Welcome to the weekly dose of cinematic medicine known as At The Flix. It's a fairly quiet week but in true keeping, a number of this week's batch provide a welcome elixir from our 'regular' (whatever that means) lives. So without further ado….
Gone Girl (18)
David Fincher brings Gillian Flynn's novel and screenplay to the big screen. The film focusses on Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck whose wife's (played by Rosamund Pike) disappearance becomes the focus of an intense media circus, and the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent. It's an intriguing setup with layers, twists and turns and bringing powerful performances from its leads.
Fincher is a master of the mainstream thriller - think Seven Zodiac or The Game - no one film the same, none driven by convention in the strictest sense, but each having a drive and authenticity, a heightened sense of darkened wit, plus a visual sheen to everything he does. The man makes grownup entertainment to care about.
I hope Gone Girl lives up to the hype!
Dracula Untold (15)
The trailer for Dracula Untold makes this big budget blockbuster feel somewhat familiar - an origins story (check), swords and sorcery (check), hints of comic-book style superhero-movie folklore (check), loosely based on an iconic novel (check).
The issue is in trying to tick boxes, it has to do so in an exciting and convincing and sadly the problem is for all of the publicity for this film, it doesn't feel that interesting.
That said, Luke Evans is an charismatic performer who will know doubt throw himself at action roles with conviction and yet I suspect it'll be a cast doing their best in spite of the material they have to play with.
A 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes doesn't lie though.
Dolphin Tale 2 (U)
The film follows up the brave dolphin Winter who become something of a symbolic character, with the story of her prosthetic tail. I must admit I never saw the original Dolphin Tale but clearly it was enough of a hit for it to warrant a follow up. It's an ecological tale for the family filled with animal antics, sweet old-fashioned drama and Morgan Freeman doing that Morgan Freeman thing.
It looks like gentle enjoyable fare!
Getting limited release at the mac, Hide Your Smiling Faces (15) this is a highly-stylised tale of American life, following two young brothers after a neighbourhood tragedy -- nine-year-old Tommy (Ryan Jones) and 14-year-old Eric (Nathan Varnson) -- the story deals with changing relationships, the mystery of nature, and their own mortality. More importantly, it's an assured, steady and art-house portrait of adolescence over one hot, hazy summer.
That's it from me! As always, any quibbles, queries or questions, please track me down @timmy666 on Twitter.
Until next week, may the cinematic force be with you.