Thursday, 24 May 2018

Critical Week: A hot topic

It's been a busy week screening-wise, as I have packed in films in preparation for taking next week off. There was a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, one of my very favourite novels, although the film changes the plot and kind of loses the focus, despite strong performances from Michael B Jordan and Michael Shannon. And I managed to catch two screenings of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Han Solo origin movie, which ticks a lot of entertaining boxes to take the audience on a fun ride.

A little off the beaten path, Travis Mathew's evocative Discreet is a swirling experimental drama about past wounds, regrets and the pointlessness of revenge. Hooked is a slightly over-obvious drama about a young rentboy on a dangerous trajectory. Freelancers Anonymous is a refreshing if silly comedy about a woman trying to start over in a tough economy. And Astro is an amateurish sci-fi thriller with a couple of decent performances and laughably overserious dialog.

There were also three docs: The Fabulous Allan Carr is a lively and moving trip through the life of the iconic, life-loving but lonely producer of Grease; All the Wild Horses is a spectacularly shot trip across Mongolia on the world's longest horse race; and Arcadia uses a lot of amazing archival footage to try and say something odd about Britain's relationship with the land. And finally, I had a chance to catch the restored Yellow Submarine on the big screen as it gets a 50-year reissue. It's simply delightful - great animation and a thoroughly whimsical story.

I'm on holiday over the next week, so am avoiding films altogether! I return home just as the Sundance Film Festival: London kicks off, and will catch up with the anticipated horror Hereditary, Leave No Trace, Generation Wealth and Skate Kitchen, plus a programme of short films. Then the following week, it's time for Jurassic Park: Fallen World.

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