Ten more of Keiron Self’s looks ahead to films which might bring the house down or pong the place out, from Doctor Strange, Top Gun: Maverick, Men and much more. Find out for yourself in May, either way! Previews of all these films can also be found in the May issue of Buzz, available to read online now.
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Stephen Strange in his second standalone movie that expands on the multiverse tampering that he opened in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Directed by Evil Dead and original Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi, this should be Marvel’s most horrific and trippiest film yet, bringing to life many alternate Stranges and universes in an SFX-heavy but hopefully characterful way. Strange needs help to keep the fabric of the universe unravelling, coming in the shape of Elisabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch and erstwhile wizard Wong. There are cameos, it seems, from many, with Patrick Stewart’s Professor X teased, along with callbacks to WandaVision, and the reappearance of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Rachel McAdams as Strange’s beloved. Further revelations are expected, but Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness will be the next chapter in the ever-expanding, hopefully not too confusing Marvelverse. Open up that third eye… the one in your forehead, you dirty-minded necromancers.
Dir: Sam Raimi (12A, 126 mins)
Dr Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness opens Fri 6 May
THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE
A special one-off global cinema event, with musician Nick Cave performing in a special stripped-back musical documentary with the collaboration of director Andrew Dominik. The Australian singer works in tandem again with the Kiwi creative behind his last concert film, One More Time With Feeling. That film about the life and work of Cave dealt with the tragic loss of his son, something that has obviously impacted his work massively since. This Much I Know To Be True captures a powerful, emotive rehearsal period for Cave’s UK tour at Battersea Arts Centre, containing songs from the superb albums Ghosteen and Carnage and staged with bare aplomb. Dominik also shows behind-the-scenes moments between Cave and Warren Ellis as they go through the process – catching creative insights as well as the superb music, making this an unmissable experience for anyone interested in Cave and his unique voice.
Dir: Andrew Dominik (15, 104 mins)
This Much I Know To Be True opens Wed 11 May
A stately, emotional biopic of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon from a master of delicate humanity writer/director Terence Davies, Benediction should be a gratifying, moving drama. Jack Lowden stars as the poet whose subordination at the horrors of life in the trenches got him sent to a mental hospital where he befriended another superb war poet Wilfred Owen (Matthew Tennyson). These men raged against the inhumanity of war, but Sassoon’s poetic light did not shine as brightly. The film also looks to document Sassoon’s homosexuality, his failed male relationships and an unhappy marriage leading to a search for meaning through Catholicism. Peter Capaldi plays the older Sassoon, riddled with sadness and brittleness. It promises to be epically human and deeply sad, dealing as it does with man’s inhumanity to man and a poet who deemed himself a failure despite his terse poetic brilliance in poems like They and Suicide In The Trenches.
Dir: Terence Davies (PG, 127 mins)
Benediction opens Fri 13 May
Another retelling of the Stephen King novel, after a previous incarnation from 1984 that starred a young Drew Barrymore. Firestarter loosely follows the same lines as both the novel and the first film, with a bearded Zac Efron playing Andy McGee: experimented on by a secret government entity called The Shop, as a consequence McGee developed psychic powers. When he has a child – yes, Efron now plays parent roles – with another participant in this group, played by Sydney Lemmon, their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) also turns out to have abilities. She can set fire to anything with her mind, so naturally, she’s a weapon that The Shop want back; a chase ensues, parents trying to keep her safe amidst the growing conflagrations. A now-familiar riff on superpowers but with the extra potency of King as source material, this, in the words of The Prodigy, could still be another twisted firestarter.
Dir: Keith Thomas (15, 100 mins)
Firestarter opens Fri 13 May
A creepy psychological horror from Norway that draws on many familiar superpowered-children tropes but appears to have a more original Scandi take on the subject than, say, Chronicle, The Midwich Cuckoos or X Men: First Class. The Innocents follows nine-year-old Ida (Rakel Lenora Flottum) and Anna (Alva Brynsmo Ramstad), her older autistic sister, who move to a tower block near some woods and play with the local kids whilst their busy parents leave them to their own devices. Chief amongst these misfits are Ben (Sam Ashraf), whose unpleasant tendencies include animal cruelty, and Aisha (Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim), a young moral compass. When they are together, though, they find their latent abilities are magnified – cue bouts of telekinesis and mind control, inevitably leading to a tense if decidedly un-Marvel-esque showdown. A twisted, uncomfortable arthouse horror written and directed by Worst Person In The World collaborator Vogt, this should grip and disturb in novel ways.
