…are… are we back? Is this it?? Are we seeing cinemas start to return (in the UK, rightly or wrongly) this month? If so, then there is MUCH to look forward to, many films that obviously had their releases postponed (some went on to be released via streaming services, others await a more cinematic introduction) will finally be making their way to the big screen, giving us all a chance to escape reality once again in one of our favourite ways. Admittedly this month’s not really quite as jam-packed with films as we’re used to seeing at this time of year, including a distinct lack of summer blockbusters and very few aimed at kids that would normally be appearing now in time for the summer holidays. But, at this point, we’ll take what we can get! As always, I’ve picked out three movies that may prove most appealing, but as mentioned, there’s not a lot to choose from (which, unfortunately, makes sense – cinemas will not have the time to show many films right now and so are unlikely to invest time in films that may not pull the much-needed money in right now).
As we all may know, most, if not all, cinemas in the U.K. are currently closed due to the recent outbreak of Covid-19. It’s a pretty dismal time for all of us, and many of us rely on films (particularly in an immersive cinematic setting) to get us through tough times, so it’s an extra bummer to not have our comfort zones available to us. Of course the most important thing at this time is everybody’s health, and to that end we are all housebound.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach
Cast: Michael Peña, Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Austin Stowell, Ryan Hansen, Jimmy O. Yang, Portia Doubleday, Michael Rooker, Parisa Fitz-Henley
Taking classic twentieth-century television shows and revamping them as twenty-first-century blockbusters is quite a common trend. From Charlie’s Angels and The A-Team to The Man From U.N.C.L.E and 21 Jump Street, we’re not short of revivals. Fantasy Island was a ‘70s show about guests coming to an island (either by paying a ton of money or winning a contest) to live out their fantasies. The show would span many different genres, and though Wadlow’s film version is specifically horror-based, it follows the main premise and similar characters to the TV show and adds in elements of other genres. Considering the show aired for a few years in the States, it’s fair to say it must have been rather popular for a time. Does this 2020 film version manage to capture its audience in the same way, or will it leave you fantasising about being somewhere, anywhere, else?
Director: Dan Scanlon Writers: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez
Kids movies always provide a chance to get across certain themes and lessons to youngsters that adults may find difficult to broach with them. Pixar and certainly Disney are no strangers to depicting such things in their films and guiding young viewers through experiences that life may one day throw at them. Onward is the two studios’ latest team-up, a fairy-tale with modern twists and characters that will be familiar to anyone who has every played Dungeons & Dragons or World of Warcraft and the like. It holds many of those said themes and lessons that children will encounter as they become more aware of themselves and the world around them. Do Disney/Pixar successfully navigate this world for kids, and adults, whilst providing something entertaining, or does it struggle to balance the two and create something worth a family’s time?
Director: Leigh Whannell Writer: Leigh Whannell Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman
Who doesn’t love a classic horror story? And who has ever done it better than Universal back in the days of black and white film? There have been multiple attempts ever since to recreate those movies, whether just in emulating tone or aesthetics, or in fully reinventing the stories for modern cinema. Based initially off of H.G. Wells’ novel of the same name and something of a reboot of the television series from the 1930s, The Invisible Man is a classic and well-known horror story, so well-known that if it’s to be retold, it’s best to find a new angle on it, which is exactly what writer/director Whannell has gone and done. Has he hit the horror nail on its head and successfully created something new and chilling, or, much like the titular character, is there nothing to see here?