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chef-posterAs the World Cup rumbles on, cinemas remain refreshingly light on big budget dross for another week. Make the most of these interesting new releases while you can.

If food is the way to the heart, does putting enough edible delights on the screen work for cinema audiences? Chef, Jon Favreau’s low-key comedy certainly does just that. Favreau also takes the title role as the flamboyantly talented but deeply frustrated chef who sets out on his own after his resignation from a bland restaurant causes a social media sensation. With rave reviews from the other side of the Atlantic, it might be just the pick-me up needed to cope with World Cup blues.

Free from his murderous exploits in Dexter, Michael C. Hall gets to carry on the spree in Jim Mickle’s crime thriller Cold in July. To be fair, Hall only accidentally kills a man breaking into his house. From this, he sets off a chain of events that bring in shady cops, criminal gangs and a vengeful Sam Shepard, father of the now deceased burglar. The plot doesn’t always hold together but Mickle shoots it all with delightful B movie panache.

No one loved a good nautical setting more than Joseph Conrad. Whether sailing into the heart of darkness or braving the seven seas, his stories often unfolded on the water. Adapted from his short story, Secret Sharer heads to the South China Sea where Jack Laskey’s first time Polish captain tries to win over a sceptical crew while hiding a mysterious woman who swims ashore in the middle of the night. Wonderful seafaring cinematography and plenty of thrills make for an entertaining ride.

If your operating system sounded like Scarlett Johansson, would you fall in love with it? The answer is a resounding yes for Joaquin Phoenix as Her arrives on DVD this week. Gorgeous to look at and blessed with a fantastic score from Arcade Fire, Spike Jonze’s off-beat style comes up trumps again in this thoughtful future romance.

That’s all for now. See you next week for the last set of releases before Michael Bay returns to pollute proceedings.

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