At The Flix with @timmy666

Happy New Year to all of you. Despite being a quiet week, one thing that never changes as a new year is upon us is a new batch of cinematic choices for you all. This week's selection brings biopic, horror, comedy in equal measure. Let's take a sneaky preview.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (12A)

It is quite amazing and almost prophetic that the world premiere for this film happened that Mandela passed away. His passing impacted the world like few other political leaders could. The nature of his legacy makes this film a must see in its own right. Already seen in many advanced previews before Christmas, there's no doubting the power of the story and the impact of Mandela himself. For me, it will be in how the story is told and the performances, in particular of Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. This film has already seen a unique 10/10 from Rickie (something she never does) if that is reflective of the film's importance, then here lies another of 2014's Oscar contenders.

American Hustle (15)

Finally out in Brum, this is the new film from the excellent David O'Russell combining talents from his recent films and looking like an entertaining film focussing on late 70s untrustworthy crooks and corrupt politicians - although with a twist, as Russell's character aren't atypical bad people. The cast is A-list central with Messrs BaleCooperAdams and Lawrence. Oscar winners aplenty. I hope it will be fizzing with sharp dialogue, wit and lots of great music and tonnes of 70s referencing. Crucially, the film looks like a lot of fun and not serious - which I hope is carried through.

Paranormal Activity - The Marked Ones (15)

Jumping out of the block, and maybe quite literally is this... The first Paranormal Activity film was moderately entertaining and set a good bar for suggestive horror. Unfortunately, it has been a case of diminishing returns since then, as well as a whole swathe of imitations where the same horror tricks have been used time and time again.

I'm a fan of horror where the scare is based on implication. Nonetheless the only marked ones that the title of the latest film in the PA franchise suggests are that of the few people who'll go and watch it. I might be wrong, but I don't see the appetite in another PA film. My argument would be, instead of 'same old, only not as good' why not make your own Paranormal Activity film yourself. It might be more entertaining?

Last Vegas (15)

It's Douglas, DeNiro, Freeman, Kline - four sixty-something guys (adorning every bus in Birmingham at the moment) go to Vegas, revive their boyhood friendship and go party to celebrate one of them getting engaged … and to much comedic impact … well, that's the general idea anyway.

There's no doubting the acting chops here. Will it be funny? I'm not so sure, not only because it is another comedy from De Niro (to add to another in his long line of misfiring comedies) but also because the trailer pretty much says what the film is like to be … a version of The Hangover or Grown Ups for older folks, albeit folks with some big casting.  It's the casting that's the draw though and I hope my low expectations are proven wrong.

That's it from me. As always, please let me know your views on twitter @timmy666 and here's to wishing you many joyful experiences at the cinema in 2014.

A Very Merry Year to you all...