This week’s cinematic offerings fill me with excitement, anticipation and dread! Let’s read on to find out which categories the following films fall into, starting with the film where the name ‘Cumberbatch’ has adorned most buses in Birmingham this week.
The Fifth Estate (15)
Two immediate points about The Fifth Estate. First, I am so glad to see Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, Dreamgirls) back from his Twiglet saga duties directing something of real substance. Second, i is there an actor higher in the ‘cool’ category than Mr. Cumberbatch right now? Following his scene stealing turn in Star Trek into Darkness and with the upcoming third series of Sherlock, taking on the role of Julien Assange is as noteworthy a casting as they could possibly come.
Certainly though, given the fact that this is still ‘current’ news, Josh Singer‘s adapted screenplay is likely to engage and possibly even polarise. I am keen to understand what the story suggests about Assange’s true motives (and to what extent they explore his alleged ‘other’ crimes), how Wikileaks were able to do what they did, and how the authorities kept up with him. The film also hints at his relationship with his sidekick Daniel Burg, played by the always excellent Daniel Bruhl, so that’s going to be intriguing too.
The trailer hints at nuanced character drama with classic 70s thriller elements, a touch of Bourne and a touch of Social Network style Sorkin. If the film can achieve just a bit of all of those along with some great performances, then a few good hours at the cinema will be had by all!
Le Week-End (15)
On the surface, this looks like another Paris-set comedy romance, but given who is attached to this film, I’m hopeful this won’t be the case. When you see Roger Michell (Enduring Love, Venus, The Mother, Notting Hill) directing a cast with Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in, any initial misgivings should hopefully be wiped away. The synopsis is simple a British couple return to Paris many years after their honeymoon there in an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage.
Yet knowing Roger Michell, it’ll hopefully be more complex and interesting than that. Michell has demonstrated previously with Venus and The Mother that he is very strong at directing subtle and intimate dramas involving older characters, and doing it with both bite and substance. He also allows characters to ‘talk’ and explore subtleties – traits which owe a lot from French cinema (and given the setting – how appropriate).
All of this I hope to be true with Le Week-End.
Baggage Claim (12A)
“The perfect film to watch with your girlfriends” – Pride Magazine**** – really, certainly not my girlfriend, that’s for sure.
Baggage Claim is a notch or several down in my anticipation stakes this week. A synopsis, for what it’s worth, this ‘comedy’ stars Paula Patton as a woman who, conscious of her age (and not having a ring on her finger), embarks on a journey to find her suitor. The storyline sounds as familiar and cliche ridden as you’d come to expect. Frankly, how many times can we run the Bridget Jones meets chick flick comedy routine? Hollywood believes you can.
By all means, step up and tell me how wrong I am to be pre-judge this one, but this just seems like excess baggage never to be reclaimed!
Moving on ….
Machete Kills (15)
Rodriguez is nothing if not daring in his cross-genre mashups, campy violence with large amounts of blood and gore, out-there soundtrack choices and more nods to film references than you can shake a geek’s hat at.
For me, Rodriguez is about collectively sharing in the geeky experience with fellow film fans – the in jokes, nods and references are often best shared. As a student (a long time ago), I shared in many of those experiences amongst friends with Rodriguez’s earlier works.
So despite the geeky film fan in me, his efforts are so often hit and miss because his self-indulgence takes place at the expense of enjoyment.
And unfortunately, I’m not really a huge fan of the Grindhouse style. The trailer suggests nothing different to my pre-conceptions.
Once again though, tell me if you think my misgivings are misplaced!!
That’s it for this week. Let me know what you go and see at the cinema over the next week. Happy cinema going folks!