Welcome to MarkMeets’ monthly guide to the biggest cult, genre, sci-fi, and animated movies hitting UK cinemas. In this post the MarkMeets team showcases the films that will dominate your movie time this month
Whilst May is a relatively quiet month for movies to be released, this year the month is sandwiched between the superhero behemoths of April’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and June’s Wonder Woman, but it holds its own on the blockbuster front with the likes of Alien: Covenant and Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge likely to dominate the box office. Elsewhere, Anne Hathaway accidentally stomps Korea in Colossal, while animation fans are well catered for with Studio Ghibli’s first international collaboration The Red Turtle arriving.
Here’s what you’ll be watching in the weeks ahead.
This sharp British comedy sees The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt as washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft, forced to reprise the role that once made him famous – TV detective Bruce P Mindhorn, whose bionic eye “can literally see truth” – to help capture an escaped serial killer who thinks he was real. Taking aim at cult 1980s procedurals and genre shows such as Knight Rider or Columbo, and with Barratt at his deranged best, this could be the new Shaun of the Dead.
Bioweapons are horrifying, potentially capable of wiping out millions in the most excruciating ways possible. The prospect of an outbreak in a major population centre such as London is a terrifying prospect – and that’s the chilling premise of this tense thriller. Featuring Prometheus’ Noomi Rapace, Lord of the Rings’ Orlando Bloom, and other top talent in the form of Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and Michael Douglas, this is a disturbing glimpse at an attack that will hopefully never come to pass.
One of the two contenders for biggest film of the month, Covenant is director Ridley Scott’s follow-up to the divisive Prometheus. This finds a new crew, lead by Katherine Waterston, on a colony mission to establish humanity’s next home, somewhere out in the stars. What they find instead is the sinister android David (Michael Fassbender), seemingly the sole inhabitant of an all-too-perfect world, and his disturbing pets…. Whatever your thoughts on Prometheus, Scott’s approach to design will surely make this worth a viewing.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director Guy Ritchie gives The Once and Future King a modern spin, in this updating of Arthurian legend. Charlie Hunnam features as a gritty, scrappy Arthur, rising from back alley thief in ancient Londinium to destined king after he draws a strange sword from a stone. Set on a path against the tyrant Vortigern (Jude Law), this offers a deep fantasy take of the mythology, with Arthur leading vast armies and colossal elephants into battle. One to see for the spectacle if nothing else.
Fairy Tail – Dragon Cry
A limited release for this theatrical anime outing, but one fans will want to hunt down. This finds part-dragon mage Natsu and his allies in the mystical Fairy Tail guild tracking down an artefact with enough power to destroy the world – but a far-off king and his court magician claim it can save their kingdom instead. Betrayal, conflict, and magical mayhem result in this big screen outing for the hit TV anime. (Preview screenings on May 17)
Anne Hathaway is a monster – literally, in this comedy kaiju crossover. After her life in New York falls apart Gloria (Hathaway) moves back home. At the same time, a giant monster starts rampaging across Seoul, destroying buildings and causing mass panic. Yet these two incompatible events aren’t unrelated, as Gloria starts to realise that she can somehow control the beast from half a world away – but her heavy drinking and bad behaviour may get in the way of saving the world. Director Nacho Vigalondo lovingly pastiches the likes of Godzilla, Gamera, and King Kong in this quirky film festival favourite.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
The other contender for the month’s biggest movie is Johnny Depp’s fifth outing as Captain Jack Sparrow. This voyage sees the erratic pirate on the run from the obsessed pirate hunter Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem), hunting Jack after escaping from the Devil’s Triangle. Aided by new allies and old friends – such as Orlando Bloom, returning as Will Turner – Captain Jack searches for Poseidon’s Trident, before Salazar and his ghostly crew can use its power to wipe pirates from the oceans. Co-directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, this is aiming to recapture the swashbuckling spectacle and adventurous fun of the first Pirates movie. Whether they succeed, or the film sinks with audiences like 2011’s On Stranger Tides remains to be seen.
The Red Turtle
Studio Ghibli itself may be in something of a holding pattern for its own projects – at least until figurehead Hayao Miyazaki finishes the latest film he’s given up on retirement for – but the esteemed anime studio hasn’t gone entirely silent. Its latest output is this stunning feature directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit, following a man marooned on a desert island, the strange turtle keeping him there, and the woman he meets against all odds. Presented free of dialogue and without even giving names to its characters, this is a real tour de force of pure animation genius.
Spark: A Space Tail
An animated sci-fi with shades of Journey to the West, this follows young simian hero Spark on his quest to defeat the evil emperor Zhong and restore peace to the universe. Aided by his friends Chunk the pig and Vix the fox, Spark’s adventure will see him uncover his own lost legacy as he faces down Zhong’s minions. Animated by Canadian studio Toonbox Entertainment and directed by Aaron Woodley, this ups its nerd cred with a voice cast including Patrick Stewart, Jessica Biel, and Susan Sarandon.
Is it “cult, genre, sci-fi, or animated”? No, but this update of the cheesy ’90s TV series might edge into ‘cult classic’ territory. Clearly knowing the source material isn’t the stuff of Shakespeare, director Seth Gordon repositions this as a buddy-cop comedy with lashings of Fast and Furious-style action on the waves. With Dwayne Johnson as overzealous lifeguard Mitch Buchannon and Zac Efron as a disgraced Olympian looking to repair his image, this sees the pair out of their jurisdiction and in over their heads as they investigate club owner Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) and her shady drug dealings. Wisely focusing on laughs and explosions over the cheap titillation of the original, this could be far better than it has any right to be.
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