Brief synopsis: a principled man volunteers to go into a featureless, multi-levelled prison to earn a diploma. His humanity is tested, as the level one is on determines how much food you get. Is it any good?: Yes. A psychological horror, The Platform - El Hoyo (The Hole - original Spanish title) - is a powerful story about humanity and its base instincts.
Brief synopsis: In the remote Spanish village of Upper Fuertejuela, four black dancers find themselves caught up in the politics of an ageing town trying to avoid annexation. They are taken in by one of the villagers who has designs on becoming the new mayor by opposing the current mayor, her ex-husband. Is it any good?: A film that seems slightly out of its time, having been made in 2019, A Remarkable Tale is a Spanish race farce almost in the style of the old British Carry On films. Utilising many of the stereotypical tropes, fish-out-of-water moments, as well as some mildly racist scenes. Looking past the casual racism, A Remarkable Tale is an amusing comedy farce.
Brief synopsis: A son becomes estranged from his father when he decides to follow his dream of becoming a sommelier. When he takes a trip of a lifetime to study the craft in France, things after complicated further by his mother becoming gravely ill and financial difficulties. Is it any good?: Uncorked is a film with heart that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt disappointment from their family. With wonderfully understated performances from the whole cast and particularly strong central performances from Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash and Mamoudou Athie, Uncorked is an enjoyable family film.
Brief synopsis: Four teenage girls decide to go and explore an ancient, submerged underwater, Mexican city. When one of the girls gets frightened by a fish, she knocks over a column the girls get separated. Found by a diver known by girls, they are about to leave the water when they find out there is a shark down with them. As they try to escape, their exit becomes blocked. The girls must now find another way out.
Brief synopsis: A professor of ethics family is killed when they stray into the wrong part of town and witness a drug lord murder someone and get killed for witnessing it. After getting imprisoned for trying to exact revenge, the professor is recruited by his lawyer, who is also a secret vigilante, to join his crew of outside-the-law warriors. Is it any good?: No. Nope. Nah. Not at all. This film is next level terrible. The script is woeful, the acting is terrible, the directing is terrible, the…you get my drift. Just bad.
Brief synopsis: When a teacher takes an ancient manuscript home to study over the weekend, her daughters get interested in it and unleash an ancient spirit that ends up possessing one of them. Is it any good?: No. It is terrible. Mercifully it is short. Nonetheless, it is terrible. It starts promisingly but quickly descends into farce and nonsense. With an incomprehensible story and no central premise, Mark of the Devil or La Marca del Demonio, to give it its original Mexican title, is utter garbage.
Brief synopsis: In a future where a person's consciousness and personality can be transferred to a new body - a sleeve - their life is housed in a small disc that is implanted into the spine at the neck called a stack. Takeshi Kovac (Ray Chase), the last envoy - an exceptional soldier with empathic abilities -, is re-sleeved in order to use his particular skillset to protect a young Yakuza tattooist, Holly (Brittany Cox) from a dangerous cabal of red-clad ninja assassins. He is also tasked with finding the killer of the Mizimoto clan’s leader.
Brief synopsis: When Ana (Cassandra Ciangherotti) gets dumped by Gabriel (Pablo Cruz) she is heartbroken. Six months later, she finds out he is getting married. Bemoaning her lot, she takes the advice of a friend and goes on a course that is designed to help women get a husband. Is it any good?: Ready to Mingle or Solteras - the original Mexican title - is an amusing comedy. With a brilliant central performance by Cassandra Ciangherotti as the self-centred and marriage hungry Ana, Solteras rattles swiftly through its ninety-five-minute runtime.
Brief synopsis: When Marina (Daniella Pineda) is reluctantly discharged from a psychiatric hospital after fifteens years, she goes to stay with her sister, Alice (Elle LaMont) and her family; partner, Will (Austin Amelio) and young son, Bryce (Miles Emmons). Along with another girl, Rebecca (Sophianna Smith - young version), Marina (Jamy Lentz - young version) was convicted of a heinous crime, the assault of a young girl, Lilly (Elke Boucher-Depew - young version). Now grown up, Marina has horrible nightmares about the night of the crime and is haunted by visions.