Another slightly underwhelming week for September, though there’s variety certainly. Of the two best looking films this week, neither seems likely to shake things up too much at the box office, or at the Oscars for that matter. Other than that, we’ve got some zany British comedy and a handful of films that come October you probably won’t even remember.
First up this week (through alphabetical virtue only, the film isn’t released earlier than any others) is Bill. A British made comedy film (specifically made by the wonderful people responsible for Horrible Histories), Bill tells the story of a young William Shakespeare as he tries to find his fortune. Set in the period between Shakespeare’s youth and early career in Stratford-upon-Avon, and his eventual fame as a playwright in London, the film will feature a fairly small cast, all playing several roles – a staple of the Horrible Histories show – and will portray a Shakespeare who has tried and failed at almost every avenue of entertainment before deciding to try his hand at the stage.
A second, more grown-up comedy is also out this Friday in the form of The D Train. The film, starring Jack Black and James Marsden, follows the chair of a high school alumni committee trying to organise a school reunion, and hiring someone who used to be the most popular guy at school to help. The directorial debut of Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel (the pair previously worked on the screenplay for Yes Man, if that helps at all), the film has received mixed reviews so far, with Black and Marsden being praised, but the film’s story and direction failing to deliver.
This week’s biggest film is Everest. Starring a host of big names, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, and Robin Wright, the film tells the story of a group of people who set off an a wacky road-trip across South America. Okay, no, it isn’t. It’s obviously about people trying to climb Mount Everest. More accurately, the film is based on real events from what has been described rather ominously as the “1996 Mount Everest disaster”, so expect light-hearted fun and absolutely nothing dramatic or horrifying to happen here.
Onwards, and we’re off to Korea next (South Korea, that is) in the form of A Girl at My Door. The film, which tells the story of a police officer taking in an abused girl, stars Kim Sae-ron (The Man from Knowhere) and Bae Doona (Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Sense8), has received oodles of praise from pretty much everywhere, with Kim’s performance in particular being universally enjoyed by the critics it would seem. If you like Korean cinema, this looks to be one to watch – but if Oldboy is the only Korean film you’ve seen, know that this will likely be very different.
Everyone knows Chris Hemsworth, he’s Thor, and he’s currently doing battle with Hugh Jackman over who’s the best Australian. Everyone knows Liam Hemsworth too, the one in The Hunger Games who isn’t a whiny little bitch. But did you know they have another brother, called Luke? I didn’t, but he apparently exists. About a foot shorter than his brothers, and (evidently) not as successful, the third Hemsworth is trying his hand at cinema this week in Infini. Which kinda looks dreadful, sorry Luke. An Australian sci-fi flick, Infini has a plot that at first glance seems too complicated to summarise: there’s teleportation, and space-mines, and evil, mind-controlling ooze. I don’t know, dreadful might be a bit much, but with its lukewarm reviews Infini is hardly going to be remembered as even the best Australian film this year (cough cough Housebound).
Wrapping things up this week is A Walk in the Woods. A comedy starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Nick Offerman, and Emma Thompson, the film is based on the memoirs of the same name by Bill Bryson, and follows the author as he tries to reconnect with his homeland by hiking the Appalachian Trail (a national park in America) with one of his oldest friends. Based off the cast alone, this looks like it could be a good drama, but early reviews indicate otherwise, describing the film as “pedestrian”, and too slow. But hey, reviewers don’t know everything, the film could be as funny as anything. You won’t know until you try it.