Cloverfield posterAfter a few weeks off listing new releases I’m returning to record a typically eccentric mix of blockbuster and art-house for you to while away those long, balmy summer evenings.

First up is Oscar-winner Ang Lee’s first film since Brokeback Mountain, an erotic espionage thriller set in wartime Shanghai. Already nominated in last week’s Golden Globes Lust, Caution is a Paramount exclusive.

New York gets yet another terrible pounding in Cloverfield, as a monster of some description rips the head off the Statue of Liberty among other atrocities. The catch here is that the entire tale is told by “ordinary people” with their camcorders, a little like Blair Witch a few years ago. It’s produced by J. J. Abrams (“Lost”) and directed by another t.v. alumni Matt Reeves (best known thus far as creator of “Felicity”). At Readings Courtenay Central and Sky City Queensgate.

Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have been up nights devising yet more sadistic tortures for deserving and undeserving suckers and have come up with Saw IV. Jigsaw carked it at the end of Saw III but that doesn‘t appear to slow things down at all. You’ll find it at Readings, Sky City Queensgate and Regent-on-Manners: look for the teenage boys trying to sneak in on borrowed ID’s.

Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen crosses over to the side of the angels in Susanne Bier’s acclaimed After the Wedding (Paramount and Penthouse). He plays Jacob, an aid worker who returns to Denmark on a fund-raising mission but instead discovers a life-changing family secret. After the Wedding was nominated for an Oscar last year in the Best Foreign Language Flick category. Finally, a geriatric romance is on offer in Elsa and Fred, from Spain. Described by one critic as “simultaneously heartbreaking and heartening” this one seems tailor-made for the Penthouse.

Readings, in their wisdom, have decided not to offer the Capital Times any reviewer’s passes in 2008 which makes writing about their films very close to being more trouble than it’s worth. So, Cloverfield and Saw IV may not be reviewed there (and thus also at Funerals & Snakes) next Wednesday but the others will.