Are you ready to (watch the) Rock?: New Releases Monday 22 July 2013

GI Joe: Retaliation
The Real American HeroesTM are back and this time, they recruited the one man who can revitalise ANY franchise just by appearing in it. That’s right: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. We know that Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum are also in the film, but we really love seeing The Rock in big action roles above all else (see: this year’s Fast 6). Sure, the first GI Joe was a dopey disappointment but have we mentioned that THE ROCK IS IN THIS SEQUEL?

Danny Boyle follows his 2012 Olympic triumph with another project set in London. This time, it’s a mind-bending thriller set in the intersecting world of crime, hypnosis and art auctioning. James McAvoy plays a junior auctioneer whose worries are only getting started when a dangerous group of armed burglars take him to a hypnotherapist in order to find out where he hid a priceless painting. The plot takes more turns than a game of Monopoly but with Boyle’s talent for amazing visuals, discomforting editing and ace soundtracking, Trance becomes one of the most experimental thrillers we’ve seen in years.

Paperboy (Early Digital Release)
Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey are idealistic reporters who are investigating the case of John Cusack, a convicted murderer sitting on death row. Helping (or perhaps hindering) them in their quest is Nicole Kidman, a sexy white-trash vamp who believes she is in love with Killer Cusack, despite never having met him. This films is definitely weird, totally over-the-top, and features insane Nicolas Cage-level performances from Kidman and Cusack. Check this out: you’re either going to love this film or leave it feeling icky and confused.

Small Apartments (Early Digital Release)
Matt Lucas makes his debut as an American leading man in this strange, quirky comedy from music video guru Jonas Åkerlund (Spun). Lucas plays Franklin, an eccentric living in a building full of other eccentrics. Things can only get stranger when Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, setting off a series of weird events. We don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, but you can be certain that any film with Dolph Lundgren as ‘Dr. Sage Mennox’ must be totally mental. A pitch-black independent comedy, it boasts a supporting cast that includes James Caan, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville and Juno Temple.

In The House
Art House darling François Ozon follows up his broad 2010 comedy Potiche with this darkly comic meditation on the art of writing. Snobbish High School literature teacher Fabrice Luchini starts taking an interest in one of his students: a prodigy with a pen who writes all about his budding friendship with classmate Rapha; a relationship entirely predicated on assimilating into his family. Luchini knows that he shouldn’t encourage Claude’s borderline sociopathic behaviour, but he’s intrigued by the boy’ talent. In turns dark, hilarious and accessibly philosophical, In The House plays like good mid-period Woody Allen film.

Jack the Giant Slayer (New to Rent)
X-Men director Bryan Singer turns his hand to this eye-popping retelling of a tale as old as time. Skins’ Nicholas Hoult stars as a young farm boy who leads a quest to rescue a princess from a group of ugly giants who live up in the sky! Hoult is joined by a band of merry British character actors including Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and Bill Nighy, all of whom are a lot of fun. It might sound like they’ve made a straightforward adaptation of the classic story but the elaborately epic action sequences are really something else!

Sammy’s Great Escape (New to Rent)
It’s Turtle Time once more at blinkbox as we see the early digital release of Sammy’s Great Escape. A sequel to an earlier film we see our titular (or should I say… turtle-ar?) character abducted by poachers, leaving an adorable pair of newly hatched Leatherbacks with the job of rescuing him from an expensive underwater aquarium. Sure: it’s an awful lot like Finding Nemo, but are your kids seriously going to care about that?

For more of the latest movies, check out blinkbox’s New Releases department.

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