Arnie’s back, and Channing is getting naked again (or as close as he can). The two major releases this week are both sequels, with the new Terminator film hitting screens on Thursday, and Magic Mike gyrating his way back into the hearts of audiences on Friday. As well as the two expected box-office performers, the beginning of the month sees a small but promising British film, another indie rom-com, and a scary-but-funny effort from New Zealand.
Showing at the Venice Film Festival last year and receiving rave reviews, Blood Cells looks at the “bleak underbelly of the UK as people on the fringes of society try to find their way in life and struggle to make good”. Starring Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall) and directed by duo Institute for Eyes (Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull), whose previous work includes acclaimed documentary Isolation (2009), Blood Cells is distributed by Third Films and is released on Tuesday 30th of June.
The fifth instalment in the Terminator series, Terminator Genisys aims to take us back to where it all began, recasting Sarah Connor as Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and John Connor as Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Zero Dark Thirty) and, in the spirit of every time-travel film ever, aims to make something out of some seriously jumbled timelines. Whether the plot satisfies you (or even makes sense) or not is irrelevant. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in one of the most iconic roles in cinema, there’ll be action sequences and explosions galore when it’s released on Thursday 2nd of July.
Another small, indie film this week is Comet. Directed by Sam Esmail (Mockingbird), and starring Justin Long (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Emmy Rossum (The Day After Tomorrow), Comet is a romantic comedy that looks at the development of a couple’s six year relationship at various points in time. The film has received mixed reviews, and is only opening to a limited release, so don’t worry if you can’t get to a showing when it takes a bow on Friday 3rd of July.
Feature-film debut of director Gerard Johnstone, Housebound is a New Zealand horror comedy (we need more of these) about a woman sentenced to house arrest in a potentially haunted house. The film stars Morgana O’Reilly, a New Zealand actress who stars in Neighbours, so there’s a good chance she’ll somehow transition, almost unnoticeably, into worldwide stardom. Housebound has received strong critical praise (and could-well be the only film here that I actually try and see), and has performed well enough to warrant a US remake from New Line Cinema. It’s also released on Friday 3rd of July.
And finally, Channing Tatum knows what his audience wants. They want him to take his clothes off and dance lots, and to encourage other, similarly built men to join him. And that, no doubt, is what Magic Mike XXL will be – certainly that’s what it is advertised as. With Steven Soderbergh retiring since the first Magic Mike (2012), and Tatum taking on screenwriting roles, there is the risk that Magic Mike XXL will lack the story and directorial flair that made it, if not amazing, certainly a good film. Even so, Tatum has surprised us before – no-one expected him to be funny but the Jump Street films were fantastic, no-one expected him to be a serious actor, but for all its flaws there’s no denying that Foxcatcher is an incredibly well-acted film – maybe he can surprise us again. We will soon see, when he takes to the stage once again from Friday 3rd of July.