28th Aug2017

Logan Lucky (Film)

by timbaros
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Steven Soderbergh said in 2013 that he planned to retire from filmmaking. Well, his short retirement is over and he’s back in the cinema with “Logan Lucky.”

The man who gave us “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Out of Sight,” “Erin Brokovich,” “Magic Mike,” and the Ocean’s Trilogy has returned with a film that, while it’s not groundbreaking, is littered with excellent performances but its a case of been there seen that.

So alike “Logan Lucky” is with “Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen” that it could as well have been Ocean’s fourteen but set in the Confederate state of Virginia. “Logan Lucky” is the story of a bank robbery, a bank robbery that’s so cleverly planned and executed that it’s a bit unrealistic and unbelievable.

Channing Tatum is down on his luck Jimmy Logan who can’t seem to get a break and keep a job due to his permanent limp. His daughter, Sadie (a memorable and amazing little Farrah MacKenzie) is a beauty pageant winner wanna be, and she’s in the care of his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (a very good Katie Holmes). His one-armed brother Clyde (a good as usual Adam Driver) owns a bar called Duck Tape, and they have a sister Mellie (Riley Keough). Jimmy, after talking to brothers Sam (Brian Gleason) and Fish (Jack Quaid), who have mentioned that their other brother Joe (Daniel Craig, at his best ever, better than his James Bond character), who happens to be incarcerated, can and will break out of jail and can help the gang break into the underground cash-handling system at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during one of the it’s busiest days of the year – the Coca Cola 600 race. Did I mention that the plot is a bit far-fetched?

Clyde (who got himself arrested just for the sole purpose of helping Joe escape jail for the day) and Joe successfully, in another ridiculous moment, escape jail. And it’s then a dream team attempting to steal money from a stadium chock-a-block full of people yet there is absolutely no one guarding the underground area where the money is dropped in via a tube system. Absolutely no one, not a security guard, employees, garbage collectors, no one at all. And all seems to go according to plan, thus lacking in any suspense whatsoever.

It’s in the performances where “Logan Lucky” is saved, barely. Craig is fantastic as the seasoned thief, Driver is good (as always) as the one-armed brother. Holmes surpasses expectations as Jimmy’s ex-wife who is now married to a wealthy man (more of her in the future please), while Seth MacFarlane is unrecognizable and fantastic as an arrogant personality famous for who knows what. The script, by Rebecca Blunt, has some very good moments but “Logan Lucky” is basically “Ocean’s 14” but with a better cast and a cool and quirky Southern vibe. Perhaps Soderberg’s next film will be an original, this one certainly wasn’t. But he’s putting together “Ocean’s Eight” at the moment, so it will be more of the same.

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04th Jul2015

Magic Mike XXL (Film)

by timbaros

images-377The Kings of Tampa are back! These men, the strippers from Magic Mike, return with a sequel – Magic Mike XXL – they are back with a bang!

Magic Mike XXL reunites Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and the rest of the cast from the hit 2012 about male strippers and picks up the story three years later after Mike left the world of stripping. He’s got his own furniture business but it’s not doing too well. So when the former Kings of Tampa look him up on the way to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, California, Mike (Tatum) can’t resist the pull to go back to stripping, and to reunite with his buddies. So what takes place is a male stripper road movie with scenes that allow all of the men to display their physical goods.

And these scenes are hot. In one, reminiscent of Jennifer Beal’s dance scene in flashdance with sparks flying around, Mike does the same in his garage, to prove that he’s still got it, and what a dance it is. Once on the road, we’re treated to their adventures, to be voyeurs in their exhibitionism. First stop, a gay bar where the drag queen emceeing asks any members of the audience if they want to participate in an amateur strip contest. Of course our men enter and wow the crowd. They then find themselves at a beach party, where Mike has an encounter with Zoe (Amber Heard).

Then Big Dick (Manganiello) performs for a shocked but very lucky gas station attendant. You’ll never look at a bag of Cheetos the same way again.

A stop at Domina, Mike’s pre-Tampa stomping ground which is now a private club for women, transforms the movie into a very sexual, breathless sexually arousing film. You see, Domina treats it’s’ female customers to male strip shows, and they are strip shows you’ve never ever seen before on film. It’s here that Mike re-encounters Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) the proprietress and a woman from Mike’s past.

It you’re out of breath at this point (trust me, you will be) there’s lots more. The men wind up at the home of Nancy (Andie MacDowell), a recently divorced woman in her early 50’s, still sexy and flirty, and the rapport between and Nancy’s female friends and the men is very palpable, real, you can cut the sexual tension between them with a knife.

