Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Critical Week: Clean your room

The big press screening this past week in London was for The Amazing Spider-man 2, which opens here three weeks before it hits America. The lavish world premiere was also in Leicester Square this week. As for the film, it's that same mixture of sharply observed comedy-drama and whizzy spidey-swinging action, but the blockbuster plot elements feel invasive and pointless.

There was also the fascinating but diffuse Nigerian drama Half of a Yellow Sun, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton; the devilish but random thriller 13 Sins, starring Mark Webber and Rutina Wesley; the hilarious in-joke Christian music satire Jesus People; and the sensitive but undercooked gay Chicago drama In Bloom. And we also had two music-based docs: SuperMensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is the lively, entertaining story of an important and remarkably nice-guy music promoter, while Mistaken for Strangers is the rather slight but enjoyable story of a rock singer on tour with his cheeky little brother, a documentary filmmaker.

This coming week's screenings include Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann in The Other Woman, Zac Efron and Seth Rogen in Bad Neighbours (aka Neighbors), Gael Garcia Bernal's Who Is Dayani Crystal, the award-winning Singaporean drama Ilo Ilo, the Native American musical doc American Interior, and two films starring young British actors: the crime caper Plastic and the romance Benny & Jolene. 

And I'm already bracing myself for the following week, as the Sundance London Festival (25-27 April) begins early for journalists with four days of press screenings - I have 14 films in my diary over six days.

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