THIS WEEK’S FILM PREVIEWS (7TH – 13TH AUGUST 2023)

The summer is racing towards its conclusion, but before then it’s time to spotlight another week of movies to keep the warm weather alive, from a unique take on a classic gaming franchise to a classic Bruce Lee action extravaganza…

Movie of the Week

Cinemas

Streaming + On-Demand

Re-Releases


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Gran Turismo (2023, dir. Neil Blomkamp)

CAST: Archie Madekwe, David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Djimon Hounsou, Geri Halliwell Horner, Daniel Puig, Josha Stradowski, Thomas Kretschmann, Maeve Courtier-Lilley, Richard Cambridge, Emelia Hartford, Pepe Barroso, Sang Heon Lee, Max Mundt, Mariano González, Harki Bhambra, Lindsay Pattison, Théo Christine, Nikhil Parmar

CREW: Neil Blomkamp (director), Zach Baylin and Jason Hall (writers), Doug Belgrad, Dana Brunetti, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan (producers), Lorne Balfe (composer), Jacques Jouffret (cinematographer), Austyn Daines and Colby Parker Jr. (editors)

PLOT: Jann Mardenborough (Madekwe), a young gamer who enjoys playing racing simulator game Gran Turismo, is selected to take part in a worldwide competition to find the best players and transform them into professional race car drivers…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The popular PlayStation racing franchise is adapted into a thrilling and high-octane sports thriller
  2. Instead of adapting the game itself, however, the film takes inspiration from the real-life story of Gran Turismo player turned professional racer Jann Mardenborough
  3. Archie Madekwe portrays Mardenborough in a confident lead performance, with plentiful support from David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Djimon Hounsou, and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell Horner
  4. Neil Blomkamp, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed District 9, lends his unique vision to a script written by Oscar nominees Jason Hall and Zach Baylin
  5. Expect plenty of heart-stopping racing action as well as a generous helping of heart-warming drama set to classic sports movie tropes

Gran Turismo is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023


WHAT’S SHOWING IN

CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Haunted Mansion (2023, dir. Justin Simien)

CAST: LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Hasan Minhaj, Dan Levy, Winona Ryder

CREW: Justin Simien (director), Katie Dippold (writer), Jonathan Eirich and Dan Lin (producers), Kris Bowers (composer), Jeffrey Waldron (cinematographer), Phillip J. Bartell (editor)

PLOT: Single mother Gabbie (Dawson) and her young son Travis (Dillon) move into an old mansion together, only to find that it is haunted by numerous supernatural beings with nefarious purposes. To combat the threat, they hire former paranormal investigator Ben (Stanfield), psychic Harriet (Haddish), priest Kent (Wilson) and historian Bruce (DeVito) to help exorcise the spirits from the mansion…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Disney revitalises its classic theme park attraction into a spooky, and often hilarious, thrill ride for all the family
  2. A strong ensemble cast including LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito and recent Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis leads the way towards chilling fun
  3. Justin Simien, the filmmaker behind provocative satire Dear White People (and the creator of its Netflix spin-off series), brings a stylish flair to the gothic look and feel of its chilling environments
  4. The movie’s concept was originally crafted by Guillermo del Toro, who before departing the project made plans to use the ride’s infamous Hat Box Ghost (who is featured in this film, as played by Jared Leto)
  5. It has the potential to be a late summer break-out hit, similar to how the first Pirates of the Caribbean film (released around the same time twenty years ago) found its success

Haunted Mansion is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023

L’immensità (2022, dir. Emanuele Crialese)

CAST: Luana Giuliani, Penélope Cruz, Vincenzo Amato, Maria Chiara Goretti, Patrizio Francioni, Penelope Nieto Conti, Alvia Reale, India Santella, Mariangela Granelli, Valentina Cenni

CREW: Emanuele Crialese (director, writer), Francesca Manieri and Vittorio Moroni (writers), Lorenzo Gangarossa, Mario Gianani and Dimitri Rassam (producers), Rauelsson (composer), Gergely Pohárnok (cinematographer), Clelio Benevento (editor)

