Grim Pickings

Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…

26 September 2018

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with an epic adventure opening in cinemas that begs to be seen on the big screen while home entertainment delivers a definitive edition of a cinematic classic!


Thursday September 27th
Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee (LET ME IN, SLOW WEST) gives a career best performance in this high-concept yet genuinely heartfelt survival adventure. Visually spectacular with a throughly engaging narrative, ALPHA possesses a rare wonderment and as such transcends the current blockbuster to potentially become a modern classic. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.

From comic to co-star, Kevin Hart (RIDE ALONG, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE) has proven a viable box office name in the past five odd years so the time could not be riper for him to take the lead in NIGHT SCHOOL. Under the expert comedy craftsmanship of director Malcolm D. Lee (GIRLS TRIP, UNDERCOVER BROTHER) and with a strong supporting cast that includes Tiffany Haddish (THE LAST O.G.), Rob Riggle (DUMB AND DUMBER TO) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (WILSON), Hart shines in a role that’s tailored to his brand of humour. NIGHT SCHOOL is a welcome return to the style of comedy we were more familiar with in the 80s & 90s, a little dumber and a whole lot funnier, where laughs are paramount and drama is secondary. A man’s life takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally blows up his place of employment. Forced to attend night school to get his GED, he must now deal with a group of misfit students and a feisty teacher who doesn’t think he’s too bright.


Wednesday September 26th
Slightly darker and with a faster pace than usual, the JURASSIC PARK franchise returns with its fifth offering and while it does little to further the series, it does provide necessary suspense and action in spades. Our only criticism would be Jeff Goldblum’s return as the beloved Dr. Ian Malcolm, his part feels more like an afterthought as he merely bookends the film. It’s been three years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chis Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times. With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favourite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Universal Pictures’s 4K Ultra-HD and Blu-ray releases contain over fifteen production featurettes along with Chris Pratt’s production diaries and a retrospective featurette on the franchise.

Filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur follows up his 2015 hit EVEREST with another survival drama though this time at sea, starring Shailene Woodley (DIVERGENT) and Sam Claflin (MY COUSIN RACHEL), based on a inspiring true story. As two avid sailors set out on a journey across the ocean, Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) couldn’t anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. ADRIFT is the unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love.
THE DEER HUNTER (40th Anniversary Edition)
Michael Cimino’s five-time Academy Award-winner, THE DEER HUNTER has been painstakingly restored in 4K for this feature-laden 40th Anniversary release. When Michael (Robery De Niro), Steven (John Savage) and Nick (Christopher Walken) are captured by the Vietcong, they are forced to play Russian Roulette by their brutal captors, who make bets on their survival. The experience of capture leaves them with terrible physical and psychological wounds, and when Michael returns to Saigon to fulfill an old promise to one of his friends, he makes an unexpected, horrific discovery. StudioCanal’s Blu-ray & DVD release contains a hive of archival interviews, two audio commentaries and some deleted/extended scenes.

Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.