As we find ourselves entering the fourth month of the year and, therefore, almost a third of the way through 2017, there’s definitely one fact we can all agree on: time flies. For this month’s Trend Watch, this fact has never been more true. Arnold Schwarzenegger is turning 70 this year and is gracing us with his accomplished presence in an all new drama; Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are starring in Zach Braff’s third directorial feature; and British filmmakers are documenting the famous Hatton Garden heist that happened two years ago last Sunday. 

As a result, this month’s trend is one that finds us heading in the completely opposite direction to last month’s entry. Instead of throwing it back to the past, we’re respecting our elders and paying tribute to some of the more established actors and filmmakers in the midst.

The first picture in our senior sequence sees the return of Zach Braff as director, rather than dazed doctor J.D. that saw him rise to sit-com fame back in 2001. Bringing to life a screenplay written by Hidden Figures’ Theodore Melfi, Braff is presenting us with a story about three elderly friends who have set their sights on robbing a bank in order to help pay the bills and take care of their loved ones. With an all-star cast, including the likes of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Christopher Lloyd, Going in Style is scheduled for release on Friday 7th April, thus marking the beginning of old-timer domination that will no doubt endure the rest of the month as well.

In fact, the impressive combination of legendary actors is what, I believe, makes this film so appealing. Clearly we are familiar with Caine from his most notable roles in The Italian Job and the Dark Knight trilogy; Freeman from his extensive career including 90s classic The Shawshank Redemption; Arkin from his Oscar winning performance in Little Miss Sunshine; and Lloyd from the famously adored sci-fi trilogy Back to the Future, but the consolidation of them all promises to conjure up bromance-filled chemistry that is adorned with an air of seasoned skill.

Following similar themes to those explored in Going in Style, Britain’s answer to elderly bank robbers comes in the form of The Hatton Garden Job (released 14th April): a true story that depicts the events of Easter weekend 2015, when a group of four long-time criminals broke into a Hatton Garden security deposit centre and made off with thousands of pounds’ worth of jewels. Starring British gems Larry Lamb and Clive Russell as two of the aging crooks, the film promises an insight into the planning and undertaking of the robbery with a dramatised backstory that sees a man’s life on the line. Despite only being director Ronnie Thompson’s third feature, the trailer teases at a film that feels undeniably British and one that builds with steady momentum until the widely documented ending that deems our unlikely team of criminals more badass than one would initially imagine.

Speaking of directors, it appears that this month’s trend can also be extended behind the camera. Gaining recent attention for the La La Land/Moonlight Oscar Best Picture mishap, it would appear that Warren Beatty has only been getting bad press as of late, which has not been helped by the American reception of his latest film Rules Don’t Apply. The film tells the tale of an aspiring actress (Lily Collins) and her forbidden love affair with her driver (Alden Ehrenreich) that goes against the rules of notorious billionaire Howard Hughes (Beatty), for whom they both work.

Despite the mixed reviews following its release in America in November 2016, it is scheduled to be released in the UK on 21st April 2017, welcoming you to make up your own mind about this polarising flick. Nevertheless, it is certainly the case that at 80 years of age, Beatty is still putting us all to shame; simultaneously starring in, co-writing and directing the feature, Beatty has definitely been a busy guy, providing us with a peek into the world of 1950s Hollywood that is hard to pass up.

Lastly, king of action stars Arnold Schwarzenegger is celebrating his 70th birthday this year and what better way to do so than with a hard-hitting thriller about a man seeking vengeance on an air traffic control officer for the death of his wife and daughter. In true Arnie style, this film promises guns; but the trailer hints at a subdued tone more suited to the psychological thriller genre than the all-guns-blazing action films closely associated to the Schwarzenegger name. Nevertheless, Arnie is back in action after two years out of the game and he’s returning for revenge on 7th April in the Elliott Lester-directed picture that is unfortunately based on true events.

With all of these releases in mind, it’s hard to deny that Hollywood’s senior citizens are dominating the industry this month. With a whole lot of experience, charm and artistic talent, these older actors aren’t willing to hang up their hats just yet and, instead, seem to be busier than ever as they treat us to an abundance of movies to enjoy during April.

Evie Friar

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Media Courtesy of  LA Times

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