Category: Film

Summary: Miles is stuck in a dead-end job, still in love with his ex-girlfriend Nova. Unbeknownst to him, a gang called Skizm is running a deadly competition within his city in which complete strangers fight to the death for the entertainment of an online audience of millions. Miles soon finds himself caught up in the game and forced to fight in a battle to the death. Initially, Miles’ lifetime of running from his problems pays off as he manages to elude his first opponent but when Nova is kidnapped, he must finally stop running and overcome his fears to fight for the girl he loves.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th April 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand

Director: Jason Lei Howden

Screenwriter: Jason Lei Howden

Cast: Anne Alexander-Sieder (Martha Seabert), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Nova), Grant Bowler (Degraves), Milo Cawthorne (Hadley), Logan Cole (Daddy Doubletaps), Rhys Darby (Glenjamin), Ned Dennehy (Riktor), Hanako Footman (Ruby), Stephen Grey (Vadim), Jacqueline Lee Guerts (Irine Degraves), Aaron Jackson (Clement), Richard Knowles (Xander), Aaron McGregor (Jock), Colin Moy (Clive), Racheal Ofori (Effie), Bella Paddin (Young Nix), Daniel Radcliffe (Miles), Jack Riddiford (Shadwell), Mark Rowley (Dane), Set Sjostrand (Fuckface), Josh Thomson (Grim), Janos Tiborcz (Graveworm), Samara Weaving (Nix), Joe Witkowski (Longshot), Edwin Wright (Stanton)

Running Time: 95 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR GUNS AKIMBO REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Guns Akimbo Review:

I have always felt for young actors and actresses who seem to have their careers tarnished by the very role that made them famous. A lot of people seem to disagree that it even happens but then how many times did you hear ‘not that guy from Twilight’ when Robert Pattinson was recently cast as Batman?

What the actor really needs is a role that is so far removed from their early career that it makes audiences see them in a different light, why do you think so many young stars try to do a role that involves nudity as soon as they turn eighteen?

One actor that has been desperately trying to break the mould set for him by his breakout role is Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe has tried so valiantly to try and shake off the Harry Potter tag – he’s done Australian films, gone to the dramatic extremes in Kill Your Darlings but the tag only seemed to lift a little when he stunned cinema-goers with the obscure but brilliant Swiss Army Man. Now Radcliffe hopes to shrug off the rest of that tag with a sheer brilliant performance in a film that is guaranteed to become a cult classic – Guns Akimbo.

Here Radcliffe plays Miles, a games programmer who is stuck in a dead-end job that he loathes with a boss who is nothing but a bully. While he hates his job, he hates his life even more as his recent separation from his girlfriend Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo – Hotel Mumbai) only seems to remind him just how in love with her he was.

In a state of boredom one night he leaves a trolling comment on the website of a popular death match reality game that is being run by an extremely violent organisation called Skizm. Angered by the comment the group’s leader, the psychopathic Riktor (Ned Dennehy – Mandy) has Miles captured and then has his goons bolt weapons to his hands. He then places Miles in the game and has him compete against the reigning champion, the criminally insane Nix (Samara Weaving – Ready Or Not), who believes one more kill will see her free of the game and then finally able to live her life the way that she wants to.

If the plot sounds insane it is because that is exactly what it is. It is the last kind of film that you would ever expect Radcliffe to want to be cast in yet somehow his performance grouped together by the fact that the film is in the capable hands of Deathgasm director Jason Lei Howden sees it become a cult classic that cinema lovers are going to lap up right away.

One of the keys to the film working is the fact that Howden is a cult film lover himself. His love for video games and 1980s action films here is so obvious. The film almost seems to have ‘levels’ that the characters have to get past while the fact that his graphic violence was certain to attract a R Rating also didn’t seem to scare him. At times it feels like as a director he was saying ‘let’s put another headshot in there’ and see what they do. Then there is also a killer soundtrack that features everyone from Dead Or Alive to Cypress Hill and even Iggy Pop. What Howden has made here is a film that he himself would want to watch and the result is one of the best action films of the past few years.

That is further enhanced by the fact that as a filmmaker Howden doesn’t try to make Guns Akimbo anything that it’s not. It’s a basic shoot-‘em up with a little bit of humour thrown in for good measure. And while the film doesn’t strive to be anything else it does end up making a lot of commentary about the morals of modern day reality television and delivering a better female hero than even Birds of Prey could manage.

