So ladies and gentlemen, are you sitting comfortably? Well you should be!
It’s #AtTheFlix and once again, I encourage you to take some welcome respite from the soccer in Brazil and turn your attentions to the cinema. As always, it’s a mixed bag of stuff, so let’s separate the Arsenals from the Accrington Stanley.
This week’s big, big-screen picture sees director Doug Liman team up with Tom Cruise for a new sci-fi thriller set in a near future where an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.
Tom Cruise plays an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again.
With each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski played by Emily Blunt, they take the fight to the aliens.
So proper popcorn action fodder with a Groundhog Day inspired scenaro, and initial feedback has shown it to be gripping, funny and well-acted in equal measure.
Director Clint Eastwood brings the Tony Award-winning musical to the big screen. Jersey Boys tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic `60s rock group The Four Seasons.
Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and Eastwood focusses quite a lot on backstory using a biopic film structure, albeit interweaving the musical elements.
But, let’s be honest, and the editor of this site may possibly testify, it’s mainly about the tunes. [Yep the music is the star, but the story is a true (blue collar) New Jersey account, with one or two surprise faces, if this stays with the stage version — Ed]
The story sees Costner as a dangerous international spy determined to give up his high stakes life to build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter. The crux is, he must complete one last mission by hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist and looking after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years, while his wife is out of town.
Yep, it’s B movie type action stuff and in the absence of the likes of Neeson or Statham, is it a welcome return to the big time for Costner? Critics aren’t too sure but the team behind Transporter and Taken often deliver trash with a sense of fun.I suspect the film’s success will all depends on Coster’s leading man credentials.
* His full name is Joseph McGinty Nichol, if you weren’t aware. Does that make his abbreviated name any cooler?
Showing at the mac on Wednesday and Thursday next week, this is a documentary telling the story of Marco Pantani, one of my cycling heroes growing up.
In 1998 Marco Pantani, the most flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
He was the saviour of cycling following the doping scandals which threatened to destroy the sport. However, less than six years later, aged just 34, he died alone, in a cheap Italian hotel room. Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist explores the startling truth behind one man’s remarkable descent from being amongst the finest athletes on earth to his tragic end in a sport riven by intrigue.
And lest I forget, I must stick my James Bond fanboy hat on for a minute.
The Crescent Theatre recently ran a poll called The James Bond Selection, where the public was invited to vote for a Bond film from a selection from across the 50 years of the franchise.
You voted and Daniel Craig’s debut, the rip-roaringly brilliant Casino Royale came out winner, and is being shown next Thursday 26th as part of a special red-carpet event in partnership with Birmingham Favourites. There’s black tie, live music, free nibbles, goodie bags and it promises to be an extremely fun night. So, don your finest evening dress and raise a Vodka Martini to this most brilliant event.