THIS WEEK’S FILM RELEASES (22ND – 28TH MAY 2023)

It’s time to dive into a brand-new week of film releases, and on the menu this week we have a live-action rendition of a beloved Disney musical, a mind-bending crime thriller, a characteristically weird David Lynch classic, and more…

Movie of the Week

Cinemas

Streaming + On-Demand

Re-Releases


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

The Little Mermaid (2023, dir. Rob Marshall)

CAST: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay, Noma Dumezwani, Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, Art Malik, Lorena Andrea, Simone Ashley, Kajsa Mohammar, Nathalie Sorrell, Karolina Conchet, Sienna King, Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Emily Coates, John Dagleish, Adrian Christopher

CREW: Rob Marshall (director, producer), David Magee (writer), John DeLuca, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Marc Platt (producers), Alan Menken (composer), Dion Beebe (cinematographer), Wyatt Smith (editor)

PLOT: In the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, mermaid Ariel (Bailey), the youngest daughter of King Triton (Bardem), dreams of exploring the human world after she rescues Prince Eric (Hauer-King) from a shipwreck. To achieve this, she visits the sea witch Ursula (McCarthy), who tricks her into trading her voice for a pair of legs with which she can experience life on the surface, which soon puts her life and her kingdom in jeopardy…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Disney’s classic 1989 adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s timeless fairy tale, which is credited with revitalised the company after a string of flops and bringing about a new era of animated hits, is remade as a colourful and vibrant live-action musical epic

2) Halle Bailey portrays the iconic Disney princess Ariel, and brings her incredible singing as well as a natural screen presence to the classic role

3) The Alan Menken-penned songs you know and love are present here, with some fresh amendments to bring the story-aiding lyrics up to date with a modern world

4) Lin-Manuel Miranda reunites with his Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall and writer David Magee to provide some new additions to the soundtrack

5) It’s bound to awaken the nostalgia in older fans of the animated original, and charm a new generation of audiences who may be entirely new to the whimsical story

The Little Mermaid is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023


WHAT’S SHOWING IN

CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Hypnotic (2023, dir. Robert Rodriguez)

CAST: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, J.D. Pardo, Hala Finley, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley, William Fichtner

CREW: Robert Rodriguez (director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor), Max Borenstein (writer), Guy Botham, Lisa Ellzey, Mark Gill, John Graham and Jeff Robinov (producers), Rebel Rodriguez (composer), Pablo Berron (cinematographer)

PLOT: In the city of Austin, Texas, detective Danny Rourke (Affleck) is determined to find his missing daughter, but soon becomes drawn to a series of reality-bending heists that cause him to question his reality and everything he believes in. With the help of gifted psychic Diana Cruz (Braga), Rourke finds himself in pursuit of, and pursued by, a mysterious and lethal figure (Fichtner) who may hold the key to his daughter’s whereabouts…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez returns with this mind-bending sci-fi crime thriller that will leave you questioning just about everything

2) Ben Affleck is on gritty form in a role that requires a considerable amount of psychological torment (though after his well-publicized negative experience filming Justice League, this should be a walk in the park by comparison!)

3) The ever-sinister William Fichtner plays a compelling villain with an unusual power that is both creepy and legitimately threatening

4) Rodriguez wrote the original screenplay (since rewritten by Godzilla vs. Kong writer Max Borenstein) all the way back in 2002, and has even called it one of his favourite stories

5) Some of Rodriguez’s family members are also on board in various behind-the-scenes roles, including son Rebel who provides the film’s score and daughter Rhiannon who provided storyboards, making this tense psychological thriller a surprising family affair

Hypnotic is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023

Master Gardener (2023, dir. Paul Schrader)

CAST: Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Quintessa Swindell, Esai Morales, Erika Ashley

CREW: Paul Schrader (director, writer), Amanda Crittenden, David Gonzales and Scott LaStaiti (producers), Devonté Hynes (composer), Alexander Dynan (cinematographer), Benjamin Rodriguez Jr. (editor)

PLOT: Narvel Roth (Edgerton) is the meticulous horticulturalist of the luscious Gracewood Gardens estate, which is owned by wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (Weaver) who one day instructs Narvel to take her troubled great-niece Maya (Swindell) under his wing as an apprentice. However, Narvel soon finds his world being thrown to chaos when dark truths about his past begin to resurface…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Paul Schrader, the filmmaker previously known for writing some of Martin Scorsese’s most famous films including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ, presents a chilling new thriller where nothing is as it seems

2) Joel Edgerton delivers a masterfully restrained lead performance opposite formidable supporting players Sigourney Weaver and Quintessa Swindell

3) In true Schrader fashion, the film features moments of violence and suspense that border on uncomfortable to watch

4) It also features a gorgeous display of flower arrangement, featuring some beautiful plants that will send real-life gardeners into a state of euphoria

