Monday, 11 March 2013

Critical Week: Spring break forever!

This week's most memorable press screening was for Harmony Korine's odd concoction Spring Breakers, which blends hedonistic antics with a gritty thriller, plus James Franco's astonishingly fabulous performance as a rapping gangster. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone stars Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey as flashy Vegas magicians in an amusing story pitting old-world values against shallow modern-day methodology. The animated prehistoric romp The Croods features much better than usual writing, voice work and animation to follow a caveman struggling to let his teen daughter grow up. And a father-daughter relationship is also at the centre of Michael Winterbottom's fascinating but uneven The Look of Love, a biopic about King of Soho Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan), the London strip club and publishing magnate who always hoped to pass his empire on to his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots).

In the artier corner, we had perhaps the most provocative film in recent memory in Compliance, a movie so cleverly concocted that it can't help but make you furious; Small Apartments, starring Matt Lucas and a variety of big-name cameo players, is a relentlessly wacky pitch-black comedy that has an odd ability to stir your emotions; and the bracing but controversial documentary Long Distance Revolutionary takes us into the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal, an astute journalist who's in prison for murder.

This coming week we have a very late screening of the latest fairy tale blockbuster Jack the Giant Slayer, Melissa McCarthy as an Identity Thief, James McAvoy in Danny Boyle's Trance, the remake of Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead and Bertolucci's Me and You. Plus various other things I need to catch up with on disc, as always.

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