THIS WEEK’S RELEASES (23RD-29TH JANUARY 2023)

 

It’s a big week for awards pundits, as the nominations for the 95th Oscars are finally announced – which films will be shortlisted? Who knows, but when this week’s line-up of solid releases features a real contender for the top prize, a nuptial action-comedy to say “I do” to, and the long-awaited feature follow-up to a cult TV series, it feels like we’ve already won…

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: The Fabelmans (dir. Steven Spielberg)

CAST: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, Julia Butters, Keeley Karsten, Sophia Kopera, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East, Isabelle Kusman, Chandler Lovelle, Gustavo Escobar, Nicolas Cantu, Cooper Dodson, Gabriel Bateman, Stephen Smith, Lane Factor, James Urbaniak, Connor Trinneer, Greg Grunberg, David Lynch, Jan Hoag, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Birdie Borria, Alina Brace

CREW: Steven Spielberg, director, writer, producer; Tony Kushner, writer, producer; Kristie Macosko Krieger, producer; John Williams, composer; Janusz Kaminski, cinematographer; Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn, editors

PLOT: In 1950s Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman (LaBelle) discovers his passion for movies, and with the support of his loving but dysfunctional parents Mitzi (Williams) and Burt (Dano) he aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence. However, when he discovers a shocking family secret, he must find a way to overcome his conflicting emotions through the power of film…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Steven Spielberg dives into his own childhood for the first time in a semi-autobiographical family drama that explores the filmmaking titan’s origins

2) Spielberg is also credited for co-writing the screenplay (his first such credit since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence) with Tony Kushner, who had previously written Munich, Lincoln and West Side Story for the filmmaker

3) Michelle Williams delivers an outstanding turn as the main protagonist’s mother, as does Paul Dano as his complicated father (and look out for scene-stealing turns from Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch and even David Lynch)

4) It’s a glorious testament to the power of film, and the joys that come with filmmaking, both of which are utilised extraordinarily in the hands of a real champion of movies

5) Expect it to be a major contender in the upcoming awards season, with Spielberg tapped to possibly win his third Directing Oscar (which would be his first since Saving Private Ryan)

The Fabelmans is showing in cinemas from Friday 27th January 2023

 

WHAT ELSE IS COMING OUT THIS WEEK?

Plane (dir. Jean-François Richet)

CAST: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, Tony Goldwyn, Daniella Pineda, Kelly Gale, Remi Adeleke, Haleigh Hekking, Lilly Krug, Joey Slotnick, Oliver Trevana, Paul Ben-Victor, Quinn McPherson

CREW: Jean-François Richet, director; Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis, writers; Marc Butan, Gerard Butler, Jason Constantine, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Eda Kowan, Luillo Ruiz, Alan Siegel and Mark Vahradian, producers; Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp, composers; Brendan Galvin, cinematographer; David Rosenbloom, editor

PLOT: Brodie Torrance (Butler), a commercial pilot, is forced to make an emergency landing on a hostile island in the middle of the Philippines, after his plane is damaged in a brutal thunderstorm. When the passengers are taken hostage by the local militia, Brodie must team with Louis Gaspare (Colter), a convicted fugitive who was being extradited on the flight, in order to rescue everyone and get themselves off the island…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Gerard Butler is back in action movie mode for an endlessly thrilling ride where the plane crash ISN’T the climax of the film?!

2) He’s joined on-screen by former Luke Cage star Mike Colter, and the two make a compelling team that you’re more than comfortable rooting for

3) It had a bit of a bumpy road to production, as it was originally dropped by distributor Lionsgate after it failed to get insurance to protect the set from a COVID-19 outbreak, but was promptly reacquired a few months later

4) French director Jean-François Richet, who previously made the divisive remake of Assault on Precinct 13 and worked with Mel Gibson on the tense action-thriller Blood Father, brings his A-game to the nail-biting action

5) Puerto Rico doubled for the Filipino setting where the film mostly takes place, meaning that it was surely a relaxing time off-camera for the cast and crew!

Plane is showing in cinemas from Friday 27th January 2023

Shotgun Wedding (dir. Jason Moore)

CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Sônia Braga, Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz, Cheech Marin, D’Arcy Carden, Selena Tan, Desmin Borges, Alex Mallari Jr., Callie Hernandez, Steve Coulter, María del Mar Fernández, Héctor Gonz

CREW: Jason Moore, director; Mark Hammer, writer; Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina and Alexander Young, producers; Pinar Toprak, composer; Peter Deming, cinematographer; Doc Crotzer, editor

PLOT: Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) have gathered their lovable but opinionated families together for an extravagant destination wedding, where the couple-to-be are starting to get cold feet. However, when an armed group of criminals suddenly take the guests hostage, it’s up to Darcy and Tom to put their differences aside and team up to save their loved ones – and maybe also their romance…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Jennifer Lopez combines her trademark rom-com persona with her underutilised action hero identity in an explosive adventure for couples everywhere to enjoy

2) She shares strong action and comedy chemistry with Josh Duhamel, who stepped in at the last minute to replace original actor Armie Hammer (I think you know why he dropped out…)

3) There are enough guns, grenades, and even sharpened cake knives to match the traditional wedding items from the cake to the alter!

