Kingsman: The Secret Service (15)
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn, this film enters the warped world of a super-secret spy organisation that recruits a street kid into an agent as a new global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Oozing implausible fun, this film is undoubtedly reverential to Bond but with the writer/director team from Kick Asus, take all conventions with a hefty pinch of salt, in fact let's say rock salt, as it may look lovely on the surface but boy, it can really sting!
Much rumoured as a potential Bond director himself over the years, especially as he has worked with Daniel Craig in Layer Cake, Vaughn has an affection for the escapist and absurd elements that 'made' the Connery/Moore era. With a bespectacled Colin Firth and Michael Caine in the cast, the film also shows more than subtle nod also to the world of Harry Palmer too.
Bottom line, expect a complete antithesis to the current spy worlds of Bond and Bourne - and something which deliberately plays for silliness and shock value!
Big Hero 6 (3D) (PG)
This amiable looking comedy-adventure from Disney tells the story of a robotics prodigy called Hiro Hamada and his rapport with a inflatable sidekick robot called Baymax. Both team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
This film has much to look forward to - first, Disney is playing homage to Japanese animation with its 'anime' stylings. No doubt many of the animators at Disney have grown up in awe and admiration of 'anime' and it's great to see these worlds entwine.
Just from the trailer, the film looks spritely and also touching and making the most of those typical animated robot/human relationships which are often far 'more' touching and 'human' than most things you see between actual human characters at the cinema. It also looks like the robot Baymax will steal the show - isn't that partly the point though?
Either way, another film where the word 'fun' applies!
Inherent Vice (15)
The new film from Paul Thomas Anderson. The previous line alone has often been enough to set anticipation levels very high in a large swathe of the film geek world. In his seventh film, Inherent Vice, he adapts a novel by Thomas Pynchon, an author who has not been adapted to the big screen previously.
Set in the psychedelic 60s, the film follows a suitably complex and psychedelic line itself. When a private eye's ex turns up, spouting off about a kidnap plot, it starts a unique, weaving set of circumstances.
Paul Thomas Anderson has a thematically rich style - he's a master of tackling the ambitious! Adapting a Pynchon novel is ambitious enough after - and this has been one of the challenges of getting into this film. As a result, for once, he has had a more critical reaction than usual.
Knowing how in control PTA usually is, the complexity and incoherence of what is going on, this is deliberate! One critic has positively described it as an "anti-thriller", another a compete mess that's nonetheless intriguing, another the film of the year (even though the plot makes no sense to that same reviewer).
This is not mainstream stuff despite a mainstream release and it seems that PT Anderson fans will have enough to latch onto. It's the cinematic equivalent of being off your head!
Son Of A Gun (15)
This Australian thriller stars Ewan MacGregor as one of Australia's most wanted enemies. He brings a young prisoner under his wing as an apprentice. They escape and go on the run and form a complex co-dependent relationship. All of which comes at a high price, as is customary!
Scottish prisoners in Australian prisons are always gonna be tough (aren't they?) even if everyone around MacGregor is twice as big and bulked up! It doesn't sound like a film particularly breaking new ground but MacGregor is nearly always an engaging presence and this looks like a very effective thriller from debut writer/director Julius Avery.
It's also the third film in as many weeks with the excellent Alicia Vikander in! In demand or what?
Elsewhere this week, The Great Museum (PG) (showing next Wednesday and Thursday at the mac) is a fascinating looking documentary portraying the refurbishment and reopening one of the most important museums in the world, Vienna’s Museum of Art History. For those interested in museums and how they work, this is a unique behind the scenes insight looking at an institution, the protagonists and the museum’s special world. It'll probably make you want to go to Vienna just to see the museum! (that's a hint to this blog's editor!).
That's it from me this week. As is always the way, if you have any queries, quibbles or questions, I'm available on twitter @timmy666.
Have yourselves a brilliant time at the cinema, and see you next week.