THIS WEEK’S FILM RELEASES (24TH – 30TH APRIL 2023)

We’ve got a treasure trove of new film releases to spotlight this week, including a brand-new take on a classic story made more famous by Disney, an action-packed takedown of cultural norms, a heart-wrenching cross-country trek, and much more…

Movie of the Week

Cinemas

Streaming + On-Demand

Re-Releases


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Peter Pan and Wendy (2023, dir. David Lowery)

CAST: Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Jude Law, Yara Shahidi, Joshua Pickering, Jacobi Jupe, Alyssa Wapanatahk, Jim Gaffigan, Molly Parker, Alan Tudyk, Noah Matthews Matofsky, Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez, Skyler Yates, Kelsey Yates, Florence Bensberg, Caelan Edie, Diana Tsoy, Felix De Sousa

CREW: David Lowery (director, writer), Toby Halbrooks (writer), James Whitaker (producer), Daniel Hart (composer), Bojan Bazelli (cinematographer), Lisa Zeno Churgin (editor)

PLOT: Wendy Darling (Anderson), a young girl who is afraid to leave her childhood behind, meets the flying young boy Peter Pan (Molony), who refuses to grow up. Soon, Peter and his trusty sidekick Tinker Bell (Shahidi) whisk Wendy and her brothers George (Pickering) and Michael (Jupe) to the magical world of Neverland, where they encounter the evil pirate Captain Hook (Law)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The classic J.M. Barrie story, and the equally beloved 1953 animated Disney adaptation, are both remixed for a brand-new live-action adventure for families everywhere

2) David Lowery, of The Green Knight and A Ghost Story (as well as the acclaimed remake of Disney’s classic Pete’s Dragon), brings a whimsical and deeply stylish touch to the wondrous adventures of The Boy Who Never Grew Up

3) Young actors Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson play the central titular characters, while Jude Law explores his villainous side as the infamous bad guy Captain Hook

4) Audiences will enjoy seeing and hearing all the call-backs to Disney’s animated version, while also appreciating some of the newer elements that help it stand on its own

5) This new version comes 70 years after the original Disney classic, which makes it quite a commemorate event that also coincides with Disney’s own 100th anniversary

Peter Pan and Wendy is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 28th April 2023


WHAT’S COMING TO CINEMAS THIS

WEEK?

Polite Society (2023, dir. Nida Manzoor)

CAST: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Nimra Bucha, Akshaye Khanna, Jeff Mirza, Ella Bruccoleri, Seraphina Beh, Shona Babayemi, Shobu Kapoor

CREW: Nida Manzoor (director, writer), Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Olivier Kaempfer and John Pocock (producers), Tom Howe and Shez Manzoor (composers), Ashley Connor (cinematographer), Robbie Morrison (editor)

PLOT: Teenager Ria Khan (Kansara), who aspires to become a stuntwoman, is dismayed when her supportive older sister Lena (Arya) drops out of art school to marry into an affluent, but untrustworthy, family. When she becomes convinced that Lena’s future in-laws have devilish intentions, Ria and her friends Clara (Beh) and Alba (Bruccoleri) set out on an action-packed quest to save her sister from doom…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Cultures collide in more ways than one in this hilarious and action-packed comedy that’s quickly becoming a sensation amongst critics and audiences

2) Newcomer Priya Kansara shines as both a charismatic comedy performer, and as a fully-fledged action hero in her own right

3) Director-writer Nida Manzoor, best known for her breakthrough TV sitcom We Are Lady Parts, combines Bollywood festivities with a highly kinetic style and energy that best resembles a mix between Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Everything Everywhere All At Once

4) It presents a compelling and fun portrayal of British South Asian culture and sensibilities in a fresher and less manufactured manner than What’s Love Got to Do with It?

