Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Critical Week: What's the point

London critics caught up with the next tentpole this week, namely Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (aka Salazar's Revenge), the fifth in the swashbuckling franchise starring Johnny Depp. While I enjoyed the previous four romps, this one felt overstuffed in every way (too many people, too many rambling plotlines, too many digital effects). I was happy when it finally ended.

Everything else was a bit smaller. Chris Evans is excellent in the sharply well-made drama Gifted, which manages to remain emotionally resonant without tipping into sentimentality. Tommy's Honour is a terrific story of the Scottish father and son who created the modern game of golf, nicely played by Peter Mullan and rising star Jack Lowden. Although the film is a bit uneven. The soapy Spanish comedy Wild Awakenings wins us over with its ridiculous tale of lust on a horse ranch. And the documentary Dying Laughing is a fascinating look at the life of a stand-up comic, as told by rather a lot of people who became very successful at it.

And finally, I revisited the early 1990s cult series Twin Peaks and rewatched the 1992 movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me before diving into the two-hour pilot episode for this 25-years-later sequel series. It's all rather bonkers, but sublimely so. And I look forward to the next 16 episodes.

Coming up this week is a very late press screening of Wonder Woman (buzz has been good but for some reason they are holding this one close to their chest), plus a number of films that will be screened at the forthcoming Sundance Film Festival London - watch this space. Meanwhile in France, the Cannes Film Festival winds up with its awards over the weekend. Expect controversy as usual.

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