5) There are dark twists, intimate scenes of romance, and the odd bit of dark comedy to make this an evenly balanced viewing experience

Master Gardener is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023

Sisu (2023, dir. Jalmari Helander)

CAST: Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa Willamo, Onni Tommila, Arttu Kapulainen

CREW: Jalmari Helander (director, writer), Petri Jokiranta (producer), Juri Seppä and Tuomas Wäinölä (composers), Kjell Lagerroos (cinematographer), Juho Virolainen (editor)

PLOT: In 1944 Lapland, solitary prospector Aatami Korpi (Tommila) uncovers an underground bed of solid gold, but whilst on his way to deliver it to the nearby town, he is accosted by Nazi soldiers, led by their ruthless officer Bruno Helldorf (Hennie), who take the gold for themselves. Unbeknownst to them, Aatami was once a lethal fighter nicknamed “The Immortal”, and he unleashes his violent fury upon the Nazis to get his gold back…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Get ready for plenty of gory wartime violence in this high-octane action thriller set at a point during the Second World War when the Nazis were finally beginning to show their weakness

2) Finnish auteur Jalmari Helander, previously of the festive action-thriller Rare Exports and action-adventure Big Game featuring Samuel L. Jackson as the President of the United States, unleashes his inner exploitation filmmaker with a throwback style that calls to mind some of Quentin Tarantino’s similar homages

3) Actor Jorma Tommila, who has appeared in all of Helander’s films so far, introduces the world to a more rugged kind of action hero that mercilessly takes no prisoners

4) The title refers to the Finnish mindset that has no direct translation to English, but can be described as someone that shows great determination, bravery and grit (among other things)

5) There’s plenty of Nazi-killing, grenade-launching action for audiences to consider this a potential cult classic of the future

Sisu is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023

Full Time (2022, dir. Éric Gravel)

CAST: Laure Calamy, Anne Suarez, Geneviève Mnich, Nolan Arizmendi, Sasha Lemaitre Cremaschi, Cyril Gueï, Lucie Gallo, Agathe Dronne, Mathilde Weil, Dana Fiaque, Olivier Faliez, Marème N’Diaye, Irina Muluile, Aymeline Alix, Carima Amarouche

CREW: Éric Gravel (director, writer), Raphaëlle Delauche and Nicolas Sanfaute (producers), Irène Drésel (composer), Victor Seguin (cinematographer), Mathilde Van de Moortel (editor)

PLOT: Julie (Calamy) is a single mother working an exhausting job as a maid in a fancy Parisian hotel, with her frantic daily routine including looking after her children and finding more suitable work always leaving her with hardly a moment’s rest. One day, she finally receives a job interview that could change everything, but with her hectic schedule and an impending train strike standing in her way, she desperately tries to find a way around it all…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Not since Uncut Gems has there been a pressure-cooker thriller quite as stressful and as unbelievably intense as this gripping French drama

2) Actor Laure Calamy, known for breakout series Call My Agent! and last year’s sex worker drama Her Way, is on fiery form in perhaps the most challenging role of her career, where she also trained to perfect the routine of hotel maids

3) Calamy won the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2021, while the film’s writer and director Éric Gravel also picked up the festival’s Best Director trophy

4) The film brings front and centre the unnerving grip of reality on working civilians, especially mothers who also have children to feed and look after

5) Never letting up even for a second until the film reaches a powerful crescendo, don’t be surprised if your heart is palpitating rapidly as you follow this character on her nervous journey

Full Time is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023

My Fairy Troublemaker (2022, dir. Caroline Origer)

CAST: Jella Haase, Lisa-Marie Koroll, Alex Avenell, Julian Mau, Merete Brettschneider, John Chadwick, Tammo Kaulbarsch, Tim Grobe, Lukian Rusari, Jörn Linnenbröker, Marion Von Stengel, Jessica McIntyre, Aileen Mythen, Lucy Carolan

CREW: Caroline Origer (director), Silja Clemens (writer), Mark Mertens, Jean-Marie Musique, Christine Parisse, Sebastian Runschke, Ilona Schultz and Maite Wokoeck (producers), Martin Lingnau and Ingmar Süberkrüb (composers), Claudio Hernández (editor)

PLOT: After failing her tooth fairy exam, mischievous young fairy Violetta (Haase) sneaks into the world of humans, and ends up befriending 12-year-old girl Maxie (Koroll), who helps her get back to her world before it’s too late…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This charming CG-animated production by Luxembourg company Fabrique d’Images, who also made the Two by Two movies and Luis and the Aliens, presents a magical new story that children can enjoy this half-term

2) It was also made with assistance from German studios SERU Animation and Ella Film, giving it a healthy international identity

3) The animation is bright and colourful which should help draw children’s attention for its running time

4) A magical world of fairies is explored in glorious detail, setting the viewers’ imaginations into full active mode

5) It’s an endearing tale of friendship that proves that strong bonds can form from the most unlikely of places

My Fairy Troublemaker is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 2023


WHAT’S SHOWING

AT HOME

THIS WEEK

(STREAMING AND

ON-DEMAND)?

