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#OnTheBigScreen: Monsters, monstrous deeds, and magic

New releases this week are: Colossal, the weirdest monster film of the year; Rampage, a monster movie with heart that features three gargantuan, genetically mutating creatures, completely out of control, on a collision course with civilisation; the monstrous face of injustice is explored Roman J. Israel, Esq.; and strange and wonderful creatures are found in the animated fantasy Here Comes The Grump.
Horror films tap into our deepest fears and anxieties, and what is suggested is often more frightening than what is revealed.

If you want to take a journey into ultimate fear, make sure to experience the terror of A Quiet Place, and watch Marrowbone if it is still showing at a cinema near you.

Colossal


Gloria is an out-of-work party girl who leaves New York and moves back to her hometown after getting kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul in South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realisation that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spiral out of control, she must figure out why her seemingly insignificant existence is having such a colossal effect on the fate of the world.



This science fiction black comedy is directed and written by Nacho Vigalondo and stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson.

Rampage


In this monster film with heart, primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.



This science fiction monster film is directed by Brad Peyton. It is loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.


In Roman J. Israel, Esq., writer-director Dan Gilroy teams with two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington to create the portrait of a layered, complex man whose life has been spent fighting for others’ civil rights – and paid a price for his activism.



Set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defence attorney whose life is upended after his mentor, a civil rights icon, dies. When Roman is recruited to join a firm led by one of the legendary man’s former students – the ambitious lawyer George Pierce (Colin Farrell) – and begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Carmen Ejogo), a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman’s career to the test.

With Roman’s life in upheaval, he begins to question everything he thought he believed in.

Here Comes The Grump


In this magical family adventure story, a young kid called Terry is whisked away to the colourful Kingdom of Groovynham. The evil wizard Grump has cast a spell of gloom over the land and as such, smiling and laughter are now a thing of the past. Terry must travel the Kingdom in search of a spell that will help get everyone’s happy back and along the way help Princess Dawn, outwit all manner of strange and wonderful creatures and try an embrace a little thing called change.



The film is based on the DePatie-Freleng animated series of the same name, which originally ran from 1969 to 1970 on NBC. Animation film directed by Andrés Couturier, featuring the voices of Lily Collins, Toby Kebbell, and Ian McShane.

For more on the latest film releases, visit www.writingstudio.co.za

About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen received the number one spot for most popular lifestyle contributor for 2012, 2014 and 2015, and 2nd spot in 2016 on Bizcommunity.com.
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