The London Film Festival has now descended on the capital, bombarding the city’s screens with close to 250 films. Fear not if you aren’t able to make it though. The cinematic year rolls on with a number of new releases ranging from Northern Ireland to dangerous sci-fi mazes, creepy dolls and over on DVD, cutting social drama. So sit back and enjoy.
Another week, another young adult novel adaptation. This time it’s the turn of The Maze Runner. This dystopian future includes a giant maze that a gang of abandoned teenagers keep trying to escape from. Unfortunately, it proves a tricky beast continually changing while attacking anyone who dares to enter. Outside the maze, there’s plenty of time to watch the kids form a society and tackle a load of worthy issues. It has been receiving positive reviews so maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Jack O’Connell’s year just keeps getting better. After receiving deservedly rave reviews for Starred Up he takes the lead in ‘71, a historical action film set during a riot in Belfast in 1971. O’Connell plays a British solider cut off from his unit, left to fend for himself as madness explodes everywhere around. Taking on a hugely controversial and emotive period of recent British history, it’s harrowing must see cinema.
With a healthy century of horror films under the belt already, you’d think people would know better than to take sinister dolls into their house. Alas Annabelle once again proves otherwise. This time it’s the Gordon family who foolishly keep the toy complete with resident demon in the bedroom. In no time there are strange happenings, blood and violence galore. From James Wan’s stable (the director of Saw and The Conjuring takes on producing duties here), it should at least know its way around a cheap thrill or two.
It took long enough for Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler’s devastating account of the day leading up to Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a BART officer in San Francisco to arrive in the UK. Now it’s out on DVD, don’t miss the opportunity to snap it up. Michael B. Jordan puts in a powerful performance as Grant, bringing out the good and bad in a man whose life was brought to a tragically premature conclusion. This is social drama at its very best.
Back to the film festival for me now but I’ll see you next week for Robert Downey Jr. and a collection of mutant turtles.