Callum Costello talks us through five films worth seeing over the festive period.
Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no jūnin)
[Dir. T. Miike; 8th Dec]
What could be less festive than a violent thriller about an immortal samurai on a mission of bloody revenge? Adapted from the manga by one of the pillars of extreme asian cinema Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer), the film is also Miike’s 100th film – a feat almost beyond comprehension for a filmmaker still only in his fifties. The film has gotten favourable reviews and is about as far from the usual Christmas schtick as you’ll get.
Catch it late at the Tyneside on the Roxy screen.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
[Dir. R. Johnson; 14th Dec]
Enough has been said about the impending return to a galaxy far, far away, so I’ll skip the formalities. Somehow, amidst the barrage, I’ve avoided all trailers so I’m barely aware of what’s happening this time around, but Last Jedi being the first Star Wars film written and directed by the same filmmaker since the series’ debut (Brick and Looper’s Rian Johnson no less) adds another layer of excitement.
Catch it at the Metrocentre IMAX before Facebook spoilers!
Pitch Perfect 3
[Dir. T. Sie; 20th Dec]
It’s the return of the Bellas for the third and final instalment of Pitch Perfect series. Irritating cup songs aside, the films have been a sleeper slam dunk garnering critical and commercial success across the globe. Kendrick and co. will be keen to go out on a high as the accapella troupe face tough goings in the real world and an overseas tour. Fans will know what to look forward to and the uninitiated are in for a treat!
Catch it on Christmas Eve @ Vue Gateshead for some non-festive cheer.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
[Dir. M. McDonagh; 12th Jan]
Martin McDonagh goes Fargo! One half of the Irish Coen’s and the warped brains behind In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths returns with a crime thriller out the Joel and Ethan playbook. With a cast including Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards is already a winner at Toronto and Venice and will be 2018’s first awards contender. A black comic crime fuelled antidote to those New Year’s blues.
Catch it with a friend on a Meerkat Wednesday at Cineworld.
[Dir. A. Payne, 17th Jan]
Only the best filmmakers get final cut on their films – Alexander Payne is one of those few, such is the quality of his work. Next in a stellar filmography is ‘Downsizing’; a sci-fi dramedy starring Matt Damon as a man who irreversibly downsizes his world and self to five inches tall. Thought provoking storytelling from one of the smartest storytellers in the game, it’s honey I shrunk my life for the millenial generation.
Catch it in the Tyneside Classic.