THIS WEEK’S FILM RELEASES (17TH – 23RD APRIL 2023)

It’s time for another exciting week of film releases, and this week there are some seriously devilish new entries, including a brand-new chapter in a legendary horror franchise, a Screenlife mystery-thriller, and much more…

Movie of the Week

Cinemas

Streaming + On-Demand


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Evil Dead Rise (dir. Lee Cronin)

CAST: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, Nell Fisher, Mia Challis, Tai Wano, Jayden Daniels, Billy Reynolds-McCarthy

CREW: Lee Cronin (director, writer), Rob Tapert (producer), Stephen McKeon (composer), Dave Garbett (cinematographer), Bryan Shaw (editor)

PLOT: Beth (Sullivan) pays a visit to her estranged sister Ellie (Sutherland), who is raising her three children Danny (Davies), Bridget (Echols) and Kassie (Fisher) alone in a tiny city apartment. However, their reunion is interrupted by the discovery of a mysterious book in the basement of Ellie’s building, which unleashes a terrifying horde of flesh-possessing demons and thrusting the family into a nightmarish situation…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The cult classic Evil Dead film series is granted a whole new possession in this terrifying fifth entry, following Sam Raimi’s original trilogy and Fede Álvarez’s 2013 remake

2) Although the film was originally intended for streaming, it was upgraded to a fully-fledged theatrical release after reportedly positive test screenings, to give wider audiences the in-cinema scares that they deserve

3) There’s all the unhinged gore and supernatural mayhem you’d expect from an Evil Dead movie, which here transplants the action out of the woods and into a more civilised city setting for the first time

4) Raimi is also on-board as an executive producer (as is original star Bruce Campbell), supporting franchise newcomer Lee Cronin with what is said to be the most familial entry yet

5) The series’ trademark over-the-top, pitch-black humour is reinstated here as well, allowing audiences to feel jovial as well as utterly terrified

Evil Dead Rise is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023


WHAT’S COMING TO CINEMAS THIS

WEEK?

Missing (dirs. Nick Johnson and Will Merrick)

CAST: Storm Reid, Ken Leung, Nia Long, Joaquim de Almeida, Daniel Henney, Amy Landecker, Tim Griffin, Michael Segovia, Megan Suri, Johanna Braddy, Ava Zaria Lee

CREW: Nick Johnson and Will Merrick (directors, writers), Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian (producers), Julian Scherle (composer), Steven Holleran (cinematographer), Austin Keeling and Arielle Zakowski (editors)

PLOT: Rebellious teen June (Reid) is left home alone when her mother Grace (Long) goes on holiday to Colombia with her new boyfriend Kevin (Leung). However, when Grace mysteriously goes missing, June utilises her home technology to slip under the international red tape and investigate her mother’s disappearance, eventually uncovering some dark secrets about who she may really be…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The film is the latest in the relatively new “screenlife” genre, where the story is told entirely through the perspective of phones, computer screens, webcams and other modern technological devices (films like Host or Unfriended)

2) It is also a standalone sequel to the hit screenlife film Searching, which cleverly used the gimmick in the style of a thriller, as does this intense new story

3) That film’s editors, Nick Johnson and Will Merrick, make their directorial debuts as they fill in for original director Aneesh Chaganty, who still serves as a producer here

4) Young actor Storm Reid delivers a compelling lead performance that feels more natural thanks to the type of cameras that she’s using throughout

5) There are twists and turns aplenty as the plot unfolds more and more, leaving you constantly on the edge of your seat

Missing is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

How to Blow Up a Pipeline (dir. Daniel Goldhaber)

CAST: Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane, Jayme Lawson, Marcus Scribner, Jake Weary, Irene Bedard

CREW: Daniel Goldhaber (director, writer, producer), Ariela Barer (writer, producer), Jordan Sjol (writer), Alex Black, Alex Hughes, Isa Mazzei, Adam Wyatt Tate and David Grove Churchill Viste (producers), Gavin Brivik (composer), Tehillah De Castro (cinematographer), Daniel Garber (editor)

