Yep, it's that time of the week to put down your work, shut off your phone (yes, you do, don't you!) and melt into the magic of movies! Let's see what's out there this week ….
Drop, The (15)
Set amongst the Brooklyn underworld full of "money drops" used to funnel cash to local gangsters, bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) finds himself entwined in an investigation and under the scrutiny of his employer and his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini).
With a class A cast and smartly written script by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), this looks like taking other similarly themed thrillers to another level.
Frankly though, if Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini were both acting in a 'lesser movie', you know their presence alone makes this film compulsive viewing. Indeed, go if only to see Gandolfini do his thing for the last.
A well-crafted thriller to invest your time in.
The other noteworthy film this week is the story of Alan Turing (expertly played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and how he helped crack the Enigma code during World War II. This film fits in a category known as "prestige biopic" and fits many of those conventions.
It's a careful telling of Turing's story with the need for pace or bite. It's the follow up for Morten Tyldum famous for directing Headhunters and it looks like he does a cracking job to book.
What the film doesn't riff on is Turing's private life, sex life and consequence chemical castration.
I was quite fond of the original Nativity and it can be seen as a 'big buds' franchise but equally with the film's title comes a considerable lack of expectation. Continuity is kept though from the pupils of St. Bernadette's right through to writer/director, Coventry's very own Debbie Isitt. It is, in all essence, a slightly bizarre panto come to life on the big screen but will it have the fun factor?
Third Person (15)
Writer/director Paul Haggis returns to his tried and tested multi-stories format for Third Person involving star-studied interlocking love stories involving three couples in three cities: Rome, Paris, and New York. The film follows three couples who appear to have nothing related but share deep commonalities: lovers and estranged spouses, children lost and found.
The premise might seem worthy but when a director like Haggis says a film is flawed, you have to immediate wonder if it pays off and critics have equally not been kind to it.
Elsewhere this week….
At The Electric, there's a chance to see Between Dog & Wolf on Tuesday, a documentary following legendary underground band The New Model Army with a chance to participate in a Q&A with NMA member. As part of the mac's A-rated Swedish Season, there's a chance to catch For You Naked, a love story between two men from entirely different backgrounds for whom the old cliché of love moving mountains acquires absolute currency.
That's it from me this week. I hope you agree that it's a pretty eclectic bunch of movie choices this week and whatever you go to see, have a fantastic time!
Any queries, quibbles or comments, you will find me on twitter - @timmy666.
Have a great time at the cinema and join me for more At The Flix next week