Mountains, Mars and Grandmasters in this week's Stuff Movies

Sexy spies in Man from U.N.C.L.E and nuclear survivors in Z for Zachariah are the big openings this week


Man from U.N.C.L.E.

This week sees the opening of the latest film by former Mrs Madonna, Guy Ritchie as he helps revive the popular US Spy series from the 1960s,  Man From U.N.C.L.E. As you can see from the trailer he’s gone heavy on the 60s-style in this tale of top American spy (Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo) and leading Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) forced to work together at the height of the Cold War to stop a mysterious international criminal organization. It’s been pretty well-received state side, though don’t expect too much subtlety. Instead you can get ready for an action thriller that’s a little light on storyline but big on glamour and guns with some pretty neat action sequences thrown in for good measure.  

Z from Zachariah

Definitely offering something a little bit more cerebral, this film adaptation of a dystopian science-fiction novel by Robert C. O'Brien is also out this week. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman (Margot Robbie) finds herself stranded in a valley with only an erratic scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) for company. Things are further complicated with the arrival of a handsome stranger, played by Chris ‘Captain Kirk’ Pine and the three find themselves forced to set up an uneasy bond just to survive. Definitely a film featuring lots of simmering emotions and sexual tension, though the slow pace and lack of action might not be everyone’s cup of tea.  


The Martian

Ridley Scott’s science fiction flick about an astronaut (Matt Damon) left stranded on the planet Mars after a mission goes awry, continues to get us excited ahead of its 1 October release. Dubbed ‘Castaway in Space’ here at the Stuff office, we’ve already been treated to plenty of sneak peeks relating to the films main plot line but this new trailer takes us in a different direction. Shot as science documentary it features real-life American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson introducing the Ares mission to Mars and describing the many perils facing Damon and his fellow astronauts from cosmic radiation to dust storms. Surely it can’t end well, can it? 


Another tale of man’s desire to push himself to the very limits comes in the form of Everest which made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival this week. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and Keira Knightley, it’s the real-life tale of two climbing expeditions to the world’s highest mountain that go horribly wrong when they are hit by a serious snow storm. Expect lots of beards and men getting in touch with their emotions as they deal with the dramatic and deadly events. It’s been picking up a pretty good buzz already for offering a new take on disaster movies. If nothing else it should look pretty spectacular on the big screen when it lands in Singapore cinemas on 24 September.

Pawn Sacrifice

Don't be confused by the title, this isn't a film about a type of sexual abstinence, instead it's all about chess during the Cold War. Clearly this period of history is pretty hot in Hollywood right now, what with the Men From U.N.C.L.E. and the upcoming Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks also being set during this low point for American-Russian relations. This time though we’re not talking spies but real life Chess Grandmasters as Tobey Maguire plays the troubled American chess champion Bobby Fischer who decides to take on the best of Russia, in the form of Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) in a contest that grips the world and threatens to push Fischer over the edge. Out on 1 October.