PLOT: A group of young environmental activists from across the country come together in west Texas to execute a plan to sabotage an oil pipeline by blowing it up. As their plan begins to fall into place, the starkly different motivations behind each member of the group are slowly revealed…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Filmmaker Daniel Goldhaber’s adaptation of Andreas Malm’s controversial non-fiction book of the same name is a thrilling call to arms in today’s activist climate, as well as a hugely effective nail-biting thriller in its own right

2) Co-writer Ariela Barer also performs in the film, alongside a feisty ensemble that includes esteemed young veterans Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck and Lukas Gage

3) There are devilish nods to the heist movie genre, and other character-based crime thrillers like Reservoir Dogs

4) It’s played like gangbusters at festivals around the world, with both critics and audiences labelling it an early movie highlight of 2023

5) With radical groups like Extinction Rebellion continuing to make headlines for their extreme actions against climate change, it feels especially relevant as the world grows closer to the point of no return

How to Blow Up a Pipeline is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan (dir. Martin Bourboulon)

CAST: François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Pio Marmaï, Romain Duris, Eva Green, Lyna Khoudri, Louis Garrel, Vicky Krieps, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Alexis Michalik, Patrick Mille, Ivan Franek, Ralph Amoussou

CREW: Martin Bourboulon (director), Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière (writers), Dimitri Rassam (producer), Guillaume Roussel (composer), Nicolas Bolduc (cinematographer), Célia Lafitedupont (editor)

PLOT: After being left for dead by attackers, a spirited young man named D’Artagnan (Civil) arrives in Paris for revenge, but ends up joining the ranks of musketeers Athos (Cassel), Porthos (Marmaï) and Aramis (Duris) in a battle for the soul of France, and goes up against the nefarious Milady de Winter (Green)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The timeless novel by Alexandre Dumas is adapted once more into an ambitious new French-language blockbuster, co-produced by France, Germany and Spain

2) International A-listers such as Eva Green, Vincent Cassel, Vicky Krieps and Louis Garrel form the impressive ensemble cast

3) It is the first part of a two-movie adaptation, with the following film – titled The Three Musketeers: Milady – set for release later in the year

4) Both movies were filmed back-to-back over seven months on a budget of $70 million, making it one of the more costly European productions in recent memory

5) With vast landscapes and thrilling action, this could well be a Three Musketeers retelling for the ages

The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

A Thousand and One (dir. A.V. Rockwell)

CAST: Teyana Taylor, Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney, Josiah Cross, Will Catlett, Terri Abney

CREW: A.V. Rockwell (director, writer), Julia Lebedev, Rishi Rajani, Eddie Vaisman, Lena Waithe and Brad Weston (producers), Gary Gunn (composer), Eric K. Yue (cinematographer), Sabine Hoffman and Kristan Sprague (editors)

PLOT: In early 90s Harlem, the unapologetically free-spirited Inez (Taylor) spots her young son Terry (Adetola), who had been placed in the foster system during her stint in prison. Realising that he is unhappy with being in the system, Inez decides to unlawfully take him home with her, where the two of them struggle to reclaim their sense of home and identity in a world that is rapidly changing around them…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This beautiful mother-son tale is an emotional and captivating saga from first-time feature filmmaker A.V. Rockwell

2) Musician/actress Teyana Taylor gives a heart-wrenching performance as a volatile but dedicated mother with a heart of gold

3) The film is already a major hit with critics and audiences, having been awarded the US Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival

4) Its multi-year timeline, as well as its focus on a fractured mother-son relationship, are undoubtedly going to inspire comparisons to Moonlight, but what movie doesn’t want to be compared to that Best Picture Oscar winner?

5) Bring plenty of tissues with you, because odds are that this film will move you to tears!

