New in Cairo Cinemas: What to Expect From This Week’s Top Film Releases
So here we are at the dawn of a new year; one that hopefully holds good things for all, right? Well that doesn’t quite apply to the world of cinema. You see, January is notoriously labelled as a ‘dump month’ in Hollywood – a period during which the worst of the worst is d because cinema attendance traditionally dips during the first month of the year.
In short, sorry. This is just the way it is – but let’s at least try to make the best of it, eh?
What’s it About? In what is thought of as Agatha Christie’s perverse of works, Crooked House follows a private detective who is charged by an ex-lover to find her grandfather’s murderer, before authorities swoop in and uncover deep family secrets.
The Good: Following the relative success of Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie is rather en vogue right now, so a dark, stylized period drama is exactly what the doctor ordered. Though the cast isn’t quite as impressive, it still features the likes of Christina Hendricks, Gillian Anderson, Terrence Stamp, Glenn Close and up-and-comer Max Irons – son of Jeremy Irons. It also looks visually stunning and if the film can cleverly and clearly work through Christie’s trademark twists and surprises, we might have a sleeper hit on our hands.
The Bad: Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner doesn’t exactly have a glittering track record with mystery and darkness; his last project, 2015’s Dark Places starring Charlize Theron – also an adaptation of a novel – was panned by critics for its mishandling of its shocking twists and turns. Also, much of the success of the film lies on the shoulders of young Max Irons; despite showing plenty of promise, his credits include flops such as Red Riding Hood, Dorian Gray and The Host.
Insidious: The Lost Key
What’s it About? The fourth instalment of Insidious actually slots into the franchise’s in-story chronology as the second chapter of the story and follows parapsychologist, Elsie Rainer, as she investigates some suitably spooky occurrences in a home in New Mexico. But there’s a catch – it also happens to be a house she lived in as a girl.
The Good: While the franchise has largely failed to bring anything new to the genre, the first three Insidious films haven’t been completely terrible and have made over $189 million at the box office together. This, of course, guarantees nothing for The Lost Key but contemporary horror fans will be pleased.
The Bad: Following on, as with so many horror films these days, it seems this is set to be a case of ‘more of the same’ – so good news for fans, not so much for others. Expect random jump scares, nonsensical reasoning and, of course, a cliffhanger ending of some sort to set up a fifth film.
What’s it About? In his zillionth film, the forever spritely Jackie Chan wades into the world of sci-fi as a Special Forces agent who takes it on himself to protect a woman from a gang – a woman that he feels an unexplainable connection to. There’s a mechanical heart somewhere in the story, too.
The Good: Two words – Jackie Chan. Martial arts and off-the-walls acrobatics aside, there’s something irresistibly charming about the veteran Chinese action star. While many usually only recall his lighter, more comedic roles, films like last year’s The Foreigner proved that Chan can get as serious and broody as the best of them and still sell his old-school action shtick effectively.
The Bad: Well we’ve already touched on it – old school action shtick. There’s something a little dated about Chan’s particular brand of film and reviews of Bladeless Steel have all but called it utterly ridiculous in terms of, well, everything – the plot, the costumes, the sets, everything. One reviewer even called it unintentionally funny. Ouch.
To find out where and when you can catch these films, check out the Cairo 360 Cinema Guide.