LUC’s 18 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

Now that ten percent of 2017 is out of the way, it seemed as good a time as any to fire up our valve-driven, cold-war era artificial intelligence driven Anticipation-ometer, so that it can tell us which future cinematic releases we should be most excited about. Pausing only to feed in few parameters to ensure that all sequels, re-makes and re-boots were ignored, we donned our hazmat suits, engaged the cooling rods and switched the power on. After several minutes of buzzing noise, flying sparks and minor radiation poisoning, a stack of glowing metal discs were ejected,  each etched with a burst of binary data. When decoded and translated from Russian, the information formed the list following below…

One: Catfight

I guess we’re not going to be short of satires about the Unite States in the next few years. This one apparently skewers the nature of American society through the medium of an ongoing conflict between two women who really want to destroy each other and have an ongoing series of punch ups – sort of like Ridley Scott’s The Duellists. A bit.

 

Two: Colossal

Anne Hathaway is an alcoholic who is somehow controlling a giant monster that is causing Godzilla style chaos in Korea.

 

Three: The Modern Ocean

A new film from the enigmatic Shane Carruth, who made Primer and Upstream Color. Not much info yet, but let’s be honest, it is bound to be brilliant. This meagre description and an epic cast list is all we have so far:

“The storyline revolves around vengeance and the fierce competition for valuable shipping routes and priceless materials that converge in a spectacular battle on the rolling decks of behemoth cargo ships.”

Four: Prevenge

Alice Lowe’s film about a pregnant woman whose unborn child seems to encourage her to go on some sort of killing spree. Out very soon and apparently very good indeed.

 

Five: The Masterpiece

Franco’s film about the making of The Room, features a contractually unavoidable cameo by Tommy Wiseau. I bet that day of filming was fun, in a suicidal sort of way.

Six: Bitch

Could be a bit dark:

Bitch follows a trapped housewife and mother’s descent into insanity. Ignored by her philandering executive husband Bill, Jill finally breaks down, assuming a vicious canine persona and living down in the family’s basement, on all fours.” – Allegedly based on a real life case.

Seven: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Made by Macon Blair who was in Blue Ruin and Green Room, this seems to have a similar theme of unfortunately escalating violent drama, but maybe with a slightly more comedic thread running through it. Frodo looks especially mad.

 

Eight: You Were Never Really Here

Not much info yet, but it is based on a rather good short story by Jonathan Ames about an ex military type investigator sent to rescue a girl from a cult. Joaquin Phoenix is in it, so hopefully it will be like a good version of Inherent Vice.

Nine: KUSO

Has caused walkouts and controversy, so instantly interesting but possibly very, very hard work. If you want to delve into the nastiness, there is an article on Verge about how this is the grossest film ever made.

 

Ten: Get Out

Tea Leaf from Psychoville goes for what looks like a racially awkward Meet The Parents weekend, which turns into some kind of escalating, racist-horror nightmare. When they were making it, I’m sure it seemed like a far fetched satire – by the time it comes out, it may seem more like a documentary.

 

Eleven: Bushwick

The southern states of the US decide to secede from the union and decide to invade New York to make their point. All manner of hilarity ensues. Again, something that started as an outrageous civil war version of Red Dawn, buy now looks like an eerily realistic prediction for the future.

 

Twelve: Free Fire

Ben Wheatley’s stagey looking shootout in a warehouse, could go either way but has a bunch of cool people involved and a nice line in sweary comedic unpleasantness in the trailer, so probably worth a punt.

 

Thirteen: The Sisters Brothers

An adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s brilliant book (which itself seemed to be based on an alternate universe Coen Brothers film) – telling the episodic story of two old-west killers and their involvement in an unusual prospecting scheme. The brothers are played by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. Which seems about right.

Fourteen: Okja

Hopefully this will get more of an airing than Bong Joon-ho’s previous movie, Snowpiercer, which the Weinstein organisation went to all sorts of lengths to keep away from audiences in the UK. The story concerns a young girl protecting a giant creature from an evil corporation – no more info at the time of writing – bound to be worth checking out though.

Fifteen: The Discovery

Set in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been scientifically proven, everyone is killing themselves to get there. Sounds very similar to the idea of one of the stories from Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted to me. But still, it is an interesting idea and at least has the potential to explore some deeper ideas than the deluge of comic book crap coming out in 2017.

