Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Critical Week: Of skirts and men

I caught up with the ancient-mythology epic Gods of Egypt this week (that's Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites above being tormented by a god-sized Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There's definitely a lot of camp value there, and much of the snarky attitude is intentional. It's definitely smarter that most blockbusters, even if it is swamped by excessive effects work (hint: it's better on a small screen without 3D).

Aside from the Sundance Film Festival London, I had only three other movies this week, and it was a mixed bag: Elvis & Nixon recounts an absurd true story as a vehicle for Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey to chomp merrily on the scenery. There isn't much more to the movie that that, but it might be enough. The Stanford Prison Experiment is a rather darker true story from 1971, with eerie resonance in more recent headline news. It's a very well-made film, sober and pointed, with a terrific cast. And Outings consists of the first three episodes of a proposed British TV series that's unlikely to be commissioned. Basically an amusing but never funny gay variation on Sex and the City, the stories are good and the cast is fresh, but it's just too amateurish to appeal to broader audiences.

As usual this time of year, screenings are rather few and far between. The only one in the diary for the coming week is the London-set sequel The Conjuring 2. Other films might be forthcoming (and I have a few in the diary for the following week), but I'm looking forward to a bit of time to do other things for a change.

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