After a brief sojourn, #AtTheFlix is back with a peek at what’s out at the cinemas in Birmingham this weekend. As always, let’s take a ganders….
London Has Fallen (15)
Butler, Eckhart, Freeman et al are back for another slab of action silliness moving the action from DC to dearest London, as the President and his trusty bodyguard attend the funeral of the recently deceased PM leading to a terrorist attempt to take down many of the world’s leaders in the same place, whilst as a convenient excuse to flatten much of the capital.
It’s worth noting that when Jack Bauer came to London in 24, he kept damage on a largely human scale, except for a momentary schtick involving Wembley Stadium going up in smoke! Well, this franchise has grandiose (if that’s the right word) intentions to cause a lot of damage on many a London landmark in the sort of way that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel would be rightly proud.
We know it’s daft and packed with wanton xenophobic and jingoistic sentiment. It’s clearly clap trap but loads of things get blown up and Butler kicks ass, so all’s forgiven, right? Mmm.
Hail Caesar! (12A)
The Coen brothers turn their attention to screwball comedy and satire in their portrayal of Hollywood’s Golden Age right at the point where things started to creak! The film follows a day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.
This is a film with a gargantuan list of A-listers including Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum.
As is typical of the Coen brothers, the passion for period detail is to be applauded along with the gorgeous deft camera work of Roger Deakins. As is untypical of some recent Coen brothers fare, and something to met with great anticipation, the film not only has lighter tone but appears to be a feel good experience.
One to really look forward to!
Other Side Of The Door, The (15)
This week’s scary offering follows a family living in India whose lives are turned upside down the death of their young son. His mother travels to an ancient temple to carry out a ritual to bring her son back. She finds a door which acts as a portal between two worlds but disobeys the warning to never open the door, to horrific consequences.
Here follows what looks like a procedural exercise in the possession movie genre with the door a physical device and metaphor between life and death. It looks like a take on The Conjuring with a blend of Western ignorance mixed with Aghori rituals and Hinduism.
If handled correctly, this could be an intriguing proposition for a horror film; played badly, the blend of cultures could be misinterpreted. Sadly, even with its Indian setting, it feels a bit predictable!
Following under the weighty reputation of Spotlight, Truth is another look at the world of journalism, in this case Robert Redford as Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes played by a campy Cate Blanchett. Makes employs a team of top journalists (Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss) to uncover some leaked memos.
It’s pre-election 2004. Bush seeks re-election and is neck-and-neck with John Kerry in the polls. After initial acclaim in the story, holes soon appear and careers begin to be put on the line.
First time director, James Vanderbilt (who previously scripted Zodiac) has received mixed reviews for his portrayal of CBS but the performances, in particular Blanchett are what might make this film most worth watching.
Other highlights this week...
Elsewhere this week, the mac are putting on a bunch of excellent stuff. The standouts for me include SNTRK a fusion of live music and films, starting with Darren Aronofsky’s 90s classic Pi (15), making the event SNTRK: PI (15) programmed by Jack Parker and featuring DJ sets from Hamish Campbell-Legg & friends. Watch out also for showings of the Icelandish film Rams (15), a touching deadpan comedy following two sheep farmers called Gummi and Kiddi who take on the authorities to save their special breed after a disease threatens the entire sheep population.
The Electric Cinema appears to be having a heap of action packed fun with its Labyrinth Party Nights (yes, I kid you not!) this Friday and Saturday night along with showings of a whole load of Oscar winning films. Be sure to also catch an exclusive showing of Ben Wheatley’s intriguing new film High Rise (15) starring Tom Hiddleston which is followed by a live Q&A with Ben himself.
That’s it from me this week. As always, if you have any queries or comments, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line on twitter @timmy666.
In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend at the cinema and be sure to catch me on Monday lunchtimes on Brum Radio as part of Paul Hadsley’s Happy Hour.