PLOT: In 1970s Rome, Spanish expatriate Clara (Cruz) and Felice (Amato) live an unhappy marriage with their three children. When eldest daughter Adriana (Giuliani) decides to identify as male, Clara begins to bond further with her now-son Andrea…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Penélope Cruz leads this lively and ponderous Italian coming-of-age drama
  2. Director and co-writer Emanuele Crialese, who is a trans man, based the film on his own childhood experiences
  3. Cruz shares impeccable chemistry with on-screen child Luana Giuliani, the latter filling Crialese’s place in the story
  4. The film doesn’t shy away from some dark truths surrounding the central topics, which create a more rounded type of storytelling
  5. It is an emotional ride, and filled to the brim with irresistible life and energy

L’immensita is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

Katak: The Brave Beluga (2023, dirs. Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay)

CAST: Robert Naylor, Skyler Clark, Eleanor Noble, Wyatt Bowen, Mark Camacho, Angela Galuppo, Ginette Reno, Richard M. Dumont, Ilana Zackon, Terrence Scammell, Arthur Holden, Jennifer Seguin, Pauline Little

CREW: Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay (directors), Andrée Lambert (writer), Nancy Florence Savard (producer), Uberko (composer), René Caron (editor)

PLOT: Katak (Naylor), a young beluga whale, is dismayed to find that he is still small and grey while his friends have all turned big and white. Determined to prove he is just as big as everyone else, he embarks on a perilous adventure to the Great North, where he intends to honour the final wish of his beloved grandmother…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Big hearts come in small packages, as this charming animated feature from French Canada sets out to prove
  2. Explore a vast and colourful world under the sea with endearing characters and poignant messages
  3. Children (or, at least, those too young to absorb Finding Nemo) will be entranced by the pretty ocean visuals and fun slapstick
  4. Parents can also appreciate the empowering messages it departs to those who, similar to the title character, may be struggling with their own body development
  5. It is a late summer family treat that will do the trick before the kids head back to school next month

Katak: The Brave Beluga is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023

Puffin Rock and the New Friends (2023, dir. Jeremy Purcell)

CAST: Chris O’Dowd, Amy Huberman, Eva Whittaker, Beth McCafferty, Aaron McGregor, Euan McGrath

CREW: Jeremy Purcell (director), Sara Daddy (writer), John McDaid, Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey and Paul Young (producers), Eberg (composer), Sophie Borlée (editor)

PLOT: On the island of Puffin Rock, the last Little Egg of the season suddenly disappears, prompting a group of young animal friends to set out and find it before a big storm arrives on the island…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The delightful pre-school animated series is brought to the big screen for an endearing feature-length adventure
  2. It is co-produced by Cartoon Saloon, the Irish animation studio behind Oscar-nominated features like The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and Wolfwalkers
  3. Chris O’Dowd narrates the story as he does in the original series, with support from other Irish talent such as The Clinic star Amy Huberman
  4. The simple narrative is accompanied by some gorgeous visuals, both of which should stimulate the minds and eyes of its young target audience and their parents/guardians
  5. It’s a gentle reminder that animation has the power to enchant viewers of all ages

Puffin Rock and the New Friends is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023

Gadar 2 (2023, dir. Anil Sharma)

CAST: Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel, Utkarsh Sharma, Simrat Kaur, Luv Sinha, Manish Wadhwa, Mir Sarwar, Rohit Choudhary, Gaurav Chopra, Rumi Khan

CREW: Anil Sharma (director, producer), Shaktimaan Talwar (writer), Kamal Mukut (producer), Chandan Saxena and Mithun Sharma (composers), Najeeb Khan (cinematographer), Ashfaq Makrani (editor)

