Over the last couple of weeks I have shared with you some of the more notable film titles coming our way on a week by week basis over the latter half of 2017. Here in this closing feature segment, I offer you the Best of the Rest of those other movies that just might make their mark critically, commercially or even both, and which might warrant a visit to your local multiplex if you feel so inclined.
* 03rd August : 'Atomic Blonde' - Directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan and Sofia Boutella about an undercover MI6 Agent sent to Cold War Berlin to track down a list of double agents being smuggled into the west.
* 17th August : 'Logan Lucky' - Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Seth McFarlane, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes and Katherine Waterston in this NASCAR heist dramedy on the Charlotte Motor Speedway just before the biggest race of the year - The Coca Cola 600.
* 24th August : 'The Lost City of Z' - Directed by James Gray and starring Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller about the real life drama surrounding British explorer Colonel Percival Fawcett who disappeared while searching for a mysterious and mythical Amazonian city during the 1920's.
* 7th September : 'The Dinner' - Directed by Oren Overman and starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Chloe Sevigny about two struggling families who come together over the course of a dinner that reveals certain family secrets resulting in decisions made that will be the hardest of their lives.
* 14th September : 'Victoria and Abdul' - Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Michael Gambon, Eddie Izzard, and Simon Callow about an unlikely friendship that develops between Queen Victoria and a young Indian clerk.
* 12th October : 'Mother' - Directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Domhnall Gleeson, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this drama about a couples relationship being tested when uninvited guests arrive at the home disrupting their otherwise tranquil lifestyle.
* 19th October : 'Geostorm' - Directed by Dean Devlin and starring Gerard Butler, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Jim Sturgees and Abbie Cornish in this end of the world catastrophic event that only one man can prevent by being sent into outer space.
* 26th October : 'American Pastoral' - Directed by Ewan McGregor and starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connolly, David Strathairn, Rupert Evans and Dakota Fanning about how a successful businessman's happy contented life starts to unravel when he learns that his teenage daughter has become radicalised in reaction to the Vietnam War.
* 02nd November : 'Jigsaw' or 'Saw : Legacy' - Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig and starring Tobin Bell, Laura Vendervoort, Matt Passmore, and Mandela Van Peebles in the eighth instalment in this hugely successful horror franchise that continues a decade after the death of Jigsaw.
* 09th November : 'Detroit' - Directed by Katherine Bigelow and starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie and Jack Reynor set against the backdrop of the 1967 Detroit riots.
* 30th November : 'Granite Mountain' - Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connolly and Andie MacDowell about the true story of the 2013 Yarnell Fire in Arizona and how an elite crew of fire fighters lost 19 of their own during this intense and relentless blaze.
* 26th December : 'Breathe' - Directed by Andy Serkis and starring Claire Foy, Andrew Garfield and Hugh Bonneville in this real life drama about a handsome, adventurous and brilliant young man whose life is turned upside down and inside out when he contracts polio and is paralysed, and how his devoted, determined wife helps him to transcend his disability ultimately helping others.
* 26th December : 'Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle' - Directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan in this continuation of the 1995 film that sees four young teenagers get sucked into a video game version of the board game and in an alternative place and time they become avatars of themselves needing to thwart dangers and misadventure along the way in order to complete the game and get back to whence they came.
* 26th December : 'Downsizing' - Directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig in this social satire about a man who realises that his life would be so much more simple if he were to shrink himself.
This week then there are four very adult offerings from which to choose your movie outing this week ranging from historical drama with the backdrop of the American Civil War when a small group of southern sophisticated ladies take in an injured Union soldier; to a high speed heist drama with a young getaway driver of repute, fuelled by a cracking soundtrack; to a hi-tech thriller when a new recruit is taken under the wing of the company's founder only to learn that there is more at stake than she bargained for; to a modern ghost story that is light on chills and thrills but heavy on emotion and our reason for being.
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four new releases as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are here most warmly invited to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and in the meantime, enjoy your cinematic experience in the coming week.
'THE BEGUILED' (Rated M) - this reinterpretation, remake, reimagining (call it what you will) of the 1971 film of the same name this time Directed, Co-Produced and Written for the screen by Sofia Coppola, is based on the 1966 Southern Gothic novel written by Thomas P. Cullinan, originally titled 'A Painted Devil'. That 1971 feature was Directed and Produced by Don Siegal and starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page in the two lead roles. That film was also one of five cinematic collaborations between Siegel and Eastwood that began with 'Coogan's Bluff' in 1968 and continued with 'Two Mules for Sister Sara' in 1970, and then 'Dirty Harry' in 1971 and 'Escape from Alcatraz' in 1979. The earlier offering was generally well received by Critics but fared unfavourably at the Box Office because for the time the Studio behind the Production, Universal, were unsure how to market a film with Eastwood playing against type.