5) With fight choreography to rival the John Wick franchise, this is just as riotous an action ride as it is a genuinely funny comedy

Polite Society is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2023, dir. Hettie Macdonald)

CAST: Jim Broadbent, Penelope Wilton, Linda Bassett, Joseph Mydell, Monika Gossman, Maanuv Thiara, Manoj Anand, Nina Singh, Bethan Cullinane

CREW: Hettie Macdonald (director), Rachel Joyce (writer), Juliet Dowling, Kevin Loader and Marilyn Milgrom (producers), Ilan Eshkeri (composer), Kate McCullough (cinematographer), Jon Harris and Napoleon Stratogiannakis (editors)

PLOT: Harold Fry (Broadbent), an elderly man living an ordinary existence with his wife Maureen (Wilton) in Devon, learns that his old friend Queenie is receiving end-of-life care at a hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Initially setting out to deliver a letter to her, Harold soon becomes inspired to make the journey there himself, and sets off on foot across the 600-mile journey toward the hospice, receiving national attention and experiencing emotional recollections along the way…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) British cinema doesn’t get more inspirational – not to mention emotional – than director Hettie Macdonald’s moving adaptation of author Rachel Joyce’s award-winning book of the same name

2) Joyce also provides the screenplay, which expands her title character’s journey with some truly cinematic results

3) Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent turns in a stellar lead performance, as does Penelope Wilton as his long-suffering wife

4) The film captures a genuine jolt of kind-heartedness and redemption in a modern world that desperately needs it

5) There’s plenty for audiences to latch onto, whether it’s the incredible story or the raw emotion that it carries for more than 500 miles

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023

Big George Foreman (2023, dir. George Tillman Jr.)

CAST: Khris Davis, Jasmine Mathews, John Magaro, Sullivan Jones, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Sonja Sohn, Forest Whitaker, Shein Mompremier

CREW: George Tillman Jr. (director, writer), Frank Baldwin (writer), Peter Guber and David Zelon (producers), Marcelo Zavros (composer), John Matysiak and David Tattersall (cinematographers), Alex Blatt and Craig Hayes (editors)

PLOT: In 1973, former Olympic Gold medallist George Foreman (Davis) becomes the World Heavyweight boxing champion, but after his title defeat by Muhammad Ali (Jones), he finds his faith and retires to become a preacher. However, when financial hardships hit his family and his church, George steps back into the ring to become the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The incredible life story of former boxing champion (and fat-reducing grill extraordinaire) George Foreman is transformed into an uplifting and courageous movie for sports fans everywhere

2) Khris Davis portrays the titular figure, after previously stealing scenes in Judas and the Black Messiah and Space Jam: A New Legacy

3) Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker has a meaty supporting role, which was due to be played by late actor Michael Kenneth Williams before his untimely passing

4) Director George Tillman Jr. is no stranger to biopics about legendary Black icons, having previously worked on the 2009 hip-hop drama Notorious

5) With its heavy focus on Foreman’s spirituality, it’s also got a positive Christian message that is far beyond some of the much more sinisterly right-wing faith-based movies out there

Big George Foreman is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023

Little Richard: I Am Everything (2023, dir. Lisa Cortés)

CAST: Little Richard, John Waters, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Nile Rodgers, Nona Hendryx, Billy Porter, Elton John

CREW: Lisa Cortés (director, producer), Caryn Capotosto, Robert Friedman and Liz Yale Marsh (producers), Tamar-kali (composer), Keith Walker and Graham Willoughby (cinematographers), Jake Hostetter and Nyneve Laura Minnear (editors)

PLOT: A look at the illustrious life and career of music legend Little Richard, who revolutionised popular music as a major form of self-expression…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The life and times of rock ’n’ roll legend Little Richard (real name Richard Wayne Penniman) is the centre of documentarian Lisa Cortés, previously behind the political documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy

2) Archival footage of the late musician, along with new interviews with fellow legends like Mick Jagger and Elton John, help to tell his fascinating story

3) The musician’s queerness is a major theme in this movie, as is his inspiration to the suppressed Black and LGBTQ+ communities of past and (sadly) present

4) It earned acclaim after its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and was quickly acquired by Magnolia Pictures for worldwide distribution (with help from UK doc outfit Dogwoof)