PLOT: In 1971, during the height of the Indo-Pakistani War, Tara Singh (Deol) makes a daring return to Lahore, where his son Charanjeet (Sharma) has become caught up in Pakistan’s anti-India movement…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The acclaimed Hindi historical action epic Gadar: Ek Prem Katha gets a long-awaited sequel, more than twenty years since the first film
  2. Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel reprise their roles from the original, and neither of them have lost their exemplary screen presence, nor their sparkling chemistry
  3. Deol’s Tara Singh deals with the violent clashes that came with the devastating military conflict between India and Pakistan in the early 1970s
  4. Expect plenty of brutal action, harsh villains, powerful heroes, and – as ever with a Bollywood blockbuster – a lively soundtrack
  5. In the wake of RRR’s international success, this could be the first film since that Oscar-winning movie to bring Indian cinema to the forefront

Gadar 2 – The Katha Continues is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023


WHAT’S SHOWING AT

HOME THIS WEEK?

Heart of Stone (2023, dir. Tom Harper)

CAST: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer, Jing Lusi, Paul Ready, Jon Kortajarena, Archie Madekwe

CREW: Tom Harper (director), Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder (writers), Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison, Gal Gadot, Dan Goldberg, Don Granger, Julie Lynn and Jaron Varsano (producers), Steven Price (composer), George Steel (cinematographer), Mark Eckersley (editor)

PLOT: Rachel Stone (Gadot) is an international intelligence agent who must embark on a globe-trotting mission to protect a valuable asset known as “The Heart”, which could be dangerous if put in the wrong hands…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Gal Gadot finds herself a new franchise to lead toward success, with this high-octane espionage action thriller
  2. Gadot also produces alongside David Ellison, producer of Top Gun: Maverick and – more appropriately – the Mission: Impossible movies
  3. Director Tom Harper breaths plenty of energy and personality into some tense action sequences
  4. Jamie Dornan provides Gadot with some weighty support, as does Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo
  5. After the success of Extraction 2, Netflix could be making its way out of that lull of lacklustre blockbuster entertainment with this potential franchise-launcher

Heart of Stone is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 11th August 2023

Red, White & Royal Blue (2023, dir. Matthew López)

CAST: Taylor Zakhar Perez, Nicholas Galitzine, Uma Thurman, Stephen Fry, Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson, Ellie Bamber, Malcolm Atobrah, Clifton Collins Jr., Aneesh Sheth, Polo Morín, Sharon D. Clarke, Thomas Flynn, Malcolm Atobrah, Ahmed Elhaj, Akshay Khanna, Juan Castano

CREW: Matthew López (director, writer), Ted Malawer (writer), Greg Berlanti, Michael Riley McGrath and Sarah Schechter (producers), Drum & Lace (composer), Stephen Goldblatt (cinematographer), Kristina Hetherington (editor)

PLOT: Alex Claremont-Diaz (Perez), the unruly son of US President Ellie Claremont (Thurman), sparks a feud with handsome British Prince Henry (Galitzine), but as the two of them are forced to spend time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, despite their wildly different backgrounds…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The hit romance novel by Casey McQuiston is adapted into a funny, endearing, and unexpectedly emotional film for lovers everywhere
  2. Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine aim for heartthrob status in their lead roles as the love-struck President’s son and British Prince respectively
  3. Uma Thurman has fun in a supporting role as the President, as does Stephen Fry as the King of England (a role I’m genuinely surprised he hasn’t to my knowledge already played)
  4. Acclaimed playwright Matthew López, known for the highly acclaimed play The Inheritance, makes his feature debut as director and co-writer
  5. At a time when both the UK Royal Family and US politics are forefront of the news, the timing of this movie could not feel more apt and appropriate

Red, White & Royal Blue is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 11th August 2023

You Hurt My Feelings (2023, dir. Nicole Holofcener)

CAST: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, Owen Teague, Jeannie Berlin, Amber Tamblyn, David Cross, Zach Cherry, Sarah Steele, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sunita Mani, Deniz Akdeniz, Clara Wong

CREW: Nicole Holofcener (director, writer, producer), Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (producers), Michael Andrews (composer), Jeffrey Waldon (cinematographer), Alisa Lepselter (editor)

