Since I don’t get to the cinema to see new releases that often anymore, this is my new weekly feature reviewing the latest releases on Sky Cinema Premiere (and in turn, Now TV). I will write a short review and rating for each of the films that I have watched and then give you the details for the ones that I didn’t get a chance to see.
This week’s feature sees the release of Future World, Beast of Burden, The Elephant and the Butterfly, The Toybox, Love Simon, Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High, and Breaking In.
28th January – Who We Are Now
Synopsis: In this double-stranded tale, fiery ex-con Beth wants to reconnect with her son, but her sister, Gabby, and her husband – now legal guardians – have doubts. At the same time, lawyer Jess is struggling to make inroads into the legal system when she meets Beth and takes on her custody case as a means of reaffirming her belief in the law.
Director: Matthew Newton
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Emma Roberts, Zachary Quinto, Jimmy Smits, Jess Weixler, Lea Thompson, and Jason Biggs
29th January – Beast of Burden
Synopsis: Airborne drugs mule Sean Haggerty has the deadline of just an hour to deliver his illegal cargo from a tiny storm-buffeted Cessna plane over the Mexican border. To complicate matters, he needs the job to pay for his wife’s medicals bills while his mission is further jeopardised by the involvement of cartel boss Mallory.
Director: Jesper Ganslandt
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Grace Gummer, Pablo Schreiber, Robert Wisdom, Cesar Perez, and David Joseph Martinez
30th January – The Elephant and the Butterfly (Drôle de père)
Synopsis: Dour ex-boyfriend Antoine returns to his Belgian hometown where he reunites with his ex-lover and the mother of their five-year-old girl, Elsa, whom he has never met. Through an unexpected turn of events, Antoine suddenly finds himself left alone to take care of the inquisitive and spirited youngster. In French with English subs.
Director: Amélie van Elmbt
Cast: Isabelle Barth, Thomas Blanchard, Judith Chemla, Kristof Coenen, Alice de Lencquesaing, and Lina Doillon
31st January – The Toybox
Synopsis: It’s literally hell on wheels when a bickering family take a vintage RV motorhome harbouring terrible secrets on a road trip. Widower Charles hopes the holiday will reconcile him with his two sons. Along the way, they pick up Samantha and her brother who have broken down, before making a detour into the desert. Bad move.
Director: Tom Nagel
Cast: Denise Richards, Mischa Barton, Jeff Denton, Brian Nagel, Greg Violand, and Matt Mercer
1st February – Love, Simon
Synopsis: American teenager Simon has a secret – he’s gay. Pretending to be straight makes him feel lonely, but also safe. However, his routine is knocked off kilter when he discovers that another pupil at the school is also gay via a blog shared among his classmates. The pair begin an anonymous email flirtation and his life starts opening up.
Director: Greg Berlanti
Cast: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, and Logan Miller
Review: Everyone deserves a great love story, and that’s what this film is: a love story. More romance than drama, it’s great to see a gay character as the lead instead of just being the sidekick best friend. It’s a lovely and refreshing story but it is very romanticised. But then so are most cliche heterosexual rom-coms, so why can’t this romance be light-hearted and be enjoyed in its simplest form? The ending, in reality, would be very unlikely, and I do think that some things could have been explored better, but not every film about a gay person has to make a point. Enjoy Love, Simon for what it is, and fall in love with Nick Robinson whatever your sexual preference.
2nd February – Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High
Synopsis: The girls (Supergirl, Batgirl, the young Wonder Woman) find themselves pitted against a formidable team of teen DC wrong ‘uns (Cheetah, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn) who’ve been manipulated by Lena Luthor, younger sister of DC nemesis Lex Luthor, via a school for supervillains.
Director: Elsa Garagarza
Voice cast: Yvette Nicole Brown, Greg Cipes, Romi Dames, John DiMaggio, Teala Dunn, and Ashley Eckstein
3rd February – Breaking In
Synopsis: Mom Shaun Russell takes her two kids Glover and Jasmine to the home of her late father, a modern mansion with apparently impenetrable security. She’s there to sort out his estate but four criminals are determined to get their hands on the house’s safe. They take Shaun’s kids hostage but quickly regret it.
Director: James McTeigue
Cast: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, and Seth Carr
Review: A great performance from Gabrielle Union, and Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr who play her children. It’s not as tense as other films home invasion thrillers that I’ve seen, but it’s still of a good quality.