Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix, a weekly dive into the new releases, good and less good, out in Birmingham’s cinemas.
Let’s get our trunks on ….
John Wick (15)
Screaming ‘potential’ franchise at every turn, Keanu Reeves is back and in something which looks made for him! Critics seem to be latching onto it too with a bunch of generally favourable reviews. The simple setup sees Reeves playing an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
There’s been a bit of fervour and buzz on this film – stylish, noirish, ‘knowing’, amusing and kicking serious violent butt in the action department – along with a cast of familiar faces to boot, the word most bounded about has been ‘kinetic’.
If the main criticism is ‘been there, done that’, then it seems it might be doing this a disservice.
Good Kill (15)
Out on wide release this weekend, director Andrew Niccol teams up with Ethan Hawke in this tale of a drone pilot and family man who begins to question the ethics of his job. For a director so well known for his visual flair and flourishes, this film has been noted for a much more raw, stripped back and unsentimental tone. Part character story, part combat tale, this is an idea vehicle for Hawke to show off his acting chops.
Woman in Gold (12A)
Woman in Gold tells the story of Maria Altmann (played by Helen Mirren) who starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis teaming up with a young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to fight the right cause!
Helen Mirren is clearly channelling the Meryl Streep tendency for having fun and being completely watchable even with an out-there ‘accent’. Critics have commented on this as one of the few things this film has going for it even, even with a strong support cast!
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (15)
The original Hot Tub Time Machine was one of those sleeper hits that garnered a lot of momentum, so much so that a sequel has arrived.
The concept of the original had a zany anarchy to it and its wackiness occasionally translated across into humour. Sadly, it appears that this film has been mauled critically because whilst it has latched onto the concept, it has completely forgotten about the humour bit.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (PG)
Does anyone remember the first one? Well, here’s the second.
Paul Blart (Kevin James) takes his teenage daughter (Raini Rodriguez) with him to Las Vegas for a security-guard expo. He stumbles upon a heist and must single-handedly apprehend the crooks to supposedly hilarious consequences.
In contrast to many comedies coming here from the States, this one clearly aims its humour at kids rather than gross out, obnoxious and controversial subject matter that you see elsewhere.
Despite this, I don’t hold out much hope that will be funny.
White God (15)
Showing in a few limited screenings at the mac over the next few days. White God is Kornél Mundruczó’s highly regarded powerful and brutal tale of man’s abuse of superiority and privilege on humans and dogs. The story follows a 13 year old called Lili who is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it’s mixed-breed heritage is deemed unfit by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. Expect strong acting from humans and canines alike!
Showing early next week Monday through Thursday at the mac, this is a true story which follows a 14-year old girl called Hirut on a powerful tale dealing with misogyny, anarchic patriarchal customs and hostile conditions for women in Ethiopia. Hirut is abducted into marriage, one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions. A legal-aid lawyer called Meaza Ashenafi embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, to save Hirut’s life.
Cobain: Montage Of Heck (15)
Showing at The Electric is Brett Morgen’s authorised documentary feature on Kurt Cobain, looking at his personal archive of art, written word, music along with home movie footage, animation and revelatory interviews from his family and closest friends.
That’s it from me! Any comments, please send me a tweet @timmy666. Have a great week at the cinema and tune in for more #AtTheFlix next week.