Out This Week: 11 August 2016

Spielberg, Sci-Fi romance, two horror-thrillers and two Bollywood superstars.

August is still hot, but the heat this weekend is coming from Bollywood, with two releases from two of India’s biggest movie stars going against each other. Plus we have Steven Spielberg‘s latest children adventure, a Sci-Fi romance, and two horror thriller films. It’s a diverse slate, so read on!


The BFG Poster

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
With: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, and Rebecca Hall
What is it about? A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.
Heads Up: Even though the film was received lukewarmly by critics and audience, it is still a Steven Spielberg film, so expect to be dazzled by the visuals and enchanted by the storytelling even if it is not as good as we hope for it to be.

The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
With: Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves
What is it about? When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Heads Up: Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn is a polarizing and a controversial filmmaker who has made some very memorable films (Bronson, Drive, and the generally maligned Only God Forgives). His latest The Neon Demon was met with mix to positive reviews. If you are a fan of him, I’d advise you to wait till the film comes out on DVD because the censors would have had a field day with this one.

The Shallows

The Shallow Poster

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
With: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, and Brett Cullen
What is it about? When Nancy is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, she is stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.
Heads Up: Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra has some solid entries in horror and thriller (Orphan, Unknown, and Run all Night). This looks like a solid man-vs-shark horror thriller, and it performed very well in the US, both critically and commercially. Our critic Lloyd Bayer wasn’t very enthusiastic about it however. In his review he gave it 2.5/5 rating. In it he wrote: “And like the title says, there isn’t much depth but watching lively Lively is worth the time it takes to sink your teeth into this one; or the shark – whichever bites first“. I’d still check it out for sure.


Equals Poster

Directed by: Drake Doremus
With:  Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart, and Vernetta Lopez
What is it about? In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.
Heads Up: The reviewers haven’t been kind on this film, describing the story as derivative and the pace as plodding, but from what I can gather from the trailer, the film looks beautiful, and the two leads are appealing. So I am mildly curious, but not fully on board.

Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro Poster

Directed by: Ashutosh Gowariker
With:  Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, and Kabir Bedi
What is it about? Set amid the ancient Indus Valley civilization circa 2016 B.C.E, indigo farmer named Sarman must lead the people to defeat a corrupt politician who wants to seize power and control their city Mohenjo Daro.
Heads Up: From the trailer, this film looks to me like a Bollywood production of a Roland Emmerich film, but it is from Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan,  Swades: We, the People) so it could be either very good or very bad. I guess this will be a blockbuster based on the star power of Hrithik Roshan, but colour me skeptical.


Rustom Poster

Directed by: Dharmendra Suresh Desai
With: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, and Esha Gupta
What is it about? based on a True story from 1959, the story of a naval officer named Rustom who was tried for defending his honor and murdering his wife’s lover.
Heads Up: The trailer reveals too much frankly, but the setting, the look, and period are all very intriguing. It helps also that the film is starring Akshay Kumar, so I am in!




About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.