Sunday, 1 October 2017

October 2017 – In Praise of Patti Cake$, Blade Runner 2049, The Lego Ninjago Movie, My Little Pony, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Hi Everyone,

After two weeks on general release, the Darren Aronofsky horror drama mother! has reportedly only brought in a paltry $28m worldwide. So, essentially, audiences are not going to see it; and many of those punters (in the US) who did - gave the film a lousy “F” cinema score! Yet, I think one can go and enjoy the movie. It's a very interesting work. But don't think of it as a straight horror film but instead as an artistic experiment; an Arthouse allegory about creation and inspiration (whether that creator be a god, or a painter, or a filmmaker etc.) - as well as an examination of fame in the modern age. Although it gets more than a bit crazy in the final act, I still think it's worth checking out. And, by the way, Jennifer Lawrence is great in the movie!

But, I'm even sadder that so few people went to see recent Twentieth Century Fox release Patti Cake$. To be honest, a small unheralded picture about a would-be New Jersey rapper hadn't appealed much to me either. However, having gone to Surrey Quays Odeon to see The Limehouse Golem, I decided to stick around, have a spot of lunch, and then check out the afternoon showing of Patti Cake$ before going home again.

As I sat down in the spacious auditorium, and sipped my coffee during the trailers – I noted that I was the only customer. The room was empty. (Where, I thought, were all the young music lovers I had supposed to be the film's target audience? Anyhow, it was only me.)

Once the film started, it wasn't long before I was completely won over by this delightful little drama from first time writer and director Geremy Jasper. Sure, it doesn't re-invent the wheel, and the story beats are all pretty predictable; but the music was convincing, there's a star-making performance from lead actress Danielle MacDonald (who learned to rap especially for the film), it's well directed, and the plot touches the heart strings without being too over clichéd or cloying.

Apparently, the film was well-received at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was eagerly picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures – who payed a sizable $9.5m for the distribution rights. (Source: Wikipedia) The film was then released in half a dozen territories throughout August and September 2017*. Yet, (to date) Patti Cake$ has made less than $1.5m at the worldwide box office. So, it's sad indeed, that the film failed to find an audience in cinemas and was relatively quickly pulled from theatres. It is my fervent hope that Patti Cake$ will get a DVD release at some point in the near future; giving folks another chance to see this entertaining movie. And maybe it's on streaming services too(?) I don't want to over-hype the film. It's not Citizen Kane. But it is fun. It is believable. And it is heart-warming. Recommended!

*According to imdb, the film still has forthcoming releases in Poland (20th October 2017), Germany (2nd November 2017), and Brazil (9th November 2017).

Patti Cake$ Trailer:-

The big films released in the UK in October 2017 include Blade Runner 2049, The Lego Ninjago Movie, My Little Pony: The Movie, and Thor Ragnarok. Here's a picture from each of those movies to whet your appetite:-

Blade Runner 2049 - Courtesy of Columbia Pictures © 2017 Alcon Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved

My little Pony: The Movie © 2017 Lionsgate Pictures and Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

The Lego Ninjago Movie © 2017 Warner Bros. Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Thor: Ragnarok © 2017 Disney/Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Here's a comprehensive run down of the October 2017 new releases:-

The major films are: Breathe, Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Double Date, Earth: One Amazing Day, Geostorm, Happy Death Day!, Jigsaw, Marshall, My Little Pony: The Movie, Secret Superstar, 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, The Death of Stalin, The Glass Castle, The Lego Ninjago Movie, The Mountain Between Us, The Party, The Ritual, The Snowman, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: Battle of Soho, Bitch, Boy, Deliver Us (Liberami), Dina, I Am Not a Witch, I Remember You, The Merciless, The Night is Short – Walk on Girl, The Reagan Show, and Unrest.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter are: Access All Areas, Buena Vista Social Club: Adios, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Jungle, Loving Vincent, and The Ballad of Shirley Collins.

In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Blood Simple (1984), Hellraiser: 30th Anniversary (1987), North By Northwest (1959), Perfect Blue (1997), and The Shining (1980) all get an airing in October 2017.

A number of other movies which haven't been noted in the October magazine (or appear only in the Stop Press section) are: Chasing Dragon, Chef, School Life, and The Ornithologist. Also there are foreign language (subtitled) features such as Bhoomi, Botoks, Judwaa 2, Nikka Zaildar 2, and Spyder.

Also not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” entertainmentsmost of which are listed below. As usual, information sometimes differs when comparing various sources, so please take the details below with a large pinch of salt and do some further investigation if you are interested in attending any of these events:-
  • 3rd October 2017 – La Boheme – ROH 2017/18 (Royal Opera House)
  • 5th October 2017 NT Live - Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet [Replay from 2015]
  • 7th October 2017 – Norma – Met Opera 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 7th-8th October 2017 – Scout's Screening of The Lego Ninjago Movie (Odeon Cinemas)
  • 9th October 2017 – Loving Vincent (Altitude Pictures)
  • 11th October 2017 – Coriolanus – RSC Live Theatre (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 14th October 2017 – Die Zauberflote – Met Opera 2017/18 (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 17th October 2017 – Valentina Carrasco's Production of Carmen 
    (Thunderbird Releasing)
  • 20th October 2017Le Corsaire – Bolshoi Ballet 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 23rd October 2017 – Alice's Adventures in Wonderland [Ballet] (Royal Opera House)
  • 23rd October 2017 – The Princess Bride (30th Anniversary) (Lionsgate Pictures)
(In addition, don't forget to look out for “Secret Cinema” presentations if these are of interest to you).

Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 90MB):-

If you don't mind some of the images looking decidedly “ropy” when looked at close-up, but value a smaller download, here's a link to a mid-def 50.5MB download of the October magazine: Click here for smaller file version (50.5MB)

I'm really looking forward to seeing Blade Runner 2049 at my local multiplex in the very near future, but (first of all) I'm off to see Goodbye Christopher Robin in a few days time. Whatever you decide to go and see; I hope you have a great time at the movies. Happy viewing!

Trailers for most of the major films mentioned above are given below:-

 Access All Areas


Blade Runner 2049

Call Me By Your Name

Double Date

Earth: One Amazing Day


Happy Death Day



Loving Vincent


My Little Pony: The Movie

Secret Superstar

6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain

The Death of Stalin

The Glass Castle

The Lego Ninjago Movie

The Mountain Between Us

The Party

The Ritual

The Snowman

Thor: Ragnarok