Destination of Myrtle Beach reached, and once at the stripper convention each man gets to perform his own unique dance, for a room full of ladies, and perform they do, and Tatum strips all the way down to a shiny jockstrap, with the other men doing their own special routines choosing various lucky ladies from the audience to perform on them. And Tatum chooses Zoe to perform on her, in every position possible.

While Magic Mike XXL won’t win any awards, the male stars of this film really put themselves out there. And the female actresses who were chosen to be performed on in various stages of their road trip, one can presume they weren’t acting, they were really just enjoying it immensely.

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06th Jun2015

Foxcatcher (DVD)

by timbaros

o-FOXCATCHER-facebookJohn du Pont was a multi-millionaire, a scion of the very wealthy American family that made their fortune in chemicals. He also died in prison 2012 while serving time for murdering a famous Olympic athlete.

Foxcatcher tells the riveting story of du Pont and his involvement in the sport of wrestling in the late 1980’s. It’s also a tale of how one man with so much money can buy whatever he wants. And du Pont pretty much buys Mark Schultz, an Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler in Athens in 1984. Du Pont Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) away from his post Olympic miserable life and places him on his amazing estate called Valley Forge in the hopes of transforming him back into a world class athlete. Du Pont lures Schultz by offering him practically whatever he wants, including his own lodge on the estate as well as a newly-built state of the art wrestling auditorium. And Du Pont tells Schultz that he’s in charge. But there’s something more that seems to be taking place between Du Pont and Schultz. There is not only a business relationship between them, but Du Pont seems to have had a homoerotic fixation with Schultz. And while there are no explicit homosexual scenes in the film, Du Pont’s fascination with Schulz and with the sport of wrestling is homoerotic and at the same time very creepy. It becomes more so when Du Pont starts sharing cocaine with Schulz and even has him speak the opening remarks at an important speech in front of politicians and wealthy people.

But things turn sour when all of a sudden Du Pont says he’s not happy with Schulz’s way of coaching as he catches all of the wrestlers taking a morning off, and he slaps Schultz in front of the men. It’s an action that sets off something in Schultz in which he (probably) realizes that Du Pont sees their relationship as something more. It gets more complicated when Du Pont brings in (at any cost) Schulz’s brother David, who was also an Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler. Du Pont has David coach the team, while Mark goes through the motions, trying to stay out of Du Pont’s way but at the same time focusing on his training. His goal is to get to the next Olympics – Seoul – and he does, but things don’t turn out the way Du Pont had in mind. And it all leads to a devastating conclusion.

Foxcatcher is the name the du Pont’s gave to their racing horses. It’s also an appropriate name for this film – what was the Fox trying to catch. Is du Pont the fox who was trying to catch something with his sudden and strange interest in wrestling? The lure of money was all that was needed for him to catch Mark Schultz, who was down on his luck living in a small apartment on the top of a garage years after his Olympic win. David Schultz had a happy life with his wife and two kids, but it was also the lure of money that got him to go work for Du Pont, a job that cost him his life at the hands of Du Pont.

Foxcatcher is an excellent movie. It’s also excellent because of the performances of it’s three leading men. Tatum has never been better. His Mark Schultz is vulnerable, bold, athletic, infantile yet very masculine – Tatum pretty much carries the whole movie. Ruffalo gives David Schultz a face – a family man who heeded the call to coach a world class team which included his younger brother. And Ruffalo does a very good job in the role. The performance, however, that everyone is talking about is Steven Carrell as Jon du Pont. Carrell, unrecognizable, wears a prosthetic nose to match the large nose that du Pont had. Everything about Carrell’s performance is all Jon du Pont – even down to his gait. Carrell, the star comedic movies such as Anchorman, Date Night, Knocked Up, among others, is completely amazing. And it’s a transformation that needs to be seen to be believed. It is, unfortunately, Carrell’s performance that is getting all the attention, but in my opinion Foxcatcher is Tatum’s movie. He’s the actual star of the film as he’s in most of the film. Foxcatcher begins with him and ends with him, and throughout his performance is consistent, solid, and amazing. Tatum deserves the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nominations as much as Carrell does, yet Tatum’s not been nominated. Ruffalo performance is gentle, simple, low key, the kind of performances that Ruffalo always gives, successfully.

Director Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and writers E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman have crafted a film that succeeds on every level. It’s directed and shot tight, the story never gets dull, and it’s intensity builds up to shattering conclusion. Miller has directed three actors who all come from different cinematic backgrounds into one film where they all excel in ways they have never done before. Foxcatcher is one of the best films of the year.

Foxcatcher is now at on DVD – buy it below.



