Box office drops that’ll put a smile on your chops…

In a pretty recent time in a galaxy not too far away, things got… well, a bit pandemicy. Movie releases slowed to a Hitchcockian dripping tap, and the alluring scent of toffee popcorn was almost uniquely dispatched from the vape clouds of bearded hipsters. But the summer brought New Hope, and October brought us Dune. Cinema is striking back…

And we’re deliberately breaking the first rule of film club again — judging all these big screen ‘books’ by their trailer ‘covers’…


Our Rating (out of 5 stars, based only on the trailer): 4

Director: Chloé Zhao

Cast: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie

Synopsis: First of all, a standing ovation to Marvel for managing to get Academy Award-winning Chloe Zhao in the director’s chair, an odd flex yes, but we can’t wait to see what the storysmith behind Nomadland and The Rider does with a comic book space odyssey. In Marvel lore, The Eternals are an immortal alien race who were put on earth 7,000 years ago to protect humans from the Deviants. The murderous hellspawn variety, as opposed to the creepy internet dude subset. Our biggest takeaway from the trailer, is that jangly spellbinding vortex of Dr. Strange-esque CGI, this will be a spectacle. If and how the film tackles the ‘multiverse’ fallout from the Disney+ Loki series, remains to be seen but having a whole movie devoted to these fundamental characters right at the opening of MCU Phase Four, sets up the possibility of a genuinely thrilling trajectory for the saga storyline. The cast is pretty impressive too, including a Game of Thrones set reunion for Winterfell’s most famous sons Richard Madden and Kit Harington.


Our Rating: 4.5 

Director:  Pablo Larraín

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing, Timothy Spall, and Sean Harris

Synopsis: Hit Netflix series, The Crown has proved beyond any reasonable doubt, that we ‘the viewing public’ love a little nose around in the dramatised private lives of the British royal family. And the regal voyuer stories don’t get more emotive than that of Diana, Princess of Wales (/hearts). Kirsten Stewart takes on what could be a career-defining role here (in fact the noise out of the Venice Film Festival is that it will almost certainly lead to a first Oscar nom for Stewart), the ill-fated ‘commoner’ that married into the aristocracy, weathering tabloid rumors of affairs and impropriety, and who ultimately met a tragic and untimely death. This film, written by Steven ‘Peaky Blinders’ Knight, focuses on the events that occur in the 1991 Christmas celebrations at Sandringham, a pivotal ‘make or break’ moment in the lives of those concerned. Our pick for top lip-biting ‘no they didn’t’ moment in the trailer: “will they kill me, do you think?”

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Our Rating : 4.5

Director: Jason Reitman

Cast: Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon and Bill Murray

Synopsis: Let’s be clear, we did not hate the female-led 2016 reboot of the classic sci-fi comedy, Ghostbusters. The combo of Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig felt like the forbidden triangle of a comic ouija board. That being said, the fact that this 2021 movie is a straight sequel to the two original 1980s Ghostbusters films, has got us dribbling a little bit of anticipatory ectoplasm. It has some strong spirit DNA — a cast featuring the vampirically youthful Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things — and this trailer has BIG Strange Things vibes #justiceforbarb), retro gadgets, rumours of role reprisals and a trailer that teases Zuul-esque appendages. But will it all get messy with two separate timelines and a sequel dropping more than 30 years after the movie it’s supposedly following? Not if you follow Egon’s first rule of Ghostbuster club: Never cross the streams.

House of Gucci

Our Rating: 4

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino, Jared Leto

Synopsis: The tumultuous tale behind the production of this movie, neatly parallels that of the story it’s telling. Work began back in 2006, with Ridley Scott locked in as director and Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio rumoured to star. Three director swaps and multiple actor shifts later, Scott found himself back in charge of a cast that included Adam Driver playing Maurizio Gucci, Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani and a virtually unrecognisable Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. The story is built around the real life family behind one of high fashion’s most powerful dynasties — we’re robed in mink and whisked through three decades of love and revenge, passion amd betrayal, cat walks and Karama knock-offs, culminating in the tragic murder of Maurizio Gucci. From the trailer, the wardrobe collections looks to be all you might hope for in a film about Gucci, the cast is another glittering ensemble with Lady Gaga in particular delivering some mesmerising lines.

Clifford The Big Red Dog

Our Rating : 2.5

Director: Walt Becker

Cast: Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp, Sienna Guillory, and John Cleese

Synopsis: Clifford The Big Red Dog has been adapted from the children’s book series of the same name. Why? Because that’s what we do now. No childhood memory is sacred. Truth be told, we learnt very little from the two minute trailer that could not be gleaned from the two seconds it takes to read the title. Clifford is a dog, a red dog in fact, and one that is unsually large. In the trailer we’re subjected to an incidental ‘giant slobbery puppies do the darndest things’ montage, some ‘smell the wind’ acting from comedy legend Jack Whitehall, but very few hints about the actual plot. We can crack that code though. It will almost certainly follow the ‘films about children and unsual creatures’ formula — where a hunter/scientist/government/evil corporation wants to steal the creature for a trophy/experiment/profit. Spoiler alert, they won’t get away with it, and everyone except the parents dragged along to watch this will live happily ever after.

King Richard

Our Rating: 4

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton

Synopsis: Not Shakespeare, and certainly not a tragedy – King Richard is a crucible story, watching over the genesis of two all-time sporting greats. It’s also a story about, and in fact named after, a dedicated, visionary father and his role in taking young Venus and Serena Williams and shaping them into the players, they’re destined to become. The biggest, ‘we’re not crying, you are’ moment in the trailer?: “You’re not gonna just be representing you, you’re gonna be representing every little black girl on earth” — “I’m not gonna let you down” — “How could you?” We all know Will Smith loves biopic roles that give him an opportunity to tug on our collective heartstrings, and if this is served correctly… it could be one of his best character portrayals yet.

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Images: YouTube/Instagram