Grim Pickings

Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…

08 May 2018

Grim Pickings this week includes key dates to dismember with another classic Agatha Christie tale hitting the big screen while home entertainment stirs up some scares with the fourth instalment in one of the most successful contemporary horror franchises.


Thursday May 10th
Following last year’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, Agatha Christie is back in vogue and this week Roadshow release a new adaptation with another all-star cast including Max Irons, Glenn Close, Christina Hendricks & Gillian Anderson. The suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a wealthy patriarch is investigated by spy-turned-private-detective Charles Hayward (Irons), who is lured by his former lover to catch her grandfather’s murderer before Scotland Yard exposes dark family secrets. On the sprawling estate, amidst a poisonous atmosphere of bitterness, resentment and jealousy in a truly crooked house, Hayward encounters three generations of the dynasty, including a theater actress (Anderson), the old man’s widow 50 years his junior (Hendricks), and the family matriarch Lady Edith de Haviland (Close).

John Curran (TRACKS, THE PAINTED VEIL) helms a piercing reexamination of the true events surrounding the most difficult seven days of Senator Ted Kennedy’s career when he drove off a bridge, ending the life of his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. It starts on the eve of the moon landing, July 18, 1969, at a party in a rented house on Chappaquiddick Island, celebrating a reunion of many Bobby Kennedy campaign workers. With his brother John’s presidential legacy looming large as his promise to land a man on the moon is coming true, Kennedy leaves the party early giving Kopechne a fateful ride to the ferry. He approaches a narrow bridge at angle with the dirt road and in an instant the car flips over into the murky waters below. Kennedy escapes but the 28-year-old campaign worker remains trapped inside. In the aftermath, Kennedy fails to report the accident for nine hours. The Senator struggles to follow his own moral compass and simultaneously protect his family’s legacy, all while simply trying to keep his own political ambitions alive.

The holy trinity responsible for YOUNG ADULT, writer Diablo Cody (JUNO), director Jason Reitman (THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) and actress Charlize Theron (MAD MAD: FURY ROAD) reunite for this hilarious and heartfelt account of parenting. A mother (Theron) of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED). Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis, BLADE RUNNER 2049).


Wednesday May 9th
Genre luminary Lin Shaye returns as the brilliant parapsychologist, Dr. Elise Rainier, in a script penned by franchise creator Leigh Whannell (SAW, THE MULE) and directed by Adam Robitel (THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN). Elise and her team travel to Five Keys, N.M., to investigate a man’s claim of a haunting. Terror soon strikes when Rainier realizes that the house he lives in was her family’s old home. Blu-ray release includes an alternate ending, 8x Deleted Scenes, a franchise recap titled ‘Dive into the Insidious Universe’ and three featurettes: ‘Becoming Elise’, ‘Going into the Further’ and ‘Unlocking Keyface’.
Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning feature crafts an other-worldly fable that pits the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in an AMELIE world against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. 4K Ultra-HD and Blu-ray releases include 5x featurettes and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Liam Neeson returns to the screen in another actioner though this time in the vein of NICK OF TIME, FLIGHTPLAN and UNDER SEIGE: DARK TERRITORY.  Michael (Neeson), is an insurance salesman on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers. The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos audio track and an exclusive interview with Liam Neeson.
Despite receiving six Oscar nominations, sadly master filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth feature only came away with ‘Best Achievement in Costume Design’. In the opinion of this humble cultist (Brother Jarret), its the best film of 2018 thus far and the kind of film people will still be talking about in years to come when they’ll be scratching their heads trying to remember what one the Oscar that year for ‘Best Picture’. Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running. Both DVD & Blu-ray releases come with Deleted Scenes, Camera Test with commentary by auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, a House of Woodcock fashion show narrated by Adam Buxton and a slideshow of behind-the-scenes photographs accompanied by demo versions of Jonny Greenwood’s score.

Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.