Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.
Bird Box jumps between two timelines – we start with Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and two kids travelling blindfolded in a boat down a river, where to we do not know, but right from the opening scene learn that they must not look or they will die. The second timeline is about 5 years earlier where we meet a then heavily pregnant Malorie and her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson), as they see news reports about some unexplained phenomenon in Europe and Russia causing mass suicides.
Two brothers, Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) and Justin (Justin Benson) have escaped a “UFO Death Cult” many years ago, but they still struggle to rebuild a normal life. Justin has the strongest negative memories of the cult, while Aaron’s recollections are seemingly more benign and he cannot quite recollect all the extreme cult-behaviour his brother talks about. He convinces Justin to go back to the cult, for just one night.
If you like your martial arts flicks to be ultra gory then The Night Comes for Us is the movie for you. We get dropped straight into the action: when a few villagers have stolen some drugs from the Triad syndicate, the entire village gets wiped out by Ito (Joe Taslim), who is one of the so-called Six Seas: the Triad’s enforcers who are sent to take any measures necessary to keep things under control. For some reason, Ito takes pity on a young girl and decides to spare her – making him now an enemy of the Triad.
More Zombies….?! Yup. We find ourselves in yet another scenario of some mysterious global pandemic that has infected almost all people and turned them into aggressive flesh eaters, but wait, there’s hope: not everyone is infected just yet, and some people even turn out to be immune, so together with the army they are working to find a cure. Thank god for that. Now if only they can find Patient Zero – then they can create the anti-viral strain that will surely prove to be able to save mankind.
Drug dealer Adam is planning to double-cross his boss Dezsõ and make a big hit by fleeing the country with 200 vials of illegally harvested growth hormones. Things of course don’t go as planned and soon Deszõ comes looking for revenge on Adam as he seems to know what he is up to. Hurok is Hungarian for ‘Loop’, and the title gives it away already – as things spiral out of control, Adam somehow finds himself in a time loop and re-lives the same events multiple times.
Hotel Artemis has a lot going for it. A simple but creative premise: in a not too distant future, criminals can get emergency medical attention in a members-only Hotel. An interesting ensemble cast, led by Jodie Foster and supported by Jeff Goldblum, Dave Bautista and Zachary Quinto to name a few. A great director of photography Chung-hoon Chung, who captured the atmosphere in movies like The Handmaiden and It. So things are set for a great movie.
A key part of the success of 2015’s Sicario was Emily Blunt’s role, which provided a moral balance to the hard-hitting story. Her character does not return in Sicario: Day of the Soldado; the main reason for this, according the director Stefano Sollima, was that they explicitly did not want this sequel to have a moral compass. Unfortunately, it turns out that is exactly what makes this movie nowhere near as interesting as its predecessor.
Derek is a supposedly brilliant student who is failing his classes as he gets obsessed with what he believes to be UFO sightings. These sightings are, according to his clever math, being covered up for some reason, and Derek is hellbent on finding out what is really going on. His obsession leads to slow but steady progress towards finding out the truth.
The zombie genre is certainly alive and well these days. So how do you make another movie about the undead that has something new to offer? Actually, a lot of recent zombie movies aren’t about undead raising from the grave – most of them have some kind of disease as the background to people ‘turning’. The same applies to the zombies in Cargo, but it has two elements that do make it stand out: firstly it is a human story rather than a gore fest; and secondly it is set in the Australian outback.