Ihre (cinematographer), John Axelrad, Scott Cummings and Simon Smith (editors)

PLOT: Jakub Procházka (Sandler), a Czech astrophysicist, is selected for a solitary research mission that will take him to the edge of the universe, forcing him to leave behind his wife Lenka (Mulligan), who has begun to doubt their relationship. Desperate to fix things with Lenka whilst on the other side of the universe, Jakub receives help from an unlikely source: a giant arachnid creature named Hanuš (Dano) that is lurking in the bowels of the spaceship…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Adam Sandler delivers his most ambitious dramatic performance yet in this cerebral sci-fi drama that also stars Paul Dano and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan
  • The film is adapted from Jaroslav Kalfař’s novel Spaceman of Bohemia by screenwriter Colby Day, and director Johan Renck who previously won an Emmy for his work on the acclaimed miniseries Chernobyl
  • Some mind-bending imagery accompanies the equally surreal plot, which (believe it or not) gets stranger than giant spider aliens
  • At its centre is a meditative look at the human soul that seldom gives up, even when deep in the vacuum of space
  • It could well put Sandler in the Oscar conversation once more, which would be deserved following his overlooked roles in Punch-Drunk Love, Uncut Gems and Hustle

Spaceman is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 1 March 2024

 

Code 8: Part II (2024, dir. Jeff Chan)

CAST: Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, Sirena Gulamgaus, Altair Vincent, Alex Mallari Jr., Moe Jeudy-Lamour, Aaron Abrams, Jean Yoon

CREW: Jeff Chan (director, writer, producer), Chris Paré (writer, producer), Jesse LaVercombe and Sherren Lee (writers), Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, Steven Hoban and Matthew Kariatsumari (producers), Ryan Taubert (composer), Marie Davignon (cinematographer), Matt Lyon (editor)

PLOT: In the futuristic Lincoln City, 4% of the population has special abilities, including former convict Connor Reed (R. Amell) who now works as a janitor. When he decides to protect young teenager Pavani (Gulamgaus) from a band of corrupt cops after she witnesses a cover-up, Connor is forced to approach his former criminal associate Garrett Kelton (S. Amell) for help…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The anticipated follow-up to the gritty sci-fi surprise hit continues the story while expanding its universe
  • Actors/producers Robbie and Stephen Amell reprise their roles from the original film (and the short film it was based on), for director Jeff Chan who also returns
  • Global interest in the Code 8 franchise skyrocketed when the first film debuted on Netflix during the pandemic, which led to this sequel being made and produced in-house at the streamer
  • Plenty of cool new powers are revealed that raise the stakes even higher than before
  • It goes for broke with its identity as a sequel that one-ups everything that came before, and possibly even set the stage for a third part

Code 8: Part II is streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 28 February 2024

 

Monolith (2023, dir. Matt Vesely)

CAST: Lily Sullivan, Erik Thomson, Kate Box, Terence Crawford, Damon Herriman, Ling Cooper Tang, Ansuya Nathan, Matt Crook, Rashidi Edward, Brigid Zengeni, Belle Kalendra-Harding

CREW: Matt Vesely (director), Lucy Campbell (writer), Bettina Hamilton (producer), Benjamin Speed (composer), Michael Tessari (cinematographer), Tania Nehme (editor)

PLOT: Whilst alone in her parents’ home, a disgraced journalist (Sullivan) begins an investigative podcast about unsolved mysteries in order to revive her career. When she begins investigating the mystery surrounding a strange artefact that might be of alien origin, she uncovers a web of lies at the centre of her own story…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The truth is more out-there than ever in this chilling and unpredictable Australian sci-fi thriller
  • Lily Sullivan, previously seen wielding a chainsaw like a badass in Evil Dead Rise, is the only actor on-screen for the entire movie
  • It’s been a hit on the festival circuit, winning acclaim from audiences for its contained setting and psychological mystery elements
  • Matt Vesely makes a bold directorial debut with a concept that has been described as high-concept science-fiction
  • Most of all, it gives the art of podcasting a chance to be at the centre of some thrilling movie suspense (on that note, make sure you check out the Film Feeder podcast as well!)

Monolith is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 26 February 2024

 

Cold Meat (2024, dir. Sébastien Drouin)

CAST: Allen Leech, Nina Bergman, Yan Tual, Riley Banzer, James Barton-Steel, Gil Botelho, Kat Fullerton, Sydney Hendricks, William Kuklis

CREW: Sébastien Drouin (director, writer, editor), James Kermack (writer, producer), Andrew Desmond (writer), James Barton-Steel, Jessica Gaube, Julien Loeffler, Jana Phillips and Shayne Putzlocher (producer), Cyril Morin (composer), Ryan Petey (cinematographer)

PLOT: Whilst travelling through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, David Petersen (Leech) heroically saves young diner waitress Ana (Bergman) from her abusive husband Vincent (Tual). However, when the two of them end up becoming stranded in their car during a strong blizzard, the two of them must do whatever they can to survive…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This gripping survival thriller will leave you breathless by its many unpredictable turns
  • Downton Abbey star Allen Leech headlines a story that’s worlds apart from that fanciful world, and does things here that will give you a newfound respect for the actor
  • Some frosty cinematography keeps the threat largely away from the foreground, but filmmaker Sébastien Drouin always instils a level of dread and fear at all times
  • It wowed audiences at last year’s London FrightFest, where it received praise for its claustrophobic atmosphere and disturbing twists and turns
  • You’ll find yourself feeling as though something chilly has crept up your spine as the plot, much like the snow, thickens

Cold Meat is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 26 February 2024

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:

Abigail (2024, dirs. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)

A group of kidnappers realise that young Abigail is no ordinary child…

Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver (2024, dir. Zack Snyder)

A group of intergalactic rebels make their stand against a totalitarian regime…

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2024, dir. Rachel Lambert)

An introverted office worker befriends a new work colleague…

The Book of Clarence (2024, dir. Jeymes Samuel)

In 33 AD Jerusalem, Clarence takes advantage of the celebrity culture surrounding a certain prophet…

Back to Black (2024, dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson)

Rising singer Amy Winehouse falls in love with Blake Fielder-Civil…

Bleeding Love (2024, dir. Emma Westenberg)

A father and his addict daughter go on a road trip together…

Civil War (2024, dir. Alex Garland)

A group of journalists travel across America as it descends into a modern civil war…

The Teachers’ Lounge (2023, dir. İlker Çatak)

A teacher conducts her own investigation into a series of thefts at her school…

Seize Them! (2024, dir. Curtis Vowell)

In Medieval England, an arrogant Queen is overthrown in a rebellion…

The Trouble with Jessica (2024, dir. Matt Winn)

A dinner party descends into chaos after the arrival of an unexpected guest…

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