In cinemas, everyone can hear you scream! So here’s to collective “aaaarrrrgggghhh” as we bring you a preview of what’s coming out in Birmingham this week.
So whilst last week (in Hollywood terms anyway) was all about one film with Gravity, this week is much busier, if not necessarily high in the quality stakes.
The Counsellor (18)
Ridley Scott‘s latest film is about a lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. When word got round that Scott was directing a script by Cormac McCarthy, one started to pay attention, and with an A-List cast consisting of Messrs Fassbender, Cruz, Diaz, Bardem and Pitt, you’re expecting something substantial, darkly comic, brooding and violent.
My anticipation has been tempered somewhat because reviews over the pond have been mixed, criticising a messy film which is self-indulgent and laboured. This is married up by the promotion for this film which has been relatively muted from stars, director and distributors in equal measure.
I’m still going. Everyone was looking forward to this and yet even with Scott at his most self-indulgent or flawed, or where style overtakes substance, this is still gonna be watchable with a Cormac McCarthy script. Surely?
The Butler (12A)
….or Lee Daniels‘ The Butler* to give it its proper name is an American historical fiction drama film with a huge ensemble cast, all about the real-life of (or loosely inspired by) Eugene Allen, with Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American, witnessing the world as the White House butler for four decades.
*The film’s title was renamed due to a MPAA claim from Warner Bros., which had inherited a now-lost 1916 silent short film with the same name. Yeah, thought you’d like to know that!
I was impressed with Lee Daniel’s tough redemption feature Precious and here’s hoping for something hard-hitting, emotionally affecting and well acted and not lost in mushy melodrama. Alan Rickman as Reagan though. That’s curious casting!
Don Jon (15)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars and directs in his debut feature as Jon, a New Jersey guy who becomes affected from his addiction to porn and the impact this has on his happiness, his friends and his love life with Scarlett Johansson.
I’m a fan of the hugely talented Gordon Levitt – and he’s tapping into something which is prevalent, hopefully darkly comic, hopefully conversational and also hopefully which is relatively hard-edged (sniggering like Quagmire!)
Dom Hemingway (15)
Cor blimey gov’ner! The British gangster flick is back. Jude Law plays out of control Dom Hemingway, a recently released criminal who is back in employment as a safe cracker under the eye of his boss Richard E Grant.
Aside from this, and a few interviews in the press over recent days, there’s been little said or anticipated about this, and it isn’t on saturation release either. Don’t let judge you though or Dom will have ya!
In addition to the mainstream releases this week ….
Back for its seventh year, check out films from the Cine-Excess Film Festival and conference from the 15th to 17th. The annual event examines traditions of European Erotic Cinema. This year, the guests of honour are controversial French filmmaker Catherine Breillat (Romance, A Ma Soeur!) and cult auteur Francesco Barilli (The Perfume of the Lady in Black).
There is a conference during the day featuring talks from international critics and scholars on the subject of European Erotic Excess. These talks and discussion forums are open to the public. For more on screenings and what’s happening, click here and for tickets and delegate passes, click here.
Send in your comments as always or tweet me at @timmy666.
That’s it from me. I’m off to do something other than what Don Jon does. After all the girlfriend’s watching and editing this piece! 🙂 [Had to leave out the photos, sorry. – Ed]
Till next week….