 

Sixteen: Mute

Duncan Jones’ future-noir flick which is supposed to be set in the same fictional universe as Moon. Definitely seems to have a cyberpunky/Blade Runner thing going on. The plot concerns a bartender searching for his missing girlfriend in a neon soaked futuristic Berlin. I think everybody wants this to be good.

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Seventeen: The Death Of Stalin

New film from Armando Ianucci of Thick Of It, Veep and In The Loop fame. Some of this was filmed at a London council office which makes this not only an exciting cinematic proposition, but also probably the most interesting thing to happen in UK local government in the last thirty years.

Eighteen: Nobody Speak

Documentary about how the website Gawker was brought to ruined by the legal case bought by Hulk Hogan over the publishing of a sex tape in which he made a starring appearance. The intriguing part is how Hogan’s case was bankrolled by the hyper rich Peter Thiel who had a previous grievance against the site for outing him. The whole thing looks like a test case for the fate of the free press in the US in the face of a bunch of litigious oligarchs. Hopefully there is no actual Hogan on-the-job footage involved.

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Top 10 Most Insane Abandoned Movie Sequels Ever

To help you through the inexorable wait for UNDERCLASS Issue 3, here is one of the articles from issue 2 with a bonus stupid buzzfeed type title added. If any agents/mad film stars out there want to develop one of these, please get in touch with our legal dept.

Behold: The best sequels that we will never see (one of which is actually real*).

#1: Withnail & Us

It is 1980. Recently divorced West End star Marwood gets an offer to star in a big hollywood film, but is also awarded custody of his 4 unruly and wild children. Unable to find a nanny willing to take on the task of dealing with the kids while he is away, fate intervenes when his old friend and washed up actor Withnail turns up at one of his shows begging for work…

#2: The Next Schindler’s List

Tortured by dreams of those he was unable to save, an aged Oskar Schindler, makes a new list – of Nazis. Using all of his old black market contacts and shady connections, Schindler tracks down surviving members of the Third Reich and takes them out one by one. The project eventually fell apart due to funding issues but Spielberg went on to make the thematically similar Munich, while Neeson had the script re-tuned by Luc Besson, leading to the Taken trilogy.

#3: Gladiator 2: Christ Killer

Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott commissioned a script from Nick Cave which saw Maximus raised from the dead to become a kind of eternal warrior figure. First leading the Christians against the Roman before cropping up in Medieval times, the Vietnam war and eventually the Pentagon war room. Considered too mad for the mainstream, the script became an italicised internet cause celebre.

#4: Requiem: Deliverance 2

Some years later back in Atlanta, a serial killer is stalking visitors to the Chattahoochee River Park. Lewis phones Ed with evidence that the killer is in fact Bobby, suffering at the hands of a split personality disorder and having taken on the characteristics of the Mountain Men who brutalised him. They engage in a cat and mouse pursuit of their former friend, an experience from which none of them will escape unharmed.

#5: Big Mac & Me

The corporate producers of the extended Macdonalds advert ‘Mac & Me’ were so sure that they had a hit on their hands that they paid Lawrence Kasdan a small fortune to write an outline for a whole series of Mac movies. The first sequel ‘Big Mac & Me’, would see Eric and Mac going to college together and thwarting a dastardly plot to by the evil ‘FKC corporation’ to close down a children’s hospital in order to use the land for a giant factory farm.

#6: Cobra & Son

In this early 90’s script, brutal cop Cobretti, finds out that he has a 12 year old son as the result of a one night stand with a stripper in his early days on the force. After the stripper is killed in bizarre ritual by a gang of neo-illuminati biker punks, Cobra is reluctantly awarded custody of the kid. After a difficult start, father and son develop a grudging bond, cemented by taking violent revenge against the gang leader. The project was abandoned when it transpired that Chuck Norris’ Sidekicks and Burt Reynolds’ Cop and a Half were also in production.

#7: Top Gun 2

Now an instructor at the famed Top Gun academy, ‘Maverick’ Pete Mitchell is a bitter alcoholic, driven to the drink by post-traumatic stress and the tension of living in denial of his true sexuality. Driven to distraction by brilliant, yet beguiling young pilot Jed ‘Turbo’ Longhorn, Maverick’s world is thrown into disarray when war breaks out with North Korea and he must team up with Longhorn to lead a crucial mission into unknown territory.

