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) https://fundraising.scouts.org.uk/lego-ninjago
  • 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). https://www.secretcinema.org/


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



Breathe



Blade Runner 2049




Call Me By Your Name



Double Date



Earth: One Amazing Day



Geostorm



Happy Death Day



Jigsaw



Jungle



Loving Vincent



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



Thor: Ragnarok





Friday, 1 September 2017

September 2017 – Mal's Movie Ratings, Stephen King's It, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Limehouse Golem, and The Jungle Bunch.

Hi Everyone,

Having recently signed up to Twitter – with the account @Malsmovies – for the main purpose of posting film reviews; I thought it would be appropriate to clarify what I mean when I give a particular number rating to a movie.

It's obvious to say that different folks use different ratings systems. For example, the guys at Schmoes Know usually award points out of five (eg. "4.1 Schmoes"), while film reviewer Chris Stuckmann prefers school style marking - giving films ratings such as C+ or A minus.

Broadly, I have opted for a "points out of ten” system. However, I also like to allow myself the further nuance of adding decimal points. So, in my system, a movie might get a rating of 7/10 or 8.3/10 etc. 

For those who are interested, I have provided a chart that also gives a summary of the kind of thing I'm thinking when I give a film a particular rating. Please see below:-


I also have a version of the above chart with emojis added to it. I am also making that available to my readers; but please note that I don't have any copyright to the emoji illustrations I have used – so they're just added on a personal non-commercial basis and no offence is meant by my use of the various images. For the emoji version of Mal's ratings – please click here
 

Before looking at this month's cinema releases, just a quick word of tribute to a number of significant movie and entertainment legends we lost recently. R.I.P. Jerry Lewis, Ty Hardin, Glen Campbell, Robert Hardy, Dick Gregory, Bruce Forsyth, Mireille Darc, Joseph Bologna, Thomas Meehan, and Tobe Hooper.



Jerry Lewis in the Paramount Pictures 1963 comedy The Nutty Professor.


The big films released in the UK in September 2017 include Stephen King's It, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Limehouse Golem, and The Jungle Bunch. Here's a picture from each of those movies to whet your appetite:-



It © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, and Ratpac Dune Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer


Kingsman: The Golden Circle © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.


The Limehouse Golem © 2017 Lionsgate Pictures. All Rights Reserved.



The Jungle Bunch © 2017 entertainment One. All Rights Reserved.


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

The major films are: American Assassin, Borg/McEnroe, Flatliners, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Home Again, It, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, mother!, Patti Cake$, Stratton, The Jungle Bunch, The Limehouse Golem, Victoria & Abdul, and Wind River.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: Back to Burgundy, Centre of My World, Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast, Insyriated, Killing Ground, Kills on Wheels, London Symphony, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, Moon Dogs, My Journey Through French Cinema, On Body and Soul, Pecking Order, Primaire, Tramontane, The Lure, The Road to Mandalay, and Zoology.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter include: Brimstone, Daphne, God's Own Country, Goon: Last of the Enforcers, On the Road, The Case for Christ, The Vault, and Una. Also horror film Eat Locals – which (since the magazine was compiled) may have lost its theatrical release.

In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Belle De Jour (1967), Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Director's Cut (1998), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and Young Frankenstein (1974) all get an airing in September 2017.

A number of other movies which haven't been noted in the September magazine (or appear only in the Stop Press section) are: Almost Heaven, Exception, Inhumans (episodes from the new Marvel TV series), My Pure Land, Never Say Die, Our Last Tango and The Graduation. Also foreign language (subtitled) features such as Baadshaho, Na Maloom Afraad 2, Punjab Nahi Jaungi, Shubh Mangal Savdhan, and Volta.

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 September 2017 – Call of Duty: WWII Beta Cinema Experience (Odeon?)
  • 6th September 2017 – Slipknot: Day of the Gusano (MusicScreen)
    [Note: Some sources say 1st September 2017]

  • 7th September 2017 – John Le Carré: An Evening with George Smiley (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 8th September 2017 – Jonas Kaufmann: My Italy (Independent)
  • 13th September 2017 – Dave Gilmour: Live at Pompeii 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing) http://www.davidgilmourcinematickets.co.uk
  • 14th September 2017 – Carmen on the Lake: - Bregenz, Austria 2017 (CinemaLive)
  • 21st September 2017 – King Lear – Live from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (CinemaLive)

  • 26th September 2017Exhibition on Screen: Canaletto and the Art of Venice (Seventh Art Distribution)

  • 28th September 2017 – Black Sabbath: The End of the End (Trafalgar Releasing)


(In addition, don't forget to look out for “Secret Cinema” presentations if these are of interest to you). https://www.secretcinema.org/


Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 65.5MB):-





You'll think I'm crazy, but next week I'm off to see Beauty and the Beast (2017) in the cinema for the 25th time. I can't get enough of this wonderful masterpiece of Disney family entertainment. By far the best film of the year, in my view. Well, whatever you choose to go and see in the month of September – I hope you have a great time. Happy viewing!


Trailers for most of the major films mentioned above follow:-


American Assassin



Borg/McEnroe



Brimstone



Daphne



Eat Locals



Flatliners



God's Own Country



Goodbye Christopher Robin



Goon: The Last of the Enforcers



Home Again



(Stephen King's) IT



Kingsman: The Golden Circle



mother!



On the Road



Patti Cake$



Stratton



The Case for Christ



The Jungle Bunch



The Limehouse Golem



The Vault



Victoria & Abdul



Wind River