4) Keep an eye out for a scene-stealing supporting turn from Jennifer Coolidge, who is on a serious roll after her Emmy-winning turn on The White Lotus

5) It’s a big deal for Amazon (who purchased the rights from Lionsgate last year), for it could well become one of their biggest blockbusters due to its awesome star power alone

Shotgun Wedding is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 27th January 2023

Unwelcome (dir. Jon Wright)

CAST: Hannah John-Kamen, Douglas Booth, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Colm Meaney, Kristian Nairn, Niamh Cusack, Chris Walley, Paul Warren, Rick Warden

CREW: Jon Wright, director, writer; Mark Stay, writer; Piers Tempest and Peter Touche, producers; Christian Henson, composer; Hamish Doyne-Ditmas, cinematographer; Zsófia Tálas, editor

PLOT: Expectant couple Maya (John-Kamen) and Jamie (Booth) move away from their urban lifestyle to a rural countryside cottage in Ireland that they have inherited. There, they are given bizarre instructions by the locals to always leave a blood offering at the foot of their garden every day – but when they foolishly neglect to honour these rules, the couple finds itself at the mercy of a mysterious race of creatures known as the “Redcaps”…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Director Jon Wright, best known for the hilarious Irish sci-fi comedy Grabbers, plays on local folklore to tell a twisted and sinister fairy tale

2) It has plenty to say about hostile relations between Irish and English civilians, especially when the latter begin entrenching on their territory

3) Fans of creature-feature horror will be delighted to know that the tradition continues here, with the sinister “Redcaps” providing an endless platter of miniature – not to mention gory – delights

4) Hannah John-Kamen and Douglas Booth make for an engaging horror movie couple, who despite some of their characters’ thoughtless actions quickly get you on their side

5) Of course, there’ll be scares and creepiness aplenty, which is exactly what you’d want out of an entertaining horror movie

Unwelcome is showing in cinemas from Friday 27th January 2023

You People (dir. Kenya Barris)

CAST: Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mike Epps, Molly Gordon, Nia Long, Deon Cole, Rhea Perlman, David Duchovny, Andrew Schulz, Travis Bennett, Andrea Savage, La La Anthony, Sam Jay, Emily Arlook, Jordan Firstman, Bryan Greenberg, Anthony Payton, Yung Miami

CREW: Kenya Barris, director, writer, producer; Jonah Hill, writer, producer; Kevin Misher, producer; Bekon, composer; Mark Doering-Powell, cinematographer; Jamie Nelsen, editor

PLOT: When a young couple (Hill and London) decide to get married, they much each face the awkward clash of their families and their wildly different backgrounds…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Star and co-writer Jonah Hill puts a frightfully modern spin on Meet The Parents in a multi-generational comedy that is universal in its feelings of awkwardness

2) Kenya Barris, the creator of hit sitcom Black-ish and writer of recent hits like Girls Trip, makes his feature directorial debut here

3) Joining Hill is a fantastic ensemble cast of comedy icons, including Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mike Epps

4) Murphy continues his comeback streak in style with a role that looks to be far more subdued, but no less hilarious, than most that he’s played before

5) Expect an awkward culture clash unlike any other as the racial satire is played up in ways not seen since Get Out (although, hopefully, without as many visits to the Sunken Place)

You People is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 27th January 2023

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (dir. Laura Poitras)

CAST: Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Marina Berio, Noemi Bonazzi, Harry Cullen, Alfonse D’amato, Jesse Helms, Megan Kapler, Patrick Radden Keefe, Ed Koch, John Mearsheimer, Annatina Miescher, Cookie Mueller, Sharon Niesp, Darryl Pinckney, Alexis Pleus, Mike Quinn, Anwar Sadat, Vittorio Scarpati, Maggie Smith, Robert Suarez, David Velasco, David Wojnarowicz

CREW: Laura Poitras, director, producer; Howard Gertler, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov and John S. Lyons, producers; Soundwalk Collective, composer; Nan Goldin, cinematographer; Joe Bini, Amy Foote and Brian A. Kates, editors

PLOT: The story of Nan Goldin, the internationally acclaimed artist and activist, and her vital role in the downfall of the Sackler family, whose pharmaceutical dynasty was responsible for countless deaths during the opioid epidemic…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) It tells the incredible tale of artist Nan Goldin, who through her activism inspired a wave of dissidence against corrupt pharmaceutical dynasties

2) In August, the film became the second-ever documentary to win the coveted Golden Lion trophy at the Venice Film Festival

