Let's snap to it shall we... !!!
Godzilla (3D) (12A)
If there was any director out there who was 'the' appropriate choice for Godzilla, I'd definitely put Gareth Edwards towards the top of this list.
His innovative low-budget 2010 film Monsters pushed the envelope in terms of what was possible FX wise with his fantastic use of 'suggestion', mixing great visual cues with chilling sound effects, providing for a unique and gripping cinematic experience.
With Godzilla, Edwards launches into the big time and many of the characteristics of his previous film continue in this mass budget spectacle - a slow build with masses of suggestion leading to the monster's ultimate reveal. As with Monsters, there's more than a nod to the use of tension that Spielberg has employed in many of his classic films.
I don't think that there's been a truly classic Hollywod adaptation of Godzilla, as is typified by Emmerich and Devlin's late 90s interpretation, which fell massively short of the mark. Edwards' interpretation goes back to the inspiration of the 1950s Toho Godzilla movies - a properly angry radioactive beast.
I'm not bothered if this doesn't hit 'classic' mode. Film geeks will be queueing in their droves to see this film for its ode to great monster cinema of the past and to see Edwards' massive talent on the big screen.
Adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel, the film tells the story of an American couple (Mortensen and Dunst) who flee to Greece in an attempt to avoid the angry victims of Chester (played by Mortensen) and his dodgy brokerage scams. When a debt collector tracks them down, Chester accidentally kills the man. They enlist the aid of an American student played by Oscar Isaac who has been supporting himself by ripping off tourists, and the couple attempt to flee the country.
With its period detail, high-end casting and pedigree of scriptwriter/director (Amini), there are going to be comparisons to Hitchcock (who brought the classic Strangers on a Train to the big screen) and to previous adaptations of the Ripley films.
Equally, here's hoping the film has a healthy dose of darkness to allow the leads to shine.
I'm a firm believer than any film with Viggo Mortensen in is usually worth a watch!
This film made great strides during the festival season last year, in particular at Sundance. Concussion has a familiar setup - a married couple start taking each other for granted. One person strays, seeking sexual thrills. And events unfold accordingly.
Once difference here is that this is about a lesbian couple but much of the praise for Stacie Passon's debut feature has been due to Robin Weigert's complex performance. Irrespective of who the couple are, the film looks like an intelligent story of monogamy and the trappings of wealth and how the outside world becomes more and more appealing. It's great to see a small indie film, such as this, not only getting critical success but actually being shown in UK multiplexes too.
A Touch of Sin (15)
Showing at the mac from Friday through Monday, this is a film telling four separate stories about random acts of violence in China. This is the latest film from Jia Zhangke, one of China's most important directors of the past decade, critics have played on the fact that the film focusses not on the act of violence itself, but rather on the point when someone becomes violent. It is an introspective look at Chinese society and the social conditions that compel people to kill, and given it is based on true stories, the film portrays such conditions as very close to reality.
That's it from me for this week. Supposedly out on limited release, if anyone spots a local showing of the 2012 documentary Don't Stop Believin: Everyman's Journey (15), please let me know - it'll keep my geeky AOR driven soul satisfied! :)
Till next week, let's hope the movie never ends, as it goes on and on and on and on!