Yes, we may have been blown away by Samara Weaving’s recent performances in The Babysitter and Ready Or Not but here she takes her acting to a whole new level. Weaving doesn’t just stop at having fun during some daring action sequences instead she brings real characterisation to a character that could have easily become a one-dimensional anti-hero. Even when she is trying to hunt down and kill everyone’s favourite loser – Miles – you can’t help but feel a little bit of remorse for Nix, despite her being a bad-ass.

Then there is Radcliffe who seems to embrace the fact that he is given the opportunity to play such an off-beat character. Like Weaving he mixes characterisation with action and seems to deliver just the right amount of method acting to show that perhaps a lot of cinema-goers have misjudged Radcliffe on just how good his acting ability can be. His scene with Rhys Darby in this film shows he also has a flair for comedy as well.

If you like your action flick to be a little left of centre and bordering on the gruesome then Guns Akimbo is the film for you. The fresh creative nature of the film shows why Jason Lei Howden is a director who can potentially breathe a new sense creativity into the action genre, while the film itself is the perfect vehicle to show that world that Daniel Radcliffe has well and truly outgrown his Harry Potter wand.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Guns Akimbo (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Guns Akimbo Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

 

A time-traveling assassin finds himself on a cruise ship, where he falls for the women he’s supposed to kill, in Same Boat – coming this April from Dark Star Pictures!

James is a time travelling assassin from the 28th century sent to 2018 to kill a woman, but when his intern gets sick and he loses his paperwork he has some time to kill, so to speak, while enjoying the cruise he accidentally falls in love with the woman he’s supposed to kill. Same Boat is a film about duty, love, friendship, and how kindness is more powerful than destruction.

Chris Roberti, Tony Glanz and David Bly star in a Chris Roberti film. Josh Itzkowitz, Chris Roberti and Mark Leidner wrote.

Shot secretly on a cruise ship, the wonderful sci-fi rom-com Same Boat hits April 7 On Demand from Dark Star Pictures.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ground daily life to a halt around the globe, Arrow Video is proud to announce the US release of Why Don’t You Just Die!, a blood-soaked black comedy in the vein of Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright.  Making his feature debut, writer/director Kirill Sokolov presents a rousing tale of family, modern relationships and the dark places they can take you to when things turn sour.  Why Don’t You Just Die! will be available nationwide on Digital HD April 20th.
Why Don’t You Just Die! has received critical acclaim from festivals around the globe, taking home the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature and Silver Audience Award at Fantasia, Best European Feature Film at MOTELx, Best Director at Fantaspoa, Best Feature, Best Director and Best VFX Awards at Grimmfest.  Following a screening at Fantastic Fest, Film School Rejects raved that “Russian cinema has a new filmmaker to champion”.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Arrow Video had planned an April 10th theatrical release in a number of markets around the US and the UK.  Planned theatrical markets included Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Knoxville, Ithaca, Houston, Lubbock, El Paso and Phoenix.
Ahead of the release, Sokolov shared, “Despite our exaggerated use of genre tropes and all the flashy effects, Why Don’t You Just Die! remains, for me, an incredibly personal and sincere story. The film’s inherent violence is the result of reflection on the realities of life in Russia, modern relationships, and societal attitudes. The gallows humor which pervades the film is the only true reaction whatsoever to all of this. The film is intended as an emotional rollercoaster, making the audience laugh, cry, and laugh again – but then immediately feel a sense of unease for having laughed.”
Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) has just one objective: to gain entry to his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment and kill her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) with a hammer to restore her honour. But all is not as it initially seems, and Matvey’s attempts to bludgeon the family patriarch to death don’t quite go to plan as Andrey proves a more formidable – not to mention ruthless – opponent than he anticipated… and Matvey, for his part, proves stubbornly unwilling to die.

