In Cinemas & on Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of Oscar-winner come action icon Charlize Theron’s latest blockbuster while a slew of genre classics hit home entertainment!
Thursday August 3rd
Oscar-winner come action icon Charlize Theron (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, MONSTER) stars in this breakneck action-thriller helmed by David Leitch (JOHN WICK, DEADPOOL 2) that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.
THE BIG SICK
Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani (SILICON VALLEY) and co-writer Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK is an earnest dramedy that is among one of the best films of the year. The story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter & Ray Romano) who he’s never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.
Wednesday August 2nd
KADAICHA & INNOCENT PREY (DVD Only)
Umbrella Entertainment’s latest addition to their Ozploitation range comes in the form of a DVD double-feature of 1988’s KADAICHA and 1984’s INNOCENT PREY. KADAICHA: An Aboriginal elder with the power of life or death over those who disobey the laws of the Aboriginal people. When the unsuspecting residents of a suburban housing development encounter strange occurrences in their neighbourhood it is only a matter of time before someone upsets The Kadaicha Man. Discovering that their homes were built atop a sacred Aboriginal burial site, a group of teenagers are subject to nightmarish dreams about an eerie cave with sinister rock paintings and the brooding evil that dwells within. When they awake, a souvenir of their nightmare rests on their pillow a stone destined to haunt them to their very core and place them in mortal jeopardy. INNOCENT PREY: Cathy (P.J. Soles ) is suspicious of Joe’s (Kit Taylor) need to work late every night. Discovering Joe’s car parked outside of a motel, Cathy watches in horror as Joe slashes a prostitute to death with a razor. Joe is sent to the state hospital for the criminally insane and Cathy attempts to rebuild her life in Australia. Soon after her arrival, Cathy becomes the object of obsession for her landlord who observes her every movement, ready to cause all manner of mayhem to her newfound freedom.
STREETS OF FIRE
Co-written and directed by Walter Hill (THE WARRIORS, SOUTHERN COMFORT), STREETS OF FIRE is a genre-defying shotgun blast to the senses and this week’s Cinema Cult release marks the local high-def debut of the modern classic. Amid a brooding rock & roll landscape, the Bombers motorcycle gang, led by the vicious Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe, John Wick), kidnap diva Ellen Aim (Diane Lane, THE OUTSIDERS). Her hope for rescue lies with unlikely heroes: soldier of fortune Tom Cody (Michael Pare, BAD MOON) and his sidekick, the two-fisted beer-guzzling McCoy (Amy Madigan, THE DARK HALF). Joined by Ellen’s manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis, GHOSTBUSTERS), the trio plunges headfirst into a world of rain-splattered streets, hot cars, and deadly assassins.
Antonio Banderas & Jonathan Rhys Meyers go head-to-head in this gripping reworking of the 2008 French psychologic thriller, PAPILLON NOIR. On the outskirts of a small mountain town grappling with a series of recent abductions and murders, reclusive writer Paul struggles to start a screenplay that could save his career. Following a strange encounter at a local diner with a drifter named Jack, Paul offers him a place to stay…and soon the mysterious Jack starts to entangle himself into Paul’s life and work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a tense game of one-upmanship that will bring buried secrets to light and at least one tale to a shocking end. Stay tuned to Cult of Monster as we’ll be doing a GIVEAWAY of this fantastic mind-bender this week!
DEATH WISH 2 & 3 (Blu-ray Only)
Umbrella Entertainment deliver their second Cannon Classics Double Feature, loaded with special features including a total of four cuts of DEATH WISH 2! DEATH WISH 2: One-time architect Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson, The Dirty Dozen) is back to settle old scores and make new enemies in Death Wish II. In an attempt to put his grisly past behind him, Kersey has moved to Los Angeles to begin life anew. But with his daughter haunted by previous trauma, the shadow of torment is never far away. DEATH WISH 3: When Kersey arrives in New York to visit an old friend, he is horrified to find him the victim of a brutal attack. With the past forever haunting him, and the future a question mark of violence and inhumanity – Kersey snaps back into his old ways – gearing up as the silent avenger once more – ready to strike back against injustice and wage bloody war against the city’s growing population of thugs and reprobates.
KILL SWITCH (DVD Only)
Dan Stevens (THE GUEST, COLOSSAL) stars in this first-person sci-fi/actioner helmed by visual effects artist, Tim Smit. A military experiment to harness unlimited energy goes horribly awry, leaving a pilot with no choice but to fight through an imploding world to save his family and the planet itself.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Who would’ve thought a minor summer actioner from 2001 would go on to spawn seven sequels and become one of the highest-grossing franchises of all-time, not us but it has with the last film taking in over $1 billion worldwide at the box-office. Given the current climate of declining physical media sales globally, Universal Pictures has made the unusual decision to restrict the Extended Director’s Cut of FAST 8 to digital only content that comes with the physical product. That said given FAST 8’s 136 minute theatrical duration, it’s hard to fathom how much longer an Extended Director’s Cut could possibly run for without overstaying its welcome. Now that Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are married and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar-winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family.
Cinema Cult’s second release for the week is a re-issue of Hong Kong Legend John Woo’s first Hollywood feature, the Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner, HARD TARGET. Van Damme is the target of an evil mercenary (Lance Henriksen) who recruits homeless combat veterans for the ‘amusement’ of his clients – bored tycoons who will pay a half a million dollars to stalk and kill the most challenging prey of them all: Man. Laced with dark humour and slam-packed with electrifying action HARD TARGET is a must see for action fans.
GOING IN STYLE
Whilst not typically #GrimPickings fodder, Zach Braff’s remake of the 1979 film of the same name has the perfect amount of heart and humour to elevate it above the MOR pigeonhole it’s likely to end up in. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.