Welcome to May at the movies! David Michael Brown gets us ready for punch drunk priests, mad multiverses, incendiary school kids, high-flying Mavericks, and the burger-flipping Belchers!
Taking place a few months after the events of the globe-conquering Spider-Man: No Way Home, it looks like the sequel to Doctor Strange is going to push the MCU into even more crazed inter-dimensional craziness.
With multiverses all the rage following the Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All at Once and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi returning to the Marvel fold, hopes are high that Benedict Cumberbatch’s sophomore adventure proper as the genius surgeon turned mind-bending magician will see the director getting back to the frenetic phantasmagoria of Evil Dead 2. After Strange causes some major damage to the space-time continuum, the medical deviant teams up with Wong (Benedict Wong) the Sorcerer Supreme, and Scarlet Witch Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) to patch up the universe.
Céline Sciamma’s follow-up to the stunning historical romantic drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Petite Maman sees the director ditching the emotive drama of her BAFTA winner for a childhood fantasy. Starring Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Stéphane Varupenne, Nina Meurisse and Margo Abascal, Sciamma conjured up the film’s simple premise during quarantine, restricted herself to a minimum of autumnal locations, and shot the film in the same woods in which she played as a child.
The storyline follows a young girl who is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home after her grandmother dies. After her mother abruptly leaves, she heads out to explore the leafy surroundings and meets a strangely familiar girl, her age, building a treehouse.
Written, directed and starring Leah Purcell, this subversive outback Western is a cinematic adaptation of her stage play of the same name that in turn loosely reworked the 1892 Henry Lawson short story The Drover’s Wife. She also wrote a novel expanding the story in 2021. The feature debut from the Lantana star, the film follows the heavily-pregnant hardened bushwoman of the title as she fights for survival on an isolated farm whilst her husband is droving.
Her two children are her only company until an Indigenous loner, played by Rob Collins, stumbles into her life. Set in the alpine country of the Snowy Mountains and filmed by cinematographer Mark Wareham who shot Iven Sen’s Mystery Road and the recent Netflix show Clickbait, this promises to be an epic retelling of the classic tale.
Everyone’s favourite Funky Bunch member and burger franchise proprietor headlines an impressive ensemble and takes the lead as the titular man of God in this uplifting true story. Returning to the ring after his stunning bout in David O. Russell’s The Fighter in 2010, Mark Wahlberg plays boxer-turned-Catholic priest Stuart Long, a longtime agnostic who starts going to church to win the heart of Sunday school teacher Carmen (Teresa Ruiz) but in the end answers a bigger call.
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The pugilistic padre was diagnosed with an extremely rare and incurable autoimmune disease but kept his faith. The rest of the cast includes Jacki Weaver and Mel Gibson as the boxer’s parent’s Kathleen and Bill Long, and the brilliant Malcolm McDowell as Monsignor Kelly. An inspirational sermon that will see the actor exploring his spirituality and testing his acting ability.
Operation Mincemeat is the true story of a military operation that changed the course of World War II: a boy’s own espionage adventure following the Allies as they attempted to deceive the Nazi plan for an all-out assault on Fortress Europe. Colin Firth and Succession star Matthew Macfadyen play Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley, two intelligence officers who tricked the enemy into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe by way of Greece, rather than their actual target of Sicily in Italy.
Their plan? To disguise a dead body, plant misleading papers on the corpse, and drop it off the coast of Spain where Nazi spies would take the bait. Directed by Shakespeare in Love helmer John Madden and also starring the brilliant Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting) and Penelope Wilton (After Life), Operation Mincemeat takes a little known story and gives two of the unsung heroes of the war the lip service they deserve.
The second adaptation of Stephen King’s incendiary tale after Commando helmer Mark L. Lester directed Drew Barrymore as a juvenile telekinetic pyromaniac. Despite a cast that boasted George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, David Keith and Heather Locklear, and a brilliant score by Teutonic kosmische titans Tangerine Dream, the film wasn’t a huge success, cowering in the shadows of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining released the same year.
Now The Vigil director Keith Thomas is directing Ryan Kiera Armstrong as the twisted Firestarter while John Carpenter, who was originally going to direct the 80s version, along with his son Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davies provides the crunching synth score. The eponymous tween is again on the run from a secret government agency The Shop who created the youngster’s pyrokinetic power when they experimented on her father (Zac Efron) and now they want to cover their tracks. Expect sparks to fly.
Over 233 heart-warming and hilarious episodes, Loren Bouchard and Jim Dauterive’s slow-burn animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers has told the story of the burger-flipping Belcher family. That’s parents Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) and their three children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal). Now the Belchers are hitting the big screen and hope to get the patty started with just the right amount of special sauce—that is until a ruptured water main creates an enormous sinkhole in front of Bob’s Burgers and threatens their business.
With Bob and Linda struggling to keep the shop afloat, it’s up to the kids to save the day. With Zach Galifianakis, Stephanie Beatriz, Gary Cole and Kevin Kline again lending their voices to proceedings, expect bun shaking tunes aplenty, absurdist improvised humour galore, and working-class family values to make this a very happy meal.
The long-awaited sequel to the late great Tony Scott’s testosterone-pumping high-flying 80s actioner has been waiting to take flight since the global pandemic postponed its 2019 release. Top Gun was the 1984 film that saw a young Tom Cruise—coming off Ridley Scott’s failed fantasy Legend—ascend to superstardom. Where the first film saw Cruise’s hot shot pilot as the student, Top Gun: Maverick, taking place 30 years after, sees Maverick, now a test pilot captain, as a teacher, taking a group of Top Gun graduates under his wing for a special mission.
With Val Kilmer again playing Iceman—now the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet—Miles Teller as Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s late best friend Goose (memorably played in the original by Anthony Edwards), Jennifer Connolly as love-interest Penny Benjamin, and daredevil Cruise in the cockpit for real, this promises to be a fitting tribute to one of the directing greats that feels the need…the need for speed.