Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Critical Week: Wanted dead or alive

Two big press screenings for UK critics this week. First was Rock of Ages, the 80s power-ballad musical starring Tom Cruise (above, yes really), Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand. Our comments are embargoed until next weekend. And then there was Ridley Scott's eagerly anticipated Prometheus, which was only shown to the press the day before it opened in UK cinemas. The studio needn't have worried: everyone is loving the film, which isn't quite the Alien prequel everyone expected but is hugely entertaining and visually stunning, especially in Imax 3D.

The only two of my online screeners I managed to get to over the rainy long weekend were Detachment, Tony Kaye's overly bleak exploration of the education system starring Adrien Brody, and Neon Flesh, a Spanish black comedy thriller that looks amazing but never makes much sense out of its fragmented plot.

Otherwise I've been keeping up with TV shows, including the final episodes in this series of Mad Men, which just keeps getting more insanely intense episode by brilliant episode. Will anyone be standing at the end? Meanwhile, Game of Thrones is struggling to bring all those plot strands to some sort of conclusion - I never feel like I get enough of any of them. Comedy-wise I'm loving the first series of Veep, enjoying the second series of Episodes and still making my mind up about the self-indulgent but funny Girls.

This coming week London critics twill be watching, among other things, Channing Tatum in Stephen Soderbergh's stripper comedy-drama Magic Mike, Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg's urban drama Cosmopolis, Cillian Murphy and Robert DeNiro in the Spanish drama Red Lights, Olivia Newton-John in the Aussie comedy A Few Best Men, and the documentaries Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and The Imposter.

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