Greetings one and all! Welcome to this week's trawl through all things cinematic and hitting the screens in Brum this week.
Todd McCarthy’s passionate portrayal and appreciation of the work of Spotlight, an investigative journalism team of the Boston Globe, is brought to the fore in an old-school procedural style.
The Spotlight team brought the Catholic Church to account over their cover up of child abuse endemic within the church. This is a no-nonsense love letter to journalism, brought to life by an excellent case led by Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo who plays the journalists who uncovered the stories.
The film will no doubt be compared to All the President’s Men, but irrespective of such a comparison, this is a story that needs to be told, and like the journalists, the cinema viewing crowd should lap up the old style journalistic thriller style.
Paolo Sorrentino is a director of such visual flair and style - The Consequences Of Love, Il Divo, The Great Beauty - these films serve as proof of the man’s greatness.
So when he writes a film specifically for Michael Caine to star in, curiosity has been peaked. Set during a spa break in Switzerland, Caine teams up with Keitel as old friends reflecting on life. Caine himself is a composer dreaming of fronting an orchestra again.
The film is clearly both style and some crazy substance, coming in from left field as fast as a pop star cameo or an outlandish hallucination scene. Like his previous film, The Great Beauty, Youth as a title in itself is a touch of irony, a statement on the brevity of life and the fear of death.
Critics haven’t cast this film anywhere near the level of his previous work, and even it is something of a mess, what a mess it looks like it is, and with a scene chewing Jane Fonda cameo to book.
Dirty Grandpa (15)
Our man Bob de Niro continues to wipe away our glorious memories of his great cinematic legacy with a frankly baffling decision to appear alongside Zac Ephron (the grandson). He plays the dirty grandpa on a trip to Florida. He is the one making the gross out decisions whilst poor Ephron follows along, and the poor audience gets to endure as well.
Or perhaps it isn’t baffling any more. We have become accustomed to seeing Bob make crazy decisions ever since Rocky and Bullwinkle. The big question is, is this some kind of spoof and knowing in-joke from de Niro? If not, one really has to question who is advising him. Anyhow….
The 33 (12A)
As filmic a piece of recent history as you can get, the 33 refers to the Chilean minors who were trapped underground. It’s a feel good film with Antonio Banderas as the unofficial leader of the miners providing heart and drive to the film.
The film goes for the big cast treatment across the board albeit with some bonkers casting including Juliette Binoche as the miner’s sister.
I’m yet to see the 2010 Chilean film, Los 33 de San José, but in reflecting on the big English speaking version, one wonders how much more authentic a native language version of this would be.
Nonetheless, this film’s intent is on delivering a feel-good disaster flick and in those terms, the film’s intentions are seemingly met.
Don’t forget that the Electric continues its excellent Cinematic Time Machine season with FW Murnau's legendary silent film Sunrise (U), the film which won star Janet Gaynor the first ever Best Actress Oscar. Be sure to also catch the Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (U) on Tuesday, a film which took the mechanics of cinema to a whole new level.
At the mac over the next week, watch out for two showings of Jean Luc Goddard’s Le Mépris (15) with Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance, as well as a showing of the documentary Chemsex (18), looking at the lives of men whose lives have been changed by the Chemsex phenomenon, which refers to the use of drugs in a sexual context.
That's it from me. As is usual, any queries or comments, please let me know at @timmy666 on twitter. Have a great week and be sure to support your local cinemas when you can.