Howdee film goers! What's happening? So, whilst I suspect this week is predominantly going to be about one film, I mustn't also ignore the other offerings out there, including elderly action from Arnie and Sly, a new Dreamworks animation and a comedy starring the late James Gandolfini.
Ok I'm biased and I suspect that many of you will be too. Throughout my 20s, Paul Greengrass lit the touch paper on action thriller conventions, with the Bourne Franchise rewriting so many rules, and arguably being as responsible for the Craig Bond-era as anything, and with the highly impacting United 93, which was up there in the most tense cinematic experiences that I have ever had.
He has a way with the camera of getting to the heart and soul of storytelling which is truly unique, much copied and seldom bettered by a whole raft of other action or thriller directors. He understands actors and he also understands telling stories from all sides which is why he can cast Tom Hanks alongside unknown Somali's actually in the roles and engender understanding and empathy. He's an actors director!
With Hanks performance also winning a whole swathe of superlatives by critics in previews, I cannot wait to see this.
Enough Said (12A) This comedy deals with impending empty nest syndrome by which a divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband. Director Nicole Holofcener's previous few films including Please Give, are proper grown-up, almost staged affairs, dealing with layering complex characters with subtle strong dialogue, references and lots of 'acting', if you were.
Furthermore, with such a great cast including Julia-Louis Dreyfuss (currently wowing with TV series Veep), the late James Gandolfini in one of his final films, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette. On paper, definitely worth a watch.
Turbo (3D) (U) Here's the latest Dreamworks animation from the makers of Madagascar and Kung-Fu Panda. I liked the former far more than the latter so I'm hoping this film (the story of a snail who as a result of a freak accident, pursues his dream to take part in the Indy 500) is in the A-League of Dreamworks films.
I'm not one of those Pixar fanboys who belittles the Dreamworks efforts because even they have produced sub-standard affairs over the past few years as we all know.
So yes, it is on the surface, a typical underdog (under 'snail') story making his dream come true. Let's the hope it can reciprocate some of the charms of great Dreamworks and Pixar flicks of recent years …. not totally holding out hope though.
….. Oh and it's in 3D to ensure you pay extra! :)
Escape Plan (12A) "Everyone can change", Rocky once said! So to see Sly not changing is, possibly, reassuring. Remember the time when Stallone and Schwarzenegger were bigger than the film titles on the billboards… well, that's the case again with Escape Plan, or at least the intention.
If there's one good thing about the Expendables films, despite their many faults, it is the ability to see 80s action stars coming out to rock once more with hilarious action scenes and cringe inducing dialogue. With most of them pushing, if not already over, 60 to 70 years old, it pushes the boundaries of decency …. and the hope is, at least, that the films are watchable.
Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom has a bunch of mixed action pedigree in his filmography (basically so, so and so, bad!) but I hope he knows to let old codgers Sly and Arnie have fun and that beneath the evident preposterousness of it all, we can have fun too.
My concern is that prison break dramas are two-a-penny, and when Nuts and Zoo are the predominant four star references in the TV spot, you do have to worry a bit! Saying that 7.5 on imdb at the time of writing so who knows?
What's your favourite prison break action flick? Shawshank is not allowed because it is not an action flick!
Signing off …. Pip Pip!