In Cinemas & on Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of a long-awaited Stephen King adaptation while Keanu Reeves headlines over a Xenomorph and a King on home entertainment!
Thursday August 17th
THE DARK TOWER
It’s been a long and troubled road in bringing Stephen King’s literary epic THE DARK TOWER to the screen but after countless failed efforts by a number of studios to develop the source into films and television series, Sony & Media Rights Capitol finally deliver a film. Met with largely unfavourable critical reviews upon its release in international territories resulting in aggregated rating of 18% on the Tomatometer, admittedly our expectations are low but we’ll be seeing it opening weekend regardless…after all how often is it these days you get to see a King adaptation on the big screen? Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.
GINTAMA (Limited Release)
A live action adaptation of Hideaki Sorachi’s long-running Japanese manga that has already spawned a number of anime series and several video games comes to the big screen this week in limited release. In a world where aliens have invaded Edo Period Japan, skyscrapers, trains and motor bikes have replaced the simple life of Earth inhabitants. One man however, still carries the soul of a samurai, Gintoki Sakata, otherwise known as Yorozuya Gin-san. As reckless as he is, Gintoki carries his own resolve and is ready to take on any challenge with his fellow companions.
Based on the 2013 novel by award-winning author Dave Eggers (A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING), THE CIRCLE is a dystopian mix of THE TRUMAN SHOW, 1984 & ANTITRUST helmed by indie director James Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW, THE END OF THE TOUR). When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.
Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh returns for his first theatrical feature since 2013’s SIDE EFFECTS and given LOGAN LUCKY’s heist plot, it’s all too familiar territory for Soderbergh given his three-part stint helming the OCEANS franchise. Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Wednesday August 16th
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2
Keanu Reeves returns to reprise his most popular role since THE MATRIX franchise in what is largely agreed to be a sequel that betters its predecessor. Forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy Italian assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers in an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride that takes the non-stop action of the original to a whole new level.
After a five year wait, a couple title changes and muscling Neill Blomkamp out of entering the franchise, Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with ALIEN: COVENANT, another ALIEN prequel that’s been met with mixed criticism. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
DEATH NOTE: LIGHT UP THE NEW WORLD
Ahead of Adam Wingard’s westernised feature adaptation of DEATH NOTE that hits Netflix later this month, the most recent Japanese instalment in the live action world of DEATH NOTE’s manga arrives on home entertainment. In 2016, society is afflicted with cyber-terrorism. The Death Note is a supernatural notebook that grants its user the power to kill simply by writing a person’s name on its pages. Six different Death Notes fall to the human world, the maximum number of notes that can exist at once. In the midst of this, two new individuals inherit the DNA of Light Yagami and L and must play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse once again.
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
SONS OF ANARCHY’s Charlie Hunnman takes the crown in the latest screen adaptation of the Knights of the Round legend from hit and miss-maker Guy Ritchie. When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.
KILL ‘EM ALL
Famed martial artist, action hero and recent television ambassador of Ultra Tune, Jean-Claude Van Damme returns for another JCVD-DTV actioner that despite carrying the title KILL ‘EM ALL does not in fact feature any Metallica songs from the seminal 1983 album of the same name. After a massive shootout, a mysterious stranger (Van Damme) arrives at a local hospital on the brink of death. Then, a foreign gang brazenly comes to the hospital to hunt him down. His nurse, the sole surviving witness to the follow-up shootout, must face an FBI interrogation that unlocks a plot of international intrigue and revenge.
While the world waits for Nicholas Cage to turn up on Aussie television repping local goods or services, Cage turns in another DTV actioner. Is it his fourth of fifth for the year? We’ve lost count! We just hope that every one of these does not carry with it a nail in the coffin of a NATIONAL TREASURE 3! Niagra Falls police detective and Iraq war veteran John Dromoor (Cage) is flagged down by a 12-year-old girl after she witnesses her mother, Teena, being brutally attacked and left for dead by a group of local men. When the men are caught, their parents hire slick criminal defence attorney Jay Kirkpatrick, (Don Johnson) who puts the focus on Teena’s credibility, based on her sobriety and promiscuity. Shockingly her assailants are exonerated and released, even though the daughter’s testimony should have alone been enough for a certain conviction. In the aftermath of the verdict Dromoor grows increasingly close to the victim and her family, who he then discovers are being taunted and stalked by the freed men. The injustice becomes too much for him to take and fueled by a sense of vengeance and his own personal demons, Dromoor sets out on a lone campaign to serve up the justice the men deserve.
Failed pilot turned feature film, MULHOLLAND DRIVE is one of Lynch’s most highly regarded films and now fifteen years since its Australian theatrical release, Universal Pictures have seen fit to release the Special Edition to home entertainment it rightly deserves. With a brand new restoration overseen by Lynch himself, this edition comes loaded with extra feature content and a booklet. Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring). Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman’s identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project.
Mike Nichols’ 1967 masterpiece THE GRADUATE returns to home entertainment locally in an incredible 50th anniversary special edition utilising the same 4K restoration featured on Criterion’s US release and containing an abundance of newly created extras along with archival material. Shy Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is home from college with a degree in hand and an uncertain future in mind. Add to his confusion the aggressive advances by the wife of his father’s business partner, the sexy Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and poor Ben is completely lost. That is until, he meets the girl of his dreams Elaine (Katherine Ross). One problem: Elaine is Mrs. Robinson’s daughter! And she’ll stop at nothing to ensure that these two lovers remain separated forever!