In this semi-regular series, Fiacha Harington previews current and forthcoming cinema attractions.
In theatres now.
This latest installment of the Wolverine / X-Men franchise sees Hugh Jackman back in the title role, with this latest chapter being set in the near future. We find Logan living the quiet life, trying to get away from his past in a world where no more mutants have been born (and where mutants are illegal). He is also caring for the sick Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Suddenly, Logan is placed in a different situation of caring for a young girl – who may be a mutant – which soon finds the whole gang fleeing from ‘official’ forces who are hunting down the girl. Even though this is the most stand-alone film in the series, or perhaps because of it, Logan is the strongest outing for the Wolverine. This more adult orientated film leans heavier on the action and violence whilst at the same time probably brings some closure of sorts to the man with the claws.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Director Bill Condon has been charged with the task of turning the big hit and family favourite Beauty and the Beast animation into a fully fledged live action movie. This is a bit of a trend at the moment, see also Ghost in the Shell and Power Rangers. Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame is cast as Belle, who is trapped in the titular Beast’s castle. The Beast is portrayed by Dan Stevens. Disney has hoped to recapture the magic of the original movie by sticking close to the source. A variety of fantasy parts are voiced by Hollywood stars such as Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Ghost In The Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders of Snow White and The Huntsman fame. Ghost In The Shell is based on Masamune Shirow’s creation for Kodansha Comics manga series. Having been previously brought to the screen in animation form, this live action/Hollywood version is bound to divide fans of the original Manga series but deserves to be seen on its own merit. Scarlett Johansson plays the cyborg called Major who is part of the special forces team called Section 9, who carry out missions to stop criminals and extremists looking to destroy Hanka Robotics who have created the cyborgs. A fine set of actors has been put together to flesh out the movie further with performances from ’Beat’ Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt and Pilou Asbæk.
This has a somewhat familiar storyline; a group of high school outcasts are subjected to supernatural forces and infused with unique superpowers and are then tasked with saving the world. But before they can save the world they have to band together to overcome their own real life issues and somehow join forces. So nothing out of the ordinary there. There could be a generational gap between the animated series and the jump to live action movie – so I find it a bit hard to see who the target audience for this film is exactly. Power Rangers feels like it is setting itself up for becoming a regular franchise. The Rangers are played by fresh faces Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin and Becky G.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (In theatres from 14th April)
Otherwise known as Fast and Furious 8 – yes number eight in the series (WTF?-Ed.) The Fast and Furious franchise has proven to be a very lucrative one and as each film comes to the screen, the latest edition has to out-do the previous one with amazing chases and explosions that hopefully put arses on seats. There have been rumours that film number 8 is the first part in a final trilogy that would bring the series to ten in total (WTF?-Ed.) This time round, the usual crew is missing Paul Walker (who tragically died during the making of Fast 7). The film is helmed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) with Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jason Statham all reprising their roles as well as the extra starry additions of Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell and Helen Mirren (WTF?-Ed.)
THE BOSS BABY (In theatres, 14th April)
To give you some idea as to what to expect, The Boss Baby is brought to you from DreamWorks Animation and the makers of Madagascar. The tagline is this: a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly CEO of Puppy Co. Alec Baldwin is the voice of Boss Baby with Steve Buscemi as his brother Francis and Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as mom and dad. This family orientated animation will also be in cinemas with Finnish speaking characters.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (In theatres 24th April)
It seems that summer blockbuster season is starting earlier each year with big hitters like this already turning up in April. Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they travel through the outer regions of the cosmos. This is aimed heavily at fans of the comics and the first film as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
GET OUT (In theatres 5th May)
This has already proven to be a huge success upon its release Stateside. There has been a lot of talk and hype surrounding Get Out, but what it comes down to is that this is one of those movies you have to try go and see before someone else tells you all about it. I’m trying to refrain from doing so myself. Get Out’s setting finds a young black man with his white girlfriend visiting her parents – where things are not as they seem. This gripping thriller is directed by Jordan Peele (of comedy duo Key and Peele), with Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford and Katherine Keener in the central roles. Peele has managed to put together a gripping movie which also acts as a social commentary on racism in today’s America.
NIGHT VISIONS FILM FESTIVAL 2017
Also happening on selected screens around Helsinki is the spring edition of NIGHT VISIONS – Back To Basics. The mini movie festival consists of 30 feature length and select short films with the Night Visions running between the 19th to the 23rd of April. Here you can catch a wide selection of genre movies for the first time in Finland. Among the selection of films on show are the Julia Ducournau directed Raw (Belgium, 2016), which won the international critics FIPRESCI prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival . The Transfiguration (USA, 2016) which was also at Cannes; this vampire drama marks the directorial debut from Michael O’Shean. From Russia there is Sarik Andrestan’s Guardians (Zashchitniki, Russia, 2017) – which is the country’s first fully fledged superhero movie. Other movies include The Belko Experiment (USA, 2016) which will also get a general release, Wolf (Australia), High-Rise (UK 2016) and the much praised Free Fire (France/ UK, 2016) which gets a general release on the 21st April. For additional information please visit the festival website and social media sites.