“Ooh, me back!” Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the future’s most bus pass-eligible killing machine in Terminator: Dark Fate this week.
Child soldiers go on the rampage in Monos, while The Last Black Man in San Francisco sees two friends search for the soul of their changing hometown.
Plus – surprise Cornish hit Bait makes its debut at City Screen, and there’s thrills and chills aplenty for Halloween…
Terminator: Dark Fate
The handy thing about being a sci-fi franchise based around time travel is that you have a nifty get-out clause should you produce a sequel or three that are, shall we say, a little inferior to the original – you can just bin ‘em off in an alternate timeline.
That’s the case with this sixth Terminator instalment, which, like last year’s new Halloween movie, both serves as a direct sequel to the last film in the franchise that anyone liked (1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and reinstates the series’ original heroine, with Linda Hamilton returning to the role of Sarah Connor for the first time in 27 years.
Also back in the fold for the first time since T2 is original director James Cameron, who’s taken time out of his busy schedule of dicking around with the Avatar sequels to serve as producer – Deadpool‘s Tim Miller is on directing duty – and it goes without saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger is on hand once more as the T-800.
Set 27 years after the events of T2, the story introduces a new generation of characters, with Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) finding herself the target of a new, super-sleek Terminator (played by Gabriel Luna) – but help is at hand in the form of cyborg Grace (Mackenzie Davis, no stranger to a spot of time hopping from her role in fan-favourite Black Mirror episode San Junipero).
In the mood for something different for your cinema trip this week? Then head down to City Screen and catch this highly rated Spanish language drama about a gang of child soldiers, which has been picking up stellar reviews for its mesmerising, dreamlike atmosphere and thrilling action set pieces.
Set in the misty mountains of an unnamed Latin American country, director Alejandro Landes’ film starts with the unruly teenage mob engaging in training exercises while watching over their American captive (Julianne Nicholson) and a conscripted milk cow.
When a sudden ambush drives them and their prisoner deep into the jungle, their intricate bond starts to break as they each fight for survival.
Any film about a gang of kids running amok will inevitably put viewers in mind of Lord of the Flies, but it’s also garnered comparisons to Stanley Kubrick and Apocalypse Now, with Empire’s review enticingly describing it as having ‘the plot of 2010s YA (Young Adult) drama but with the feel of 1970s Werner Herzog.’
Don’t know about you, but I always felt The Hunger Games was a bit lacking in the conscripted milk cow department…
This wistful drama about a man trying to hold on to his old childhood home wowed critics and audiences on its debut at the Sundance Festival earlier this year, bagging the best director award for first time filmmaker Joe Talbot.
Like last year’s brilliant Blindspotting, it’s the creation of two childhood friends – in this case Talbot and his star and co-writer Jimmie Fails – and deals with similar themes of male friendship and gentrification.
Fails plays a fictionalised version of himself who, together with best friend Mont (Jonathan Majors), sets out on a quest to reclaim the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco – but finds his hopes at odds with the reality of life in his vastly altered hometown.
Also like Blindspotting, it’s likely to have a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cinema release – so make the most of your chance to see the film Rolling Stone have already pegged as an ‘instant classic’.
This really is a cracking week for independent films – as well as Monos and The Last Black Man in San Francisco, York cinemagoers finally have the chance to see the breakout Cornish success story Bait.
Regular listeners to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s 5 Live show will doubtless have heard of the film, of which Kermode has been a vocal champion, calling it a ‘genuine modern masterpiece’ in his Observer review.
Happily, director Mark Jenkin’s drama – made for a tiny budget and shot in black and white on a vintage wind-up camera – has gone on to become a word-of-mouth hit with audiences, with whom its tragi-comic story of tensions between locals and tourists in a Cornish fishing village has clearly resonated.
By popular demand, City Screen are bringing it to York this week for two screenings – hurrah! But I can’t make either of them – dammit! Hopefully you will be more lucky – it’s showing on Sun 27th and Weds 30th.
City Screen also has a preview of the twist-laden Julianne Moore/Michelle Williams drama After the Wedding on Tues 29th, while their final Black History Month screening is 1990’s little seen but highly rated drama To Sleep With Anger (Sun 27th), starring Danny Glover as an enigmatic figure whose arrival in the lives of a Los Angeles family threatens to tear them apart.
And finally, having already provided inspiration for indie drama Thunder Road and jukebox (jukeBoss?) musical Blinded by the Light earlier this year, Bruce Springsteen takes centre stage this week in Western Stars, a concert doc to tie in with his new album of the same name.
It shows at all three York cinemas on Mon 28th, and is followed by a recorded Q&A with the man himself.
There’s no shortage of shocks and scares on offer for York cinemagoers in the run-up to the big night.
Let’s start over at Vue, where there’s a wealth of options to choose from. At the family-friendly end of the scale is the new, animated take on The Addams Family, with Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron on voice duty as Gomez and Morticia.
It screens throughout the week, as does cult comedy sequel Zombieland 2: Double Tap and new release Countdown, which sees a nurse download an app which tells her exactly when she’s going to die (spoiler alert: it’s not ‘peacefully in your sleep aged 98, surrounded by friends and family’).
They’ve also got limited late night screenings of ace-sounding wedding-night-from-hell thriller Ready or Not (Fri 25th and Sat 26th) and It: Chapter Two (Sun 27th and Tues 29th) – while The Shining is back on Weds 30th, paving the way for the release of its sequel Doctor Sleep at the end of next week.
If you’re not brave enough to venture out through the fog to Clifton Moor, though, there are more tricks and treats to be had within the city walls.
City Screen are also showing The Shining on Mon 28th, while on Halloween itself you can join Brad and Janet for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
It shows at 8:30pm on Thurs 31st, and comes with a free Cointreau Fizz cocktail for all customers over 18. Dressing-up is, of course, encouraged, if not obligatory.
Finally, over to Everyman, where you can once again catch The Shining on Weds 30th (it really is all work and no play for you this week, isn’t it Jack?), then see even more dead people on Thurs 31st in The Sixth Sense, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year – now that is scary…
With this year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival now less than two weeks away, Film at the Folk Hall are helping us get in the mood this week with an Aesthetica Short Film Night.
They’ll be showing eight of ASFF’s finest offerings, including last year’s Best of Festival winner (and Oscar nominee) Black Sheep – a shocking and moving true story about a black teenager’s attempts to fit in with a racist gang on an Essex housing estate.
It’s a haunting piece of filmmaking and well worth seeing if you can make it – and with the night running at a reduced fee of £2 (free for members), there’s even more reason to get down. The films are showing at the Folk Hall, New Earswick on Fri 25th at 7:30pm (doors 7pm).
Meanwhile, South Bank Community Cinema continue their road movie season with feelgood 2005 drama The World’s Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins.
Set in 1967 and based on a true story, it follows the determined attempts of septuagenarian New Zealander Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) to set a land speed world record with his beloved 1920 Indian Scout motorbike.
As the cheerfully eccentric old timer makes the long trip to Utah to take a shot at his dream, he receives help from a succession of friendly strangers whom he meets on the way, plus finds a chance of romance with widow Ada (Diane Ladd).
The film shows at Clement’s Hall at 8pm on Friday 25th (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are £3 for members and £4 for guests.