With so much grabbing for your attention and dollars these days, it’s easy to miss when the latest releases are heading to a cinema near you. So come back every week as we here at So, Is It Any Good? preview the new movies hitting screens.

This weekend one action movie for the literary crowd and one for the gamers, as the Maze Runner sequel and Pixels go head to head for the big bucks. In limited release, Jermaine Clements aims for your heartstrings as well as your funnybone in People, Places, Things.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

maze_runner_the_scorch_trials_xlgRating: M

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor & Patricia Clarkson

Synopsis: The hotly anticipated second instalment of the Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, hits cinemas these September school holidays. The maze was just the beginning. Now they’re out of the Maze, the Gladers are challenged with multiple landscapes that are even more dangerous, with new creatures and threats to overcome.

Our Verdict


Why you should be interested: The Maze Runner was released last year with little of the fanfare that accompanied titles like The Hunger Games or Divergent and managed to exceed expectations, delivering a taut, claustrophobic little action thriller that set up an intriguing world to explore in future instalments. The sequel seems to pick up exactly where the tease-y finale of the first film left off, with the “Gladers” being rescued from the frypan and brought straight into the fire of the “Scorch”. Bigger in scope, and it looks like in action as well, this could be the thrill ride to jump start your Spring.

Who should see it: Runners of all shapes and sizes


pixels_xlgRating: PG

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Brian Cox

Synopsis: When aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Jules Brenner, now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders to defeat the aliens and save the planet.


Why you should be interested: The short film on which this is based set the internet alight a couple of years ago, and I was always intrigued as to how this one was going to translate to a big screen narrative. Chris Colombus + Adam Sandler + Kevin James was not on my list. I used to be a Sandler fan, in the good ole days of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but his schtick has grown a bit tired as both he and I have aged, and so I’m not that psyched that he’s involved. The two saving graces for this film are Peter Dinklage, who looks to be having the time of his life, and the awesome visuals. It’ll be a kick to see Pac-Man and Donkey Kong descend on New York, but I won’t be rushing out to see this in theatres.

Who should see it: Old-school gamers and Sandler-philes

People, Places, Things

people_places_thingsRating: M 

Starring: Jemaine Clement, Jessica Williams, Regina Hall

Synopsis: Will’s perfect Brooklyn life is turned upside down when he discovers that his long-time girlfriend, and the mother of his children, is having an affair. A year later, Will is a single father trying to connect with his twin six-year-old daughters, while tentatively entering the dating scene. Along the way he must inspire his students and come to terms with himself as a father and as an artist.


Why you should be interested: What would seem to be a standard independent movie trope – divorced dad with kids has to learn to reconnect with them and move forward with his life – is instantly lifted by the presence of Flight Of The Conchords creator/star Jermaine Clement. What We Do In The Shadows took many comedy fans by surprise last year, and it seems that he’s set on travelling the indie route in his career for the foreseeable future. It’s also good to see Regina Hall, of Scary Movie fame, switching gears and trying something new. Clement is enough reason to check this out, but if you’re allergic to slightly twee indie romantic dramas, probably steer clear.

Who should see it: Love-struck indie lovers

So, what are you going to see this weekend? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what you’ve watched, and if it’s any good!