Hello film fans and welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix with me @timmy666.
It’s a mixed bag of mainstream and limited releases this week and thankfully the always amazing Flatpack Festival is still on until end of play on Sunday.
Let’s dive in shall we…
The big film of the week is the latest live-action Disney adaptation of Cinderella.
Kenneth Branagh is more and more the ‘go to’ guy for big blockbusters – as is proven by other efforts by Sir Ken, he knows how to adapt source material with enough deftness of approach towards character and narrative, whilst giving it a Hollywood swoosh to please today’s paying audiences.
That said, this doesn’t look like a re-imagining like the recent Alice in Wonderland. Critics have noted the film is all about classical nods to the 1950 original as well as the source material, a focus on telling the traditional story to a new generation.
You will find no histrionics or butt-kicking – this is a fairy tale and both Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz are completely and literally on the page here.
How that translates in terms of a couple of hours at the cinema, you will have to find out, but being a huge fan of Branagh, I’ll most definitely be venturing out.
Seventh Son (3D) (12A)
Getting probably the most disappointing critical reaction this week is Seventh Son, and that’s in part down to the talent attached to it.
I’m all for fantasy adventures, even really unintelligible ones, and with Jeff Bridges leading a fantastic cast, you harken back to great Bridges films of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Furthermore, this is the first English feature from the brilliant Russian director Sergei Bodrov, twice Oscar nominated for Best Film in a Foreign language, and for whom ambition is clearly no barrier.
So, judging from the critical reaction, what got lost in translation and how can a film with such a cast, high production values and a barnstormingly loud Zimmer inspired soundtrack from Marco Beltrami not deliver?
Something clearly didn’t translate from script and storyboard to screen.
On the plus side, some ‘true’ fans of the fantasy genre have pointed that the film is not boring …. and it’s also not pretentious.
It’s horrible to go into a film knowing it’s not very good and the highest praise you can give it is, “it could have been worse”.
Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water 3D, The (U)
Kids and adults alike will rejoice in Spongebob’s big screen return. SpongeBob and his cohorts go on a quest to recover a stolen recipe that takes him to our world, where he tangles with a pirate.
Many of the first generation of kids who grew up with Spongebob will now be virtually adults themselves. I was a 20 something when I got into Spongebob.
There’s no doubt to my mind that whilst a new generation of kids will be going to this film, its broad appeal will obviously be to adults too.
As everything from the Toy Story franchise to the Lego Movie to Big Hero 6 demonstrates, the animators understand that adults are all kids at heart and yet it is done with the wink and nod to everything from popular culture references to satire and so on.
This, as it should be, looks flat out hilarious from the trailer and this has been backed up by some good critical reaction Stateside too.
Get Hard (15)
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are strong comic actors and with the right material, they can really deliver. Judging by the critical reaction to Get Hard, this isn’t it!
The film sounds a bit like a loose update of Trading Places – in the 1980s, TP was biting and satirical and it starred two fresh young comedic talents in Aykroyd and Murphy and had an established helmsman in John Landis.
Roll forwards to 2015, a comedy revenge film about a an arrogant white-collar crook getting his just comeuppance could be an opportunity to offer up something which pushes the boundaries, is prepared to stick its neck out.
There is such potential to do something a bit daring, yet judging by what folks are saying, for every bit of humour that treads the fine line between provocation and racism, there’s another gag which is just offensive, dumb or even stereotypical.
There’s a place for provocation in comedy – but being provoked into thinking a film isn’t nearly the sum of its parts is sadly where so many American comedies are at the moment.
Dior And I (12A)
Showing at the Electric, Director Frédéric Tcheng follows up from previous fashion industry films like Valentino: The Last Emperor, with a behind-the-scenes looks at Raf Simons, taking over as Artistic Director at Dior and his first Haute Couture collection. The documentary is given access-all-areas, from the processes to the dedication and humour of those working at Dior to realise Simons’ vision. It is a revealing insight and homage to the great fashion house.
Catch me Daddy (15)
Showing at the mac, it’s great to see Catch Me Daddy getting a run in Birmingham. Sameena Jabeen Ahmed gives a standout performance as Laila, a girl on the run from her family, hiding out in West Yorkshire with her drifter boyfriend Aaron.
When her brother arrives in town with a gang of thugs in tow, she is forced to flee for her life and faces her darkest night.
A gritty film, Catch Me Daddy is the promising debut of British filmmakers Daniel and Matthew Wolfe, providing a bold and atmospheric take on social realism, on love and bringing to the big screen some fully-fledged highly conflicted characters.
Flatpack Festival Finally, a
quick reminder that the truly awesome Flatpack Festival continues until end of play on Sunday. Be sure to check out our feature for the many, many things that will still be happening over the next few days.
Ok, that’s it from me. Enjoy your movie going experiences and if you have any queries or comments, please send them my way at @timmy666 on twitter.