Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation is tongue-in-cheek, frenetic, with stunts galore, nods to Hitchcock and Roger Moore's 80s Bond and is lots of fun - Michael Douglas slips into LA based, arrogant self-appointed big game hunter Madec's skin with ease in Jean-Baptise
Leonetti's tale of hunter against hunted - Jonas Govert's dark adventure, Cub (Welt) mixes humour with scare, horror and gore to offer an imaginative tangent to the slasher film genre.
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin
Country of Origin: USA 2015 131 mins.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) clings to the cargo door as the plane hurtles along the runway loaded with nerve gas war heads destined for Chechen separatists. Open the Summer blockbuster doors for Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation, the 5th in the franchise and make way for death defying stunts and the indestructible Ethan Hunt and his team on a frenetic quest to save the world.
Ethan Hunt's gone rogue. A shadowy organisation, the Syndicate fronted by bespectacled nasty guy Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) is hell bent on world chaos to achieve global dominance and CIA Chief Alan Huntley (Alec Baldwin) wants the IMF team erased from the memory. There's no time to waste and with right hand man Luther Stickell (Ving Rhanes), analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and I can crack a joke tech man Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) it's lead on Ethan Hunt and save the world.
More thriller action than spy story with nods to Hitchcock and a flavour of Roger Moore's 80s style Bond, car and motor bike stunts, under water sequences, tech gadgets, assassins in the Vienna Opera House, Casablanca's back streets roar with action, the essential femme fatale ex-MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) with an 'interest' in the Syndicate and the hunt's on for the Red Box that could bring down the Syndicate.
Frenetic, stunts galore, tongue in cheek and lots of fun. All in a day's work for Ethan Hunt. Not a drop of sweat is shed. He doesn't destruct in 5 seconds.
Released 30th July
Director: Jean-Baptiste Leonetti
Cast: Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Martin Palmer
Country of Origin: USA 2014 91 mins.
Michael Douglas slips into self-appointed big game hunter, Madec's skin with ease. Deranged and arrogant, LA based corporate raider Madec's world is cash buys everything and anyone. It's Madec with his latest rich man's toys, an Austrian high tech rifle, aviator glasses and LA creature comforts, espressos and margaritas on tap courtesy of his souped up Mercedes SUV ready for the kill. Having greased the right palms it's out into the Mojave Desert to bag some out-of-season game with local tracker Ben (Jeremy Irvine). From the beginning you want Madec to fall.
When Madec misjudges Charlie (Martin Palmer) a desert dwelling old codger character for game it becomes hunter pitted against the hunted.
Stephen Susco's script based on Robb White's 1972 novel 'Deathwatch' lacks development of the lead characters but it doesn't detract. Ben's short of cash and misses his girlfriend Laina (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) who's gone off to college and Madec's trying to off-load his business to some Chinese in between espressos, margaritas and pot shots at his prey. This is Michael Douglas's film, hunter against hunted, played out against the stunning, cruel and intense beauty of the Mojave Desert beautifully framed by Russell Carpenter's camera.
It's ironic that the film's release coincides with the front page news of the tragic killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
Released 31st July
Director: Jonas Govaerts
cast: Maurice Luijten, Eveliven Bosmans, Titus De Voogdt, Gill Eeckelaert, Stef Aerts
Genre: Adventure, Horror
Language: Flemish, French with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Belgium, 2015 84 mins.
Belgian Jonas Govaerts debut feature is a dark adventure that juggles suspence and horror with touches of humour and gore and pays homage to John Carpenter, Guillermo del Toro, Dario Argento and Mario Bava.
Summer camp in the Ardennes for the Antwerp cub scout pack means adventure and excitement as they line up for inspection. As expected Sam's (Maurice Luijten) late and bully boy scout leader Peter (Stef Aerts) doles out punishment before they all pile into the lorry to be regaled with tales of the feral boy Kai (Gill Eeckelaert), half boy, half werewolf with a black bark mask who lives in the woods. Sam mistrusted and isolated by the other boys sits quietly. Trouble with their alloted camp site means the group move deeper into the woods where it's rumoured the ghosts of bus factory workers who hanged themselves lurk and when Sam discovers a mysterious tree house he's convinced that Kai exists but his warnings that a terrible fate awaits them is ignored. Death begins to stalk the woods and their adventure becomes dark, dangerous and bloody.
The young cast are excellent with Maurice Luijten's convincing in the lead role of Sam, the 12-year-old outcast through whose eyes the story unfolds but hints of his troubled past remain as such with no character depth. Nicholas Karakatsanis's camera probes every corner of a dark and dangerous rumour ridden world and the well placed synth score, a mix of humour, scare, horror and gore adds an imaginative tangent to the slasher film genre.
Released 31st July
Director: Kornel Mundruczo
Ambitious, unique, extraordinary. A bizarre canine extravaganza.
Released 3rd August
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