Monday, 10 June 2013

Critical week: Watching the world burn

Marc Forster's long-awaited zombie apocalypse movie World War Z was shown to the UK press this past week, seemingly five years after Brad Pitt and crew were marauding around Britain filming it. The first half of the film is an excellent Contagion-style thriller, before things get rather ridiculous. The other most anxiously awaited movie was the prequel Monsters University, which traces Mike and Sulley's earlier days studying to be scarers. It's packed with snappy visual and verbal gags, although the plot races a bit too quickly. And the other big-name movie this week was Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. They're always excellent - I could watch them just sit and chat for two hours - and the film has some great dialog even if the plot isn't up to much.

Further from the mainstream, I caught Ulrich Seidl's second part in his trilogy, Paradise: Faith, an even more razor-sharp pitch-black comedy than Love. From Germany, Men to Kiss is a twisty gay romantic comedy that has it's moments of genuine emotion. The harrowing The Act of Killing documents the 1965 Malaysian massacres with an inventive twist that's utterly mind-spinning, while the almost unnervingly quiet Silence documents a sound recordist trying to escape human noise. And then there were two iconic oldies on the big screen: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the pristinely restored studio-busting 1963 epic Cleopatra, and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho at the BFI Southbank - perhaps the most iconic film ever made introduced by James Franco, who has a Psycho-themed art installation in London all summer.

This coming week features another very late-screening Warner Bros blockbuster: Man of Steel. We also have the animated sequel Despicable Me 2, Kristen Wiig in Girl Most Likely, Nicolas Cage in The Frozen Ground, and Iain Softley's Trap for Cinderella. I'm also currently planning exactly when I head up to Edinburgh for the film festival, which starts on June 19th.

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