Grim Pickings / 24 May 2019

Cinemas & Home Entertainment This Week…

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the darkest super-villain origin story you’ve ever seen battling it out with an awe-inspiring live action adaptation of a Disney classic on the big screen!


Take equal measures of SUPERMAN and THE OMEN and you’ve got BRIGHTBURN, a subversive take on a super-villain tale. While the film’s basic story structure is born from traditional superhero mythos, it’s BRIGHTBURN’s approach to 
plotting that takes the narrative into dark territory, one that is more akin to horror than the aforementioned genre. At a tight ninety minutes, the film succeeds at both building the origin story of its principle character, Brendon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn), while delivering an onslaught of gripping carnage in the process. BRIGHTBURN’s tone is a genuinely unsettling one, ripe with suspense and shocking in its depiction of violence, in fact the film’s onscreen gore is some of the best we’ve seen on the big screen in many years. With a no holds barred script by Brian & Mark Gunn (JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND), assured direction of David Yarovesky (THE HIVE) and solid performances from Elizabeth Banks (THE HUNGER GAMES), David Denman (THE OFFICE) and Dunn (AVENGERS: ENDGAME), BRIGHTBURN has quickly become one of our favourite films of 2019 thus far! What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

Taking a timeless and beloved animated feature to the live action realm is no mean feat as the past has proven with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and more recently DUMBO however ALADDIN is a genuine exception. Filmmaker Guy Ritchie’s adaptation is one of true wonderment, filled with lavish production design, spectacular set pieces and not only apt casting but enchanting performances. Similar to David Lowery’s PETE’S DRAGON from 2016, this is a welcome addition to Disney’s live action catalogue, one that successfully transcends mere nostalgia to become a throughly enjoyable and memorable film. A tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future.


Xavier Gens, the director responsible for FRONTIER(S) and COLD SKIN, returns with a demonic horror loosely based on true events with a script penned by Chad & Carey W. Hayes, the creators of THE CONJURING franchise. While offering up nothing new in terms of the possession/exorcism sub-genre, credence must be given to THE CRUCIFIXION’s approach to its subject matter, building more on suspense than being dependent on jumpscares, the film constructs a horror-drama that is a genuine rarity these days. 
A priest is jailed for the murder of a nun on whom he was performing an exorcism and an investigative journalist strives to determine whether he, in fact, murdered a mentally ill person or if the allegations are false and he simply lost the battle with a demonic presence. That she might be experiencing herself. Don’t miss your chance to WIN 1 of 3 DVDs of THE CRUCIFIXION here!
Never let a plot get in the way of some truly spectacular fight choreography and that’s exactly what you get with TRIPLE THREAT, starring a who’s who of modern martial arts including  Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White. When a hit contract is taken out on a billionaire’s daughter with the intent of bringing down a major crime syndicate, a down and out team of mercenaries must take on the group of professional assassins to stop them before they kill their target.
Genre stalwart Eric England (CONTRACTED, GET THE GIRL) delivers a below par modern noir that is as predictable as it is shallow and despite its short runtime of eighty-seven minutes, it’s an absolute drag. The residents of a small, southern town are forever changed when the tattooed, sweet-talking stranger Josie (Sophie Turner) struts into town. Striking up relationships with a local young punk Marcus (Jack Kilmer) and her loner neighbour Hank (Dylan McDermott), she quickly becomes a hot topic of local gossip. But her true intentions for arriving in town are far more sinister when her dark past comes to light.

Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.