Since I don’t get to the cinema to see new releases that often anymore, this is my new weekly feature reviewing the latest releases on Sky Cinema Premiere (and in turn, Now TV). I will write a short review and rating for each of the films that I have watched and then give you the details for the ones that I didn’t get a chance to see.
Sky Cinema Premiere add a new film onto their channel every single day. This week’s feature sees the release of Siren, The Tribes of Palos Verdes, Redoubtable, Future World, Serenity, The First Purge, and Leave No Trace. Let’s have a look and see what’s worth watching this week.
25th February – Siren
Synopsis: A stag party for bridegroom-to-be Jonah goes off-grid and winds up at a remote mansion where the master of ceremonies promises a night of debauchery. When Jonah frees a seemingly imprisoned dancer from a locked room, little does he know that he’s unleashed a wall-climbing demon who will stop at nothing to claim her man.
Director: Gregg Bishop
Cast: Chase Williamson, Hannah Fierman, Justin Welborn, Hayes Mercure, Michael Aaron Milligan, and Randy McDowell
26th February – The Tribes of Palos Verdes
Synopsis: The Mason family have moved on to make a fresh start in an apparent paradise – the affluent Los Angeles suburb of Palos Verdes. However, while mom struggles to adjust, her unfaithful husband bails, leaving surfer Medina and her twin brother, Jim, in their mother’s increasingly unstable care.
Directors: Brendan Malloy and Emmett Malloy
Cast: Maika Monroe, Cody Fern, Jennifer Garner, Justin Kirk, Noah Silver, and Alex Neustaedter
27th February – Redoubtable (Le Redoutable)
Synopsis: In 1967, during the making of La Chinoise, legendary French film director Jean-Luc Godard falls in love with a 19-year-old actress, Anne Wiazemsky, and marries her. She admires Jean-Luc’s originality, intelligence, wit and boldness while he loves Anne’s freshness and admiration of him. But their marriage is put to the test as Godard becomes more and more involved in the revolution, becoming less and less available to his young wife.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo, Micha Lescot, Grégory Gadebois, and Félix Kysyl
28th January – Future World
Synopsis: In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, desperate son Prince teams up with beautiful android Ash to strike out through the desert in the hope of acquiring a miracle drug that will save his dying mother. However, Warlord regards Ash as his personal property and isn’t far behind with a gang of dirt bike-riding thugs.
Directors: James Franco and Bruce Thierry Cheung
Cast: Jeffrey Wahlberg, Suki Waterhouse, Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, James Franco, Snoop Dogg, and Method Man
1st March – Serenity
Synopsis: A Sky Cinema Original film, Serenity follows a grizzled fishing boat captain who has gone off-grid in the Caribbean. However, his past comes back to haunt him when his ex-wife tracks him down with a proposition – to lure her violent new husband onto his boat and “drop him in the ocean for the sharks.” However, it’s not as simple as that.
Director: Steven Knight
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou, and Jeremy Strong
Review: This is definitely one of those “What the fuck?!” films that makes you think, “But did I actually like it?” Its intentions are good and it even comes across as heartwarming at the end. But it’s just weird. There’s so much going on to distract you from the heart of the story that the focus feels like it’s all in the wrong place. I was hoping for a stylish, sexy thriller, but what you actually get is far from any of that.
I read about the film’s twist a few months ago because I thought that it was a joke article, and then I realised that it was actually true. So I went into this with no surprises, but I was also prepared for the worst. It’s definitely an odd decision to go with and it could have been a lot more subtle in its revelation, but it certainly makes it unique. Unique, but also completely messed up when you think too much into it. God, I wish this was better.
2nd March – The First Purge
Synopsis: A prequel to The Purge films, this one explains the concept of “the purge” – the one night in the year when residents are allowed to vent their aggression. A sociologist and the sinister Trump-esque New Founding Fathers of America try out the experiment. But when their test subjects take the opportunity to throw outrageous parties instead of participating in violent crime, the Fathers take matters into their own hands.
Director: Gerard McMurray
Cast: Marisa Tomei, Melonie Diaz, Lex Scott Davis, Luna Lauren Velez, Patch Darragh, and Y’lan Noel
Review: I quite like this franchise so I was really interested in a prequel instalment. But I don’t feel like this film has the same feel to the other films and there definitely wasn’t enough context for me. It tries to be political and gritty just to make a point, but that’s not what the others were about.
3rd March – Leave No Trace
Synopsis: The film follows Will, a troubled former marine who has rejected conventional life and society in favour of the isolated, off-the-grid existence which he shares with 13-year-old Tom. They have a tiny camp tucked away in the lush green of the Oregon woods, foraging for food and only venturing into town when absolutely necessary. The threat of being discovered, though, is constant, and when one tiny slip alerts the authorities, the peace and privacy they’ve known for so long are shattered.
Director: Debra Granik
Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey, and Dana Millican
Review: A moving and impacting story with many emotional moments.