Grim Pickings / 21 March 2019

Cinemas & Home Entertainment This Week…

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with acclaimed genre filmmaker Kayrn Kusama’s latest offering opening in cinemas while home entertainment unleashes the ultimate edition of a Sam Raimi classic!


Thursday March 21st
Karyn Kusama (THE INVITATION, XX) helms this suspense thriller with a standout performance by Nicole Kidman (EYES WIDE SHUT). Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell (Kidman) who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.

Despite Roadshow’s promise they wouldn’t holdback the local release of another LEGO movie again, they have, thankfully they’ve held paid previews almost every weekend since the film’s US theatrical release in the lead-up to the local release though. It feels like we’ve had a slight over-saturation Lego films (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE) between the release of the first film and this sequel, subsequently the wait between films hasn’t felt that long nor anticipated. As for the film itself, despite its hefty ambition, it feels bloated, repetitive, confused, ill-paced and ultimately far less ‘awesome’ than its predecessor.   It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The battle to defeat them and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.


Available Now
StudioCanal unleash Sam Raimi’s brilliant follow-up to 1981’s THE EVIL DEAD to Blu-ray & DVD with a freshly struck 4K restoration and a few new special features to boot!
After the shocking and notorious cult classic Evil Dead impaled its way into the minds of a whole generation by becoming one of the original “video nasties”, visionary, maverick director Sam Raimi decided to elaborate on its twisted scenario by creating one of the most visually deranged and psychotically demented horror movies to ever splatter its way across cinema screens since the invention of celluloid. In addition to the stunning all-new transfer, StudioCanal’s local Blu-ray boasts two discs containing a combination of archival Special Features and an all-new documentary, ‘Bloody and Groovy, Baby’, a tribute to Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD 2 with interviews from the likes of Guillermo del Toro and Roger Corman among others!
SUSPIRIA is a bold reimagining of Dario Argento’s 1977 seminal classic. Guadagnino’s SUSPIRIA plays more as an arthouse drama with horror elements than it does a horror film per se but those horror elements are both haunting and at times genuinely hideous. While not without its problems, Guadagnino’s take on the source material is ambitious, uncompromising and a welcome relief from the countless retreads of classics we’ve endured over the years. Temper your expectations, approach with patience and prepare to experience a unique reinterpretation of a genre masterpiece, Argento’s SUSPIRIA this is not, this is a new nightmare reborn from unfettered passion and unadulterated expression. 
Young American dancer Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Company, stunning the troupe’s famed choreographer, Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton), with her raw talent. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, Olga, the previous lead, breaks down and accuses the company’s female directors of being witches. As rehearsals intensify for the final performance of the company’s signature piece, Susie and Madame Blanc grow strangely close, suggesting that Susie’s purpose in the company goes beyond merely dancing. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist trying to uncover the company’s dark secrets enlists the help of another dancer, who probes the depths of the studio’s hidden chambers. Transmission’s Blu-ray release contains three featurettes: ‘The Making of SUSPIRIA’, ‘The Secret Language of Dance’
and ‘The Transformation of SUSPIRIA’.
Alex Garland (EX MACHINA) helms this adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s first novel in his Southern Reach trilogy, with mixed results. Visually stunning and at times genuinely suspenseful though plotting-wise dragged out and often incoherent, ANNIHILATION is a promising attempt at crafting original sci-fi but ultimately suffers from unnecessary ambiguity, making it more a bore than something memorable. 
Biologist and former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked when her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone no one has ever returned from. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth. Paramount’s Blu-ray release contains a Dolby Atmos track and a three-part documentary featurette.

Danny McBride stars in this escalation thriller cross pitch-black comedy, that has potential but meanders past the point of interest around the half-way mark. 
Cassie (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a real estate agent and single mum struggling to keep it all together during the housing crisis of 2009. Her problems go from bad to worse when disgruntled client Sonny (McBride) violently confronts Cassie’s boss and then kidnaps Cassie – making one outrageously bad, and bloody, decision after another.