#8: 8ight

Worshipped as a living god by the followers of John Doe, the disturbed and twisted former detective David Mills publishes a new set of eight coded commandments intended to bring about the end of of society. Crippled by old age and confined to a wheelchair, Detective Somerset must help a rookie cop decipher Mill’s plan as chaotic and horrific acts of terrorism rip the city apart.

#9: Jeffrey Lebowski

Despite Maude Lebowski’s wishes, the Dude decided that he didn’t just want to be the anonymous sperm donor for their son. Following the events of the first film, the Dude gave up bowling, started running and used the money from the sale of his rug to fund a new brand of ready-mixed ‘Jeff’s White Russians’. On the eve of a crucial IPO for his company and a watershed moment in the court battle for access to his son, he is visited by the ghost of Donny. The apparition tells him that he must travel to Japan to save Walter from the clutches of a doomsday cult, The Starshine Collective, who have based their religion on a series of pulp novels written by the now re-incarcerated Jesus Quintana.

#10: Mr Pink’s Wild Ride

Uptight career criminal, Mr Pink, the only survivor of the diamond heist in Reservoir Dogs is the protagonist of this Tarantino script which runs a bloody thread through his alternate cinematic universe. After fencing a suitcase full of diamonds to associates of Marcellus Wallace, he heads south of the border. Rescued from certain death at The Titty Twister by Clarence and Alabama Worley, he joins their family on a chaotic search for the fabled resting place of Aldo ‘The Apache’ Raine and his priceless bowie knife.

 

*Yep Gladiator 2 Christ Killer is the real one, you can read the script here.

The 13 Most Eagerly Anticipated Films of 2015

Despite the fact that 99% of the films that will be heading to your local cinema will be franchise sequels, pointless re-boots or comic book spin-offs – 2015 looks like it will still have a whole bunch of interesting and alternative cinema to check out.

We recently locked our programming department in one of our less luxurious “guest rooms” and told them that they could only come out once they had identified the films that we should be most curious and interested in over the coming year.

After 48 hours of violent, sordid discussion a scrap of paper was pushed through the bars in the door – covered in at least 7 different bodily fluids and the names of the following 13 films. The LUC Anticipation-ometer has been reset and will be updated as we get to see each entry over the next 12 months. (NOTE: there are a few more at the end that didn’t quite make the main list)

Birdman

Release Date: Already Out

Anticipation Rating: 7/10

Michael Keaton plays a jaded actor putting on a difficult theatrical production, while plagued by visions of the superhero character he is famous for playing. All sounds very meta indeed. The added stylistic gimmick of being filmed one seemingly endless shot just makes it all the more enticing for the chin scratching, pretentious film bore in all of us. Trailer looks ace too. We’re off to see this imminently, so a judgement is not far away…

A Most Violent Year

Release Date: 23rd January

Anticipation Rating: 7/10

Director J.C. Chandor has made two of the most intense and focussed films of recent years in Margin Call and All Is Lost. His new film has been described as a kind of neo-Lumet thriller, which has to be a good thing.

Ex Machina

Release Date: 23rd January

Anticipation rating: 6/10

In film maths terms this looks like:

(Charlie & The Chocolate Factory x Blade Runner) / The video for All Is Full Of Love by Bjork

Alex Garland has been involved in a number of other notable sci-fi features before, so it will be really interesting to see what the result is when he is the person in charge.

Bitter Lake

Release Date: 25th January

Anticipation rating: 8/10

A new documentary from Adam Curtis, one of the most important, unique and fascinating filmmakers working today. This film about the failure of global politics and the impact that this had on Afghanistan is being released straight onto the BBC iPlayer on the 25th of January. Can’t wait.

There is more info and a trailer over on Adam Curtis’ blog.

Inherent Vice

Release Date: 30th January

Anticipation Rating: 9/10

As soon as the trailer for the new PT Anderson flick appeared it was always going to feature near the top of the LUC to-do list. An adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, this looks like an absolute blast. Like a seedier version of The Big Lebowski, with a noirish mystery plot and all manner of well-cast double -crossing.

World Of Tomorrow

Release Date: Being screened at Sundance in January, but no word on a wider release date.

Anticipation Rating: 10/10

Don’t know much about this new short from Don Hertzfeldt, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s Such A Beautiful Day is now firmly established as one of LUC’s favourite films of all time and if you missed his amazing Simpsons opening sequence you should watch it right now. Hopefully after it is screened at Sundance, we’ll find out how we can get to see World of tomorrow.

