Sunday, 23 September 2012

Some body count (Out this week - 21/09/12)

At first I was going to write about the sudden dramatic change in tone between the generally upbeat lite-comedy of last weekend and the thumping visceral action heavy output of this weekend.  But then I stopped to think whether that was really true and of course it's not.  It's just the films that appeal to me have changed.  It's a quirk of the scheduling that meant last weekend we have Meryl Streep and Woody Allen and now it's Brad Pitt and Oliver Stone.  So with a zero body count from 7 days ago I'm about to head to cinemas with the sure knowledge that will be crushed.  I'm thinking over 30 corpses between the two top films.  With the Runs like a Gay film of the week Killing Them Softly

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.  So said Mark Twain in his autobiography.  So bearing that in mind I'm calling last weekend's box office prediction a success.  What?  But RLAG said it would be ParaNorman yet any idiot with a Guardian can see it's The Sweeney claiming the crown.  Yes, true, but Nick Love's gritty crime flick (you see there were some last week) only squeezes into pole if you take into account two days of previews, an advantage the zombie tackling stop-motion didn't have, take that out and Laika studios are the clear winners.  Take that Regan and Carter, hooray for the misunderstood kid.  There are two action flicks competing this weekend, both with similar screen counts, but I think the shorter running time and generally better reviews will enable Killing Them Softly to edge ahead, making it the first time in ages the film of the week is also predicted as box office champ.

Killing Them Softly

It is generally agreed that Andrew Dominik's last movie, the intense balletic Jesse James film, is a modern masterpiece.  So all eyes were on his follow up at Cannes earlier in the year.  It comes as no surprise that the adaptation of George V. Higgins' pulp 70's novel hasn't quite reached the standards of his previous film, but it seems punchy and didactic and should still be an exciting and unmissable film event.

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Read on for drug cartels out of control, a special tool for ladies, more buildings you shouldn't go into and every trailer for films released this weekend.

There's a hint of Dominik's assured work behind the camera and this could be another knock out performance from Brad Pitt.  Honestly how could you resist?


Never a film maker renowned for his subtlety it looks like Oliver Stone has temporarily dropped the champagne socialism for a balls to the wall drug cartel action flick, featuring every Hispanic actor you know and a few up and coming white stars as the heroes this does seem to promise suitable amounts of mayhem and violence.

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Prepare for everything you though you knew about the sex life of Victorians to be wrong as you enter into the strange beginnings of the vibrators.  First produced and marketed as a medical aid to calm hysterical woman this fun period drama (more like Carry on Merchant Ivory) sees the patriarchal doctors, led by Jonathan Pryce telling the women what's best for their ailments whilst Maggie Gyllenhaal's proto-feminist is keen to tell him it's only about pleasure.

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It's a Bollywood movie about Bollywood, centering around a star trying to stay at the top of her game.  I'm not sure whether casting massive star Kareena Kapoor in the leading role will help, but it's warts and all look inside the Inidan movie business is bound to gets bums on seats so we can expect this to slip into the fringes of the top ten this weekend.

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House at the end of the Street

I can't claim to have learnt that much advice for living from trips to the multiplex.  Sure I've picked up some stuff about history, but for every moral there's another film that subverts it.  Except in the case of horror where it is the perceived wisdom that if a serial killing once took place in a house then it's best to just get the fuck out of there.  I don't think Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence are quite as cine-literate as I am.

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Yorkshire based horror which sees a bunch of delinquents from London off on a field trip with their right-on carers only to find it'a particularly grim up north when the locals fancy a bit of torture the newbies.  A friend of mine from Yorkshire pointed the trailer out to me months ago and got all flustered about the regional stereotyping.  It gets an extra blob just for that.

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Now is Good

It's Love Story meets The Bucket List as Dakota Fanning goes all Cancer won't defeat me in this young adult weepie.  I hear it hits all the marks for the teenage target audience and the solid presence of Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams will have the adults in tears too.

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Tower Block

The vagaries of production times and release dates means we get the second James Moran script in a few weeks and whilst this doesn't have the enjoyable tone of Cockneys vs Zombies there's still a notable tension in this mysterious sniper in the council estate thriller.  Nice cast of TV names too.

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It's broken box office records in it's native France and proved to be an enormous crowd pleasing success across Europe and America, so it'll be interesting to see how this dramedy about a quadriplegic millionaire Francois Cluzet and the former thug he hires to care for him Omar Sy does in the UK.  If you ask me the tone is a little difficult to pin down, with it's nauseating "we all have disabilities" theme.  Maybe I'm just too cynical.

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You are God

Polish flick with a a tiny release window.  Telling the true story of Eastern European rap outfit Paktofonika and their tragic fron man Magik.  I imagine this is a movie playing very much to it's core audience, but if you're interested in the history of rap and how it's been taken up across the globe this should be worth catching.

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How to Make Love to a Woman

If you do want to see this instructional comedy, in the vein of a marginally less bawdy American Pie, then you've already missed your chance as it hung around in a limited number of cinemas during week nights only.  Still it won't be long before it appears in a bargain bin near you.

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The Prophet

I wanted to give this odd documentary more blobs but I honestly couldn't justify it, however the almost performance reading aspects - Thandie Newton voice overs extracts from Kahil Gibran's cult guide to living - whilst Gary Tarn finds some notable and exquisitely related things to film.  This is more art than art-house and almost certainly deserves checking out if you're able to do so.

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