Man vs Frozen Wilderness has been done before of course. Leonardo di Caprio tries to survive the South Dakotan winter, and bears, in The Revenant; Liam Neeson fights the Alaskan cold, and wolves, in The Grey; we don’t exactly know where Mads Mikkelsen is, but he is trying to survive the cold, and polar bears, somewhere in the Arctic circle.
Dad ‘Rowdy’ Ricky (Nick Frost) ran the World Association of Wrestling and was one of the biggest names in UK wrestling, his wife Julia (Lena Heady) was also a wrestler. They raised their three kids to become professional wrestlers as well. The oldest, Roy aka Zebra Kid, was the least successful and, like his father before him, ended up in prison early in his adult life. The other two, Zak (Jack Lowden) aka Zak Zodiac, and Saraya (Florence Pugh) aka Britani, had great promise. Since the UK wrestlings scene had little prospects of a financial future, the family set their sights on the US.
Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver who loses his son to a drug overdose. Convinced his son wasn’t a druggie, Coxman sets out to find out what happened and soon finds himself in a world of drugs, turf wars, and revenge. He takes no prisoners and the body count steadily increases as the plot thickens and bad guy The Viking (Tom Bateman) turns up the heat to find him.
Directed by Jen McGowan, Rust Creek shows that it doesn’t necessarily take a big budget to tell an engaging story. There are two heroes in this movie: the protagonist Sawyer (Hermione Corfield) and the cinematography (Michelle Lawler) showing off the Kentucky wilderness whilst telling a story in pictures.
Billy (Joe Cole, Green Room) is a drugged up, hard-partying, small-time boxer who fights his days away in Thailand until his poor life choices end him up in a local prison. Clearly, this is not the kind of prison you would ever want to find yourself in. As soon as Billy enters the prison it is clear that his jail time is going to be about survival over anything else.
The best thing about the movie A.I. Rising is its poster. Clearly an attempt to ride on the coattails of the infinitely better Ex Machina, these two movies don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph, but there you go, I just did.
The opening scene of this movie about the true story of Operation Martin, and of Jan Baalsrud in particular, puts us straight in the middle of the action. It’s WWII, 1943, and twelve saboteurs have been sent from England into occupied Norway to take out a German air control tower. Something has gone wrong in the planning and they mistakenly make contact with a Nazi collaborator instead of the local resistance. Before they have the chance to salvage their plan, the Nazis have caught up with them and captured eleven of them.
Tina (Eva Melander) is an unprepossessing customs officer at a an international ferry port; she looks different from other people due to a chromosome flaw as she will explain. She also has a unique talent of being able to smell fear and guilt on people, making her an exceptional asset for border security. She is an honest, diligent person, but her facial deformities scare most people off and she feels most at home in nature and with animals.
One day as Jong-su (Ah-in Yoo) is delivering a package, he runs into Hae-mi (Jong-seo Yun), a girl who tells him they grew up together. He doesn’t recognise her but she explains she has had plastic surgery. They meet up for drinks later and Jong-su is quietly enamoured by Hae-mi’s alluring personality as she shows him she is learning to mime as she wants to become an actress. She shows him how she’s eating a non-existent tangerine as she explains that the art is not to pretend that there is a tangerine, but to forget that there isn’t one.
In the true story Can You Ever Forgive Me, she plays author Lee Israel who made her fame in the 60s and 70s writing profiles and biographies of Katharine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead amongst others. In the early 80s she wrote an unauthorised biography about Estée Lauder, which was widely panned and effectively ended her career. Over the following years, Lee falls on hard times and becomes a broke, lonely and bitter alcoholic.