This month’s selections include acclaimed local releases The Dark Horse & Housebound, Academy Award nominated animated film Ernest & Celestine, summer blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy, acclaimed Polish film Ida & Brendan Gleeson as a troubled priest in the religious drama Calvary. New TV shows include new shows The Village, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, & a TV adaptation of the Cohen Brothers movie Fargo…
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The complete first season.
“In the wake of The Battle of New York, the world has changed forever. An extraordinary landscape of wonders has been revealed! In response, mysteriously resurrected Agent Phil Coulson assembles an elite team of skilled agents and operatives: Melinda May, Grant Ward, Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons and new recruit/computer hacker Skye. Together, they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. But every answer unearths even more tantalizing questions that reverberate across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.” (adapted from Editorial Reviews Amazon.com)
Ernest & Celestine.
“In normal bear life, it is frowned upon to make friends with a mouse. But Ernest, a big bear, a clown and musician who lives on the fringes of bear society, nonetheless welcomes little Celestine into his home. She is an orphan and has fled the mouse world down below. These two solitary characters find support and comfort in one another, but in the process, fly in the face of convention, upsetting the established order.” (Review from Amazon.co.uk)
Guardians of the galaxy
“…brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting racoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance…” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)
Fargo. The complete first season.
“The Coen Brothers’ Best Picture Oscar nominee transforms into the season’s most talked about TV debut. Fargo features a new “true crime” story and new characters…all chilled in the trademark dry wit, murderous mayhem and “Minnesota nice” of the original classic film. Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a anipulative master criminal who changes the life of insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman). Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) and Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) are the small-town police officers who join forces to uncover Lester’s secrets and stop the relentlessly destructive Malvo.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
Ripper Street. Series II.
“The explosive Ripper Street returns for a second series. East London. 1890. The long shadow of Jack the Ripper may be receding, but the job of preventing Whitechapel from descending into hell has never been more crucial for Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his loyal deputies Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake and Captain Homer Jackson. Against a society in rapid decline, the men of H Division battle new crimes where the bloated British Empire’s problems are felt most keenly at its dark heart: the East End of London.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
The dark horse.
“Once a heralded chess champion, Genesis has spent the last few years in and out of mental institutions, battling with severe bipolar disorder. After being released from the psychiatric ward for one more chance at life, he moves in with Ariki, his gang-patched and distant brother (Hapi), and Ariki’s soon-to-be-patched teenage son, Mana (Rolleston). Needing a purpose and a reason to get out of the gang house, Genesis joins a rough-as-guts local chess club, with the wild idea of coaching the motley crew of kids to the national chess championship. On the way, Gen must face the responsibility that comes with being a leader, navigate conflict within the gang world and try to survive the potentially devastating strife that breaks out between him and his brother over his nephew’s future.” (from RealGroovy.co.nz)
“Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother Miriam, a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables & small-town gossip.” (Syndetics summary)
“Seduced by dreams of making it big, Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) move to New York to pursue their passion for music. However, when Dave rejects her for the fame and fortune of a big solo contract, Gretta find herself alone and far from home. Just when she’s decided to move back to London, life begins to look up when struggling record producer Dan (Mark Ruffalo) stumbles upon her singing during an open mic night. Captivated by her raw talent and inspiring authenticity Dan persuades Gretta to take a fresh approach to making music and together they transform the streets of New York in to their recording studio, giving their careers one final shot.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
“Darkly comic Irish thriller starring Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson plays Father James, who is the local clergyman of a rural Irish parish. During confession one Sunday, an unseen local informs Father James of his plan of killing him as a way of gaining retribution for abuse he suffered as a young boy at the hands of another Catholic priest. Left with only seven days to make his peace, James visits those within his community while trying to track down his potential killer. Through his exchanges with the locals, which include a cuckolded butcher (Chris O’Dowd), a wealthy businessman (Dylan Moran) and an atheistic doctor (Aidan Gillen), James realises that the institution to which he has dedicated his life is becoming obsolete, causing him to doubt the validity of his faith…” (Amazon.co.uk Reviews)
The village. Series one.
“The Village is an epic drama series for BBC One starring Maxine Peake and John Simm, charting the life and turbulent times of one English village across the whole of the 20th century, written by Bafta-winning writer Peter Moffat. …the life and memories of one man, Bert Middleton, providing the backbone to the story as he lives across the entire hundred years. From boyhood to extreme old age Bert witnesses births and deaths, love and betrayal and the great political events and social upheaval that shaped and made Britain and his village what it is today.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
Ida / a film by Pawel Pawlikowski.
“Poland 1962. On the eve of her vows, 18-year old Anna meets her estranged aunt Wanda, a cynical Communist judge who shocks the naive Anna with a stunning revelation: Anna is Jewish and her real name is Ida. Tasked with this new identity, Ida and Wanda embark on a revelatory journey to their old family house to discover the fate of Ida’s birth parents and unearth dark secrets dating back to the Nazi occupation. Masterfully directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) and photographed in stunning black and white (in the classic 1:37:1 Academy ratio), Ida is a vital and cinematic evocation of postwar Poland and an intensely personal tale of moral and spiritual awakening.” (Editorial reviews from Amazon.com)
The trip to Italy : the 6-part series.
“From acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom comes the follow up to the BAFTA winning first series The Trip. Four years after they ate their way round the North of England, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan take their own Grand Tour around Italy, following in the footsteps of Byron and Shelley. The Trip to Italy reunites two men for more delectable food, sharp-elbowed rivalry, eerily accurate impersonations and plenty of laughs.” (Syndetics summary)