WOT5

The Lobster

Release Date: March in the US, no UK date yet

Anticipation Rating: 7/10

This was on our most anticipated lit last year, partially because it comes from the director behind Dogtooth, but mostly because of the premise:

“A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods.”

No trailer yet, but this photo has been released. Which doesn’t help much.

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Wild Tales

Release Date: 27th March 2015

Anticipation Rating: 5/10

If there’s one thing that everyone agrees on here in the bunker (apart from the general disdain for the compulsory morning exercises), it is that there should be more anthology films like Cat’s Eye, or err Four Rooms. Advance word about this Argentinian example of the form is very exciting and it looks suitably cool…

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Release Date: 24th April

Anticipation Rating: 5/10

In a stunning honest admission of our own shallow nature, this films inclusion is purely based on the following trailer. It may well turn out to be hard work, but just looks so good…

Mad Max Fury Road

Release Date: 15th May

Anticipation Rating: 4/10

In a year crammed with sequels and franchise movies, this stands out as the one that we are most excited about. Hopefully channelling the crazed action movie vibe of Mad Max 2 rather than the Tina Turner-ness of Beyond Thunderdome, Mad Max Fury Road has raised expectations with a ridiculously great trailer.

Rumours abound of actual, real life car chase action, rather than the CGI fest that will no doubt swamp many other releases. We’re prepared to be disappointed by the end result, but really, really hope that it turns out to be ace.

The Other Side Of The Wind

Release Date: May in the US, no other dates yet

Anticipation Rating: 7/10

Somehow after years of confusion and rights wrangling, this unfinished Orson Welles meta-narrative, found footage film has been completed by Peter Bogdanovich and is going to see the light of day.

Apparently starring John Huston as a kind of Welles analogue in a film within a film (probably within another film) – this sounds like it might be slightly like F for Fake, or possibly nothing like it at all.

None the less – sounds like essential viewing

Realite

Release Date: Not a clue

Anticipation Rating: 6/10

Although Wrong Cops wasn’t that great, a new flick from Quentin Dupieux is always going to be worth a go – try watching this clip and then acting like you aren’t interested…

Elstree 1976

Release Date: Late 2015

Anticipation Rating: 9/10

The Star Wars film coming out in 2015 that LUC is most eager to see isn’t the one directed by JJ Abrams. Elstree 1976 is a documentary from the people behind Anyone Can Play Guitar – featuring a whole bunch of actors who played characters obscured by masks or helmets in the first movie. Keep an eye on their twitter feed or facebook page for more info – but in the meantime here is the video from their successful kickstarter campaign.

 

Other Stuff to look out for…

John Hillcoat crime drama Triple Nine

Tarantino western The Hateful Eight

Keanu Reeves action flick John Wick

Intense jazz drumming psychodrama Whiplash

HR Giger documentary Dark Star

John Carpenter-esque sci-fi chase movie Midnight Special

Help Produce Our New Short Film ‘Agent Carling’

Just because things aren’t quite hectic enough in the Leamington Underground Cinema bunker at the moment – cheeky upstart film making wing, LUC Films are shooting an original short film entitled ‘Agent Carling’ at the start of September and want to give you the opportunity to back the film and get involved. It’s a bit like crowd-funding, except we only need a very small crowd.

Firstly, a quick description of the film:

“In the midst of a long term hunt for an evil kidnapper and serial killer, a lone agent is working the nightshift at headquarters. Suddenly a burst of radio activity breaks the calm of the early hours, it is the intrepid Agent Carling calling in. He has found the location of the hostages and against orders he’s heading in. We listen in as the situation rapidly spirals out of control…”

Agent Carling is a darkly comedic short (under 5 minutes) film which is being shot in Leamington Spa and featuring local talent. The film will shoot during the first week of September on a set that is currently being designed and built.

In order to make the film as good as it can be, we are looking for a bit of financial support to improve the set and fund the expenses for some of the talented people helping to make the film. This isn’t an investment opportunity, the intention is to make a cool short film for an extremely low budget and have some fun while doing it. If you have a few spare quid rattling around and this sounds like your sort of thing, there are a few ways that you can get involved.