A Thousand and One is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

Junk Head (dir. Takehide Hori)

CAST: Takehide Hori, Atsuko Miyake, Yuki Sugiyama

CREW: Takehide Hori (director, writer, composer, cinematographer, editor), Kent Yoshida (producer), Yoshiki Kondo (composer)

PLOT: In the distant future, where humans have become near-extinct after losing their ability to procreate, a cyborg explorer is sent underground to a separate society inhabited by rebellious man-made species, in order to find a possible cure for a virus on the surface world…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This stop-motion Japanese sci-fi thriller is a daring, unique, and wholly original dystopian tale mixed with passionate hand-made animation

2) It’s even more impressive when you know that filmmaker Takehide Hori made much of the film on his own, constructing the sets, puppets, effects, lighting et al himself over a period of seven years

3) There are some nightmarish creatures lurking about that call back to H.R. Geiger’s infamous designs for the Alien franchise

4) It is receiving an enthusiastic response from audiences all over the world, with even Guillermo del Toro singing its praises online

5) It is said to be part of an expansive trilogy, so keep an eye open for further adventures in this strange sci-fi world

Junk Head is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

Sick of Myself (dir. Kristoffer Borgli)

CAST: Kristine Kujath Thorp, Eirik Sæther, Fanny Vaager, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Henrik Mestad, Anders Danielsen Lie, Steinar Klouman Hallert, Fredrik Stenberg Ditlev-Simonsen, Sarah Francesca Brænne, Ingrid Vollan

CREW: Kristoffer Borgli (director, writer, editor), Dyveke Bjørkly Graver and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar (producers), Turns (composer), Benjamin Loeb (cinematographer)

PLOT: Signe (Thorp) is in an unhealthily competitive relationship with Thomas (Sæther), who has just found mainstream success as an artist. In response, Signe desperately constructs an alarming new persona that is designed to earn her sympathy and attention, but at the cost of her own morality…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This darkly funny Norwegian comedy is a sharp satire of contemporary narcissism and dysfunctional relationships

2) It features a blistering breakout turn by lead Kristine Kujath Thorp, who plays a character that often leaves you in a state of shock with their increasing lack of humanity

3) Anders Danielsen Lie, of The Worst Person in the World, cameos as a doctor in a pivotal scene – which ties into the fact that he is, funnily enough, a licenced doctor in real life!

4) Debut filmmaker Kristoffer Borgli takes some cues from fellow Scandinavian director Ruben Östlund in his take-no-prisoners commentary on modern society

5) Even when you’re not sure whether to laugh or cringe, you’re bound to feel some powerful emotions whilst watching it!

Sick of Myself is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

A Clever Woman (dir. Jon Sanders)

CAST: Josie Lawrence, Tanya Myers, James Northcote, Anna Mottram, Bob Goody

CREW: Jon Sanders (director, writer, producer), Anna Mottram (writer, producer), Douglas Finch (composer), David Scott (cinematographer), Jamie Benyon (editor)

PLOT: A year after their composer mother’s death, sisters and performance artists Phoebe (Lawrence) and Dot (Myers) return to their childhood home on the Isle of Wight to sort through their late mother’s things before putting her house on the market. During their time at the house, the sisters craft a site-specific performance piece about the complex relationship they shared with her, which forces them to confront the ghosts of their past…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This experimental drama offers an original dissection of the grieving process, one that’s both funny and endearing

2) Josie Lawrence and Tanya Myers shine as on-screen sisters with a shared sense of theatricality between them

3) The Isle of Wight serves as the backdrop, which lends a pleasant atmosphere to the story

4) Director Jon Sanders, along with fellow writer and producer Anna Mottram, encouraged an improvisational approach on set, allowing for some raw emotion and realistic performances in the style of Jamie Adams

5) You’ll be surprised by how much it emotionally engages you, whether you’re laughing or crying from the revelations that are slowly uncovered