5) Get ready to boogie once more to some of Little Richard’s greatest hits, many of which are replayed over the course of this movie

Little Richard: I Am Everything is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023 (and will also be available to rent/buy on most digital platforms)

Rodeo (2022, dir. Lola Quivoron)

CAST: Julie Ledru, Yanis Lafki, Antonia Buresi, Louis Sotton, Junior Correia, Ahmed Hamdi, Dave Nsaman, Mustapha Dianka, Mohamed Bettahar, Chris Makodi, Cody Schroeder, Sébastien Schroeder

CREW: Lola Quivoron (director, writer), Antonia Buresi (writer), Charles Gillibert (producer), Raphaël Vandenbussche (cinematographer), Rafael Torres Calderón (editor)

PLOT: Julia (Ledru), a hot-tempered young woman with a passion for riding motorcycles, meets and becomes part of a gang of dirt riders who enjoy performing dangerous bike stunts. As she sets out to fully integrate herself into this underground world, an accident greatly jeopardises her chances…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) French filmmaker Lola Quivoron makes a rousing feature debut with this gritty and grungy coming-of-age drama set in the underground world of dirt bike riding

2) The cast is made up almost entirely of non-professionals, including lead actor Julie Ledru whom Quivoron discovered on Instagram and even incorporated elements of her life into the script

3) There are plenty of impressive bike stunts and high-octane sequence to almost make it a two-wheeled The Fast and the Furious

4) It was a hit at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it debuted under the Un Certain Regard program and even scored a jury award

5) There’s something for fellow bike enthusiasts, as well as general audiences wanting a fresh new tale of young womanhood and comradery

Rodeo is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

Love According to Dalva (2023, dir. Emmanuelle Nicot)

CAST: Zelda Samson, Alexis Manenti, Fanta Guirassi, Marie Denarnaud, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h, Sandrine Blancke, Charlie Drach, Roman Coustère Hachez, Abdelmounim Snoussi

CREW: Emmanuelle Nicot (director, writer), Julie Esparbes and Delphine Schmit (producers), Frederic Alvarez (composer), Caroline Guimbal (cinematographer), Suzana Pedro (editor)

PLOT: Dalva (Samson), a twelve-year-old girl who dresses and acts like a woman, is suddenly removed from her home and her father (Coulloc’h) and placed into social care. Initially confused and frustrated by the sudden circumstances, Dalva slowly comes to realises that the “love” she received from her father was not what she believed it to be, and with the help of kindly social worker Jayden (Manenti) and her new roommate Samia (Guirassi), she learns to feel like a child again…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Emmanuelle Nicot’s poignant directorial debut is a tragic yet hopeful account of childhood trauma that puts the perspective of the child themselves in the spotlight

2) Young performer Zelda Samson delivers an excellent turn in the title role, where she handles the heavy themes with tremendous ease

3) Both Samson and Nicot earned prizes from the FIPRESCI jury at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for their breakthrough achievements

4) It is refreshingly honest about its harrowing topics of child abuse and parental control, which Nicot handles gracefully and without sensationalism

5) As shocking as some of the revelations are, the film’s great strength is in its ability to instil hope and joy into its story as the characters gradually come further out of their shell

Love According to Dalva is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023


WHAT’S COMING TO

STREAMING/ON-DEMAND

THIS WEEK?

Swallowed (2023, dir. Carter Smith)

CAST: Cooper Koch, Jose Colon, Jena Malone, Mark Patton, Roe Pacheco, Michael Curtis, Jonathan Spence, Hannah Berry

CREW: Carter Smith (director, writer, producer), Helio Campos, Noah Lang and Ross O’Connor (producers), Christopher Bear (composer), Alexander W. Lewis (cinematographer), Eric Nagy (editor)

