High off a busy couple of years that have transformed her into one of the world’s most coveted film stars, Jessica Chastain takes a breather from all those prestige projects for this down-and-dirty supernatural horror. When her boyfriend’s orphaned nieces are found years after being lost in the wilderness, Chastain agrees to take them in her home. But little does she know that the two girls were being looked after by a mysterious presence they called ‘Mama’, a spirit who isn’t quite ready to cut the apron strings. Produced by horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, this film delivers some pretty big scares amidst a palpably chilly atmosphere.
Produced by the Farrelly Brothers, this filthy comedic anthology has more big name talent than even The Player and New Year’s Eve put together! We’re talking about Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Kate Winslet starring in gross, profane and sophomoric sketches. If we’re telling you that Jackman’s character has a pair of testicles hanging under his chin and you find yourself completely repulsed, this movie might not be for you. But if you have appreciation for the edgier, sloppier side of humour, you’ll find a complete mine of comedy gold here. Or at the very least, comedy copper.
Long-considered to be an ‘un-filmable’, author David Mitchell’s spawling novel gets the Hollywood treatment thanks to visionary directors The Wachowskis (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). They tell a huge number of concurrent stories that span continents and centuries, with the all-star ensemble cast playing multiple roles throughout. We’re talking about stars like Tom Hanks playing everything from a Nineteenth Century doctor to a nuclear scientist in the 70s to a post-apocalyptic family in the distant future. This is actually a film that has divided critics and audiences alike, with many people loving its scope and reckless ambition; others not appreciating how nebulous the story gets. Having seen it in the cinema, we think this could very well be a masterpiece: an essential piece of viewing for movie fans.
Sir Anthony Hopkins IS Alfred Hitchcock. With the help of prosthetics and make-up, he portrays Hollywood’s Master of Suspense to tell the story of the making of ‘Psycho’. Now seen as one of the all-time classics, we discover that there was once a time when it was taboo to do things like show murders, sympathise with killer or even depict a toilet on the big screen! Starring opposite him is Helen Mirren as Hitch’s wife Alma who, as it turns out, had a much bigger creative input than anyone in the public imagined! If you’re looking for two top level British thesps going head-to-head in a handsomely made period piece, you’re in luck this week!
To The Wonder
Director Terrence Malick returns this week with his follow-up to 2011’s Oscar-nominated The Tree of Life. Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko play a married couple whose passion for each other cools, leading Olga to re-connect with her faith while Ben rekindles a relationship with Rachel McAdams. Like just about every Malick film, it’s light on narrative drive but big on theme and beautiful shots of nature. It’s not necessarily to everybody’s taste but if you have a big screen and a good sound system, you might find yourself enjoying his lush and meditative style of film making.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded
It’s straight-to-video time in the New Releases Round-Up and that means another hard-hitting action film featuring a WWE Superstar! The wrestler in question this week is Randy Orton (taking over from John Cena in the original). He plays a curiously muscular paramedic who finds himself pitted against a vigilante who’s forcing him to twelve rounds in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. The mystery man is somehow knows about his past and Orton has to figure out the connection before it’s too late! If mindless fun and carnage is what you’re after, we’ve got 245lbs of red-blooded action coming your way!
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Director Alex Gibney, best known for Iraq documentary Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, turns his eye to perhaps his most hard-hitting subject yet. In investigating the Catholic Church’s systematic cover-up of child abuse, he meets four deaf men who intend to expose the priest who abused them through the sixties. Starting from the ground floor, the film soon finds that the smokescreen goes all the way top to the Vatican. This is a powerful film that inspires shock, outrage and a disbelief at how spiritual leaders can so thoroughly fail the people they’re charged with looking after.
For more of the latest films, check out the blinkbox New Releases page