Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with cinema offering you two stellar revenge thrillers, while home entertainment delivers a load of screams and a side of sentimentality.
Thursday March 8th
IN THE FADE
The German film has been gathering a lot of heat overseas, and stars the always welcome Diane Kruger, veteran of INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and NATIONAL TREASURE, who turns in perhaps her most remarkable performance to date. Out of nowhere, Katja’s life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack. Her friends and family try to give her the support she needs, and Katja somehow manages to make it through the funeral. But the mind numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katja’s painful mourning, opening wounds and doubts. Danilo, a lawyer and Nuri’s best friend, represents Katja in the eventual trial against the two suspects: a young couple from the neo-Nazi scene. The trial pushes Katja to the edge, but there’s simply no alternative for her: she wants justice.
Starring Aussie icon Chris Hemsworth, this reality-inspired war flick is absolutely full of intense action setpieces – and probably you first destination if you want to see soldiers firing on the Taliban from horseback! Following 9/11, Chris Hemsworth leads a team of U.S. Special Forces into Afghanistan where they must learn to fight on horseback. A U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans — accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare — must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.
Viewers will be glad to know that Eli Roth’s remake of the 1974 American classic retains all the gritty violence (and looks set to attract all the controversy) of the original film. This is exactly the kind of movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen – it’s brutal, it’s loud and it’s sure to blow you away! Dr. Paul Kersey is a surgeon who often sees the consequences of the city’s violence in the emergency room. When home intruders brutally attack his wife and young daughter, Kersey becomes obsessed with delivering vigilante justice to the perpetrators. As the anonymous slayings grab the media’s attention, the public begins to wonder if the deadly avenger is a guardian angel — or the Grim Reaper itself.
Wednesday March 7th
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING
Followed a tortured development process (and a premature dumping on Google Play where it can be downloaded for free) this tenth instalment in the Amityville series isn’t quite as bad as many have feared, and far from the worst in the series. Belle, her little sister, and her comatose twin brother move into a new house with their single mother Joan in order to save money to help pay for her brother’s expensive healthcare. But when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house including the miraculous recovery of her brother, Belle begins to suspect her Mother isn’t telling her everything and soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.
From Australian Genre maestro Greg McLean comes this DANIEL RADCLIFFE driven survival drama (based on real events) in his signature shocking style. Despite this move towards drama, fans of WOLF CREEK and ROGUE will not be disappointed, as McLean manages to pack in an atmosphere of palpable dread along with a handful of legitimately chilling graphic images. A mysterious guide escorts an enthusiastic adventurer and his friend into the Amazon jungle. Their journey turns into a terrifying ordeal as the darkest elements of human nature and the deadliest threats of the wild force them to fight for survival. Blu-ray features production feature and interviews with cast & crew.
One of the most beautiful films in recent memory (and the world’s first full painted animated film!) comes to the small screen. The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent’s brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death. DVD features making-of, production featurettes and interviews with cast & crew.
Yet more for Chris Hemsworth fans, as the latest instalment of the Thor franchise comes to Australian homes. This one carries the unique stamp of New Zealand director Taika Waititi, resulting in a Marvel film that has way more laughs and way more personality than its peers. Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.
In production since 2013, this little home invasion shocker has finally arrived for home viewing. Starring BELLA THORNE and CHANDLER RIGGS (audiences will be reminded how delayed this film has been by how young they are here) lets hope the long wait until release isn’t a reflection on the film’s quality. A family imprisoned by intruders is forced to play a terrifying game. As the night unfolds, the game’s mysterious rules become clear, and the family realizes their nightmare is being streamed live to riveted viewers all over the world, who are compelled to KEEP WATCHING…not knowing if what they’re seeing is real, or staged.
MANSON’S LOST GIRLS
Yet another cinematic treatment of the Manson murders, this treatment keeps itself fresh by sticking to the perspective of Linda Kasabian, one of his conflicted followers. For the sheer feat of finding something new in a story that’s been told over and over, this should satisfy audiences drawn to the Manson-mythology. In the summer of 1969, Linda Kasabian (MacKenzie Mauzy) travels to a California ranch where cult leader Charles Manson (Jeff Ward) orders his followers to commit heinous crimes.