Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Critical Week: All glory is fleeting

Most actors would do well to remember the slogan tattooed across Zac Efron's character's back in The Lucky One, which was screened to UK critics this past week (a short one). Comments on the film are embargoed for another week, but even before seeing the film I had doubts about Efron's career choice of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. The other big screening was a very late one (just one day before release): the aliens vs sailors action blockbuster Battleship, which stars Rihanna in her first big film role. Very loosely based on the board game, it's a loud, stupid, thoroughly entertaining summer popcorn movie that opens in the UK tomorrow, more than a month before the US release.

Before the four-day Easter weekend, I also saw Blackthorn, a finely made Bolivian Western starring Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy; The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, a quirky indie that kind of gives up on its road-movie premise along the way; and Pasolini's iconic 1964 film of The Gospel According to Matthew, a masterpiece just remastered for DVD release. Meanwhile, distributors cancelled the only press screening of the Bruce Willis/Henry Cavill action movie The Cold Light of Day, so I missed it completely. Critics who paid to see it haven't been very kind.

Biggies this coming week (another short one) include three films retitled for their UK releases: Avengers Assemble screens Friday ahead of its release in two weeks; American Pie: Reunion reassembles the entire cast of the original film; and Fury is a Samuel L Jackson thriller perhaps cynically retitled to cash in on his Nick Fury character in the Avengers (it'll be released in the US next month as The Samaritan). We'll also catch up with Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe, the British drama Late September and two documentaries: Town of Runners and Being Elmo.

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