Alan Dee’s guide to the new cinema releases

film still the odd life of timothy green april 2013
film still the odd life of timothy green april 2013

Without a standout blockbuster release this week, there’s a rash of second string features making their pitch for punters.

First up is a slice of spooky sci fi in which an everyday American suburban family – mum Keri Russell, dad Josh Hamilton, couple of kids – find themselves up against a disturbing alien presence.

As you do. It’s standard wobbly camera ‘what is this mystery prescence and why has it got it in for us?’ horror with an ET angle, and goes for a sinister slow burn rather than trying to scare the pants off the audience.

All Things To All Men joins the parade of Brit-based thrillers which have been passing in front of our eyes in recent months, and once again there are familiar faces to the fore in a well-worn tale of crims coming to grief.

Toby Stephens is the bad lad hired to pull off the ultimate sting and caught up in the conflict between cop Rufus Sewell and crime boss Gabriel Byrne.

It’s written and produced by George Isaac, who produced Kidulthood, and like the recent Welcome To The Punch makes the most of iconic London locations.

It sounds weird but The Odd Life Of Timothy Green is all about feelgood family fluffiness. Jennifer Garner and hubby Joel Edgerton are devastated when they find out they can’t have kids, but to try and draw a line under their disappointment they draw up a detailed description of the perfect child they will never have and bury it in the back garden.

Then one night after a freak storm a boy pops out of the earth.

Can they pass this unexpected arrival off as their adopted son? It’s a sweet, but not sickly, modern fairytale and youngster CJ Adams is impressive as the topsoil tot.

With school holidays in mind, here’s one for the teen girls at a loose end. Squeaky clean telly stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens try to shrug off their family-friendly image Spring Breakers. They’re part of a cute crew desperate to get away to enjoy the traditional American student high jinks we’ve become so familiar with, and prepared to rob a fast-food joint to fund the trip.

That’s the trigger for a whole load of trouble, and soon they are being shown the seamier side of life by drug dealer James Franco.

It’s billed as a guilty pleasure, but there’s no disguising the fact that it’s a cynical cash-in that nobody involved will be looking back on with any affection.