PLOT: Best friends Benjamin (Koch) and Dom (Colon) are spending their final night together before Benjamin leaves rural Maine behind for a career in LA. However, Dom gets Benjamin involved with a simple drug run which, if successful, will send Benjamin off with plenty of money, but they soon discover that the package – which they have to swallow in order to properly conceal it – is much more horrifying than they ever imagined…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Filmmaker Carter Smith returns to the realm of horror with a tense body thriller that will turn your stomach inside out

2) Its main cast is made up of LGBTQ+ actors playing similarly queer roles, including horror legend Mark Patton (best known for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge) and Jena Malone, who previously worked with Smith on his film The Ruins

3) The film flirts intriguingly with tone and genre, starting off as a sweet and gentle friendship drama before suddenly becoming much nastier and horrific in its second half

4) Critics seem to enjoy the sudden gearshift, with a strong 86% Rotten Tomatoes score (as of writing), although its grisly and excessive violence has proven to be somewhat polarising

5) It remains unpredictable right up to the final act, where things are said to get even more sinister and gory than what comes before!

Swallowed is available to rent/buy on most digital platforms from Monday 24th April 2023

A Tourist’s Guide to Love (2023, dir. Steven K. Tsuchida)

CAST: Rachael Leigh Cook, Scott Ly, Missi Pyle, Ben Feldman, Nondumiso Tembe, Andrew Barth Feldman

CREW: Steven K. Tsuchida (director), Eirene Tran Donohue (writer), Rachael Leigh Cook and Joel S. Rice (producers), Jina Hyojin An and Shirley Song (composers), Jon Keng (cinematographer), Lauren Connelly (editor)

PLOT: After unexpectedly getting dumped, travel company executive Amanda (Cook) agrees to undertake a covert assignment to explore Vietnam’s tourism sector. Once in Vietnam, she and local tour guide Sinh (Ly) embark on a journey of self-discovery together, and soon they develop feelings for each other…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Netflix continues to one-up the Lifetime and Hallmark Channels with their own brand of pleasant rom-coms that get the job done with help from some choice talent

2) Said talent here includes former She’s All That star Rachael Leigh Cook, who stars and produces in her latest collaboration with the streamer, after the success of her last rom-com headliner Love, Guaranteed

3) The action largely takes place in Vietnam, where much of the film was shot on location to add some authenticity to the romantic environment

4) It’s one of the rare American films that’s both shot and set in Vietnam to not be specifically about the controversial war, which was a major goal for writer Eirene Tran Donohue

5) From the romantic chemistry between Cook and co-star Scott Ly, to the beautiful Vietnamese backdrops, it’s a must-watch for any real romantics out there!

A Tourist’s Guide to Love is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Thursday 27th April 2023

The Locksmith (2023, dir. Nicolas Harvard)

CAST: Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth, Charlie Weber, Gabriela Quezada, Kaylee Bryant, Madeleine Guilbot, Jeffrey Nordling, Ving Rhames, Bourke Floyd, Noel Gugliemi, George Akram, Livia Treviño, Tom Wright, Emily Rose David

CREW: Nicolas Harvard (director), John Glosser, Ben Kabialis, Chris LaMont and Joe Russo (writers), Mark B. David and Roger Goss (producers), Marlana Sheetz (composer), Jeff Bierman (cinematographer), Lori Ball (editor)

PLOT: Miller Graham (Phillippe) is a thief and skilled locksmith who has just been released from prison, and is now determined to rebuild his relationship with his ex-fiancé Beth (Bosworth) and their young daughter Lindsay (Guilbot). However, when his old friend April (Quezada) persuades him to use his skills for one last job, he finds himself facing off against some deadly new enemies who quickly endanger his family…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Ryan Phillippe headlines this intense action-thriller where the body count is high and the stakes are even higher

2) There are some eye-catching supporting roles for Kate Bosworth and Mission: Impossibleveteran Ving Rhames

3) It was one of the first productions to announce a use of rubber guns and CGI to replicate gun activity, in the wake of the tragic shooting incident on the set of Alec Baldwin vehicle Rust

4) Director Nicolas Harvard makes a thrilling directorial debut, after serving as an assistant director on films like Hell or High Waterand Whiplash

