Cinema Scoop  

Your weekend movie guide

Greetings movie lovers, it's time to take a look at what the cinema has to offer us this weekend.

     The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Opened Wed. Aug. 21.)

Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.

     My Take

Based on the first in a series of books written by best-selling author Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the latest attempt to capture the tween market and start up a new franchise. All I can say after repeatedly seeing the trailer for the film the past several months is...  good luck with that. 

This movie is the latest in the ever increasing trend of films based on young-adult novels that audiences are growing sick and tired of. It seems like the studios are doing everything they can lately to try to recreate the success of that awful Twilight franchise and it just isn't working. Earlier this year saw the release of the mediocre and forgettable Beautiful Creatures and just a few months ago we got the atrociously bad film The Host, which was based on Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's novel. They were both critical and commercial flops and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if The Mortal Instruments follows suit and tanks. It is, after all, already scoring a putrid 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so that does not bode well at all.

Look, it's not like I'm saying that all movies based on YA novels should be avoided at all costs, just look how amazing the Harry Potter franchise turned out and The Hunger Games was pretty fabulous also, but these are exceptions rather than the rule because the majority of the films that are coming out now just involve a bunch of attractive leads engaging in passionate, youthful love stories that generally have some sort of supernatural element attached to them. It's the same tired formula every single time. Yawn!

I suppose if you are a huge fan of this book series, then you are likely excited to check out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I highly doubt that the casual film goer will give two hoots about it though. I know I certainly don't.

     The World's End

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub - The World's End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind's as well. Reaching The World's End is the least of their worries.

     My Take

Alright, now we're cooking with gas. This is a movie that I'm excited for. I'm a huge fan of its director, Edgar Wright, who made the fabulously hilarious films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz which also starred the funny duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. He also directed the wildly inventive Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and wrote the screenplay for the wonderful Steven Spielberg animated film The Adventures of Tintin. Next up in 2015, he's slated to direct the Marvel comic book adaptation of Ant-Man, which will no doubt blow us all away. Yeah, so basically this guy can do no wrong, so I have every confidence in the world that The World's End is going to be a funny and crazy piece of entertainment. 

In addition to the dynamic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the cast also includes some stalwart British actors such as Martin Freeman (Bilbo in The Hobbit), Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike. It should be hilarious watching these guys attempting to recapture their youth by going on a pub crawl only to be interrupted by a bloody alien invasion or something of that nature. 

You may be thinking to yourself, didn't we just see a comedy about the end of the world called This Is the End? Well, yes, but this one is going to be extremely different in terms of tone and the style of humour. Edgar Wright is exceptionally creative when it comes to blending science fiction and comedy and this will likely be chock full of original action set pieces and witty dialogue. I have a sneaky feeling that The World's End could end up being one of the most entertaining films of the year, albeit one that gets barely any hype stateside.

The critical buzz is tremendous thus far for The World's End, so I sincerely hope that people give it a chance and support it on opening weekend. After all, you do go to the movies to be entertained now right?

Really looking forward to this.

     You're Next

When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped... until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.

     My Take

Ok, this looks creepy as hell. The sight of these killers lurking outside a country home wearing disturbing looking animal masks should be enough to get horror fans' butts in seats this weekend. The trailer for the film is well done, with the mellow sounds of Lou Reed's great song Perfect Day a nice contrast to the horrific sights within. I hadn't heard that song in awhile, in fact not since it was used to great effect in Trainspotting.

You're Next is a fairly low budget entry into the slasher genre featuring a cast of relative unknowns. It's directed by Adam Wingard, who directed a couple of segments in the horror anthology series V/H/S and V/H/S/2. There's not a whole heck of a lot to go on here in terms of track record. I'm just hoping that this film will end up being really scary and effective and it will announce a new voice in horror. I'm a big horror fan, so it's always great when someone new and creative comes along to keep the genre fresh and energetic.

Judging by how well films such as The Purge and The Conjuring did at the box office recently, it appears that horror is going strong right now and there is always going to be an audience for it. Can You're Next follow in those films footsteps and rule the box office this weekend? Who knows, we'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, if you are in the mood for some blood and guts and a few jump scares, then you might want to check out You're Next on the big screen. It's been getting some tremendous advanced buzz already scoring an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This could be a scary good time.

     Blue Jasmine

A life crisis causes a vapid and narcissistic socialite to head to San Francisco, where she tries to reconnect with her sister.

     My Take

This is the latest effort from the highly prolific and legendary director Woody Allen, whom I happen to be an enormous fan of, so needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing this. Now, before all you mainstreamers out there get scared off by the mere mention of the name Woody Allen, bear in mind that Blue Jasmine does not feature him in an acting role - he just wrote and directed it. Some of his best work has come in recent years in films where he's stayed behind the camera only - films such as Midnight in Paris, Vicky Christina Barcelona and Match Point.

Blue Jasmine is Allen's 45th film and once again, he has assembled an eclectic cast of talented actors, the likes of which include Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and Michael Stuhlbarg. And did I mention that it was a drama? Interesting seeing as how he cast comedians like Andrew Dice Clay and Louis C.K.

Blue Jasmine already opened several weeks ago in limited markets and it has received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim thus far. It's being hailed as one of Woody's best in years. Cate Blanchett has also been receiving strong accolades for her work here and her performance is already drawing early Oscar buzz as Best Actress.

If you are a fan of superbly written character driven films, then I urge you to head down to the Paramount Theatre where Blue Jasmine is playing exclusively.

Have a great weekend everyone, see you at the movies.

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About the Author

Just to give you a little background on my qualifications, I've been a film buff my whole life and I enjoy all different genres.

I especially have a passion for classic cinema.

I spent most of the past 17 years working for Rogers Video, so not only have I seen an immense amount of movies, but I've recommended many films to people over the years.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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