Greetings one and all. Welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix, a weekly trawl through things coming out at the cinema in Birmingham.
The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2 (12A)
However many hours later, this powerhouse dystopian franchise reaches its final chapter (in a film sense!) as Katniss leads the army against Frost. The first part was effectively the set up to the big scrap - the revolution and invasion combined into one final push.
Where this franchise has absolutely worked is in its casting. Jennifer Lawrence has pretty much kept the whole thing going - even through the film is doing 'that Hollywood thing' of splitting the final novel, there’s seemingly enough at play to make it more than watchable! Unlike the Twiglet saga, the film has also kept an appeal which goes beyond purely the teen crowd - even though it’s possibly the best franchise in viewing the world from a teen’s perspective! That said, there’s a universality to what’s at stake.
What I also like is how The Hunger Games is tonally dark, tough and grim - it doesn’t pull too hard at sentiment (it does just enough), and, in its delivery of action, it goes for absolute top end 12A, especially in terms of horror movie tropes and its delivery of tension.
The Dressmaker (12A)
Kate Winslet plays a glamorous woman who returns to small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
Much has been noted for the film being a hotchpotch of tone and unexpected feel - which is far more of a darkly, oddly and unintentionally comic (if you find it funny!) revenge tale than a sickly sweet take on haute couture. The mixed reviews do give an overarching impression that the film’s entertainment is in large part due to its excellent cast, with Winslett ably supported by the likes of Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving and that the material itself is somewhat beneath their abilities.
Crow's Egg, The (PG)
A number of cinemas are showing this very well received Tamil language feature which garnered much momentum during the festival season - especially in Toronto and Rome. Set in a slum in Chennai, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, two young boys are growing up unaware of all the things they don't have – such as pizza. The boys turn their passion from stealing crow’s eggs to pizza, as they witness a TV add selling pizza, culminating in the opening of a pizzeria nearby. The film’s warm heartedness and humour combined with a foodie storyline has been a slice of joy globally already.
True Romance (18)
This is still one of Tony Scott’s best films, in no small part bolstered by the Quentin Tarantino film - which meant Scott’s vibrant, stylised flair has some significant counterweight, punchy dialogue, never less than raucous, graphically violent and ever so slightly unhinged. An exercise of where excess and indulgence could deliver something entertaining - it’s been a blueprint for dividing audiences ever since its release in 1993.
Opening on limited release and to less than favourable reviews, this action thriller stars Olga Kurylenko as Alex, an infiltration expert with a secret past, mixed up in a government conspiracy and entangled in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a master assassin (James Purefoy) and on an mission to exact revenge on the murder of her friends and colleagues! I think Olga Kurylenko is a great actress she runs the risk of being the go-to for B-movie action thrillers, a bit like Milla Jovovich was for a number for years.
Elsewhere, be sure to check out a few Flatpack showings at the mac as part of their Celluloid City project including Outer Sight and Kings of the Road. The mac have a special showing of Barney Douglas’s documentary Warriors (12A) which follows a group of young Maasai who, in a remote region of Kenya, who remarkably formed a cricket team. The film is followed by a Q&A with the director.
That's it from me this week. As always any queries, please drop me a line on twitter @timmy666. Until then, have a great week at the cinema.