Foxcatcher [DVD] [2015] (DVD)

Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

508
New From: £2.31 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

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12th Jan2015

Foxcatcher – Film

by timbaros

John du Pont was a multi-millionaire, a scion of the very wealthy American family that made their fortune in chemicals. He also died in prison 2012 while serving time for murdering a famous Olympic athlete.

Foxcatcher tells the riveting story of du Pont and his involvement in the sport of wrestling in the late 1980’s. It’s also a tale of how one man with so much money can buy whatever he wants. And du Pont pretty much buys Mark Schultz, an Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler in Athens in 1984. Du Pont Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) away from his post Olympic miserable life and places him on his amazing estate called Valley Forge in the hopes of transforming him back into a world class athlete. Du Pont lures Schultz by offering him practically whatever he wants, including his own lodge on the estate as well as a newly-built state of the art wrestling auditorium. And Du Pont tells Schultz that he’s in charge. But there’s something more that seems to be taking place between Du Pont and Schultz. There is not only a business relationship between them, but Du Pont seems to have had a homoerotic fixation with Schultz. And while there are no explicit homosexual scenes in the film, Du Pont’s fascination with Schulz and with the sport of wrestling is homoerotic and at the same time very creepy. It becomes more so when Du Pont starts sharing cocaine with Schulz and even has him speak the opening remarks at an important speech in front of politicians and wealthy people.

But things turn sour when all of a sudden Du Pont says he’s not happy with Schulz’s way of coaching as he catches all of the wrestlers taking a morning off, and he slaps Schultz in front of the men. It’s an action that sets off something in Schultz in which he (probably) realizes that Du Pont sees their relationship as something more. It gets more complicated when Du Pont brings in (at any cost) Schulz’s brother David, who was also an Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler. Du Pont has David coach the team, while Mark goes through the motions, trying to stay out of Du Pont’s way but at the same time focusing on his training. His goal is to get to the next Olympics – Seoul – and he does, but things don’t turn out the way Du Pont had in mind. And it all leads to a devastating conclusion.

Foxcatcher is the name the du Pont’s gave to their racing horses. It’s also an appropriate name for this film – what was the Fox trying to catch. Is du Pont the fox who was trying to catch something with his sudden and strange interest in wrestling? The lure of money was all that was needed for him to catch Mark Schultz, who was down on his luck living in a small apartment on the top of a garage years after his Olympic win. David Schultz had a happy life with his wife and two kids, but it was also the lure of money that got him to go work for Du Pont, a job that cost him his life at the hands of Du Pont.

Foxcatcher is an excellent movie. It’s also excellent because of the performances of it’s three leading men. Tatum has never been better. His Mark Schultz is vulnerable, bold, athletic, infantile yet very masculine – Tatum pretty much carries the whole movie. Ruffalo gives David Schultz a face – a family man who heeded the call to coach a world class team which included his younger brother. And Ruffalo does a very good job in the role. The performance, however, that everyone is talking about is Steven Carrell as Jon du Pont. Carrell, unrecognizable, wears a prosthetic nose to match the large nose that du Pont had. Everything about Carrell’s performance is all Jon du Pont – even down to his gait. Carrell, the star comedic movies such as Anchorman, Date Night, Knocked Up, among others, is completely amazing. And it’s a transformation that needs to be seen to be believed. It is, unfortunately, Carrell’s performance that is getting all the attention, but in my opinion Foxcatcher is Tatum’s movie. He’s the actual star of the film as he’s in most of the film. Foxcatcher begins with him and ends with him, and throughout his performance is consistent, solid, and amazing. Tatum deserves the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nominations as much as Carrell does, yet Tatum’s not been nominated. Ruffalo performance is gentle, simple, low key, the kind of performances that Ruffalo always gives, successfully.

Director Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and writers E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman have crafted a film that succeeds on every level. It’s directed and shot tight, the story never gets dull, and it’s intensity builds up to shattering conclusion. Miller has directed three actors who all come from different cinematic backgrounds into one film where they all excel in ways they have never done before. Foxcatcher is one of the best films of the year.

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07th Oct2014

2014 London Film Festival – Film

by timbaros

The 58th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® starts today and promises big movies and even bigger stars.

Last year’s BFI London Film Festival was a rip-roaring success, with such high-profile premieres as Gravity, Philomena, Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks. All films went on to box office success and many Oscars.
This year’s festival could possibly top last year’s festival. Here is a quick snapshot of what’s on:

Opening Night Gala:

The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, who created a machine during WWII that cracked the German Enigma Code and whose inventions would become the prototype of the modern computer. He was also arrested and convicted in 1952 for the criminal offense of homosexuality. Keira Knightley also stars.