And so to this 2017 offering which Premiered in official competition for the Palme d'Or at this years Cannes Film Festival. Coppola was awarded Best Director, making her only the second female Director in the history of the Festival to win the coveted award and the first female in 56 years to do so. Starring Colin Farrell as injured and on the run deserter from the Union Army, Corporal John McBurney, who winds up in the care of Miss Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) who runs a select girls school in Virginia during the American Civil War aided by the only teacher, Edwina Morrow (Kirsten Dunst) and five students played by Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice, Oona Laurence, Emma Howard and Addison Riecke. All the other staff, students and slaves have fled for fear on the impact of War. The students and two staff at the school seem more than willing and able to aid the injured Corporal, even concealing him from Confederate soldiers who arrive at the premises. Fairly soon, the sexual tension that grows between McBurney and the women lead to tense rivalries as they tend to his wounded leg and allow him to convalesce while offering him comfort, companionship and an unexpected turn of events. The film cost US$10M to make and has so far grossed just over US$8M from its fairly limited release.
'BABY DRIVER' (Rated MA15+) - and so this action thriller getaway driver heist offering comes to us with its pedal pushed firmly to the metal. Directed and Written by Edgar Wright whose previous Directing and Writing credits take in 'The Three Flavours Cornetto' trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Hot Fuzz', and 'The World's End' and hot on the heels of his aborted 'Ant-Man' for Marvel Studios which ended up being taken over by Peyton Reed due to creative differences. In his first non-comedic big screen offering, and in film that has been in gestation for over twenty years, Wright has here crafted a stylish musical action heist thriller that features thirty classic music tracks with which our lead character of Baby (Ansel Elgort) the young talented Atlanta getaway driver, listens to in order to drown out the 'hum in his drum' of the severe tinnitus as a result of a motor vehicle accident that he was involved in as a young lad, and that killed both his parents. Now at age 22, and needing to pay off a debt, he works as the preferred getaway driver of choice to criminal kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) who uses a different team each time to rob some bank, credit union or post office. Having paid of his debt to Doc, he is coerced into doing another job which ultimately puts his life, his love and his freedom in danger, as that one last job goes horribly wrong for all involved. Also starring Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Lily James and Eliza Gonzales this film has largely received positive Reviews and has so far recovered US$73M from its US$34M budget since its release in the UK and the US at the end of June.
'THE CIRCLE' (Rated M) - this techno-thriller is Directed, Co-Produced and Co-Written for the screen by James Ponsoldt, in collaboration with Dave Eggers, the author of the 2013 book of the same name upon which this film is based. Made for US$18M and Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April this year, the film has so far grossed US$30M since its US release at the end of April and has garnered generally negative press. Here Mae Holland (Emma Watson) gets the chance of a lifetime to join the world most powerful social media and technology giant 'The Circle', headed up by Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). Encouraged to join a groundbreaking experiment by Bailey that pushes Holland to the extremes of the consumers rights to privacy, ethical conduct and personal freedom, she soon begins to realise that the decisions she makes has a lasting impact upon her family, her friends and indeed potentially the whole of humanity. Also starring John Boyega, Ellar Coltrane, Karen Gillan, and the late Bill Paxton and Glenne Headley.
'A GHOST STORY' (Rated M) - is a supernatural drama film Written and Directed by David Lowery, shot on a micro budget and in secret with a large portion of the film being set within a single house, which was chosen by the Director because it closely resembled the first house he lived in with his wife. The house was scheduled for demolition and so the film crew were allowed to use it for free. Furthermore, it was reported that the project was shot in secret as they did not know how the final product would turn out. The film Premiered at this years Sundance Film Festival, had its Australian Premier at the recent Sydney Film Festival on 13th June, and now goes on general release this week in Australia one week behind its US release last week. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara play happily married couple 'C' and 'M' respectively living in their small Texan suburban home. One day C is killed outside his home in a car accident. At the morgue, C awakens as a ghost covered in a white sheet with two large black holes for eyes. As a spectral entity C returns to his former home to comfort his wife in her time of grieving, only to come to the realisation that he has become unstuck in time and is only able to watch passively as the life and love he once knew gradually slide away. What unfolds as time marches on and as other families come and go through his former home, is a metaphor for love, loss, grief, the passage of time and the enormity of our existence in this haunting, thought provoking and definitely unscary film.
With four films this week all covering differing genres - historical American Civil War drama to burning rubber pedal to the metal crime drama to hi-tech thriller to a somewhat unique ghost story there are plenty of reasons to get out amongst it at your local multiplex or independent theatre. Remember to share your thoughts afterwards with your like minded cinephiles here at Odeon Online, and in the meantime, I'll see you somewhere sometime in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-