PLOT: Beth (Louis-Dreyfus), a struggling novelist, is in a healthy but co-dependent relationship with her husband Don (Menzies), an unsuccessful therapist. When Beth overhears Don give an honest opinion on her most recent book, she feels betrayed by him, causing a rift in their marriage…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Seinfeld and Veep actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus reunites with her Enough Said writer-director Nicole Holofcener for a tender and honest look at marriage
  2. Louis-Dreyfus shares a warm-hearted type of chemistry with The Crown actor Tobias Menzies, who shows off his underused comedic chops here
  3. Holofcener’s compassionate writing and filmmaking makes you really care for a scenario that, if done wrong, could so easily have just been First World Problems: The Movie
  4. It has the A24 seal of approval, with the acclaimed distributor being one of the main production companies involved with it
  5. The drama takes an emotional toll on the viewer, offering them a rewarding and meaningful viewing experience

You Hurt My Feelings is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Tuesday 8th August 2023

Jagged Mind (2023, dir. Kelley Kali)

CAST: Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Shannon Woodward, Rosaline Elbay, Shein Mompremier, Kate Szekely, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Casey Ford Alexander

CREW: Kelley Kali (director, producer), Allyson Morgan (writer), Jenna Cavelle, Congyu E. and Daniela Ruiz (producers), Jongnic Bontemps (composer), Rasa Partin (cinematographer), Salvador Pérez García (editor)

PLOT: After Billie (Richardson-Sellers) begins dating the mysterious Alex (Woodward), she begins experiencing blackouts and strange visions of the same day over and over. She soon concludes that she has somehow been caught in a time-loop, and that Alex might have something to do with it…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The classic time-loop formula gets a stylish makeover in this mysterious sci-fi thriller
  2. It is based on the short film First Date, with original writer Allyson Morgan also providing the feature-length screenplay
  3. Director Kelley Kali, previously seen in the recent I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) (which she also directed), interjects the central premise with a compelling LGBTQ+ romance
  4. Legends of Tomorrow actor Maisie Richardson-Sellers easily carries the film, along with a haunting co-lead performance by Shannon Woodward
  5. It’s a gripping and eye-catching movie that you’ll want to repeat over and over

Jagged Mind is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 11th August 2023

Love in Taipei (2023, dir. Arvin Chen)

CAST: Ashley Liao, Ross Butler, Nico Hiraga, Chelsea Zhang, Cindy Cheung, Kelly Ko, Janet Hsieh, Elton Tang, Jacko Chiang, Alexia Kao, Patty Chu, Albert Gei, Ryan Tseng, Chris Yu, Jerry Li, Sharon Kwan, Issa Wen, Tomohisa Kagami, Jolie Chi, Aggie Hsieh, Chloe Fox, Will Ni

CREW: Arvin Chen (director), Mackenzie Dohr and Charlie Oh (writers), Matthew Kaplan (producer), Roger Suen (composer), TBA (cinematographer), Michelle Harrison (editor)

PLOT: 18-year-old Ever Wong (Liao) travels from Ohio to Taiwan for a cultural immersion program, but soon discovers that she is in store for a summer-long free-for-all that the locals and fellow students call “Loveboat”, where she finds love and, eventually, herself…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Paramount’s adaptation of Abigail Hing Wen’s YA novel Loveboat, Taipei is an all-encompassing and romantic coming-of-age drama
  2. A slew of young and bright Asian actors lead the ensemble, including Ashley Liao (soon to be seen in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) and Shazam!’s Ross Butler
  3. The film was shot on location in the titular Taiwanese city, allowing the viewer to explore its many fascinating corners
  4. There are lots of beautiful scenery to counteract the wild teen shenanigans going on in the foreground
  5. Should this movie prove a hit, further adaptations of book sequels Loveboat Reunion and the upcoming Loveboat Forever could also be greenlit

Love in Taipei is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ from Friday 11th August 2023

Biosphere (2023, dir. Mel Eslyn)

