We’re past the month of the Oscars and it’s time to look forward to the multiple remakes, sequels, as well as new films that are set to come out this year. Here are my favourites for March and April:
Beauty and the Beast
Growing up, I loved Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, not only for Belle’s yellow ballgown and the happy ending, but more so for the brilliant songs and matching visuals. Now this favourite Disney classic is back in a new form, but still sporting most of its original ideas and scenes, as the trailers have revealed.
The live-action remake is being marked as possibly the story about a woman suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a disorder caused by the stress and dependability of a captive on her captor that make her develop positive feelings towards him. This new feature film stars Emma Watson, actress and active campaigner for equality and women’s rights, who denies this theory.
Few things have changed from the original, yet Belle (Watson) herself, rather than her father, is the inventor in this version, while Gaston (Luke Evans) seems even more full of himself than ever, if that’s at all possible. Meanwhile, there’s no cute and cuddly face for the Beast (Dan Stevens) this time round, though the actor’s smooth and steady voice can be recognised beneath the hideous CGI mask. Whilst the love-triangle above already makes up a promising cast, other famous names that make an appearance or at times a voice-over in this film include Kevin Kline as Belle’s dad Maurice, Emma Thompson as the voice of Mrs Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumière and Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.
Premiering in Malta on the 17th March, this is one for all the family to enjoy.
The Fate of the Furious
Following Paul Walker’s unfortunate demise, the seventh installment in this action series ended with a goodbye, leading Walker’s character Brian O’Conner away from cars and crime and off to live a family life with Mia, who was once again expecting. However, Mia still appeared in posters for what has now been officially titled The Fate of the Furious, indicating that she will still somehow be involved in the plot.
Missing one half of the famous duo, The Fast and the Furious franchise returns with a trick up its sleeve. Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto takes centre stage this time as – led by the beautiful terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) – he turns against the team that he previously called ‘family’. Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty Toretto, says of Theron’s character that she is “the most powerful villain this franchise has ever seen.”
Filming for the much-awaited sequel started in April 2016, with shooting locations including Havana in Cuba and some venues in Iceland. One car in this episode reportedly costs over a million dollars, so I shudder to think of the combined cost of the cars that get destroyed in this film.
The official worldwide release date for this film is the 14th April.
From the director of An Education and based on the novel by Lissa Evans called Their Finest Hour and a Half, comes a look at the second world war from a different viewpoint. Their Finest is a humorous, romantic story set against a backdrop of bombs and despair in London during the Blitz, in which the characters are themselves trying to put together a propaganda film.
Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) thinks she’s being hired for a secretarial post, until she’s told she would be writing ‘the slop’. There will be “no screen credit,” advises co-writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and “obviously we can’t pay you as much as the chaps,” says her supervisor Roger Swain (Richard E. Grant). Not taken very seriously at the outset, Catrin is in much the same position as Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy), a pompous actor past his prime who is none too pleased with his part in the film-within-a-film being scripted by Arterton’s and Claflin’s characters. As the story progresses, they will come to learn that everyone has a part to play.
Flanked by two rising stars, Bill Nighy is at his most brilliant and clearly enjoyed making the most of yet another has-been personality role. The trio make for an impressive cast in this British film that is set to open in theatres around the UK on the 21st April and should start showing in Malta only days later.