In the words of Nick Fury, “Gentlemen, you’re up!”
Hello, and a big welcome to this week’s action-packed review of what’s hitting the big screen around Brumland over the next week.
Let’s peekaboo ….
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D) (12A)
Raise your Shield and prepare to enter the latest adventure from our Marvel action hero, Captain America.
Picking up immediately after The Avengers Assemble story, Captain America (Chris Evans, no, the other one) battles the titular mysterious Soviet-era Russian agent.
The film looks like slick, entertaining far. Throw in some intriguing casting including Robert Redford, to the usual turns by Shield leader Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ms. Johansson back in her cat suit as Black Widow, there’s much for the mainstream audiences to lap up.
I have more faith in Steve Rogers aka Captain America than many of the other Marvel superheros. Admittedly Chris Evans is no Robert Downey Jr because Captain America offers an opportunity to be a bit more real world (to a point), even if only in an archetypal Hollywood patriotic type of real.
That’s not belittle the Marvel films because I have by and large only been entertained by them, even when they’re subpar!
There is though a hint of substance to this film, and dare I say, some political subtext and a 70s conspiracy-thriller type plot, amidst a comic book actioner, and by having a legendary 70s conspiracy-thriller actor in Robert Redford, therein lies some genuine meaty substance to something which could be generic.
Given the ‘noise’ surrounding the film is very positive, I’m definitely intrigued.
The Muppets currency went sky high following its Jason Segel starring predecessor and it was inevitable that a follow-up would come.
While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves embroiled into an European heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and Dominic Badguy played by Ricky Gervais.
This looks like traditional Muppets fare, yet that said, if it’s a good Muppets film, then it’s still something to behold. Thankfully there is some continuity with James Bobin directing and co-writing the script with Nicholas Stoller, with Bret McKenzie, who penned many of the predecessors songs, is back too.
Few make me feel more like a kid than a good Muppet film!
The Legend of Hercules (3D) (12A)
This is the first of two movies featuring Hercules and I’m not excited about other. This one is brought courtesy of Finnish director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Long Kiss Goodnight). The other later in the year is directed by Brett Ratner and stars Dwayne Johnson. God help us!
Anyhow, back to the so-called ‘Legend’ (not this film I don’t think) and the plot is an ‘origins’ story for the great man. According to imdb, because frankly I couldn’t do a better job of showing the hilarity of plot on offer, “betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.”
Alas, I don’t think Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic are hiding in the film’s generally bad reviews over Stateside – bad acting, plot, script and production values.
The reviews are likely to be more entertaining than the film – according to The Playlist’s Drew Taylor it is “a movie so ugly and woeful that you’ll wish you had superhuman strength to pluck your own eyeballs out of your head.”
Let’s just say the Greek Gods definitely look like they’ve stayed away from this one and you’re left to wonder what has happened to Harlin’s action-directing career since its height of Die Hard 2. He’s a talented action director in need of some quality.
Rome, Open City (12A)
Showing at the mac next Wednesday and Thursday, Robert Rossellini‘s 1945 film takes place in Rome during World War II. A group of indignanted people, such as a publisher and a priest, decide to fight against the nazis.
This classic contains very realistic characters amidst war context that you are left wondering whether what you are watching played out on the screen is in truth a bona fide documentation of events
Finally, this year’s Flatpack Festival still continues apace until this Sunday (30th March). I am particularly looking forward to seeing Douglas Trumball’s classic sci-fi Silent Running, if nothing else because the Atrium is being designed into a set resembling the film and a semi-horizontal viewing on the giant atrium screen.
Until next week, may your captains be very American!