A Week In Film #561: Trying all-new

Stand Up Guys title screen
Stand Up Guys
Old school gangster Al Pacino comes out of prison after long sentence, is met by pal Christopher Walken, they break out fellow aged hood Alan Arkin from a nursing home, reminisce about crimes past, and get caught between a rock and a half place, all against the clock. Low key, low energy, low expectations – but surprisingly decent. Helmed by actor-turned-director Fisher Stevens.

Den 12 Mann title screen
Den 12 Mann AKA The 12th Man
Wartime actioner about the only survivor of a Norwegian army sabotage team going on the run from the Nazis, and the civilians who help him.

A Scandi Bravo Two Zero-meets-The Guns Of Navarone with touches of Touching The Void and 127 Hours. Directed by Harald Zvark, excellent central performance from Thomas Gullestad.

Insidious: Chapter Two title screen
Insidious: Chapter Two
Bonkers house-haunting franchise bollocks from director James Wan and scriptwriter Leigh Whannell – can’t remember anything about it, but it did have Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne in the lead roles, and they’re normally pretty solid.

Hereditary title screen
Hereditary
Dark-as-shit psychological horror, with Toni Collette the matriarch of a suburban family where all manner of unpleasant shit is unfolding. From Ari Aster, with the cast rounded out by Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro.

Shaft (2019) title screen
Shaft (2019)
Classic 70s blaxploitation action picture rehashed for woke days, with Jessie T Usher as John Shaft, the sensitive FBI analyst and estranged son of Samuel L Jackson’s private detective John Shaft, himself the son of Richard Roundtree’s private detective John Shaft. There’s a silly plot, but it’s not terrible. Directed by Tim Ride Along Story, written by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow.

Brain On Fire title screen
Brain On Fire
Definitely in the Hallmark-on-speed ball park, in this BASED ON A TRUE STORY melodrama Chloë Grace Moretz plays a young New York Post reporter who is laid low by a mysterious condition that everyone around her takes to be either alcoholism, drug use or acute mental illness. Directed by Gerard Barrett from the autobiography of Susannah Calahan. Carrie-Anne Moss and Richard Armitage as her divorced parents – each over-protective and dysfunctional in their own way – are great.

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