3) Director Laura Poitras isn’t a stranger to making films about controversial public figures, having previously won an Oscar for her ground-breaking Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour

4) The film features plenty of input and appearances from familiar faces with the art and activism circle, including iconic actress Maggie Smith

5) It’s a powerful David vs. Goliath story that rings more true than ever as political division widens by the day

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is showing in cinemas from Friday 27th January 2023

Teen Wolf: The Movie (dir. Russell Mulcahy)

CAST: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, Colton Haynes, Shelley Hennig, Dylan Sprayberry, Linden Ashby, Melissa Ponzio, JR Bourne, Khylin Rhambo, Orny Adams, Seth Gilliam, Ryan Kelley, Ian Bohen, Vince Mattis, Amy Lin Workman, Nobi Nakanishi, John Posey, L.B. Fisher

CREW: Russell Mulcahy, director; Jeff Davis, writer; Tyler Hoechlin and Tyler Posey, producers; Dino Meneghin, composer; David Daniel, cinematographer; Edward R. Abroms and Gregory Cusumano, editors

PLOT: When a terrifying evil emerges in the California town of Beacon Hills, werewolf Scott McCall (Posey) gathers numerous other shapeshifters together to defeat their deadly new adversary…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The popular MTV supernatural drama returns in feature-length form for a special event that fans will howl over

2) Expect many fan-favourites to show up, including Tylers Posey and Hoechlin as respective werewolves Scott and Derek, which should be enough to cover the fact that former castmates Dylan O’Brien, Arden Cho and Cody Christian didn’t make it back

3) Russell Mulcahy, the director of cult movie Highlander and its notorious sequel Highlander II: The Quickening, directs after having worked on a number of episodes for the original series

4) There are plenty of creepy effects that bring to life a wide range of spooky creatures, including Werecoyotes and Hellhounds

5) It’s rumoured to lead directly into a new spin-off show on Paramount+ called Wolf Pack, which has Sarah Michelle Gellar attached to lead

Teen Wolf: The Movie is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ from Friday 27th January 2023

January (dir. Andrey Paounov)

CAST: Samuel Finci, Iossif Sarchadhiev, Zachary Baharov, Svetoslav Stoyanov, Leonid Yovchev, Borislav Chouchkov, Malin Krastev, Stanimir Lazarov, Lachezar Lazarov

CREW: Andrey Paounov, director, writer; Alex Barrett, writer; Vanya Rainova and Svetoslav Stoyanov, producers; Ivo Paunov, composer; Vasco Viana, cinematographer; Francisco Moreira, Anastas Petkov and Victoria Radoslavova, editors

PLOT: In the middle of a snowstorm, five men (Finci, Sarchadhiev, Baharov, Stoyanov and Youchev) find themselves taking shelter in a woodland cabin. There, they slowly discover that they are caught in an endless limbo between life and death where they try and solve a mystery before it consumes them…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Bulgarian filmmaker Andrey Paounov, known for some rather out-there documentaries, makes his narrative debut with a surreal psychological thriller

2) The film features some striking black-and-white cinematography, which creates an unsettling mood and atmosphere throughout its entirety

3) It’s been compared to The Shining for its themes of isolation and supernatural mind games, as well as the fact that there are some creepy twins lurking about somewhere

4) Prepare to think quite a bit, for it’s the kind of film that requires plenty of thought and observation for it to land the desired effect

5) The movie’s called January, and it’s being released… in January. How much more perfect a release date can you possibly get?!

January is showing in cinemas, and will be available to rent/buy on most digital platforms, from Friday 27th January 2023

The Harbinger (dir. Andy Mitton)

CAST: Gabby Beans, Emily Davis, Raymond Anthony Thomas, Myles Walker, Cody Braverman, Jay Dunn, Stephanie Roth Haberle, Laura Heisler

CREW: Andy Mitton, director, writer, producer, composer, editor; Ludovica Isidori, cinematographer

PLOT: Monique (Beans) travels to New York to visit her oldest friend Mavis (Davis), who has been plagued by horrific nightmares. Soon, Monique encounters the mysterious figure from Mavis’ dreams, a masked demon known as the Harbinger who feeds on his victims’ souls, and can distort reality itself to erase their existence…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Horror filmmaker Andy Mitton introduces a terrifying new monster to haunt your nightmares, or at the very least make you want to sleep with the light on

2) The COVID-19 pandemic plays a fundamental role in the plot, as well as the isolationist atmosphere that it seeks to create

3) Much of the film was shot on location in upstate New York, which provides a moody backdrop for the film’s sinister scares

4) Actor Gabby Beans, in her feature debut, delivers a compelling chilled-to-the-bone lead performance

5) Its borderline sadistic mind-games will always leave you on edge, adding more and more to the already impressive horror levels

The Harbinger will be available to rent/buy on most digital platforms, from Monday 23rd January 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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