Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the second theatrical release of Jackie Chan in recent months and the long overdue arrival of a Stephen King classic on Blu-ray…they all float down here!
Thursday January 5th
RAILROAD TIGERS (Limited Release)
Jackie Chan returns with his second Australian theatrical feature in less than three months, following his outing with Johnny Knoxville in SKIPTRACE. Set in 1941, during World War 2, RAILROAD TIGERS tells a story of railroad worker, Ma Yuan (Chan), who leads a team of freedom fighters to derail the Japanese war effort by using his deep knowledge of the train network. Ambushing soldiers and stealing supplies and provisions to help poor and starving locals, this legendary team of partisans on the rail tracks become known as the “Railroad Tigers” by the Chinese people.
Wednesday January 4th
IT (Blu-ray Only)
Tommy Lee Wallace (HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2) brings Stephen King’s classic novel IT to the screen albeit the small one. Produced as a television mini-series back in 1990, IT went on to become a video store favourite and gave an entire generation of Aussie kids a solid case of coulrophobia. Now available for the first-time on Blu-ray in Australia, Roadshow Entertainment have also issued a limited edition IT Steelbook that’s exclusive to JB Hi-Fi! October, 1957. IT awakens and the small town of Derry, Maine will never be the same. Stephen King brings to life every childhood fear and phobia as seven children face an unthinkable horror which appears in various forms, including “Pennywise” (Tim Curry) – a clown who lives, hunts and kills from the town’s sewers. Years later, the surviving adults who are brave enough return to stop the new killing spree, this time for good.
BEYOND THE GATES (DVD Only)
After a sold-out screening at the 2016 MONSTER FEST, BEYOND THE GATES, a homage to both the eighties horror film and early-nineties video boardgames, arrives on DVD locally. Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father’s video store in order to organise his affairs. But as they dig through the deserted store and the myriad 80s artefacts, they discover a unique VCR board game called ‘Beyond The Gates’ that may prove a connection to their father’s disappearance. Dare they play the mysterious game and traverse an inter-dimensional hub into a nightmare world where their father’s soul is trapped?
MISS PEREGRINES HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
When a theatrical poster has a quote emblazon upon it that reads “Tim Burton’s best film in years” (Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair) it doesn’t install a great deal of confidence as let’s face it the last decade of Burton’s cinematic oeuvre is patchy at best. That said aside from some pacing issues, MISS PEREGRINES HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN delivers and does in fact prove to be Burton’s best cinematic effort in some time but still remains a far cry from classics like EDWARD SCISSORHANDS & BEETLEJUICE. When 16-year-old Jake unravels a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he discovers a secret world for children with unusual powers, including levitating Emma, pyrokinetic Olive, and invisible Millard. But danger soon arises and the children must band together to protect a world as extraordinary as they are.