Greetings one and all! Welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix, our weekly trawl through all the cinematic releases out in Birmingham this week. Let’s have a ganders shall we!
Straight Outta Compton (15)
In the first of two films with music at their heart, Straight Outta Compton has been wowing critics and moviegoers alike Stateside, and is the story of legendary rappers NWA brought to the big screen.
Compton was one the most dangerous places in California, the perfect backdrop for eponymous rappers to develop their style. The film charts their meteoric rise and catastrophic fall!
Produced by Dr Dre and Ice Cube, there’s no doubting the power and impact that NWA had on making rap music what it was and still is today.
Like the rappers, this is a film which sounds fresh with attitude, ferocious and uncompromising.
The latest film from the Judd Apatow school is Trainwreck, written by and starring the excellent Amy Schumer alongside Bill Hader in a subversive retrograde comedy about succumbing to monogamy, something she’s been instilled is a bad thing.
For the first time is a while, this is allegedly an Apatow comedy which is hitting the right notes, mainly due to a razor-sharp comedic script from Schumer, and a level of detail, strong acting and smartness, missing from nearly all comedies that reach our shores.
Expect nastiness but expect gentleness and a large slice of pathos too!
Hitman: Agent 47 (15)
From what I remember of the original Hitman, which coincidentally didn’t set the screens alight, not even Olga Kurylenko’s spunky presence could add enough spice to see the film beyond the mediocre. So, to see a sequel is somewhat surprising!
The sequel treads a similar path in terms of its lead character, following the genetically modified killing machine on another action filled thriller, and teaming up with a woman (fancy that!) with mega powers, to hunt down a corporation that plans to unlock Agent 47’s past.
It sounds like a committee made plot line and no doubt that same committee was responsible for giving this film a remake.
In having a soulless killing machine as a lead character, you run the risk of reducing him to nothing more than a caricature with no identifiable personality. But, forget about all of that … it’s about the action and the product placement, isn’t it?
At the time of writing, this had a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which on the barometer of ‘bad’, certainly review wise, is pretty stormy.
We Are Your Friends (15)
This film follows a 20 something DJ called Cole plotting his breakthrough track and scheming with his childhood friends.
The film is attempting to blend melodrama with a pumping electronic music and LA nightlife backdrop, packed with what youthful folks consider to be moody and edgy!
Critics are largely unimpressed with this film and no doubt, much may depend on your tolerance for EDM. That said, Zac Ephron fans amongst you (anyone?) will no doubt rejoice in his latest cinematic foray!
Showing at the mac (Sunday 30th-Thursday 3rd), Naji Abu Nowar's highly acclaimed feature from Jordan is set in the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, and follows a young Bedouin boy in a coming of age drama as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.
The film has been praised for being a seductive classic adventure, with two excellent young leads and their affection for each other and the amazing Lean-esque scenery, shot by Wolfgang Thale.
Elsewhere, watch out for 30th anniversary showings of Back to the Future (15) showing at the Electric and various other places. Let’s face it, there’s no better place to introduce someone to one of the greatest films of the 80s than at the cinema. It appears the Electric is showing lots of classic films as part of its 90s Blockbuster season including Titanic 3D (12A), The Lion King (U) (tissues at the ready!) and The Matrix (15)
That’s it from me this week. As always, any queries or quibbles can be directed to me on twitter @Timmy666 Have a great week at the cinema!