Films you may have missed in early 2014

Locke
Locke

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) has worked hard to craft a good life for himself. Tonight, that life will collapse around him. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul.

I heard about this film but watching it on the independent cornerhouse screen was great. Its a very simple concept but digs deep into the emotion of multitasking human communication. If you get a chance this is a film which must be seen. Tom Hardy is fantastic in this film, yes his accent isn’t great but the plot makes up for this.

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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

A 12-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

Charming film with a quirky but playful plot. Its a beautifully shot film and won’t get much attention which is a shame. Lovely plot and interesting outcome.

Lucy
Lucy

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Under the Skin
Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer’s atmospheric, visually arresting abstraction stars Scarlett Johansson as a seductive alien who prowls the streets of Glasgow in search of prey: unsuspecting men who fall under her spell, only to be consumed by a strange liquid pool.

Lucy feels like Limitless but something there is something special about it. Its got all the set pieces but throws in a bunch of reasonable stuff about evolution. I can’t help but feel Lucy wouldn’t have happened unless the director had seen her in Under the skin. I mean Scarlett Johansson is great (hey I’m fan) and I tend to love the roles shes in but Lucy and Under the Skin really showed shes got a lot more depth to the roles she takes.

Mindscape
Mindscape

A man with the ability to enter peoples’ memories takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled sixteen-year-old girl to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma.

This is like a cross between inception and the cell. Although the movie does drag a little, the concept is a intriguing one and the twist does come as a bit of a shock.

Edge of tomorrow
Edge of tomorrow

Major Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and dropped into combat. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an alpha alien down with him. He awakens back at the beginning of the same day and is forced to fight and die again… and again – as physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop.

Tom Cruise again is at it. Hate the guy but love his acting. Edge of tomorrow feels like sourcecode but crossed with oblivion. The results is a sometimes laugh out loud funny film (Doug Liman is good at that) which has its dark moments. Lots of lessons to be learned from it but without being too preachy. Tom once again plays next to a strong English female role. Last time Andrea Riseborough in Oblivion and now Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, and boy oh boy is Emily great in this film. Just don’t be put off by Tom Cruise, go watch it

Bad wolves
Big Bad Wolves

A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

I don’t know where to go with this film. Its brutal, disturbing and crafty put together. Its also funny in parts  like a tarantino film but its certainly not. I would put this in the same kind of category as Oldboy and  Ichi the Killer. Well worth seeking out if you like your comedy pitch black and action slightly twisted?

13 Sinds
13 Sins

A bright but meek salesman, drowning in debt as he’s about to get married, receives a mysterious phone call informing him that he’s on a hidden camera game show where he must execute 13 tasks to receive a multi-million dollar cash prize.

I’m not one for horror type films but I like a great thriller. Concept is simple, but as you can imagine the tasks quickly ramp up to insanity. Its interesting to see where the balance of shame, greed and sunk costs come together.

Filth
Filth

A bipolar bigoted junkie cop, manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.

I didn’t know what to expect but thought I’d give it a try. It didn’t look great and I was giving it the thumbs down till the twist when it all clicked and I was seeing parallels with Trance.

fault in our stars
The Fault in Our Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a patient named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Not my usual kind of film but I watched it anyway, interested in the neat innocent relationship which was developing between the two main characters. Like Filth, Trance, Mindscape, etc, the twist comes as bit of a shock. I’m sure people will see it from a mile off but to be honest I wasn’t expecting a twist, so when it came it really hit home. Good film to remind you about the important things in life.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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