Thursday, 24 August 2017

Critical Week: The need for speed

There were two late press screenings for London-based critics of movies coming out this week. Doug Liman's American Made is a lively odyssey starring Tom Cruise as Tom Cruise - no, as real-life smuggler Barry Seal, who got was running arms for the CIA and White House and drugs for the Colombian cartels in the 1980s. It's entertaining, but overwhelmed by Cruise's presence. Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky is a scruffy heist comedy with Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and a scene-stealing, against-type Daniel Craig. There's not much to it, but it's a lot of fun.

Rather more serious, Taylor Sheridan's Wind River stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in a mystery thriller set on a native American reservation in snowy Wyoming. It looks amazing and has a strong emotional kick. And then there's the goofy comedy Unleashed, which lacks discipline but has a certain charm as a dog and cat are transformed into their owner's idea of boyfriend material. Finally, Loving Vincent is the extraordinary Vincent van Gogh drama made using hand-painted animation. It looks simply dazzling, and features strong, recognisable performances from Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, Chris O'Dowd and Helen McCrory.

This weekend I am catching up on some screeners at home before heading off to Venice for the 74th edition of the film festival on the Lido. Films on offer there include Alexander Payne's Downsizing, Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, George Clooney's Suburbicon, Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water, Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete, S Craig Zahler's Brawl in Cell Block 99, Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and many, many more. I'll be updating the blog regularly...

No comments: