THIS WEEK’S PREVIEW (20TH – 26TH MARCH 2023)

It’s time for another action-packed week of movie releases, and we’ve got some real bangers to wow you with, including the return of a modern action-movie legend, a geriatric sports comedy, a dark tale of murder and excess, and plenty more…

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: John Wick: Chapter 4 (dir. Chad Stahelski)

CAST: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Scott Adkins, Hiroyuki Sanada, Lance Reddick, Clancy Brown, Shamier Anderson, George Georgiou, Rina Sawayama, Natalia Tena

CREW: Chad Stahelski (director, producer), Michael Finch and Shay Hatten (writers), Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee (producers), Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard (composers), Dan Laustsen (cinematographer), Nathan Orloff (editor)

PLOT: After being betrayed by the High Table, an international league of assassins that he once belonged to, John Wick (Reeves) vows to bring them down. He soon finds a path to victory, but before he can earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy who has powerful ties across the world, and has the ability to pit his former allies against him…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) After numerous pandemic-related delays, Keanu Reeves is finally back as the deadly hit-man John Wick, now on his fourth feature-length crusade of revenge

2) Director and former stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski also returns to deliver more gun-firing mayhem, within some highly imaginative and impeccably choreographed action sequences

3) Reeves’ Wick faces off against a dangerous new horde of killers, including Pennywise himself Bill Skarsgård as a mysterious and powerful figure in this universe of assassins, and martial arts legend Donnie Yen in an exciting adversary role

4) It is the first film in the series not to be written by original writer Derek Kolstad, so it will be interesting to see how the deeply complex world he created is continued without him

5) Expect plenty of fascinating world-building, spliced in with one fun action set-piece after another, all of which shows that this series shows no signs of slowing down

John Wick: Chapter 4 is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023

 

WHAT ELSE IS COMING OUT THIS WEEK?

80 for Brady (dir. Kyle Marvin)

CAST: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Tom Brady, Billy Porter, Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat, Harry Hamlin, Bob Balaban, Glynn Turman, Sara Gilbert, Jimmy O. Yang, Ron Funches, Sally Kirkland, Alex Bentley, Patton Oswalt, Guy Fieri

CREW: Kyle Marvin (director), Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins (writers), Tom Brady and Donna Gigliotti (producers), John Debney (composer), John Toll (cinematographer), Colin Patton (editor)

PLOT: In 2017, best friends Lou (Tomlin), Trish (Fonda), Maura (Moreno) and Betty (Field) are fans of the New England Patriots American football team, and its star quarterback Tom Brady (as himself). When they win tickets to the Super Bowl, where Brady and the Patriots will be playing, they set off on a wild trip together…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) It’s a hilarious and wild sports comedy where you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of American football to enjoy

2) The four leads are real screen legends, with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field all having a blast together on-screen

3) Their mishaps are based on the real-life exploits of an actual group of elderly Patriots fans, with the film even being pitched by one of their grandchildren!

4) Tom Brady, the retired sports megastar of the title, not only shows up as himself in the movie, but he’s also a producer – could this be his next big venture now that he’s seemingly done with sports?

5) Brady isn’t the only big sports icon to show up in this movie, which features plenty of other players getting in on some of the fun!

80 for Brady is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023

Infinity Pool (dir. Brandon Cronenberg)

CAST: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, Amanda Brugel, John Ralston, Jeffrey Ricketts, Caroline Boulton, Thomas Kretschmann

CREW: Brandon Cronenberg (director, writer), Andrew Cividino, Rob Cotterill, Jonathan Halperyn, Karen Harnisch, Anita Juka, Daniel Kresmery, Christina Piovesan and Noah Segal (producers), Tim Hecker (composer), Karim Hussain (cinematographer), James Vandewater (editor)

PLOT: James (Skarsgård) and Em (Coleman) are a couple enjoying their holiday on an isolated tropical island resort. A chance encounter with mysterious fellow guest Gabi (Goth) soon leads to a tragic accident, where the penalty is death – except for those who can afford to have themselves cloned and put them forward to die in their place…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Brandon Cronenberg, the son of legendary genre filmmaker David Cronenberg, is back with another disturbing and mysterious sci-fi body horror that is equally as outlandish as his previous feature Possessor

2) The film tackles the familiar debate of privilege within class and wealth, but with a profoundly more grotesque and visually mind-blowing approach than most other similar movies

3) Alexander Skarsgård leans into his inner psycho, while Mia Goth – following a career-high performance in Pearl – delivers another beautifully unhinged performance

4) It’s already turned a number of heads at its Sundance debut earlier this year, with even some of the stronger-stomached audience members commenting on how shockingly warped and out-there it is

5) Needless to say, this one isn’t for the faint of heart – but it is smart and interesting enough to always hold your attention throughout

Infinity Pool is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023

A Good Person (dir. Zach Braff)

CAST: Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman, Molly Shannon, Chinaza Uche, Celeste O’Connor, Zoe Lister-Jones

CREW: Zach Braff (director, writer, producer), Pamela Koffler, Christina Piovesan, Florence Pugh, Noah Segal and Christine Vachon (producers), Bryce Dessner (composer), Mauro Fiore (cinematographer), Dan Schalk (editor)

PLOT: Allison (Pugh) finds her world falling apart when she survives a tragic accident, and becomes addicted to opioid medication. She soon enters recovery with the help and support of her would-be father-in-law Daniel (Freeman), and gradually finds the spirit to carry on…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Zach Braff returns to the director’s chair for the first time in over five years for this heart-warming drama about grief and self-forgiveness

2) His leading lady is the ever-great Florence Pugh, who also produces for the first time in her already prolific career

3) Pugh shares warm on-screen chemistry with legendary Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, who brings a much-needed sense of grace to the devastating plot

4) It’s an uplifting tale of overcoming impossible odds, which makes it ideal viewing for anyone in a similarly down mood

5) It’s just one of many exciting films on Sky Cinema’s slate coming out this year, including Michael Mann’s biopic of Enzo Ferrari and Rebecca Miller’s festival favourite She Came to Me

A Good Person is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023, and will be streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Friday 28th April 2023

The Five Devils (dir. Léa Mysius)

CAST: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Sally Dramé, Swala Emati, Moustapha Mbengue, Daphné Patakia, Patrick Bouchitey, Noée Abita

CREW: Léa Mysius (director, writer), Paul Guilhaume (writer, cinematographer), Jean-Louis Livi and Fanny Yvonnet (producers), Florencia Di Concilio (composer), Marie Loustalot (editor)

PLOT: Vicky (Dramé), a young girl living with her mother Joanne (Exarchopoulos) and father Jimmy (Mbengue), has the unusual gift of being able to smell and reproduce any chosen scent. When Jimmy’s sister Julia (Emati) arrives after being released from prison, Vicky catches onto her scent, which takes her on a dark and magical journey of discovery…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The second feature by Léa Mysius, who previously made waves with her debut film Ava, is a unique fantasy drama with unpredictable turns and an exciting imagination

2) Blue is the Warmest Colour star Adèle Exarchopoulos is featured prominently, but the film’s true lead is young actor Sally Dramé, who shines in her very first film performance

3) Also making their feature debut is Swala Emati, who brings an unearthly presence to her mysterious supporting role

4) It wowed critics at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it screened in the Director’s Fortnight section which showcases international talent outside of the central competition titles

5) The playful but sometimes dark fantasy elements recall the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth, but with its feet more firmly in the ground

The Five Devils is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023, and will be streaming exclusively on Mubi from Friday 12th May 2023

The Beasts (dir. Rodrigo Sorogoyen)

CAST: Denis Ménochet, Marina Foïs, Luis Zahera, Diego Anido, Marie Colomb, Machi Salgado, Luisa Merelas

CREW: Rodrigo Sorogoyen (director, writer, producer), Isabel Peña (writer), Ignasi Estapé, Anne-Laure Labadie, Jean Labadie, Nacho Lavilla, Thomas Pibarot and Eduardo Villanueva (producers), Olivier Arson (composer), Alejandro de Pablo (cinematographer), Alberto del Campo (editor)

PLOT: Antoine (Ménochet) and Olga (Foïs) are a French couple who move to a small village in the Galician countryside, where they hope to start a farm. However, they are soon met with great hostility by their aggressive neighbours, who after getting into a land dispute with the couple ignite a turf war, which soon degenerates into chaos…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This French-Spanish co-production tells the intense tale of a hostile war between neighbouring landowners that soon gets ugly

2) It’s loosely based on a real-life turf war which took place in the early 2010s in the Spanish municipal of Petín

3) Spanish director and co-writer Rodrigo Sorogoyen leaves you biting your nails as tensions continuously reach new heights

4) French character actor Denis Ménochet is on commanding form, while Luis Zahera is chilling as a particularly nasty xenophobe

5) The film won a total of nine trophies at last month’s Goya Awards ceremony in Spain, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ménochet

The Beasts is showing in cinemas, and will be available to rent on Curzon Home Cinema, from Friday 24th March 2023

1976 (dir. Manuela Martelli)

CAST: Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Sepúlveda, Hugo Medina, Alejandro Goic, Amalia Kassai, Carmen Gloria Martínez, Antonia Zegers, Marcial Tagle, Gabriel Urzúa, Luis Cerda, Ana Clara Delfino, Elena Delfino

CREW: Manuela Martelli (director, writer), Alejandra Moffat (writer), Alejandra Garcia, Juan Pablo Gugliotta, Dominga Sotomayor, Nathalia Videla Peña, Andrés Wood and Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo (producers), Mariá Portugal (composer), Soledad Rodríguez (cinematographer), Camila Mercadal (editor)

PLOT: In 1976 Chile, Carmen (Küppenheim) arrives at her beach house to oversee its renovation. However, when the family’s priest Father Sánchez (Medina) asks her to take care of Elías (Nicolás Sepúlveda), a wounded young man who is currently in hiding, Carmen is thrust into a dangerous world of deceit and politics…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Actor Manuela Martelli’s filmmaking debut is a ferocious and unforgiving look at Chilean life under the increasingly tight rule of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship

2) It is also an unflinching character study of a woman forced out of her quiet existence to face the harsh realities of the world around her

3) Aline Küppenheim is outstanding in a nail-biting central performance, and leaves you spellbound as her character goes further into darker territories

4) The film has won acclaim and even a few awards at festivals around the world, from Cannes to the London Film Festival where it won the prize for Best Debut

5) Despite its themes of oppression and political persecution, it is a fascinating slice of Chilean cinema that gives viewers a thrilling taste of what else it has to offer

1976 is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 2023

The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future (dir. Francisca Alegria)

CAST: Mía Maestro, Leonor Varela, Alfredo Castro, Marcial Tagle, Enzo Ferrada, Laura Del Río Ríos

CREW: Francisca Alegria (director, writer), Manuela Infante and Fernanda Urrejola (writers), Tom Dercourt and Alejandra Garcia (producers), Pierre Desprats (composer), Inti Briones (cinematographer), Andrea Chignoli and Carlos Ruiz-Tagle (editors)

PLOT: In southern Chile, a young woman named Cecilia (Varela) returns with her children to her family’s dairy farm after her father Enrique (Castro) suffers a heart attack. There, she is shocked to find that her mother Magdalena (Maestro) – who years ago committed suicide in the nearby polluted river – has been mysteriously resurrected…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) In a two-for-one deal with Chilean cinema this week (after 1976; see above), you get to dive into this unusual family drama from first-time feature filmmaker Francisca Alegria

2) It’s certainly got an eye-catching mouthful of a title, but its supposedly nonsensical nature has deeper meaning when you actually watch the film

3) A strong eco-friendly message forms a major part of the action, with its focus on the impact of man-made pollution on Chile’s once-luscious rivers

4) There is a supernatural element to this magical realist tale, which makes the viewer really curious about what, or even why, these strange events are occurring

5) Above all, though, it’s a universal story of family and getting new chances to reconnect with those we thought we once lost

The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th March 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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