Greetings one and all and welcome to this week’s At The Flix, our weekly glance at the cinematic releases hitting screens across Brum. Here’s what’s coming ….
The Martian (12A)
Matt Damon is clearly pigeonholing himself as the stranded astronaut - following Interstellar, it’s clear that he has a taste of being an astronaut and married with Ridley Scott in the directing chair here’s an exciting science-based drama, taken from Andy Weir's bestselling novel. Astronaut. Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. Watney survives and finds himself stranded and alone, and only with meager supplies. Therein this setup builds the basis of three stories - one of Watney’s survival and mission to contact Earth, another of NASA and their team of scientists to bring him home, and thirdly the world’s unity in rooting for his return.
I am very excited for this film as it is a marriage of two smart and knowing masters of cinema! Damon has the ideal charm for such a role and Ridley Scott has some substantive source material to exercise his considerable sci-fi chops. Both also know how to get the balance between intelligent and crowd pleasing. The very positive reviews have borne (not Bourne!) this out!
Is this a big screen Shakespeare adaptation which I see before me? Well, if any of the Shakespeares were made for the big screen, Macbeth is up there! With heavyweight acting talents Fassbender and Cotillard in the two main roles, not to mention a star-studded support cast, this looks like a real treat, especially with Justin Kurzel’s highly stylised and dark direction! Tones of scarlet and black clearly dominate the rough and bleak landscape! I’ve always seen Macbeth as an intentionally cruel and savage play and this looks to set that tenor with some determination. I am very excited to see how the mood and tone is set and how the leads play out their tragic roles!
The Intern (12A)
There’s an balance to be struck in this film’s contemporary premise - that an older guy can become an intern, that this intern is Robert de Niro and is in fashion magazine run by a career-driven woman. The obvious father-figure comedy setup is there for all to see and Nancy Myers knows how to make watchable and likeable light-ish comedies and there’s plenty of opportunity for observations, monologues and whatever other Hollywood-type constructions you can get from this setup. This will play mostly on the likeability of de Niro and Hathaway in the lead roles and Myers never fails to get a big cast in her films. The okay to good reviews suggest this to be a pleasant and nice, if not overly thrilling time in the cinema!
Second Mother (15)
Showing at the mac (Fri 2 - Sun 4), Brazilian director Anna Muylaert’s latest film won the Audience Award at the Berlinale, and has garnered terrific reviews. The film follows a live-in maid and her estranged daughter in Sao Paulo. The maid is a nanny to Fabinho but struggles with the guilt of failing to raise her daughter Jessica herself; and when Jessica calls, wanting to come to São Paulo for her exams, Val is overjoyed. The reunion doesn't go smoothly - tension mounts and Val finds herself in the middle between her outspoken daughter and her live-in family. Both are forced to find a new way of facing life.
Dance of Reality (18)
Also showing at the mac (Mon 5 - Thurs 8) is cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s imaginary autobiography, a strange, fantastical journey that no one else could make. Focusing on his own early life, being raised by a strict, Stalin-adoring father who has plans to assassinate the right-wing Chilean president. This has been on very limited release since 2013, Jodorowsky’s life becomes an examination of the line between reality and imagination and the film provides just a little understanding of what has made him tick as a filmmaker.
That’s it from me. As always, any queries or quibbles, you can drop me a tweet at @timmy666. Until next week, have a great time at the cinema.