He had joy. He had fun. He had lots and lots of guns.
It seems entirely in keeping with the John Wick saga’s blend of the gleefully OTT and the grimly portentous that the trailer for the new instalment comes soundtracked by a slick, souped-up cover of…Terry Jacks’ maudlin 70s ballad Seasons in the Sun.
Could that be a hint that this is the end of the road for everyone’s favourite dog-loving one-man vengeance machine?
Book a place at the High Table this week to find out – and if you’re not in the mood for a night of neon-drenched super-carnage, you can always head off to the Super Bowl with Jane Fonda and pals in 80 for Brady…
John Wick: Chapter 4
Keanu Reeves is back for another round of elegantly choreographed ultraviolence in this eagerly-awaited new outing for his sharp-suited assassin.
Picking up where Chapter 3 left off, the story finds our hero with a bounty on his head courtesy of his old bosses at the High Table – and the only way to get them off his back is to defeat new big cheese the Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) in a duel to the death…
Martial arts legend Donnie Yen and Sutton Coldfield action man Scott Adkins are among those he’ll have to fight along the way, in a globe-trotting jaunt taking in nightclubs, deserts, the Arc de Triomphe and the Maidstone branch of the Women’s Institute (OK, I’m just guessing that last one – but with a nearly three-hour runtime, he’s surely got time to stick his head round the door).
80 for Brady
A quartet of Hollywood legends team up for this gentle comedy drama about four best friends heading out on a trip to the 2017 Super Bowl.
Grace and Frankie buddies Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are joined by Sally Field and West Side Story icon Rita Moreno in this based-on-a-true-story tale of a group of senior citizens united by their love of the New England Patriots and their star quarterback Tom Brady.
In time-honoured tradition, expect shenanigans, pitfalls, pratfalls and life lessons aplenty as the ladies set out to cheer on their idol – until John Wick abseils into the stadium and decapitates him with a gumshield (again, just guessing).
|Cert 12, 98 mins|
|Cineworld, Everyman, Vue|
|From Fri Mar 24|
A Good Person
Florence Pugh stars as a young woman recovering from a terrible tragedy in this US indie drama from writer-director Zach Braff (aka him off of Scrubs).
Written by Braff specially for the actor, the story follows Allison (Pugh) as she deals with the traumatic aftermath of a car accident in which her sister-in-law-to-be was killed.
Estranged from her former fiancé and his family, Allison is struggling with an opioid addiction when a chance meeting reconnects her with Daniel (Morgan Freeman), the man who would have been her father-in-law – beginning a friendship which could help both of them to start finding a way forward.
|Cert 15, 129 mins|
|From Fri Mar 24|
Documentary + panel screening
Finite: The Climate of Change
With climate change and environmental protests never far from the headlines, this timely documentary offers an insider’s view of the world of direct action.
The film follows two communities in Germany and England who form an unlikely alliance as they stand up against the fossil fuel industry and its threat to their homes and the natural world.
Part of City Screen’s Green Screen strand, the film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Rich Felgate, plus representatives from direct action groups Axe Drax and Just Stop Oil.
If you’re tired of smiling blankly while your friends trade knowing comments about Raccacoonie and hot dog fingers, there’s still time to get in on the joke as Everything Everywhere All at Once continues its post-Oscars victory lap at City Screen and Everyman throughout the week.
Meanwhile, a new fantastical (but probably less surreal) quest begins in Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, the new big screen spin-off from the legendary role-playing game, which you can catch preview screenings of this week ahead of the film’s release next Friday.
There are charity previews at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue on Sat 25th, with all proceeds going to MediCinema, while City Screen have a preview with open captioned subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing audiences on Weds 29th.
There are two more previews at City Screen in the form of Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort Air on Mon 27th – which sees him reunite with old pal Matt Damon to tell the story behind the iconic Air Jordan shoe – and dark French thriller The Night of the 12th on Tues 28th.
Over at Vue, there’s a preview of tense Irish drama God’s Creatures, starring man of the moment Paul Mescal, on Weds 29th – Emily Watson stars as a woman whose decision to tell a lie to cover for her son (Mescal) causes ruptures in her family and the local community.
With the dust having settled on the publication of Sight and Sound’s once-a-decade poll of the greatest films of all time in December, there’s great news if you, like me, are still looking to tick some of them off your ever-expanding watchlist – City Screen are going to be screening the top ten over the course of the year, with one film screening each month.
Things kick off this Saturday (25th) with the timeless wonder of Singin’ in the Rain – a proper ray of cinematic sunshine to beckon in the spring (I’ve had a look at the full list and well, let’s just say that things get a deal less ebullient from here on out, so grab your chuckles now while you can).
There’s another classic on offer at City Screen on Sun 26th as their Akira Kurosawa season concludes with one of the legendary Japanese director’s later works, 1985’s Medieval action epic Ran, while on Mon 27th there’s a Dementia-Friendly screening of the evergreen Some Like It Hot.
City Screen are also currently celebrating none-more-hip US indie studio A24 – the makers of breakout hits and modern classics such as Moonlight, Lady Bird and the all-conquering Everything Everywhere… – with a season of some of their best and brightest, continuing on Mon 27th with 2014’s Under the Skin, the enigmatic sci-fi thriller (from Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer) which ensures you’ll never look at Scarlett Johansson, or Glasgow, in the same way again.
Simpler pleasures are on offer in Everyman’s Throwback screening on Sun 26th, as Pegg and Frost tackle the zombie apocalypse with a cricket bat in one hand and a pint in the other in Shaun of the Dead.
Frazzled parents looking to get a bit more use out of those painstakingly made World Book Day costumes might like to direct their offspring to this week’s budget family-friendly offerings: literature’s most famous bookworm takes on Mrs. Trunchbull once more in Matilda the Musical at Cineworld (Sat 25th/Sun 26th, tickets £2.50), while City Screen are going on a flight of fancy with How to Train Your Dragon (Sat 25th, £3.30).
Over at Vue, it’s DC League of Super-Pets to the rescue (Sat 25th/Sun 26th, £2.49), plus their Autism-Friendly screening this month is colourful animated fantasy Dreambuilders, showing on Sun 26th (£2.49).
Music fans are well catered for this week with three new documentaries covering everything from 80s ska to 00s rock.
Concert doc Dance Craze celebrates Coventry’s finest with performances from the iconic 2 Tone record label’s all-star roster, captured at the peak of their powers in 1980 – head to City Screen to get skanking to the likes of the Specials, the Selecter and Madness (Fri 24th, Sun 26th, Tues 28th, Weds 29th, Thurs 30th).
Meanwhile, Louis Tomlinson: All of Those Voices promises fans a ‘refreshingly raw’ look at the former One Directioner’s life and career – peep behind the showbiz curtain at Vue (Sat 24th, Sun 25th) and Cineworld (Sun 25th).
And finally, indie rock fans of a certain age can pull on their Converse and reminisce about the glory days of the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as new rock doc Meet Me in the Bathroom (Everyman, Weds 29th, Thurs 30th) takes a trip back to the New York music scene of the early noughties – and here’s scene queen Karen O to sing us out in style.