 

Summary: A group of online friends travel to a Pop Culture convention to try and buy a rare comic they believe can warn them of an upcoming pandemic.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Toby Haynes

Screenwriter: Ryan Enright, Gillian Flynn

Regular Cast: Deson Borges (Wilson Wilson), Dan Byrd (Ian), John Cusack (Dr. Kevin Christie), Christopher Denham (Arby), Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde), Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky), Jessica Rothe (Samantha), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Grant), Rainn Wilson (Michael Stearns)

Guest Cast: Josh Bywater (Carson), Rammel Chan (Starweaver/Josh Chandler), Jose Antonio Garcia (Donald Resnick), Jenna Heffernan (Jenny), Dustin Ingram (Tallman), Farrah Mackenzie (Alice),  Jeanine Serralles (Colleen), Cory Michael Smith (Thomas Christie), Michael B Woods (Rod)

Running Time: 50 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

OUR THE UTOPIA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Utopia Review:

They say that art mirrors life and that has never been more true than when it comes to the brand new Amazon Prime series Utopia. The pilot gives us an early glimpse that a new pandemic is about to spread across the globe, yes it could be plucked straight from our headlines at the moment, but what separates Utopia from the hundreds of other pandemic or post-apocalyptic television shows or movies out there is the fact that here the prediction of the pandemic may have already surfaced in a graphic novel of all places.

Utopia centres around a group of four ‘friends’ who have all met online after they realised a pattern in a strange graphic novel titled Dystopia. When an ultra rare copy of its sequel, titled Utopia, is put up for auction by a naive couple at a convention named FringeCon the four friends – Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges – Living With Yourself), Ian (Dan Byrd – Easy A), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop – Fifty Shades Freed) and Samantha (Jessica Rothe – Happy Death Day) – all travel to the convention with the intention to buy Utopia so they can explore their theory that the comics predict the world’s pandemics.

But they are not the only people after Utopia after a rich art collector wins the auction suddenly a young boy called Grant (Javon Walton – Euphoria) breaks into the penthouse to steal it while at the same time two assassins – Arby (Christopher Denham – Argo) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson – The Office) – also pay a visit to the penthouse to retrieve the valuable item.

The best way to approach the Utopia remake is to have never seen the original British series. From the pilot episode you can tell that this is a series that is going to have many twists and turns throughout – so not knowing what is going to happen next is going to be key. Especially with the cliffhanger of the pilot which sees a character turn up that may just hint that everything in the graphic novels is based on real life.

Tone wise Utopia feels like a nineties show such as Buffy but with some edge. As soon as Samantha drops the ‘c’ word you know that the show is going to go into adult territory, the head shots that the assassins deliver as they hunt their victims later on only enhance that theory. Having said that though there is a deep intelligence to the show. The theory that the graphic novels can predict what pandemics are to come gives the show a real suspense element that you feel is only going to get expanded even further and a brief news report we hear hints that a pandemic is just starting as well.

The key to the show working though are the characters and whether they are interesting to the audience, luckily Utopia seems to have that problem well and truly solved. Wilson Wilson seems to be one of the most interesting characters to have surfaced on television for awhile, while the other three friends also could easily carry the show. After the pilot the relationship between Ian and Becky is not so much ‘will they’ but instead ‘what will they do now’ while the great acting that we know Jessica Rothe is capable of also means we are very curious to see what happens with Samantha next.

Keeping the acting in mind the casting of Rainn Wilson in such a sinister role is also a stroke of genius. We are so used to seeing his comedy side that his cold-heartedness here is a bit of surprise and there still seems to be a lot of room to further expand his character as well.

There is little doubt that once you start watching Utopia that you will continue to watch. There are just too many questions that are left after the pilot for you not to want. Questions around who the hell Grant is, what the four friends will do next and even whether or not the assassins will go after them are more than enough to keep you watching. And then there is of course the big mystery – who the hell is Jessica Hyde and is she real? Yes television fans I think our answer to iZombie has finally landed.

 

 

 

 

 

They say that the lights never go out in Hollywood. Well if they aren’t fully out at the moment then they are certainly very, very dim. As the Covid-19 virus goes on its deadly wave right across the planet Hollywood and the world’s film industry has become one of its biggest victims.

Right now as i write this this most of the world’s cinemas are in darkness – the projectors have stopped and the doors are closed. In Thailand cinemas are closed until April 1st while in America the cinemas are closed indefinitely. In Australia the cinema chains desperately tried to keep the doors open, but finally the week came where only one new film opened in cinemas and as people had started to fear going out in public the film was playing to empty cinemas. When you consider that film was The Current War starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Tom Holland the fact it wasn’t drawing an audience just went to show how afraid people really were. Luckily the nation’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision for the cinema bosses when he included cinemas in the list of non-essential services that had to close as the nation went into a Stage One lockdown.