1. Support Agent Carling for £15

For this you will get a rare and exclusive DVD of the film, featuring handmade artwork. You will also get a “thanks to” mention in the credits. This is open to ten contributors.

2. Be in Agent Carling for £25

Part of the set will feature pictures of victims and suspects – you (or you and your partner/family if you like) will be photographed to be one of these characters which will be clearly seen in the finished film. Plus you will get a “thanks to” mention in the credits and one of the rare and exclusive DVDs. NOTE: Please be aware that this film will most definitely not be suitable for kids. This is open to five contributors.

3. Executive produce Agent Carling for £100

If you fancy yourself as the cigar-chomping type, then you can be credited as the executive producer of the film for £100. This is only open to two contributors. Executive producers will get the appropriate title in the credits of the film and a copy of the script to keep. Plus you get to have your photo in the film and will receive the hand crafted exclusive DVD. We will also arrange a brief visit to the set to meet the cast and crew. You will be able to say “I produced a film once” while chatting people up or appearing on talk shows.

If you fancy any of these exciting opportunities please use the form below to let us know and we will be in touch. Alternatively send LUC a message on Facebook, or collar me in the street if you absolutely must.

Reminder! LUC Film Club This Sunday

film club 2Don’t forget to get yourselves down to Leamington Spa’s premier drinking, pool playing and soul food venue, The Clarendon, on Sunday evening for another Film Club night.

Our crack team of cult short film curators have scoured the far corners of the internet to find a selection of the finest, quirkiest and frankly most worrying stuff from around the web and beyond.

It will be a game of two halves, first part kicks off at 8, then part two begins at 9, so get down early , procure yourself a White Russian and grab a seat near the big screen at the top of the pub.

Oh, and lovers of cool film-based art will be able to pick up prints from the exclusive and enigmatic Art By Prescription at bargain Film Club prices.

Most Anticipated 2013 Films 10 of 10: The Purge

I’m a sucker for a cool sounding premise, which is why The Purge has taken the last spot in my most anticipated list, beating all of these, quite probably better and more interesting films:

Pacific Rim – Guillermo Del Toro’s big robots vs big monsters film feat. Stringer Bell

I’m So Excited – New Almodovar flick, a comedy about something going horribly wrong on a plane

Gravity – Sci Fi flick from Alfonso Cuaron allegedly containing forty minute long single shot scenes of Clooney floating around in space

Alan Partridge: The Movie – which speaks for itself

Elysium – Follow up to the excellent District 9 from Neill Blomkamp- again sounds like sci-fi with a political bent

Byzantium – Neil Jordan vampire flick, hopefully without loads of Emo staring and appaling music

The Double – Richard Ayoade’s follow up to Submarine, based on the Dostoyevsky tale of a man driven mad by the appearance of his doppelganger.

The intriguing premise which forms the basis of The Purge is this:

“the movie is set in an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons. Every year, the government sanctions a 12-hour period during which any and all criminal activity — including murder — is legal.”

To me, that is an idea that has loads of promise and could make for a really interesting genre film in any number of ways, it could also make for an appalling straight to video (or I should say straight to DVD/Blu-Ray/Netflix etc) attrocity with few redeeming features.

I’m hoping for the former, but probably expecting the latter, its a similar feeling to when you hear there is a new Morrissey album coming out.

The Purge stars Lena Headey and Ethan Hawke, is released in May and has an IMDB page right here.

Most Anticipated 2013 Films 9 of 10: Under The Skin

Here are 10 reasons why Under The Skin should be on everyone’s anticipated film radar this year:

1. It is an adaptation of a ‘darkly satiric’ novel about an alien corporate operative trapping humans for the purpose of making food out of them.

2. The Alien in question is played by Scarlett Johansson

3. Scarlett Johansson looks quite like a young Christopher Walken

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4. All films are made better by the inclusion of some hint of Walken – even Gigli

5. It is being made by director Jonathan Glazer

6. Jonathan Glazer is one of the most inventive advert and music video makers around

7. His feature debut was Sexy Beast

8. Sexy Beast was able to convincingly turn Ghandi into a shaven headed psycho who called everyone in sight a ‘Caahnnt’

9. Glazer also made the under-appreciated, stylish and properly creepy Birth

10. It is going to be set in remote parts of Scotland, which is exactly where all films about a ‘ruthless alien seductress’ should be set.

Under The Skin Movie