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Closing Night Gala:

Fury
Brad Pitt’s new film has him playing a battle-hardened sergeant. Set during WWII when the allies were making their final push into Germany, Pitt commands a Sherman tank, called Fury, that is on a mission behind enemy lines. Also stars Shia LaBeouf.

Foxcatcher
This film comes with the lots of good buzz (and talk of Oscar nominations). An unrecognizable Steve Carrell plays a very wealthy, and crazy, benefactor to wrestlers and brothers Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Based on the true story of American millionaire John du Pont and his fascination with brothers Dave and Mark Shultz. Directed by Bennett Miller who gave us Capote and Moneyball. Also stars Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller.

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Mr. Turner
Timothy Spall is said to be excellent in Director Mike Leigh’s movie about British painter J.M. William Turner. Mr. Turner is a character study of the last 25 years in the life of the painter, and the relationships he has with several women, including with his children.

Wild
Reese Witherspoon stars in this true story of a young woman attempting to walk the gruelling 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail in the early 1990’s. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who last brought us Dallas Buyers Club.

Mommy
Wunderkind Director Xavier Dolan, a festival favorite, is back with Mommy. His fifth feature in as many years (and he’s only 25) has Anne Dorval as a single mother who takes back into her home her son who is a troublemaker, suffers from ADHD, and has been expelled from a juvenile facility.

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Bjork: Biophilia Live
This is being described as a multidimensional, multimedia project that explores the creative nexus between music, nature, and technology. And Bjork will be attending the festival as well to explain what it all means.

The New Girlfriend
Another film festival favorite – Francois Ozon brings us his latest film about a woman who is devastated by the death of her best friend and makes a promise to watch over her best friend’s husband and newborn child. This has the earmarks of Ozon written all over it – melodramatic and twisty.

Son of a Gun
Ewan McGregor stars in this heist thriller which is all about mobster living: fast cars and firearms. McGregor plays a father figure to a younger man who is just out of the slammer and is trying to take the right path.

’71
Jack O’Connell, excellent in the recent Starred Up, plays a British soldier trapped on the streets of Belfast in 1971 after his army crew accidentally leaves him behind. He struggles to hide, and survive, while being chased by provisional militia and reliant on the mercy of loyalist allies. This one is a must see, just for O’Connell’s performance alone.

Serena
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are on screen again (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) about a logging magnate and his ruthless brilliant wife set against the backdrop of the hills of North Carolina.

Camp X-Ray
Kristen Stewart plays against type as a soldier in the U.S. army who is tasked to guard over prisoners in Guatanamo Bay. She gets emotionally attached to one of the inmates while at the same time comes up against sexism within her ranks.

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Pasolini
Willem Dafoe could either be perfect, or disastrous, by playing Italian Director Paolo Pasolini who’s films courted controversy for their shocking images of nudity and his homosexual lifestyle. Pasolini the movie is told in the hours leading up to his 1975 murder.

Also on offer are documentaries galore, including ones on artist David Hockney and film Director Robert Altman, as well as a documentary that deals with the Holocaust – titled German Concentration Camps Factual Survey – showing actual footage of the liberation of the concentration camps.

The Festival will screen a total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres, 38 European Premieres and 19 Archive films including 2 Restoration World Premiere’s.1 There will also be screenings of 148 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes, Q&As and other special events. The 58th BFI London Film Festival will run
Wednesday 8 – Sunday 19 October 2014.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at:

Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 09:30–20:30
Online: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:30–20:30
Last minute tickets are available to be purchased on the day about 30 minutes prior to the screening at Festival venues

