Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Critical Week: London's burning

London was the centre of the Star Trek universe last week with the first press screenings of JJ Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness, an epic press junket at City Hall looking over the river at the skyline (not burning in real life but glistening in the spring sunshine) and a mammoth world premiere in Leicester Square. I attended two press screenings and hugely enjoyed the film both times. It's definitely one for the fans, as those who don't know the back-story will struggle to understand the significance of the plot and characters, but the cast is terrific. Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Alice Eve were all on great form at the press event.

Also last week, we had Paul Walker in the rather implausible but involving Johannesburg road thriller Vehicle 19, Tim Roth and Jack O'Connell in the darkly comical British crime thriller The Liability, Alexey Balabanov's violent and pointed black comedy The Stoker, and the Belgian-Turkish culture clash drama-romance Mixed Kebab. I also planned a Madeline Kahn marathon over the long weekend with friends who had never seen her best work. We thoroughly enjoyed the genius of What's Up Doc and Young Frankenstein, but the warm sunshine tempted us to put off Blazing Saddles for another day. Frankly, those are three films I could happily watch on a loop.

This coming week, we have Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, the uber-reunion sequel Fast & Furious 6, Michael Shannon in The Iceman, the animated adventure Epic, the German fable The Wall, the acclaimed doc Blackfish, and a second attempt to see the Brazilian doc Tropicalia after a projector issue cancelled last week's screening. I also still have to see those reissues: Theorem, The King of Marvin Gardens and Billy Liar - let's hope for bad weather this weekend!

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