Monday, 23 May 2011

Critical Week: Go East

This week's Sunday morning treat was the 3D sequel Kung Fu Panda 2, reuniting Jack Back with his starry vocal cast of heroes for another epic Chinese adventure involving another British villain (Gary Oldman's evil peacock). The other big screening was another sequel, also set in Asia and not quite up to the standard of the original: The Hangover Part II sends our hapless gang staggering around Bangkok after another messy, not particularly funny night out.

Other films screened this past week were lower profile, but each was entertaining in its own way: there was Brendan Gleeson in the riotously clever In Bruges-style crime comedy The Guard; Jesse Eisenberg in the intriguing Hasidic drug dealer drama Holy Rollers; Kim Cattrall as a washed-up pornstar in the geeky but engaging coming-of-age comedy Meet Monica Velour; Gerard Depardieu as a shambling long-haired biker dude in the arty comedy Mammuth; Bertrand Tavernier's fascinatingly well-made period romance The Princess of Montpensier; and the quietly riveting Kyrgyz drama The Light Thief.

This coming week, summer cranks up a notch with a screening of the next big action blockbuster X-men: First Class, plus Chris Weitz's East L.A. drama A Better Life, Audrey Tatou in the French rom-com Beautiful Lies, the award-winning Iranian drama A Separation, the British prison drama Screwed, and the global economy doc The Flaw. Hopefully this sunny weather will hold out for the long weekend ... and that Icelandic volcano will stop disrupting flights.

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