Directed by Sam Mendes and based in part on an account told to Mendes’ grandfather, 1917 tells the story of two young British soldiers – Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) – during the First World War who are ordered to deliver a message calling off an attack that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap. This message is especially important as Blake’s brother is due to take part in the attack, but it is a race against time.
The seventh instalment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! follows a newly fostered young boy, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who, whilst in search of his mother, is chosen by the ancient wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) as his new champion and receives unexpected superpowers. With his newfound ability to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) and his new friend Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), Billy must stop the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) and the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn and a sequel to the hugely successful 2014 film, Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle sees Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) begin a new journey when their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage. As they are led to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the United States – the Statesman – these two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy, as the world is held hostage by Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore) and her drug cartel, “The Golden Circle”.
From Kick-Ass‘ director Matthew Vaughn and based on the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization, headed by Arthur (Michael Caine) and fronted by Galahad (Colin Firth) and Merlin (Mark Strong). When a global threat emerges from twisted tech genius Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), the organisation recruit an unrefined but promising street kid, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), into their ultra-competitive training program.
Written and directed by Rowan Joffe and based on a novel by S.J. Watson, Before I Go To Sleep centres on a woman, Christine (Nicole Kidman), who wakes up every day without any memory as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. With the daily help of her husband Ben (Colin Firth) and confidant Dr Nasch (Mark Strong), who work separately with Christine to help her piece together her past, a new terrifying truth emerges that forces her to question everyone around her.
Written and directed by Eran Creevy, Welcome To The Punch is a British thriller that follows detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) who, along with his partner Sarah (Andrea Riseborough) and scarred by his failure to bring down his nemeses, is given one last chance to catch the man he’s always been after, as ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) is forced to return to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. As they face off, they start to uncover a larger conspiracy at work, one that they both need to solve in order to survive.
(Published in Issue 8 of my publication In Retrospect)
Directed by Andrew Stanton, John Carter (formerly John Carter of Mars) is an epic science fiction action film based on the heroic protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ Barsoom series of novels. Based on his fantasy-romance serial written in 1912, A Princess of Mars, the film tells the story of Civil War vet John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) who, at the beginning of the film, we are to believe has died. Leaving his private journal to his nephew Edgar (Daryl Sabara), Carter takes us back 13 years to the day, whilst searching for a fabled cave of gold, he was inadvertently teleported to Mars, known to its inhabitants as Barsoom.
(Written for BritScene)
With not a lot of British-related news going on at the box office over the last couple of weeks, things are starting to heat up again with a couple of new releases this week. It’s actually quite a good week for a number of Brits including Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, David Tennant, and Irish comedy actor Chris O’Dowd, with a great selection of films for the next seven days, and we know that you will be happy to see a couple of these in particular on the big screen at last.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief.
This month has got many film critics talking about Gary Oldman and, with the release of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy this month, it’s not hard to see why. Alongside Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt and Tom Hardy, this film adaptation, directed by Tomas Alfredson, is a traditional British spy thriller based on the novel written by John le Carré in 1974.