Greetings one and all. Welcome to this week’s #AtTheFlix. Let’s see what’s on at Birmingham’s cinemas this weekend.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E (12A)
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock films were knowing and entertaining displaying a ‘romantic’ notion of the 19th century world. This appears to have a similar level of knowingness and fond regard for 60s culture – pop, spy, fashion, wink-wink-nudge- nudge and far more besides.
His adaptation of the classic 60s TV show proves Ritchie does surface with rigour and enjoyment. Even when it is ‘just’ surface, it is more than not, very entertaining surface. The film is vintage and analogue compared to the modern highly digital world of the IMF and that’s where it wants to revel.
Is it any more than just that? I hope so.
Pixels (3D) (12A)
I want this to work! This is a Chris Columbus film, a man responsible of such much. It has oodles of ‘nerdy’ appeal and references to 80s and 90s game culture that people of a certain age would appreciate.
The plot follows intergalactic aliens who use video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. Enter a cast including Adam Sandler, Brian Cox, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan to save the day.
Everything sounds fun on paper right?
Sadly, judging by the critical response they can’t save the film. Finally, how frustrating that it appears that we have another less than satisfactory outing from Adam Sandler. This feels like a terrible video game!
Absolutely Anything (12A)
Mooted in the press for bringing together numerous Monty Python alumni, this sci-fi comedy directed and co-written by Jones (along with Gavin Scott), and centres on the story of a group of mischievous extra-terrestrials (voiced by the Python crew) who grant embittered schoolteacher Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg) extraordinary powers in order to see how he will use them.
With the help of his dog Dennis (voiced by the late Robin Williams), Clarke is forced to choose between the girl of his dreams (Kate Beckinsale), or the four-legged friend who has never left his side.
Sadly, once again this week, judging by critical response, this is no Life of Brian and critically, the film relies on Pegg’s charisma to make the film work.
Mistress America (15)
Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a college freshman in New York, not really grasping a particularly exciting university life. She is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig) and is seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes.
With Baumbach at the helm, returning to direct the excellent Greta Gerwig alongside Kirke, this film has been praised for its performance, comedic tension, witty banter and that typically smart Baumbach style.
Love him or hate him, he has a style all of its own.
Ruth and Alex (12A)
Showing at the mac, this romance brings together Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman in the first slab of New York Life. Ruth and Alex have been living in Brooklyn since the 1970s. They were very different. The city was very different.
They put their apartment on the market, and during one crazy weekend, they discover finding a new apartment is not about winding down but starting a whole new adventure!
Also showing at the Mac, Alberto Rodríguez’s film has been portrayed as a Spanish version of True Detective brought to the big screen. The story follows two cops with polar opposite methods forced to come together to find the perpetrator of a series of brutal attacks on two local teenage sisters.
The film has been showered with Goyas and there’s much buzz surrounding Marshland, so great the mac are giving it an airing.
Preview Screening: The Wolfpack + Q&A (15)
The Electric gets a preview of Crystal Moselle’s well regarded New York portrayal of a family who rely on each other to survive.
In the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed the Wolfpack, the brothers spend their childhood re-enacting their favourite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. Everything changes when one of the brothers escapes, and the power dynamics in the house are transformed.
This preview screening will be followed by a live on stage Q&A with director Crystal Moselle and four of the Angulo brothers themselves.
That’s it from me. As always, any comments or quibbles, please come find me @timmy666 on Twitter. Until next week, have a great week at the cinema.