To Catch a Killer (2023, dir. Damián Szifron)

CAST: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo, Ralph Ineson, Rosemary Dunsmore, Michael Cram, Jason Cavalier, Mark Camacho

CREW: Damián Szifron (director, writer, editor), Jonathan Wakeham (writer), Stuart Manashil, Aaron Ryder and Shailene Woodley (producers), Carter Burwell (composer), Javier Julia (cinematographer)

PLOT: In Baltimore, talented but troubled cop Eleanor Falco (Woodley) is recruited by FBI investigator Geoffrey Lammark (Ben Mendelsohn) to help identify and locate a dangerous serial killer, using her own tortured psyche as a means of understanding their own behaviour…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley embraces her inner Clarice Starling for a starring role in this dark crime thriller

2) Woodley also produces the film, which marks the English-language debut of Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron (known for the Oscar-nominated anthology movie Wild Tales)

3) Ben Mendelsohn is on hand for some heavy support, and look out for Ralph Ineson in a seriously intimidating part

4) The film recalls the days when moody and sinister procedural dramas like Se7en and Zodiac earned critical and audience appraisal

5) You’ll be guessing right up until the very end, a tactic often reserved for the very best of these kinds of movies!

To Catch a Killer is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Saturday 27th May 2023

Blood and Gold (2023, dir. Peter Thorwarth)

CAST: Robert Maaser, Marie Hacke,Alexander Scheer, Roy McCrerey, Jördis Triebel, Nele Kiper, Stephan Grossmann, Simson Bubbel, Florian Schmidtke, Juri Senft, Petra Zieser, Gisela Aderhold, Tomas Karel, Andreas Bichler, Simon Rupp, Heiko Schaffartzik, Christian Schneeweiß

CREW: Peter Thorwarth (director), Stefan Barth (writer), Christian Becker and Amara Palacios (producers), Jessica de Rooij and Hendrik Nölle (composers), Marc Achenbach (cinematographer); Knut Hake (editor)

PLOT: In 1945, as the Second World War enters its final days, courageous farmer Elsa (Hacke) saves German deserter Heinrich (Maaser) from execution by his fellow soldiers for setting off to find his daughter. United by their common enemy, and their desire to find and protect their families, Heinrich and Elsa set out to track down hidden Jewish treasure before the Nazis can get to it…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Netflix’s investment in German war cinema continues to be a thriving enterprise for the streamer, following the monumental awards success of All Quiet on the Western Front

2) This one is much more action-packed, and adventurous in spirit with its central mission of finding hidden treasure in the dying days of Nazi Germany

3) Robert Maaser and Marie Hacke make for a compatible pair of action heroes, while there’s also a bit of good disability representation with a supporting role for actor Simon Rupp, who has Down Syndrome

4) Director Peter Thorwarth previously directed the surprise horror hit Blood Red Sky for Netflix, and here offers just as much gore and crowd-pleasing violence

5) It’s a thrilling action-adventure romp that gives audiences the kind of escapist thrills that they may be looking for

Blood and Gold is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 26th May 2023

Little Bone Lodge (2023, dir. Matthias Hoene)

CAST: Joely Richardson, Neil Linpow, Sadie Soverall, Harry Cadby, Cameron Jack, Roger Ajogbe, Euan Bennet, Jamie Melrose, Clifford Samuel, Sharon Young

CREW: Matthias Hoene (director), Neil Linpow (writer), Mark Lane (producer), Christopher Carmichael (composer), Job Reineke (cinematographer), Niles Howard (editor)

PLOT: One night in the Scottish Highlands, Mama (Richardson) and her teenage daughter Maisy (Soverall) celebrate the birthday of their wheelchair-bound Pa (Ajogbe). A knock at the door suddenly brings in two unexpected guests: Matty (Cadby) and his brother Jack (Linpow), criminals on the run who soon take the family hostage. However, the brothers soon discover that the family, and especially Mama, is hiding some dark secrets of their own…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) It’s hard to predict what will happen next in this home invasion thriller that quickly morphs into a number of different, and equally unexpected, genres

2) Joely Richardson plays a fearful family matriarch who’s far from a typical hostage victim, and makes effective use of her character’s mysterious nature

3) Director Matthias Hoene, of Cockneys vs Zombies fame, executes a script by Neil Linpow, who also takes on a major role in the film

4) The chilling atmosphere of the Scottish Highlands provides a tense backdrop for all the gruesome activity that unfolds

5) It blends a bunch of seemingly familiar strands together to make something that’s far from conventional

Little Bone Lodge is available to rent/buy on most digital platforms from Monday 22nd May 2023

