Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Critical Week: The film that shall not be named

Film studios often place embargoes on critics, prohibiting us from talking about a movie until the week of release. And over the past year or so these have evolved into full-on nondisclosure agreements, with multiple points outlining everywhere we're not allowed to express an opinion. Most of the time I don't really mind; I never review a film until it can be seen by an audience. It only gets annoying if we're embargoed from discussing a movie that's already open in the USA - so there are already hundreds of reviews in newspapers, magazines and online, and yet I am prohibited from adding my voice to the mix until the film has its delayed UK release.

But for The Expendables 2, we had something I've never seen: we were told not to even mention the title. (Although I did list it in last week's Critical Week, buried under an Olympic blog entry.) Surprisingly, I enjoyed the film a lot more than its po-faced predecessor. This one doesn't take itself so seriously, so it's a lot more fun to watch.

The other oddity this past week was The Bourne Legacy, which the distributor only screened to us on Monday, the day it opened in the UK. It's a perfectly fine thriller, not up to the adrenaline and emotionally charged levels of the last two Bourne movies, but watchable on its own terms. Otherwise this past week I've squeezed a few other films around the Olympics. Rec3: Genesis is the third entry in the Spanish undead horror series, again enjoyably twisting the genre in new directions, this time adding comedy and emotion. Shut Up and Play the Hits is a fascinating existential concert doc about James Murphy, frontman for LCD Soundsystem, covering the 48 hours around the band's final performance. And I caught two Frightfest titles for which my opinions are, yes, embargoed: the British horror-comedy Cockneys vs Zombies and Scott Derrickson's Sinister.

This coming week: Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, Jake Gyllenhaal in End of Watch, the British thriller Twenty8K, the acclaimed documentary 5 Broken Cameras.

1 comment:

Aron Biro said...

After following your website for a decade I'm finally in London for the first time, for Frightfest, and I'm spending more than the average Olympics tourist. I would not be here without your reviews so someone in the government should think again about this ridiculous embargo.

From Transylvania