CAST: Mark Duplass, Sterling K. Brown

CREW: Mel Eslyn (director, writer, producer), Mark Duplass (writer), Maddie Buis, Zackary Drucker and Shuli Harel (producers), Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (composers), Nathan M. Miller (cinematographer), Christopher Donlon (editor)

PLOT: In the near-future, a global apocalypse has wiped out most of humanity. The only two remaining men are Billy (Duplass), the US President, and his childhood friend Ray (Brown), a scientist, both of whom are living in a protective dome that shields them from the outside world. As they attempt to survive, an unexpected scientific development puts their relationship to the ultimate test…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The end of the world is merely the backdrop for this quirky two-hander buddy comedy-drama
  2. Indie favourite Mark Duplass co-writes with director Mel Eslyn and co-stars with This Is Us regular Sterling K. Brown
  3. In addition to being rather funny, there are also plenty of deeply touching moments as it explores friendship and survival in mature fashion
  4. A sci-fi twist (beyond the post-apocalyptic setting) makes the dynamic between the two actors extremely unpredictable
  5. It’s a neat mumblecore alternative to numerous other end-of-the-world dramas, which makes it stand out from the crowd

Biosphere is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Friday 11th August 2023


WHAT’S RETURNING TO

CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Enter the Dragon (1973, dir. Robert Clouse)

CAST: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri, Shih Kien, Keye Luke, Bob Wall, Angela Mao Ying, Betty Chung, Geoffrey Weeks, Yang Sze, Peter Archer, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Wah

CREW: Robert Clouse (director), Michael Allin (writer), Raymond Chow, Paul Heller and Fred Weintraub (producers), Lalo Schifrin (composer), Gilbert Hubbs (cinematographer), Kurt Hirschler and George Watters (editors)

PLOT: Lee (Lee), a Shaolin martial artist, is recruited to investigate powerful crime lord Han (Kien) on his private island, where he enters the local martial arts tournament as a cover…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. The most iconic film of the legendary Bruce Lee’s career marks its 50th anniversary with a brand-new 4K restoration
  2. Its critical and financial success turned Lee into an international superstar, but the film was released only a month after Lee’s untimely death, meaning he never got to truly experience his newfound global popularity
  3. Lee was instrumental in the making of the film, and even has uncredited writing and producing credentials on the movie
  4. The fight scenes are as raw and energetic as ever, with not just Lee but also fellow performers John Saxon and Jim Kelly dishing out some of action cinema’s most brutal moves
  5. The film still packs a major punch five decades on, ensuring that Bruce Lee’s star will never fade out

Enter the Dragon is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 2023

Variety (1983, dir. Bette Gordon)

CAST: Sandy McLeod, Will Patton, Richard Davidson, Luis Guzmán, Nan Goldin, Mark Boone Junior, Spalding Gray

CREW: Bette Gordon (director), Jerry Delamater and Peter Koper (writers), Renée Shafransky (producer), John Lurie (composer), Tom DiCillo and John Foster (cinematographers), Ila von Hasperg (editor)

PLOT: Christine (McLeod), a struggling writer, gets a job as a ticket-taker at the Variety, a pornographic cinema in Times Square. She quickly becomes obsessed with the movies being shown there, to the concern of her boyfriend Mark (Patton), as well as with mysterious wealthy patron Louie (Davidson), whom she soon suspects to be a dangerous man…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  1. Back in cinemas for its 40th anniversary is director Bette Gordon’s provocative and unnerving psychological thriller
  2. Although not a critical success at the time of its original release, it has stood the test of time as an early example of feminist cinema tackling then-taboo subject matter such as pornography
  3. Sandy McLeod delivers a fascinating central performance, with character actor Will Patton also shining in his first film role
  4. It has a lot to say about sexuality and desire, which even for an independent film the 1980s was quite shocking for most audiences
  5. At the very least, it’s a fascinating relic of a movie that encapsulates the seediness and depravity of New York at the time

Variety is showing in cinemas from Friday 11th August 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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