This week’s movie releases

Spike Lee remakes South Korean classic Oldboy Jaume Collet-Serra presents Spain-made English-language thriller Mindscape

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Boxed in: Josh Brolin in Spike Lee's Oldboy.
Boxed in: Josh Brolin in Spike Lee's Oldboy.

Spike Lee remakes 10-year-old Korean classic Oldboy, director Park Chan-wook’s tale of unexplained imprisonment, bloody revenge and devouring live octopuses. This time round the octopus escapes, but lead character Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is submitted to the same kidnapping and long-term confinement ordeal as his Korean counterpart. Shut away in a small room for no apparent reason, he finds himself just as inexplicably released 20 years later and begins his vengeful quest to find his imprisoners. With Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Imperioli.

A modern-day update of Henry James’s 1897 novel, What Maisie Knew stars Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan as a divorcing trendy New York couple — she’s a rock star, he’s an art dealer — trying to restart their lives with new partners and irresponsibly tossing their young daughter (played by newcomer Onata Aprile) back and forth between them.

One of two Hercules movies scheduled for this year — the other is Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — The Legend of Hercules features The Twilight Saga’s Kellan Lutz as the Greek demigod laboring to regain the kingdom he lost to his treacherous stepfather. Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) directs.

US-Spanish psychological thriller Mindscape marks the debut of director Jorge Dorado and stars Mark Strong as a detective who can enter other people’s memories trying to determine if a troubled teen is a sociopath or a trauma victim. Produced by Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra’s Ombra Films, set up to make English-language movies with Spanish talent, it also features Taissa Farmiga, Noah Taylor, Alberto Ammann and Brian Cox.

Another Spanish production, this time actually in Spanish, Presentimientos is a romantic thriller directed by Santiago Tabernero. Marta Etura plays a woman desperately trying to relocate husband Eduardo Noriega after she storms out on him during a vacation and mysteriously gets her purse, papers and phone stolen.

Once Moor

Reviving the spirit of Orson Welles’ 1978 documentary Filming Othello, Otel.lo is a Catalan essay film in which director Hammudi Al-Rahmoun Font examines his experience of wringing the best out of his actors in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Moor of Venice tragedy.

Lastly, after the release of part one last month, we have the second installment of Lars von Trier’s controversy-stirring Nymphomaniac as self-confessed sex addict Charlotte Gainsbourg continues to narrate her explicit adventures to the man who rescued her from a beating (Stellan Skarsgård).

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