5) Even if you may be familiar with the plot, there’s enough nail-biting action and suspense to keep you on your toes

The Locksmith is available to rent/buy on most digital platforms from Monday 24th April 2023


WHAT’S RETURNING TO

CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Return of the Jedi (1983, dir. Richard Marquand)

CAST: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Sebastian Shaw, Alec Guinness, Denis Lawson, Kenneth Colley, Jeremy Bulloch, Michael Pennington, Warwick Davis, Caroline Blakiston, Michael Carter, Femi Taylor, Claire Davenport, Paul Grant, Tim Rose, Erik Bauersfeld

CREW: Richard Marquand (director), Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas (writers), Howard Kazanjian and Rick McCallum (producers), John Williams (composer), Alan Hume (cinematographer), Sean Barton, T.M. Christopher, Duwayne Dunham and Marcia Lucas (editors)

PLOT: As the war between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire reaches a turning point, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Hamill) and Leia Organa must save their friend Han Solo (Ford) from the clutches of Tatooine gangster Jabba the Hutt, and then assist the Rebels on a mission that could finally thwart the Empire. Meanwhile, Luke wrestles with his unexpected past as he attempts to convince his father, the feared Sith Lord Darth Vader (Prowse/Jones) who loyally serves the evil Emperor (McDiarmid), that there is still light within him…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The sixth chapter in the Skywalker Saga (but only the third to be chronologically released – that’s totally not confusing at all!) returns to cinemas for its 40th anniversary

2) Relive the beloved entry that features some of the most outstanding sequences in the original Star Wars trilogy, including the fight against the grotesque gangster Jabba the Hutt and the ultimate battle between Stormtroopers and those cuddly little Ewoks!

3) It also contains some significant new developments, such as the shocking connection between Luke and Leia, and Darth Vader’s ultimate redemption

4) Stealing the whole movie, though, is Ian McDiarmid as the diabolical Emperor, a character so memorable that he was brought back for a much larger role in both the prequel trilogy and later (somewhat controversially) in The Rise of Skywalker

5) The film marks the completion of one of film’s most popular sagas, but also the beginning of a new era in a galaxy far, far away…

Return of the Jedi is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th April 2023

Young Soul Rebels (1991, dir. Isaac Julien)

CAST: Valentine Nonyela, Mo Sesay, Dorian Healy, Frances Barber, Sophie Okonedo, Jason Durr, Gary McDonald, Debra Gillett, Eamonn Walker, James Bowers, Billy Braham, Wayne Norman, Danielle Scillitoe, Ray Shell, Nigel Harrison

CREW: Isaac Julien (director, writer), Paul Hallam and Derrick Saldaan McClintock (writers), Nadine Marsh-Edwards (producer), Simon Boswell (composer), Nina Kellgren (cinematographer), John Wilson (editor)

PLOT: In 1977 London, as celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee are getting underway, pirate radio DJs Chris (Nonyela) and Caz (Sesay) find their hedonistic world shattered when their friend is murdered in the local park by a member of the National Front, and the police pull Chris in as a suspect. As they deal with the fallout from the murder, as well as the cultural conflicts across the city, Chris and Caz discover a world in the midst of an identity crisis…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The timely 1991 political drama-thriller from director Isaac Julien returns to the big screen at a disturbingly crucial time in our present

2) It deals with several strands of youth culture, from soulboys to punks to skinheads, within a historical setting that could eerily double for aspects of today’s world

3) Valentine Nonyela and Mo Sesay shine as the two central protagonists, and Oscar-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo makes her feature debut here as well

4) The film easily fluctuates between a tense murder-mystery thriller, and a touching gay love story involving one of the lead characters and their punk partner

5) Its themes of racism, nationalism, and the socio-political tensions that arise from them are important to discuss, as well as to remind us all of how much more work needs to be done more than thirty years after its original release

Young Soul Rebels is showing in cinemas from Friday 28th 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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