29th May2014

Summer Movies – Film

by timbaros

images-172Summer is here and with that brings the summer movie season. Blockbusters, special effects, big stars – all of this and more is thrown at us in an attempt to get some of our money spent going to the cinema this summer. By the likes of things, we already have been doing this in the past month.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in April and has grossed over £19M at the box office. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was also an early release, in late April, and has already earned £23M. X-Men: Days of Future Past earned close to £10M in it’s opening weekend, but topping all three of them is The Lego Movie – which hit £33M last week – that kind of money will buy you lots of Legos! Godzilla 3D came out two weeks ago and made a whopping £9M in it’s first weekend but dropped by 57% in it’s second week, so it looks like this monster doesn’t have legs.
There are lots of others upcoming films to be released later in the summer to try to take your summer movie money. Here is a list of the big ones, all of them likely to gross lots of money:
The first film to be released after the Bank Holiday weekend, which is officially the start of the summer, is Maleficent, which  brings Angelina Jolie in her cartoon-debuting role in a story of the villain from Disney’s classic film Sleeping Beauty, the mistress of all evil. Will it be too dark for young children? Early buzz has been mixed, so it will be interesting to see if Disney can recoup it’s $200M production costs.
Tom Cruise’s annual summer movie hits the big screen on Friday May 30th. It’s called Edge of Tomorrow and is a film set in the near future where an alien race attacks Earth, attacking cities and killing millions of people, almost destroying Earth. Of course Cruise is the hero when he takes on one of the aliens, only to be killed within minutes. What’s different about this plot is that Cruise’s character keeps on coming back to life – and is forced to relive the same battle over and over, and in the meantime becoming smarter and tougher. It’s an interesting premise and in true Tom Cruise style, Edge of Tomorrow should be a box office hit. A Million Ways to Die in the West – Seth MacFarlane’s take on Western movies also opens on the same day. It’s got an all-star cast, including Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson.
22 Jump Street hits the theaters the following weekend. This is, of course, a film of the television show which put Johnny Depp on the map, and a sequel to the 21 Jump Street movie. The film stars hot actors-of-the-moment Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Expect lots of laughs and action, and another sequel if this film makes lots of money, which it probably will.
For those of you craving music with your movies, Jersey Boys opens up on June 20th. It’s a musical biopic based on the hit musical charting the lives of the group The Four Seasons. Clint Eastwood was a strange choice to direct the movie (he also produced), but even stranger was to pick a cast of unknowns to star as the leads. Christopher Walken is the one big name actor in the movie, and he plays a member of the mob. The same weekend Kevin Costner’s new film 3 Days to Kill opens up where he plays a dying CIA agent trying to reconnect with his daughter, played by Hailee Steinfeld.
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Transformers: Age of Extinction opens on Thursday July 10th and looks to be a teenage boys wet dream. It’s the fourth installment of the live action Transformers film series and this one stars Mark Walhberg. Age of Extinction is a sequel to Transformers: Dark of the Moon and takes place four years after the invasion of Chicago. Michael Bay returns as the director. Expect big box office for this film, and for it to dominate the box office way into July.
On Thursday July 17th (why do films open up on a Thursday? So that their ‘weekend’ gross will appear to be higher) sees Dawn of the Planet of The Apes open – the umpteenth film based on the 1960’s classic Planet of the Apes Films. What’s so special about this one? The apes existence is threatened by human survivors of a devastating virus. Gary Oldman and Keri Russell play human to Andy Serkis’ ape.
If you are getting the picture that there is one huge movie opening up every weekend, this is no coincidence. The studios rake in the bucks on their film’s opening weekends as most of the money goes to them and not to the theatre owners. It’s only when a movie is still bringing in audiences for several weeks which is when the movie theatres start to make money.
So the big movie opening the weekend of July 25th is Hercules, starring The Rock like we’ve never seen him before, long-haired Dwayne Johnson – and directed by Brett Ratner. To be honest, this could either be a big hit or it could be a costly mistake. I predict the later. Opening up the same weekend is a film that should do much better. Channing Tatum is back again and starring in Jupiter Ascending. It’s a strange story about a woman who was born under a night sky, and so was destined for great things. But she ends up being a cleaner. Tatum, as a genetically engineered hunter, is her knight in shining armor who tracks her down and helps her realize her potential. It sounds far-fetched, but it could work as the The Wachowskis have written, produced and directed it. They previously brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Mila Kunis also stars.
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Another Sci-Fi – ish film – Guardians of the Galaxy – opens on Thursday July 31st. It is a live action film from Disney and is about an American pilot who finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by a very nasty villian. Starring an all-star cast including Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, and more.
A movie for the kids this summer will be Planes: Fire and Rescue, opening on August 8th, right in the middle of summer to get their parents box office money. This one is expected to be as much of a hit as the original Planes film. Also the same weekend sees the release of The InBetweeners 2. If this is as good as the first film and the television series, we’re in again for another laugh-a-minute film.
For those of you who like your action stars a bit older, then catch The Expendables 3 the weekend of Thursday August 14th. Just like the first two Expendable films, this one also stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Nicolage Cage.
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The lovely Scarlett Johansson is back on the big screen with Lucy on August 22nd. She plays a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors, and transforms into a warrior stronger than any human. This could be a franchise in the making if this film is successful enough.
Rounding out the summer, and released on Wednesday September 3rd, is Sex Tape. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal play a couple, who, after ten years and two kids, lose the spark in their marriage. So what do they do? Re-read the title and you’ll know how this movie plays out.
Other major UK releases in September include Sin City 2, Pride, and Monsters: Dark Continent.
Enjoy the Summer of Cinema!