A very strong week this week, with lots of variety, lots of films you’ll actually want to see, some of which might be duds, and some which definitely probably won’t. There’s a pansexual superhero, faux-horror (that is, tame and breezy zombie stuff), actual horror (that is, cannibals… eating people), an erotic thriller (apparently an actual genre), a Will Smith film that contains neither Jaden nor whatever the fuck the other one’s called (Wilma? Willow? I just don’t know), and Benedict Cumberbatch pissing people off for a joke. Awesome!
Getting the big release out of the way straight off the bat this week, we start with Deadpool – the comic-book movie that’s taken more than six years to make (or eight, depending on how you’re counting). The film, directed by Tim Miller as his feature film debut, and starring Ryan Reynolds (Buried, The Proposal, The Voices) alongside Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) and T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley), is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name – an irreverent, self-healing, fourth-wall breaking psychopath. Following the “leak” of test footage in 2014, Deadpool has been eagerly awaited by comic-book fans, and if early reviews are anything to go by, they won’t be disappointed. The film is released on Wednesday, and is being screened at midnight by Union Films.
Another big(ish) film this week is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the book of the same name, which is, in turn, based on the Jane Austen book (guess which one – hint, it isn’t Emma), the film follows the Bennett sisters, who have, conveniently, received extensive marial arts training, and who, perplexingly, are faced with an outbreak of “the zombie” in the late 18th Century. The film is written and directed by Burr Steers (17 Again), and stars Lily James (Cinderella, War and Peace), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones). It has received mixed reviews from critics, and has so far performed poorly at the U.S. box office. It’s released on Thursday.
On to Friday now, where we start with Italian-French erotic thriller A Bigger Splash (it’s Italian and French, of course it’s erotic). The film stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Dakota Johnson, and tells the story of a singer, her lover, her ex-lover, and her ex-lover’s daughter all somehow holidaying together. The film screened at the Venice International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Lion, and also at the London Film Festival. It’s received a bunch of praise from critics, so if you don’t fancy zombies or lewd superheroes this week, why not watch The White Witch get it on with Voldemort? The film is released Friday.
Up next is Concussion, a biographical, sports, medical thriller (that’s a lot of genres to pack into one film). It stars Will Smith alongside Alec Baldwin and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Beyond the Lights), and is based on an exposé run by GQ in 2012 about controversies involving the NFL and head injuries. Receiving modest praise from critics, and performing well(ish) in the U.S. (although that might be because it’s about American Football), the film failed in its push for Academy Award nominations – the real reason Will Smith isn’t going to the Oscars. It’s released on Friday.
Our penultimate film this week is The Green Inferno, made by Eli Roth (who you may know as the eloquently named “Bear Jew” from Inglorious Basterds). The Green Inferno is a horror film, inspired by 80s films such as Cannibal Holocaust (widely regarded as one of the ickiest films to ever be made), that sees an activist student filmmaker travel to the Amazon rainforest, only to encounter an indigenous tribe of… um… cannibals. Obviously hilarity ensues, there’s a big song and dance number, and everything winds up just dandy by the end. Or, you know, it doesn’t. The film has received mixed reviews (though Stephen King loved it), but has, for a film of its size, done very well commercially. It receives limited release this Friday.
Wrapping things up this week is another of the month’s big releases – Zoolander No. 2. Sequel to 2001’s Zoolander, the film sees Zoolander and Hansel team up again as the world’s most beautiful people start dying in mysterious circumstances. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell reprise their roles from the first film, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, and a host of famous people cameos. There have been no reviews of the film as of yet (the studio are keeping them under embargo until release, maybe because they think it’s not very good, or maybe because people will be rather offended by Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, it’s not clear) – but it’s released on Friday, and the trailer looks funny, so who knows?