Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Critical Week: King of the jungle

There was yet another new movie version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' iconic Tarzan screened for press this week - German animation that has high technical quality but some dodgy artistic and plot elements. Kellan Lutz performs and voices the king of the jungle, and when everything comes together, it's very entertaining. Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff play brothers in The Motel Life, a strong, low-key drama that taps into a real sense of desperation. So it's also rather grim.  Mindless action came in the form of In the Blood, starring Gina Carano as a new bride who kicks into battle mode when her husband disappears. Gorgeous Caribbean scenery helps us ignore the silly script.

Further afield, Robin Weigert is terrific in the drama Concussion, a warm, offhanded exploration of middle-aged desire. The Lisbon-set thriller After the Night takes us into a bustling favela for a fast paced all-night thriller that's low on detail but strong on atmosphere. And the Swedish film The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is an engaging blend of black comedy, dark drama and cheeky history.

This coming week's biggie is The Amazing Spider-man 2, and other screenings include Chiwetel Ejiofor in Half of a Yellow Sun, the comedy Jesus People, and Mike Myers' documentary Supermensch. I'm also attending the launch event for Jean-Paul Gaultier's exhibition at the Barbican, which promises to be a lot of fun combining fashion and film. Watch this space...

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