A Clever Woman is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023

Pacifiction (dir. Albert Serra)

CAST: Benoît Magimel, Pahoa Mahagafanau, Marc Susini, Matahi Pambrun, Alexandre Melo, Sergi López, Montse Triola, Michael Vautor, Cécile Guilbert, Lluís Serrat, Mike Landscape, Cyrus Arai, Mareva Wong, Baptiste Pinteaux, Laurent Brissonnaud, Florence Garneau, Práxedes de Vilallonga, Jean-Philippe Tahitua, Hinatea Boosie, Eva Bourgeois

CREW: Albert Serra (director, writer, producer, editor), Léa Bardet, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Dirk Decker, Joaquim Sapinho, Andrea Schütte, Montse Triola and Marta Alves (producers), Joe Robinson and Marc Verdaguer (composers), Artur Tort (cinematographer, editor), Ariadna Ribas (editor)

PLOT: On the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, De Roller (Magimel) is a French government official and the High Commissioner of the Republic who navigates the elite and working-class communities with ease. However, when a mysterious submarine sighting brings about rumours of nuclear activity, De Roller is forced to confront reality…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Acclaimed French filmmaker Albert Serra presents an unusual comedy-drama about taking responsibility for our own actions, even when it may be too late

2) Lead actor Benoît Magimel drifts across the screen in a care-free performance that’s full of wit, eccentricity, and boiling humanity

3) At almost three hours long, it’s got quite an epic scope to it (which itself was edited down from a reported 500 hours’ worth of footage, 200 of which with dialogue and sound recording)

4) It received a mostly warm welcome at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was met with some division amongst audiences

5) The plot has a tinge of noir to it, as well as some unexpectedly apocalyptic overtones which help make it just a bit more unpredictable

Pacifiction is showing in cinemas from Friday 21st April 2023


WHAT’S COMING TO

STREAMING/ON-DEMAND

THIS WEEK?

Ghosted (dir. Dexter Fletcher)

CAST: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Mike Moh, Tim Blake Nelson, Marwan Kenzari, Anna Deavere Smith, Lizze Broadway, Mustafa Shakir, Tiya Sircar, Amy Sedaris, Tate Donovan, Scott Vogel, Burn Gorman, Fahim Fazil, Marisol Correa, Gina Jun, Victoria Kelleher, Sasha Go, Bailey MB, Daniel Eghan

CREW: Dexter Fletcher (director), Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (writers, producers), Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (writers), Jules Daly, David Ellison, Chris Evans, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger (producers), Salvatore Totino (cinematographer), Chris Lebenzon, Jim May and Josh Schaeffer (editors)

PLOT: Cole (Evans) falls in love with the enigmatic Sadie (de Armas) after they share a single date with each other. However, when she fails to respond to his texts after she leaves for work abroad, Cole is persuaded to follow her to London as a romantic gesture – only to quickly discover that she is a secret agent working for the CIA, and finds himself accompanying her on a dangerous international mission that could save the world…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Knives Out co-stars Chris Evans and Ana de Armas share sparkling romantic and action chemistry in this high-concept Apple blockbuster

2) Oscar nominee de Armas fills in for original actress Scarlett Johansson (who had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict), so we were very close to a mini-Avengers reunion between her and the former Captain America!

3) Deadpool and Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick provide the screenplay, bringing their trademark snark and wit to the intense action

4) Dexter Fletcher directs his first feature since Elton John biopic Rocketman, while Top Gun: Maverick producer David Ellison spearheads the production through his Skydance production company

5) With plenty of explosive set-pieces and international locations, you can expect just as much popcorn entertainment as there is plenty of star power with its two leads

Ghosted is streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ from Friday 21st April 2023

Kindling (dir. Connor O’Hara)

