Pan (3D) (PG)
To pan or be panned? The arrival of the latest adaptation of Peter Pan has seemingly been ages in coming from the early teaser trailers. Talented British director Joe Wright takes on the big budget mantle to portray a ‘coming of age’ meets origins story adventure as Peter, a mischievous boy gets propelled from an orphanage to the magical of Neverland, teaming up with Tiger Lily and James Hook to defeat Hugh Jackman’s ham-heavy Blackbeard to save Neverland and become Peter Pan.
So far, so obvious you might say?
Well, a few critics have really enjoyed the film from its pace to its childlike sensibility. Much has been mentioned of Jackman’s theatrical performance as Blackbeard, glorious and otherwise! Sadly though, critics have not been particularly nice to Pan. Peter Panned indeed.
Crimson Peak (15)
I await with some anticipation to see the latest film from del Toro. After the robots of Pacific Rim, here he is very much back on Terra Firma! The film follows a young woman whose heart is taken by a seductive stranger. When taken to a house on top a mountain of blood-red clay, here in follows a haunted house fable, unlocking multiple secrets and horrors.
I found the trailer to be a little underwhelming and conventional, belying the unique talents that Guillermo del Toro has - when on top form, his ability to combine beauty, wonder and sheer horror has stood him alone in the horror genre for the last two decades, Pan’s Labyrinth being one of the greatest films, not just horror films, ever made.
So here’s to hoping that the trailer is merely an oversight and that we get a treat for the senses that’s both visually alluring and extremely frightening to boot!
Hotel Transylvania 2 (3D) (U)
As far as I remember, the original Hotel Transylvania was hardly a classic, but evidently it made enough dollars to warrant its producers to green light a second adventure! Much like the original, this is another chance for Adam Sandler et al to go to town with its simple blend of corny gags and light-hearted fun.
Everything about this film says that it actually knows what it’s doing and whether critics go with it or not is something of an irrelevance. This isn’t Inside Out, nor does it try to be! It’s facile, it's silly - and it’s clear that they see these traits as a strength.
Program, The (12A)
My second most anticipated film this week is Stephen Frears’ take on the Lance Armstrong story! As modern ‘rise and fall’ stories go, this one has to rate as one of the most cinematic!
The focus of the story, and the thing that I’m most looking forward to watching, is the stand-off between Armstrong (Ben Foster) and the Sunday Times journalist David Walsh (Chris O’Dowd) and how Walsh fought to unravel the truth behind Armstrong!
The only question mark I have on the film is that given the story is so well-known and still relatively recent, how will the film give freshness to the story and what artistic licenses will be granted on the characters that the film is portraying.
Showing at the mac (Friday 16-Sunday 18 October), Palio is director Cosima Spender’s capture of Siena’s legendary horse race, capturing not only a behind the scenes document of the event, but also focussing on the story of a young Sardinian eager to win the race and become “King of the Square”.
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.