Sitting in a dark room with a load of random people doesn’t seem like the smartest way to spend the sizzling summer months and when you take into consideration the floundering box office figures recorded by blockbusters like King Arthur, Alien Covenant and Pirates of the Caribbean 5, the thought becomes even less appealing. Well fear not all you movie buffs desperate for a hit, the big screen still has plenty to offer all you guys that’d rather take cover in the considerable shade of the local multiplex.
The MALESTROM has picked 3 under the radar little gems to light up your cinema viewing this summer. With the tide well and truly turning against the ubiquitous tent pole Hollywood movies that we’ve been force fed for too long, and after one of the best Oscars in years that featured some truly great indie films, the current trend has turned towards innovation, something rarely seen since the early 1970’s.
3. WIND RIVER When Taylor Sheridan hit his 40’s he was reportedly so sick of acting and playing bit parts in TV soaps and dramas, he decided to risk everything and start writing on spec, much to the anxiety of his wife and children who then had to live without any income for over six months. Luckily for them, Sheridan just happened to end up as one of the most original new scriptwriters to emerge out of Hollywood in recent times and somehow penned Sicario and Hell or High Water back to back, two of the best Indie feature films of modern cinema, and both winning Oscar nominations. Now, Taylor has just dropped his latest brilliant incarnation and taken the helm for the first time as Director. Wind River kicks off with the murder and rape of a native American girl in the icy wilderness of Wyoming, with her body discovered by outback hunter, Jeremy Renner. When Elizabeth Olsen turns up as the solo FBI agent in the middle of nowhere to track the murderer, she asks the man tasked with hunting wolves and predators to help her hunt another predator. If he doesn’t she’ll be out there alone. Sheridan’s keen eye manages to drop modern America into the cinema with the current politics of poverty and disillusionment, without ramming it down your throat. In turn he delivers thrillers that feel very real, but at the same time offering the kind of intriguing escapism often lacking. Chances are this film is going to be worth the outing.
2. LOGAN LUCKY When Erin Brockovitch and Ocean’s 11 maestro, Steven Soderbergh teamed up with Channing Tatum and made the original Magic Mike, they somehow turned a frivolous subject into a thoroughly entertaining and slightly heartfelt film that many enjoyed. It was a genuine surprise. Now, buoyed by such success, Soderbergh has climbed back into the Director’s chair with Tatum once again his muse, and this time roped in Indie cool kid Adam Driver, Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Tom Cruise’s ex Katie Holmes, and an almost unrecognisable Daniel Craig in a comedic heist movie based around the U.S NASCAR race, the Coca-Cola 600. Tatum barely makes a bad film these days, especially after his heart breaking turn in Foxcatcher. But it’s Daniel’s Craig’s bleached blonde, Alabama home boy that seriously captures the imagination and the laughs in this ‘hot off the press’ trailer.
1.BLADE RUNNER 2049 Fans of the original have been awaiting this moment with a mixture of anticipation and dread. As most people know, when Blade Runner first came out in 1982, virtually everyone came out of the cinema and said it was boring. The hype around Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark was so great and with so much action in them, that this brooding sci-fi, film noir, was deemed to be a waste of time and not the work of art that it was later recognised as. Even Harrison Ford went on prime time national TV in the States and in a bizarre moment of lunacy condemned the film and compounded matters. Now, 25 years later, one of the best Directors working in Hollywood, Denis Villeneuve has been asked to step up to the plate after delivering masterful performances in Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival. He also managed to snare the best leading man since Harrison Ford in Ryan Gosling, and with Exec Producer Ridley Scott having ditched his long running feud with Ford, with the two of them having fallen out during the original, it looks like Blade Runner 2049 may well be something to look out for. This brand new trailer has only just dropped, and has to a certain extent gone under the radar. It’s worth mentioning at this point that The MALESTROM spoke to the Producer of the original film, Michael Deeley in an exclusive interview last year which offers a unique insight into the making of the original masterpiece, his thoughts on this long gestating sequel and the revelation as to whether Harrison Ford was ever supposed to be a replicant or not. Well worth a read.