Need for Speed (Early Digital Release)
Aaron Paul, Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, headlines his first Hollywood blockbuster. He plays Tobey Marshall, a prodigious street racer just paroled after a spell in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In order to get back at the man who framed him (Dominic Cooper), Tobey enters a high stakes cross-country race. Tempering the macho vibe of this race film is Imogen Poots, who joins him on this hair-brained revenge mission.
Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Need for Speed takes a number of cues from the Fast and Furious franchise. Petrolheads will especially thrill at the high-end cars and spectacular stunts on display.
Under the Skin (New to Rent)
Scarlett Johansson has always been an indie actress in the guise of a blockbuster star. So it’s no co-incidence that this is her finest on-screen performance since Lost in Translation. She plays an alien creature who invades the body of a beautiful woman in Scotland. Wondering through the streets and outskirts of Glasgow, she prey on lonely men, seducing and killing them.
Directed by Sexy Beast’s Jonathan Glazer, this is a beautiful and haunting film. It’s made all the better by Johansson’s stunningly intense performance.
Check it out, you won’t regret it.
A Long Way Down (Early Digital Release)
It’s a big Aaron Paul week! As well as starring in Need for Speed, he’s also in this British adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel.
On New Year’s Eve, four people from different walks of life find themselves on the roof of a London skyscraper, with the intention of killing themselves. They collectively agree to postpone their suicide until Valentine’s Day, to see if their lives are actually worth living or not. Joining Paul is a solid cast that includes Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Imogen Poots (for the second time this week!).
Starred Up (Early Digital Release)
Jack O’Connell (formerly of Skins) plays a right jack-the-lad who moves into big-boy prison after spending most of his adolescence in young offenders institutes. His father (Ben Mendelsohn) is a career crook serving life in prison. He pretty much runs the gaff and tries to convince his son to stay out of trouble. But you know: some people just won’t listen to good advice.
O’Connell is a genuine star on the rise: he’s playing the lead in the Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken later this year and he’s tremendous in Starred Up. Check him out now before he hits the big time.
Ironclad 2: Battle for Blood (Early Digital Release)
The first Ironclad movie starred James Purefoy as a Templar Knight who storms a castle in the middle ages. This straight-to-video sequel doesn’t have Purefoy – who’s a bit busy at the moment, starring in TV’s The Following. Instead, it stars Danny Webb as a survivor of the first film who must protect his clan from Celtic bandits. Referendum satire, perhaps?
Ironclad 2 also stars Game of Thrones‘ Michelle Fairley. So if you miss seeing Catelyn Stark in medieval garb, here’s your chance!
Charting the personal and professional life of the French iconoclast, this new biopic is an understandably stylish look at one of fashion’s greatest pioneers. Promoted to Head Designer of Christian Dior at the age of 21, we soon see St Laurent strike out on his own. His struggles against the status quo of the haute couture world are paralleled with his tabou relationship with his long-term life and business partner.
We Are The Best! (Early Digital Release)
Director Lukas Moodysson, still best known for his Art House hit Lilya 4-Ever, has created this charming coming-of-age comedy set in 1982 Sweden. Three young girls –all of them outcasts of sorts– decide to form a punk band, despite their lack of talent and the waning popularity of punk. As they prepare for their debut live gig, they encounter the sorts of scrapes all young people get into: squabbling over boys and making enemies (of sorts).
This is a heart-warming, nostalgia filled movie that’s packed with more laughs than we expected. It comes heartily recommended!