CAST: George Somner, Conrad Khan, Wilson Mbomio, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Rory J. Saper, Kaine Zajaz, Geoff Bell, Tara Fitzgerald, Ocean Navarro, Hattie Gotobed, Jill Stanford

CREW: Connor O’Hara (director, writer), Mark Foligno and Jamie Gamache (producers), Harry Brokensha (composer), David Wright (cinematographer), Sarah Peczek (editor)

PLOT: After learning that he has a terminal illness, Sid (Somner) reunites with his childhood friends in their hometown, where he tasks each of them with finding a memento of their friendship that will be used for a ritual which he believes will make him last forever…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Filmmaker Connor O’Hara adapts his 2016 short film Infinate (which featured George Mackay in a starring role) into a feature that tugs extraordinarily hard on the heartstrings

2) Sex Education star George Somner heads an eclectic young cast, which also includes BAFTA-nominee Conrad Khan and Wilson Mbomio of The Witcher fame

3) It explores a coming-of-age arc that’s cruelly on borrowed time, as well as the formidable bonds of friendship that last well beyond the eventual expiry date

4) Despite the upsetting material, it offers a life-affirming message that proves how capable we are of caring for our dearest and closest friends

5) It’s a chance to see what Somner can do in a more dramatic role before he ventures into blockbuster territory with a small but crucial role in the upcoming prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Kindling will be available to rent/buy on digital platforms, and is showing in cinemas, from Friday 21st April 2023

Quasi (dir. Kevin Heffernan)

CAST: Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Adrianne Palicki, Gabriel Hogan

CREW: Kevin Heffernan (director, writer), Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske (writers), John Cheng, Richard Perello, Russell Simmons and Jake Stein (producers), Jason Akana (composer), Joe Collins (cinematographer), Frank McGrath (editor)

PLOT: Quasimodo (Lemme), a hapless hunchback who yearns for love, finds himself caught in the middle of a murderous feud between the Pope (Soter) and the King of France (Chandrasekhar), both of whom hire Quasimodo to kill the other…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Broken Lizard, the comedy troupe behind cult comedy classics like Super Troopers, Club Dread and Beerfest, are back with a hilarious new take on Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame

2) In addition to writing the screenplay, performers Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan (who also directs), Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske take on prominent roles where they get to flex their full comedic talents

3) Other non-members of the troupe playing major parts include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Orville actor Adrianne Palicki, who is said to play a very eye-catching role in the story

4) The troupe’s trademark gross-out humour lends to some highly silly gags which both parody and honour the timeless original novel

5) With Disney said to be mooting a live-action remake of their own take on the source material, this could well lead into public appetites for a whole new wave of major film adaptations

Quasi is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 21st April 2023

Judy Blume Forever (dirs. Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok)

CAST: Judy Blume, Molly Ringwald, Samantha Bee, Tayari Jones, Justin Chanda, Anna Konkle, Lorrie Kim, Lena Dunham, Mary H.K. Choi, Jason Reynolds

CREW: Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok (directors, producers), Sara Bernstein, Marcella Steingart and Justin Wilkes (producers), Lauren Culjak (composer), Jenni Morello and Emily Topper (cinematographers), Tal Ben-David (editor)

PLOT: A look at the life and career of children’s author Judy Blume, whose stories concerning taboo adolescent subject matter caught the publishing industry off guard, but also earned her a special fandom…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The legendary author Judy Blume, who gained attention with eye-opening youth-oriented books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, is the focus of this inspiring new biographical documentary

2) It explores Blume’s varied career, including the criticisms and controversies she faced due to their sensitive subject matter, despite the fact that they simply show children how their bodies work

3) Several of Blume’s fans, both young and old (and even famous) are interviewed on-camera, along with Blume herself

4) It highlights hot-button issues like censorship, book banning, and the freedom of artistic expression

5) It serves as a nice introduction to the author for anyone unfamiliar with her work, right before the first major film adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, which is due for release next month

Judy Blume Forever is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 21st April 2023


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

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