Welcome to this week’s roundup of cinematic releases in and around Birmingham. Let’s take a ganders shall we?!
Inside Out (U)
The biggest film of this is the return of Pixar, and judging by what critics and public are saying, they are back on true form to a level set up by films like Wall-E and Up!.
The best Pixar films are those which manage to not only be magnificently animated but are all-encompassing as well as emotionally involving. So, a film about human emotion and childhood would seem a perfect match for them!
The film follows Riley and how she is guided by emotions (each of them played by a different voice) and the story has a universality of how emotions can shape a person.
The other film that has been adorning billboards and buses over the past couple of weeks is Southpaw, the latest from director Antoine Fuqua, a boxing movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy “The Great” Hope as a man who has everything, then hits rock bottom after a tragedy, and seeks redemption from those around him.
Fuqua is pretty good at gathering fine actors around him, and whilst the premise for this film may seem like a retread of other familiar sporting melodramas, Gyllenhaal is flying high right now after the super Nightcrawler last year. His performance is the thing to most keenly watch this film for.
This film attracted much attention around a few of the festivals last year, noted for being the Schwarzenegger zombie flick with a bit of actual weight to it.
The film explores examines whether people accustomed to a precise way of life can deal with cataclysmic change; one critic has asked if it poses similar questions about Schwarzenegger’s career as he heads toward his seventies.
Not all critics are convinced about this film but are uniform in praise for its strong performances, and has been seen a bit like Stallone’s turn in Copland, an action movie hero hinting at something more substantial.
The film’s real star is surely Abigail Breslin in the title role as the brooding Maggie. At least, for now, there is the intriguing notion that Schwarzenegger could now make some interesting movie choices if he wants to.
Maggie hints at that.
The Legend Of Barney Thomson (15)
Opening on limited release over the next weeks and returning to his Glaswegian roots, Robert Carlyle stars and directs with Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone and others in a film about an infamous barber turned serial killer called Barney Thomson.
The story follows Barney’s attempts to cover his tracks, especially with the police breathing down his neck and he turns to his mother, Cemolina, to help him.
As you might expect from Carlyle, this is a film littered with Glaswegian locales and culture and is also knowing dark and comedic.
I’m quite looking forward to seeing it.
Elsewhere, be sure to catch Dustin Hoffmann in The Choir (PG) (showing at the mac, Fri 24- Thurs 30), a film whose ultimate premise is there’s brilliance in everyone if given the chance to shine. At the electric, there’s a showing of The Matrix (15) as part of their 90s Blockbuster Season (Saturday).
That’s it from me. As always, if you have any comments or quibbles, you can find me on twitter @timmy666.
Have a great week at the movies!