Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the latest adaptation of HELLBOY hitting the big screen with an <R>18+ rating while four John Carpenter classics arrive restored and remastered on home entertainment!
Thursday April 11
Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT, DOOMSDAY) returns to the director’s chair with his first feature in almost a decade, this time around with an all-new adaptation of Mike Mignola’s beloved HELLBOY comic. Unfortunately for Marshall, this new outing for the sawed-off horned hero carries with it convoluted plotting, flatliner humour, lacklustre performances, patchy production design and woeful special effects that when they don’t look like second-rate CGI, end up looking like latex and foam. Regardless of whether Marshall’s adaptation adheres closer to the comic, the poor execution is its ultimate failure and we would sooner revisit Guillermo del Toro’s two previous efforts back-to-back for twenty-four hours straight before ever giving this one another viewing! Hellboy is back, and he’s on fire. This action-packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.
Think Penny Marshall’s BIG but gender, race and age reversed and you’ve got the premise of LITTLE. While we didn’t get a chance to attend this week’s media screening, we’re catching up with it this weekend as we’re always down for an age-swap/body-swap comedy romp, particularly when its Executive Producer is a fourteen year-old. Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) is a take-no-prisoners tech mogul who wakes up as a 13 year-old version of her adult self (Marsai Martin), just hours before a before a do-or-die presentation. Jordan’s long-suffering assistant April (Issa Rae), is the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line.
JOHN CARPENTER CLASSICS REMASTERED
StudioCanal have just unleashed four newly restored John Carpenter classics to 4K Ultra-HD & Blu-ray, loaded with a combination of all-new and archival special features that include commentaries and featurettes!
THE FOG (1980)
Antonio Bay, California has turned a hundred years old and is getting ready to celebrate its centennial year. But as the residents of the tight-knit community begin to prepare for the festivities, a mysterious cloud of fog appears upon the shore and begins to creep its way across the town, leaving a trail of horrifying slaughter that hints at a deep, blood-soaked secret from its past.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
The year is 1997 and in a police state future the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison. The rules are simple: once you’re in, you don’t come out. But when the United States president (Donald Pleasance) crash lands an escape pod into the centre of the city after fleeing a hijacked plane, a ruthless prison warden (Lee Van Cleef) bribes ex-soldier and criminal Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) into entering the hazardous Manhattan and rescuing the stranded President from the twisted underworld and the demented clutches of its criminal overlord The Duke (Isaac Hayes).
PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
Deep in the basement of an abandoned church, once run by a sinister religious sect, lies a strange bottle of green liquid being investigated by a group of local theoretic physics students. But as the night draws on the students soon realise that the strange relic holds a dark and powerful force beyond their control. A force that could well be the essence of pure evil: the remains of Satan himself. Starring Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker and Jason Wong.
THEY LIVE (1988)
WWF wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays John Nada, a homeless, unemployed construction worker who discovers a pair of sunglasses that when worn suddenly reveal a world run by yuppie aliens intent on keeping the human race brainwashed and sedate with subliminal messages fed through advertising and the media. Luckily for us all John Nada is a man of action and so begins the fight-back (including perhaps the longest fistfight in cinema’s history) to save humankind.
HOLMES AND WATSON
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star in the titular roles of this slapstick take on Arthur Cohen Doyle’s timeless creation. Savaged by critics upon release, we found its brand of irreverent and stupid comedy genuinely funny and while it doesn’t stand up against the comedy duos previous collaborations, STEP BROTHERS and TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, it’s still a worthy watch for fans of absurd and dangerously dumb comedy. The world’s greatest detective and his loyal sidekick & biographer join forces to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon realize that they only have 5,760 minutes to solve the case, or the Queen will be next. Sony’s Blu-ray release contains three featurettes, a gag reel and eighteen deleted scenes!
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.