Six pieces of sizzling celluloid for the summer season
Time Out Bahrain staff
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (TBA) USA, 2014. Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig Clearly they didn’t have enough time to share all those essential dragon-training rules the first time round, so summer 2014 heralds the arrival of this sequel to 2010’s animated hit How To Train Your Dragon. The first film, also based on the book series by Cressida Cowell and also in 3D, was an enormous success, taking almost BD189 million at the box office and winning two Oscar nominations. Here the original’s hero Hiccup, a young Viking, is back, only now he and his pals are friends with the dragons, so they’re able to ride on their backs and travel much further than before, opening up all sorts of cute new adventures. The voices include Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Jonah Hill. There’s already a third movie planned for 2016. Joy. TO
Edge of Tomorrow (TBA) USA, 2014. Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt This Tom Cruise-starring sci-fi actioner already has a long history behind it. The film originally went into production under the juicy title of All You Need is Kill back in 2010. The release date has been repeatedly pushed back, and the title changed to the frankly rather meaningless Edge of Tomorrow, but we’re excited nonetheless.
Cruise plays a military grunt sent on a suicide mission against an alien race known as Mimics. When he dies in battle, our hapless hero finds himself repeating the same experiences, Groundhog Day-style. The trailers promise intense action, and the presence of Emily Blunt as a tough marine – not to mention Bill Paxton as a gruff General – are keeping us very much interested. TO
Blended (TBA) USA, 2014. Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore If we track previous Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore collaborations on a descending curve from the joyous heights of The Wedding Singer to the very mild amusement of 50 First Dates, the maths indicate that Blended will be completely unbearable. The trailer does nothing to dispel this assumption, depicting Sandler and Barrymore as an odd couple who, after loathing one another on their first date, end up accidentally going on holiday together in Africa (the ostrich-racing, safari-driving, jolly-natives part of the continent, luckily). There is not a single laugh to be had in the trailer. The depiction of foreign parts looks despicably patronising and both performers look seriously ill at ease. Suffice to say, we’re not holding out much hope for this one. TO
Jersey Boys (TBA) USA, 2014. Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood The stage musical recounting the careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons becomes a movie under the direction of the prolific Clint Eastwood. Don’t scoff, Dirty Harry fans – Clint is an accomplished muso who has composed the music for many of his films, and directed the fantastic biopic Bird (1988), so he may have more sympathy for the material than you’d assume. In any case, the story of the band that made it from the mean streets of New Joisy into the world’s pop charts is a gritty one. The cast is largely drawn from the Broadway, but Chris Walken pops up as real-life gangster Gyp DeCarlo. Let’s hope he gets to pull some dance moves. TO
Lost River (TBA) USA, 2014. Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan Ryan Gosling makes his directing debut with this drama, which had the working title How to Catch a Monster. After collaborating with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance on a pair of intimate blue-collar movies (Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines) we might have expected Gosling to go down a similar route. But the premise of Lost River is genuinely intriguing.
Here’s the blurb: ‘A single mother enters a dark lifestyle, while her son uncovers a road leading to an underwater utopia.’ Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Saoirse Ronan and Matt Smith star. TO
Last Passenger (TBA) UK, 2013. Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon Hokey it may be, but this low-budget, London-set thriller about the last six passengers on a runaway commuter train stays on the rails thanks to strong performances, snappy dialogue and a relentless pace. Dougray Scott is a dashing doctor escorting his seven-year-old son home for Christmas when, looking out of the train window, he spots a body on the tracks. It’s not long before the doc and his fellow travellers – including single gal (Kara Tointon), a world-weary banker (David Schofield) and a kindly grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) – realise that something is very wrong with the 10.15 to Tunbridge Wells.
There’s a lot wrong with Last Passenger: the mystery element doesn’t go anywhere, the characters are overfamiliar, and some of the performances are a touch over the top. But first-time feature director Omid Nooshin makes the best of a minuscule budget, and his punchy script doesn’t brake for breath. Low-key but enjoyable. Tom Huddleston