Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (12A)
Here we go for number five in the predominantly dependable franchise, and once again we get to see the giant Tom Cruise adorn billboards, buses and bus shelters and even a Sky Channel at the moment. Goes to show that action can speak loudly, even for Cruise, who continues to do many of his own stunts and fly heavy on the action well into his 50s.
Christopher McQuarrie steps up into the high-profile director’s chair, following Abrams and Bird with the knowing, slick and popcorn heavy treatment and with a case of familiar accomplices, Pegg, Renner et al going through set piece after set piece where many things go wrong as well as right!
Cruise is dependable as Hunt - it’s probably his most comfortable role and everything seems a shoe-in for box office success. I enjoyed the previous two outings and there’s little to suggest that this will be any different.
Beyond The Reach (12A)
Michael Douglas stars as a high-rolling corporate shark who with his impoverished young guide plays the most dangerous game during a hunting trip in the Mojave desert.
Great to see Douglas getting a wide variety of roles since his renaissance post Liberace, this time playing a ‘scumbag’ of the highest order. Herein lies the film’s biggest draw as the critical acclaim is somewhat mixed. Sadly plot, pacing and characterisation have all been brought in for some criticism.
That said, there might be enough guilty pleasure in Douglas’s performance alone!
Hot Pursuit (12A)
If ever a film looks like a comedy by numbers, it’s this one especially with two leads who perhaps should know better. Reese Witherspoon plays a cop send out to protect the widow (Sofia Vergara) of a drug boss as they end up racing through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.
Witherspoon and Vergara are two very adept comedic actors who are more than capable at delivering the right tone and comedy. The film is clearly running a knowing streak through all the films it is referencing and often sending up in what it believes to be a funny manner.
Sadly, a comedy has to be funny and, despite the leads, this is one thing that critics have said (apart from a few) it isn’t!
Showing at the Electric, Eden is set in 1990s club culture and is a sensitive, low-key look at aging and the price of pursuing one's dreams.
This is a slice of art house fare that was made for the Electric Cinema - lots of talking, wistfulness and a particular perception of a time and based on the personal true story of director Hansen-Løve's brother Sven. Of course at the heart of the film is a particularly well-chosen set of songs, including the likes of Daft Punk.
It has been widely praised so far and is a reminder of the draw of European (and French) arthouse cinema and that it can’t be done like this anywhere else.
The Salt of the Earth (PG) (mac - 3rd-6th August)
The mac are showing this glorious looking and well received documentary, a moving portrayal of the photographer Sebastião Salgado, who for the past 40 years have borne witness to, and shot, some of the most moving and dark moments in our recent history
Jointly directed by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and the legendary Wim Wenders, the Oscar nominated documentary serves as a poignant and moving reminder of the power of photography but also how the photographer’s own belief in empathy and understanding play such a crucial role in influencing the view.
Back to the Future Part II (PG) (mac - 1st August)
Finally, here’s one to take your kids to who have yet to experience the majesty of the Back to the Future franchise. The mac’s outdoor cinema season continues in their lovely amphitheatre!
That’s it from me this week. As always, if you have any comments or queries, please don’t let to let me on twitter at @timmy666. Until then, have a most wonderful week at the movies. More next week!