Monday, 20 May 2013

Critical Week: And I feel fine

By far the most enjoyable press screening of the past week was the apocalyptic comedy This Is the End (with James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride, above). Reviews are embargoed for a couple of weeks so I can't say any more. We also had screenings of Baz Luhrmann's lavishly entertaining version of The Great Gatsby, which sharply captures the hollowness under the hedonistic excess. Then there was the underwritten British spy thriller The Numbers Station starring John Cusack, and Marlon Wayans' ghost-movie spoof A Haunted House, which is better than it looks but still a missed opportunity.

Further off the beaten path we had the fragmented British romance/drama/romp Spike Island, a choppy story about teen Stone Roses fans in 1990; the topical and deeply involving low-budget German drama The Visitor; and a 50th anniversary restoration of John Schlesinger's timeless British comedy Billy Liar, starring the fabulous Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie. It's simply wonderful - get your hands on a copy.

Just before it opens, the press will finally get to see the end of the trilogy with The Hangover Part III. I also have screenings of Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, the thriller Black Rock, Studio Gibli's From Up on Poppy Hill, the Canadian comedy The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum and the French drama Atomic Age. And it's another long weekend here, so maybe I can carry on catching up with my stack of DVD screeners.

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