Bed Rest (2022, dir. Lori Evans Taylor)

CAST: Melissa Barrera, Guy Burnet, Kristen Harris, Erik Athavale, Edie Inksetter, Kristen Sawatzky, Paul Essiembre, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Lennox Denyer

CREW: Lori Evans Taylor (director, writer, producer), Melissa Barrera, Paul Neinstein, William Sherak and James Vanderbilt (producers), Chris Forsgren (composer), Jean-Philippe Bernier (cinematographer), Liz Calandrello (editor)

PLOT: Julie (Barrera) and her husband Daniel (Burnet) move into a new house where they intend to start their new life together. Since Julie is seven months pregnant, she is ordered to mandatory bed rest, but soon begins to experience a series of supernatural events which she isn’t sure is actually happening or a figment of her anxious imagination…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Melissa Barrera, star of In the Heights and the two recent Scream movies, shines in a very different horror movie that deals with deep psychological terrors

2) The actor also produces alongside the film’s writer and director Lori Evans Taylor, and her Scream screenwriter (Scream-writer?) James Vanderbilt

3) Anyone who’s had major fears and anxieties during the later stages of pregnancy may recognise some of the fears that Barrera’s character experiences here

4) It was originally set to be distributed theatrically by STX Entertainment, but following the company’s collapse the movie moved to streaming (with platform Tubi distributing it exclusively in the United States)

5) There are spooky chills and engaging psychological drama to keep you on the edge of your seat (or bed, if you too are resting up before the little bundle arrives)

Bed Rest is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Wednesday 24th May 2023

Unclenching the Fists (2021, dir. Kira Kovalenko)

CAST: Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov, Arsen Khetagurov, Milana Pagieva

CREW: Kira Kovalenko (director, writer), Lyubov Mulmenko and Anton Yarush (writers), Natalya Gorina, Sergey Melkumov and Alexander Rodnyansky (producers), Pavel Fomintsev (cinematographer), Vincent Deyvaux and Mukharam Kabulova (editors)

PLOT: In a small industrial town in North Ossetia, Russia, Ada (Aguzarova) and her siblings Akim (Khugaev) and Dakko (Bibilov) are kept under close watch by her overprotective father Zaur (Karaev). Determined to escape her isolated life however she can and as soon as she can, Ada ends up tearing open some old family wounds…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The second feature from Russian filmmaker Kira Kovalenko is a burning critique of the oppressive family unit, and a thrillingly upsetting family drama

2) It won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and was even put forward by Russia for the International Feature Film Oscar of that year (it wasn’t nominated, though)

3) The film touches upon the devastating consequences of the 2004 Beslan terrorist attack where, in the wake of a tragic school siege, Vladmir Putin used the opportunity to expand his power further across Russia

4) Kovalenko shows herself to be a gripping new talent through her grasp on the claustrophobic and stifling family environment her lead character constantly finds herself in

5) It’s a powerful story of modern-day Russia that should get everyone talking, especially as the country continues its ruthless invasion of Ukraine

Unclenching the Fists is streaming exclusively on MUBI from Friday 26th May 2023

WHAT’S RETURNING

TO CINEMAS

THIS WEEK?

Inland Empire (2006, dir. David Lynch)

CAST: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd, Peter J. Lucas, Grace Zabriskie, Mary Steenburgen, Karolina Gruszka, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Ian Abercrombie, Nae, Terry Crews, William H. Macy, Tracy Ashton, Leon Niemczyk, Jan Hencz, Jordan Ladd, Laura Harring, Scott Coffey, Naomi Watts, David Lynch, Nastassja Kinski, Dominique Vandenberg, Ben Harper

CREW: David Lynch (director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor), Mary Sweeney (producer)

PLOT: Nikki Grace (Dern), a Hollywood actress, lands a leading role in the new film by acclaimed filmmaker Kingsley Stewart (Irons), but as she begins to disappear into her complex screen character, she finds the world around her turning into a strange and surreal nightmare…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) David Lynch’s most recent surrealist film, released back in 2006, returns to cinemas in a brand-new 4K restoration that is set to haunt (and confuse) audiences once more

2) Laura Dern headlines the madness along with supporting players Jeremy Irons and Justin Theroux, and there’s even room for some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them roles for William H. Macy, Terry Crews, and Lynch’s Mulholland Drive star Naomi Watts

3) Lynch shot on digital for the first time with this film, purposely using a low-resolution camcorder instead of his usual film stock

4) The production took a lengthy three years to complete, with an unfinished screenplay as Lynch opted for development on a scene-by-scene basis (highly irregular for any film, let alone a David Lynch one)

5) Since debuting to mixed responses at film festivals in 2006, it has become a cult classic with some even calling it one of Lynch’s best films

Inland Empire is showing in cinemas from Friday 26th May 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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