Jason Best on the latest cinema releases
Game Night (Out 2nd March)
Married couple Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams and their ultra-competitive pals don’t know what they are letting themselves in for when they turn up for their weekly couples games night in this action comedy. Tonight Bateman’s hot-shot brother is in charge and he’s lined up a murder mystery as the evening’s activity. Yet it quickly becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. ***
Monster Family (Out 2nd March)
A squabbling family gets turned into monsters after Dracula (voiced by Jason Isaacs) falls for Emily Watson’s harassed bookstore owning mum in this animated comedy, released in cinemas and on Sky Cinema at the same time. Smitten by her voice after a phone mix up, the bloodsucking Count dispatches ancient witch Baba Yaga (Catherine Tate) to transform her into a vampire. But Baba ends up accidentally turning the rest of the family into monsters too, with Dad (Nick Frost) becoming a flatulent Frankenstein’s monster, daughter Fay (Jessica Brown Findlay) a shroud-wrapped Mummy, and son Max (Ethan Rouse) a werewolf. Can Watson’s Emma’s stop their bickering, break the curse and return to normal? Frankly, this lacklustre computer animated effort is about as original as a second-hand Halloween costume and a lot less fun. **
Red Sparrow (Out March 1st)
Brace yourselves for the spectacle of Jennifer Lawrence as a badass ballerina! She’s reteamed with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence (no relation) for this espionage thriller about a dancer who gets recruited by Russian intelligence to go to ‘Sparrow School’ and be trained as a ruthlessly alluring spy. Her first mission finds her plying her new skills of seduction on Joel Edgerton’s CIA agent. Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, and Mary Louise Parker also star.
More reviews next week.