For the rest of the world the first inkling that Covid-19 was going to hit the cinema industry hard was when Sony Pictures made the announcement that they were postponing the release date of the latest Bond film No Time To Die. Sony, it seemed made the right call especially after we all saw the hit that the much-hyped Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel took upon its released. Its studio decided to brave the Covid affected cinema numbers and released the film amidst the chaos – the result was taking just nine million dollars at the box office in its first week of release in the USA. Desperate not to see the same fate happen to Diesel’s other blockbuster – Fast & Furious 9 – its studio decided to push its release back to 2021.

Some companies decided to get creative. Realising that they were going to have a captive housebound audience for potentially the next few months Universal Pictures have decided to chance its arm and in some territories has released potential blockbusters The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour onto streaming services. It now seems likely that Disney will do the same with the eagerly anticipated Pixar animation Onward.

While the release dates of some of the year’s biggest films seem to be moving around like chess pieces on a board it leaves us with one big question – if Thailand’s cinemas do re-open on April 1st what do audiences have to look forward to? While films such as Daniel Radcliffe’s all action affair Guns Akimbo and new horror film Fantasy Island are slated for release not long after the doors open for several months audiences will have to watch locally made films and smaller international films while Hollywood prepares to re-launch itself with their all-conquering blockbusters. That is not necessarily a bad thing though as it means for awhile locally made films will have very little competition at the box-office for awhile.

Of course box office aside Covid-19 has also had catastrophic affect on the people of Hollywood and film industries right around the world. At the moment every major studio in America has shutdown production meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are currently out of work – many not knowing when those studio doors will open again.

The human side of Covid-19 in Hollywood became even more apparent when two of its biggest stars tested positive to the deadly virus. In Australia working on a new movie about the life of Elvis Presley Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus resulting in Australia’s Nine Network television network having to place some of their on-air talent in isolation after they had come in contact with the pair. It was later proven that Nine’s head Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins had actually contracted Covid-19 after interviewing Wilson.

The next Hollywood celebrity to test positive to Covid-19 was Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek Beyond star Idris Elba and only a few hours ago it was confirmed that former Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive to the virus in prison.

Globally nobody has been able to safely predict when the Covid-19 crisis might be over but the one thing we do know is it is going to take a long time for Hollywood to recover from cinema’s darkest days.

 

Roadshow Films announced today they will fast track the in home release dates on some of the most popular cinematic features of 2020, giving people the chance to experience hit movies at home, express from the cinemas.

In these challenging times when cinema goers are required to stay in, Roadshow Films is giving movie lovers across the country the ability to experience some of the biggest cinematic releases in the comfort of their homes.

The films to be released over the next week, include DC Blockbuster BIRDS OF PREY AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN, Guy Ritchie’s sophisticated action comedy, THE GENTLEMAN, thought-provoking true story JUST MERCY and high-octane Australian family film GO! amongst others.

The compelling slate includes films that were either part way through their theatrical run, or which have recently completed their theatrical run in Australia and New Zealand and are being released express to in home as a temporary measure in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the forced closure of cinemas.

“These are some of our most popular releases of the year and we are pleased to be able to bring them in to Australian homes, express from the cinemas, in these extraordinary times” said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films. “Roadshow Films has been entertaining Australians for over 80 years and we remain committed to bringing the best quality local and international entertainment to Australian movie lovers.”

The early release films will be available to buy on digital download from this weekend.

 

NEW TO OWN RELEASES

Available on

JOKER

Now

HUSTLERS

Now

THE GOOD LIAR

Now

GO!

27/03/2020

MIDWAY

27/03/2020

BIRDS OF PREY & THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN

28/03/2020

JUST MERCY

28/03/2020

MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS

30/03/2020

THE GENTLEMEN

31/03/2020

RICHARD JEWELL

01/04/2020

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

01/04/2020

THE WAY BACK

15/04/2020

 

Summary: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 3rd January 2019

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, United Kingdom

Director: Tom Hooper

Screenwriter: Les Hall, Tom Hooper, T.S. Eliot (poetry), Andrew Lloyd Webber (musical)

