Welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix, your weekly slice of what’s coming up at cinemas in Brum.
Most of the releases take a deliberate and nostalgic nod to what has come before, so let’s look forward by looking back shall we…
Tomorrowland – A World Beyond (PG)
Former boy-genius Frank (George Clooney) teams up with Casey (Britt Robertson), a curious and optimistic teen who both go on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” The consequences on their actions will change the world forever.
Clearly the trailer hints to a whole swathe of references. Brad Bird layers on plenty of dazzle and is clearly a fan of Spielberg. This is the sort of thing that he or a protégé like Joe Dante might have made.
The film clearly has a nostalgic wonder and for folks of a certain age, probably like Bird himself, he is sharing in his love for the movies he grew up with.
That said, critics have placed a few negative marks over the film’s emotional punch and the extent to which the story carries through until the end.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (15)
Garnering a lot of critical acclaim, this is known as the first Iranian vampire western ever made. Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut takes great pleasure in combining the pulpiest elements of graphic novels, spaghetti westerns and horror films into something brilliantly original.
This mash-up of genre stands at the head of the Iranian New Wave and provides something which is fun, scary and cool.
Judging by the praise showered upon it, this deserves something more than the limited release it has got.
Moomins On The Riviera (U)
Tove Jansson’s iconic creations get a big screen adventure over 60 years after they were created. The world was a very different place then yet it’s truly fantastic to see these iconic creations getting a cinematic lease of life.
Despite being big screen, everything looks old school as though it was made in a bygone era. In turn, this is yet another film this week which looks nostalgically to the heritage of cinema.
With this, I hope that a new generation of Moomins fans are born along with hefty display stands at book shops and many Moomin mugs are bought.
Poltergeist (3D) (15)
Tobe Hooper’s iconic original is a film which has been referenced and imitated for 30 years now. We now have a new version because as is the norm in Hollywood, it is presumed that kids won’t venture back to watch the original. Of course, the hope is that you’d watch both and draw one’s own conclusions. The setup isn’t dissimilar, bringing an altogether contemporary take on the tale of a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces.
It is contemporary not only in a modern day setting but also in the horror tools and hooks and the use of technology in ensuring the shocks are effectively. The trailer explicitly shows it as a kind of a Poltergeist for the Insidious generation.
The casting on paper is good too with Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie deWitt and Jared Harris in lead roles. You’d hope with such horror experts as Sam Raimi and Gil Kenan on board, the film wouldn’t be bad.
One of the main issues that have been brought up is not a sense of reverence to the original, but to what extent its feel has been altered. Of course, that might not mean it’s bad – a film can stand on its own two feet but is it the case here?
We Are Many (12A)
Getting a number of screening and live Q&As, Amir Amirani’s epic film follows the global anti-Iraq war protests of 2003.
The film tracks the global scale of the protests with a number if heavyweight contributors. The protest involved about 30 million people in 800 cities on every continent marching against the Iraq war on the 15 February 2003.
To cover the biggest civil protest in history with depth is no small feat. Such is the anticipation and initial acclaim for the film, it is clear Amirani has pulled it off.
The Dark Horse (15)
Showing at the mac, The Dark Horse tells the story of the life of a New Zealand hero and chess champion called Genesis Potini, aka Gen. At its heart, this is a drama about a man searching for purpose and hope and passing on his gift to children in his community.
More deeply, the film explores the damaging masculine gang culture that exists on the fringes of Maori culture, and in Potini has a very conventional lead and hero.
As a result, the film’s title seems apt in many ways. That said, opening last year, the film has so far managed a 100% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is high praise indeed.
Lambert & Stamp (15)
Lambert & Stamp tells the story of aspiring filmmakers who set out to find a subject for their underground movie, leading them to discover, mentor and manage the iconic band that would become known as The Who.
The film explores the early years of the band’s rise from being called High Numbers to changing them to The Who. It’s a remarkable story to tell and the film focuses on Lambert & Stamp’s relationship through this, funny, tragic and clearly revelling in the feel and fashion of the 1960s.
That’s it from me this week. As always, any queries or quibbles, you can find me @timmy666. Have a great week whatever you go and see.