As affable everyman Jim Halpert in the US version of The Office, John Krasinski has helped bring succour to many a pandemic-frazzled mind over the last year, as viewers eagerly sought out familiar favourites on streaming services.
With cinemas back open, however, Krasinski is looking to scare us all silly as he steps behind the camera for this week’s major new release, A Quiet Place: Part II.
For those wishing to chomp away at their popcorn with noisy abandon, alternative options include an equine take on The Full Monty, or a search for meaning in the Rocky Mountains…
A Quiet Place: Part II
It’s been a long time coming – this eagerly-anticipated horror sequel was one of the first major films to be pulled from the schedules when the pandemic hit last year – but now audiences finally get to set foot (very, very carefully) in the post-apocalyptic land of A Quiet Place once more.
We rejoin Emily Blunt and her newly-expanded family as they continue to negotiate the perils of a world in which humanity has fallen prey to a deadly race of blind aliens with super-sensitive hearing – meaning that the survivors must exist in near-total silence to evade a swift and brutal death.
It’s a simple but potent premise (oof, that nail scene) which proved a smash hit with audiences first time round, and this second instalment looks set to delve a little deeper – the trailer features Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy darkly intoning that “The people that are left…They’re not the kind of people worth saving”.
Cinemagoers looking to have their nerves soothed rather than shredded may wish to make a steady canter towards this feelgood British tale.
Based on a true story, it sees a struggling Welsh community band together to buy and breed their own race horse, named Dream Alliance, whose progress through the ranks becomes a source of hope and pride for the town.
You don’t need to work at Ladbroke’s to know the odds on a happy ending, but with a cast of familiar faces led by the ever-excellent Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, this should be a safe bet for those in search of cinematic comfort food.
House of Cards star Robin Wright makes her directorial feature debut in this drama about a woman who starts a new, solitary life in the wilderness in the aftermath of a personal tragedy.
Seeking to shut herself away from the wider world, Edee (Wright) moves to a cabin in the Rocky Mountains, where she soon encounters the dangers of the wild – but a tentative friendship with a local hunter (Demián Bichir) may help her find a path through her pain.
Reviews suggest Wright’s film is a more mainstream take on the similar premise of Oscar winner Nomadland, and while it has not met with the same levels of acclaim, there has been praise for her pared down, often wordless performance.
Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli finally completed its decades-long journey from cult concern to mainstream staple last week, when EastEnders’ Bobby Beale was to be found rhapsodising about their film Ponyo with his new girlfriend.
Will their shared love of anime sweeten the pill when she finds out he is not, in fact, the high-flying owner of a successful restaurant chain, but the sister-killing product of a failed vasectomy?
Stay tuned to find out – but I’m sure Bobby would approve of City Screen’s current Ghibli season, running on Saturday and Sunday mornings and this week showing the studio’s first feature, 1986’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky (Sat 5th/Sun 6th) – a rip-roaring tale packed with magic amulets, sky pirates and (of course) a pair of plucky young orphans.
Another fantasy favourite is on offer at Vue in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – the concluding part of Peter Jackson’s much-loved adaptation screens once a day throughout the week (fun fact: my cousin has a part as a dead orc in one scene!).
Vue also have daily screenings of classic musical West Side Story this week – a chance to catch the original 1961 screen version of the Romeo and Juliet-inspired tale ahead of Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation, heading our way at the end of the year.
And finally, set your mullets to rock on Thursday 11th, as all four cinemas screen Bon Jovi From Encore Nights – a recent concert recorded by the band for broadcast at drive-in venues across the US, to give fans a safe, socially distanced way of seeing them on stage.
It might not be quite the same as an actual live gig, but hey, it’s halfway there…