Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

24 January 2017

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of M. Night Shyamalan’s multiple-personality masterpiece to the home entertainment arrival of a polarising and long belated genre sequel.

In Cinemas

While 2015’s THE VISIT proved surprisingly good, its SPLIT that signals a triumphant return for filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, delivering his best feature since 2000’s UNBREAKABLE. Whatever you do, don’t read too much about this film and for the love of God don’t ask anyone who has seen it anything about it. In fact stop reading this right now! He said right now! Listen to them…us…I mean…STOP! While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the wilful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Based on Capcom’s hugely popular video game series RESIDENT EVIL comes the final instalment in the most successful video game film franchise ever, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER! Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Ben Affleck returns to the director’s chair for the first-time since his 2013 Oscar-winning ARGO and while that alone is exciting enough, we have to admit we’re kind of stoked that projects such as this delay the next Batman film a little further out. Set in the roaring `20s when Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll. The fiery affair ends in tragedy, setting Joe on a path of revenge, ambition, romance and betrayal that propels him out of Boston and up the ladder of Tampa’s steamy rum-running underworld.

Home Entertainment

As highly anticipated as it was over-hyped, 2016’s BLAIR WITCH was met with a mixed reaction by genre fans and proved to be as much a remake as it were a sequel. A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realise the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.
A reboot of the 1989 martial art classic KICKBOXER, that sees Jean Claude Van Damme return only this time as the mentor to the character he originally played, Kurt Sloane. Eric and Kurt Sloane are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California-based family of martial artists. Kurt has always been in older brother, Eric’s shadow, as he lacks the instincts needed to become a champion. Against Kurt’s concerns, Eric accepts a paid offer and travels to Thailand to challenge the Muay Thai champion Tong Po and fails with dire consequences. Kurt sets out for revenge. He trains with his brother’s mentor, Master Durand, for a Muay Thai fight against the merciless champion, Tong Po. Durand first thinks Kurt is impossible to train, but through a series of spiritual exercises and tests, Durand discovers that Kurt has a deeper strength that will carry him through his final showdown with Tong Po.