GAVIN MILLER previews the upcoming cinema releases
Released: March 15
Video gaming legend Lara Croft has been rebooted as a movie franchise – with Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) taking on the title role.
After the last series fizzled with Angelina Jolie as the headlining hero in poorly-received sequel The Cradle of Life, film execs decided to use the impressively-reviewed last Tomb Raider game as a starting point for this new version – and it definitely has a look and feel akin to that visual style.
She stars as the fiercely independent daughter of her ‘missing’ adventurer father (Dominic West), who pushes herself beyond her limits as she tries to track him down on the island he disappeared, with Walton Goggins’ (Predators) rival archaeologist – and member of shadowy organisation Trinity – on villain duties.
Expect the usual death-defying leaps, wildly-conceived booby traps and bow/arrow marksmanship to be retained for the latest iteration – as well as Nick Frost adding comedic relief . . .
Released: March 16
James Corden stars as Beatrix Potter’s lovable bunny in Sony’s live action combined with computer-generated animation comedy adventure.
He voices the rebellious Peter Rabbit – who spends his time stealing vegetables from nearby farmland – but he may have bitten off more than he can chew with Domhnall Gleeson’s (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) determined farmer’s nephew Thomas McGregor.
Sam Neill and Rose Byrne co-star, with Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and songstress Sia joining Corden on voice duties, in this heavily British-inspired classic tale.
READY PLAYER ONE
Released: March 29
Steven Spielberg’s latest directorial outing sees him tackle a virtual reality world – and without the aid of an A-list star.
When the creator of this world – called the Oasis – dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all users to find his ‘Easter Egg’, which will give the finder his fortune.
Tye Sheridan (Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse) stars as young outcast Wade Watts, who finds the first clue, and the game begins ... with Rogue One’s Ben Mendelsohn, Dunkirk’s Mark Rylance and Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg in support.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) stars as a ballerina who is recruited to Sparrow School – a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But when she is assigned to seduce an American rookie agent (Bright’s Joel Edgerton) – who handle’s the CIA’s most sensitive information – the two young officers collide in a tryst that threatens to unravel the security of both nations.
A WRINKLE IN TIME
Released: March 23
After the disappearance of her scientist father (Star Trek’s Chris Pine), Meg Murry (Storm Reid) works with her highly intelligent younger brother, new best friend, and three interplanetary travellers – Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) – to save him from captivity on a distant planet, in this latest big-budget Disney spectacle based on the acclaimed novel.
PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING
Released: March 23
After a nearly five-year hiatus we have a sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s (who is only executive producer this time round) giant robot versus monster masher, with Star Wars’ John Boyega taking over the lead by starring as Jake – the son of Idris Elba’s deceased Stacker Pentecost from the original. He headlines a new generation of Jaeger pilots – including Scott Eastwood’s Nate – who combine forces to take on a new Kaiju threat.
Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) and Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange) headline this dark comedy that is getting rave early reviews. A group of friends who regularly meet up for game-themed nights find themselves trying to solve an actual murder mystery, in this zany movie from the forthcoming directors of The Flash: Flashpoint. Super 8’s Kyle Chandler co-stars.
Academy Award Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) puts in a stellar performance as an artistically-inclined high school senior from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ in this coming-of-age comedy-drama set in Sacramento, California.
Iconic Roseanne star Laurie Metcalf has deservedly received a Best Supporting Actress nod as her daughter’s long-suffering mother.