Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Critical Week: Through the dangerzone

Speed was the name of the game at press screenings this week, as critics boarded Disney's Planes, the spin-off from Pixar's Cars movies; Ron Howard's Formula One drama Rush, about the rivalry-respect between 1970s champs James Hunt and Niki Lauda; Johnny Depp's latest wacky sidekick in The Lone Ranger, which is bloated but more fun than expected; and Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay's Pain & Gain, an over-pumped comedy based on a true story of torture and murder (!).

Our pulses slowed a bit for the all-star sex-addiction comedy-drama Thanks for Sharing, with Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Tim Robbins and Alecia Moore (better known as Pink); the dark drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints, with Rooney Mara and Dane DeHaan; the warm, funny and extremely telling Saudi drama Wadjda; and two docs: the straightforward biographical Hawking and an exploration of privacy-erosion in Terms and Conditions May Apply. Finally, we were jolted back out of our seats by a horror double bill: Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the demonic possession chiller The Conjuring, and a family under siege by masked killers in You're Next.

Coming up this week: Hugh Jackman is The Wolverine (again), those all-star retired killers are back for RED 2, Sandra Bullock teams with Melissa McCarthy for The Heat, there's more muscled men in skirts in Hammer of the Gods, Ulrich Seidl closes out his trilogy with Paradise: Hope, The Great Hip Hop Hoax documents Scots pretending to be American rappers, And we get a look at a reissued-remastered version of the 1981 epic Heaven's Gate.

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