Dir: Eskil Vogt (15, 117 mins)
The Innocents opens Fri 20 May
A frightening new cerebral horror from Alex Garland, the mind behind Ex Machina, Annihilation and Devs, that boasts a creepy premise. Jessie Buckley plays Harper, a woman escaping to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband (played by Paapa Essiedu). There she meets Rory Kinnear, well, everywhere: he is at the country house she stays in, and is also the local vicar and policeman to name but two. This is no Nutty Professor gig for Kinnear, however: his presence unsettles and disturbs in a variety of ways as this tricksy film unfolds. This is Garland’s third film as director, bringing his storytelling sensibilities to a tale of grief and misogyny; Men will intrigue, alarm and, crucially, be more interesting than most other films out there. Buckley’s stature as an actress has grown and grown, and in Men she has her first real horror film lead. Be prepared to be unnerved.
Dir: Alex Garland (18, 120 mins)
Men opens Fri 20 May
THE ROAD DANCE
Based on the best-selling novel by John MacKay, The Road Dance is a WWI drama set in a tiny coastal village on the Hebridean Isle Of Lewis and will no doubt boast some superb cinematography. Hermione Corfield plays Kirsty, who lives in the tight-knit community with her mother (Morven Christie) and sister (Ali Fumiko Whitney). She has two suitors: Murdo (Will Fletcher), who recently returned from Army training, and Iain (Tom Byrne). The boys are about to be sent off to war when an event happens at the dance of the title, with melodramatic and devastating results for the community. Mark Gatiss adds some weight to the cast as the village doctor, as does Alison Peebles’ local busybody. Set to please those who love a romantic drama with some fantastic scenery, this historical yarn promises to be a predictable Sunday evening television viewing.
Dir: Richie Adams (15, 114 mins)
The Road Dance opens Fri 20 May
A devastating drama from cinema’s often most outrageous director, Gaspar Noe after all gave us the hellish dancing of Climax and the gruesome violence of Irreversible. Vortex may seemingly be a low-key affair by comparison, but one that will strike deep. Acclaimed horror director Dario Argento takes on a rare acting role as a man with a heart condition struggling to finish a book on cinema, living alongside his wife Francoise Lebrun who is succumbing to dementia. They both live in a Paris flat and are visited by their son (Alex Lutz), a recovering drug addict who can barely look after himself, let alone his ailing parents. Shot in split-screen with cameras following separate characters, this will come with Noe’s stylistic flourishes, superb acting and a realistic portrayal of love and illness. It might not sound like an uplifting watch, but it will be told with skill and compassion.
Dir: Gaspar Noe (15, 140 mins)
Vortex opens Fri 20 May
THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE
After 11 years on television, the cult cartoon phenomenon gets a cinematic upgrade which hopefully will have some comedy meat on its bones. Earlier, comparable transitions like The Simpsons Movie fell short of expectations – but this low-key, laidback family comedy, in which family man Bob Belcher (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) runs his dream burger restaurant with his wife and three kids, has charm that can hopefully transcend its usual 22-minute running time. A ruptured water main creates a massive sinkhole in front of Bob’s Burgers, blocking its entrance and ruining chances for a lucrative summer. The family are on the verge of ruin, with the kids stumbling across a mystery that could save all their patties. Voiced by series regulars Kristin Schaal, Dan Mintz, John Roberts and Eugene Birman as the Belcher family, plus Kevin Kline’s Mr Fischoeder, this will no doubt please fans of the show and hopefully be worthy of its big-screen outing.
Dir: Loren Bouchard/Bernard Derriman (12A, 102 mins)
The Bob’s Burgers Movie opens Fri 27 May
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
Do you feel the need… the need for speed again? Well, someone apparently thought audiences did, with this very belated sequel to the jingoistic homoerotica of 1986’s Top Gun, the film that launched Tom Cruise into the stratosphere. He returns as Maverick, the grinning pain in authority’s behind who has chosen not to rise up the ranks of the armed services and remains a lowly test pilot. When a risky mission calls on him to teach some hotshot pilots how to fly, he is initially reluctant, and top brass in the shape of Jon Hamm is not impressed. Matters are further complicated when the son of Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died in the first Top Gun, shows up. His call sign is Rooster (Miles Teller) and the friction between him and Maverick forces the cocksure Cruise to reflect on his past amidst the predictably amazing F-16 aerial footage. The pilots may now have a woman (Monica Barbaro) in the cockpit, but let’s hope this sequel isn’t just flag-waving and an advert for the armed services. Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone reinterpreted whilst oiled men play beach volleyball against a smoky sunrise is a must, however.
Dir: Joseph Kosinski (12A, 100 mins)
Top Gun: Maverick opens Fri 27 May
words KEIRON SELF
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