Cast: Jaih Betote (Coricopat), Larry Bourgeois (Socrates), Jonadette Carpio (Syllabub), Danny Collins (Mungojerrie), James Corden (Bustopher Jones), Laurie Davidson (Mr. Mistoffelees), Judi Dench (Old Deuteronomy), Jason Derulo (Rum Rum Tugger), Idris Elba (Macavity), Robbie Fairchild (Mukustrap), Francesca Hayward (Victoria), Jennifer Hudson (Grizabella), Melissa Madden-Gray (Griddlebone), Ian McKellan (Gus The Theatre Cat), Steven McRam (Shimbleshanks the Railway Cat), Naoimh Morgan (Rumpleteazer), Daniela Norman (Demeter), Bluey Robinson (Alonzo), Freya Rowley (Jellylorum), Ida Saki (Electra), Zizi Strallen (Tantomile), Taylor Swift (Bombalurina), Mette Towley (Cassandra), Eric Underwood (Admetus), Rebel Wilson (Jennyanydots), Ray Winstone (Growltiger)

Running Time: 110 mins

Classification: G (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR CATS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Cats Review:

When you look back of 2019 and think of what films made the biggest impact in cinema there were perhaps none quite talked about the way Cats was. When the trailer dropped for director Tom Hooper’s (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it made the nightly news for all the wrong reasons. For some Hooper’s cats looked strange, not-quite-human not-quite-cat, but others  (like myself) found themselves erring on the side caution wondering or not if this was going to turn out to be some kind of visual spectacular.

To be honest Cats sits somewhere in the middle. While it is not the musical masterpiece that Hooper created with Les Miserables it is also not as terrible as some would have you think. Perhaps the best way to approach Cats is to think you are about to enter a cinema to watch a theatre musical being projected onto the big screen because this feels much more like a concert than it does a cinematic experience.

Originally based on a collection of poems from T.S. Eliot Cats is told through the eyes of Victoria (Francesca Hayward The Sun Is God, Extra) a young cat who finds herself dumped in a London alleyway one night. She soon finds herself making friends with a magical cat called Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson – Will, The Good Liar) who soon introduces her to the world of the Jellicle Cats.

On the night she arrives she finds that the Jellicles are eagerly awaiting the arrival of one of their oldest members – their matriarch Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench – Skyfall, Shakespeare In Love) who on this night every year choices which Jellicle will live the life they have always dreamed of. But not everything runs smoothly as the villainous Macavity (Idris Elba – The Losers, Star Trek Beyond) plans on eliminating all of his competition.

Surprisingly the plot of Cats does work on the big screen. It is extremely light on though and at times the film feels like an extra couple of songs have been added to pad it out to feature film length. Despite what many felt from when that first trailer surfaced you do also find yourself as an audience member connecting with the cats on screen. Each has their own persona and whether you want to admit to it or not you do find yourself barracking for a cat to win Old Deuteronmy’s approval.

The film’s biggest weakness though is the way it is put together. The stories and scenes are almost presented the way they would be if you were reading through the original collection of short stories. A certain cat will perform and point out their strengths and weaknesses and then they are spirited away by Macavity before they can have their time with Old Deuteronomy. The sequences though where Macavity and his right-hand cat Growltiger (Ray Winstone – The Departed, Beowulf) are keeping the other cats captive are more like you would expect from a pantomime though and never become as menacing as they perhaps should have been.

While the sequences of watching the Jellicles perform does at times seem magical there is none of the wow factor here that we got with other musicals like Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge. Les Miserables worked on the big screen because it was believable while Moulin Rouge was way over the top which suited the theatre world that it was set in. Cats has the disadvantage of not being believable and it feels like perhaps it would have worked a little better if Hooper had followed in the footsteps of Baz Luhrmann and made this film go more into the fantasy realm as well.

What does work for Cats though is the casting. Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellan (Gods And Monster, Lord Of The Rings) steal the show as they expertly lead their younger cast. James Corden (Trolls, Peter Rabbit) brings in just the right amount of comic relief while playing Bustopher Jones but it is Jennifer Hudson (Dream Girls, The Secret Life Of Bees) who shines the brightest with her amazing vocals in the role of Grizabella. The ballet skills of Francesca Hayward also allows her to gracefully float across the screen as she leads the audience through this strange new world.

Cats may not leave its audience in awe the way Les Miserables did but it does have its own special charm. The best way to approach the movie is to go into the cinema knowing you will be about to watch a theatre production rather than a big blockbuster film.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: 
Cats (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Cats Reviews:

Our Cats review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ can be read at this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/cats-gives-us-reason-to-paws-74164.php

 

Trailer: