Grim Pickings / 17 May 2019

Cinemas & Home Entertainment This Week…

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with Keanu Reeves riding horseback in undoubtably the best action film of 2019 opening in cinemas while a revolutionary documentary from visionary filmmaker Peter Jackson arrives on home entertainment!


It’s been five years since JOHN WICK first graced cinema screens and who would have thought that a simple revenge actioner would evolve into incredible and surprisingly detail-rich franchise. Picking right up from where JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 concluded, this latest instalment sees the titular character go head-to-head with not only the New York underworld but that of an international destination also and the phrase ‘always outnumbered, never outgunned’ has never been truer. Kinetic in its action and poetic in its violence, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLIUM holds nothing back with some of the greatest set pieces ever committed to celluloid i.e. Keanu Reeves riding horseback down a busy New York street taking down armed assailants on motorbikes. Mark our words, this is a film NOT TO BE MISSED on the big screen. Kudos to the animal actors in the film too, from the aforementioned steed to a pair of attack dogs, this film really has it all! 
Super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.


An intimate slow burn thriller come psychological drama that yields strong performances from its three leads and delivers as much in eeriness as it does in surprising brutality. 
On an uninhabited island 20 miles from the rugged Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their 6-week shift. As James (Gerard Butler), Thomas (Peter Mullan) and Donald (Connor Swindells) settle into their normal quiet routine, something unexpected and potentially life-changing occurs they stumble upon a hidden fortune in gold. What follows is a tense battle for survival as personal greed replaces loyalty – fed by isolation and paranoia, three honest men are led down a path to destruction.
John Cusack continues to drift down the DTV sewer line with another lacklustre revenge thriller affair that’s only surprise is that features once popular American comedian George Lopez in a dramatic role. It’s attempt at social commentary is about as commendable as its poorly staged action set pieces, cliched and a drag, RIVER RUNS RED takes the thrill out of thriller. 
When the son of a successful judge is killed by two police officers and the system sets them free, a hardened veteran detective finds some incriminating files on the officers and the judge teams up with another mourning father to take the law into his own hands.
Peter Jackson returns with his first feature since 2014’s THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, only this time with a revolutionary World War I documentary, that employs state-of-the-art technology to restore, transform and shape archival footage into a compelling narrative. Using state of the art technology to restore original archival footage which is more than a 100-years old, Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell this story: the men who were there.  Driven by a personal interest in the First World War, Jackson set out to bring to life the day-to-day experience of its soldiers. After months immersed in the BBC and Imperial War Museums’ archives, narratives and strategies on how to tell this story began to emerge for Jackson. Using the voices of the men involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line; their attitudes to the conflict; how they ate; slept and formed friendships, as well what their lives were like away from the trenches during their periods of downtime. Jackson and his team have used cutting edge techniques to make the images of a hundred years ago appear as if they were shot yesterday. The transformation from black and white footage to colourised footage can be seen throughout the film revealing never before seen details. Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of the veterans, the humility and humanity that represented a generation changed forever by a global war.

Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.