Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Critical Week: Tell no one

There are a handful of films screened to London critics this past week that we're not allowed to review yet. Insidious: Chapter 2 reunites Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and director James Wan for more ghostly/demonic horror. Riddick reunites Vin Diesel with director David Twohy for a third instalment in the series, 13 years after Pitch Black. And The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones brings a new young-adult franchise about vampires, werewolves and demons to the big screen. That last embargo ends today, and I also attended a press conference yesterday that was much more entertaining than the film, thanks to lively stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and director Harald Zwart.

There was no embargo needed for the late-in-the-day screening of the entertaining but disappointing sequel Kick-Ass 2, which features original cast members Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse with a new writer-director. Luke Evans plays a shady unnamed guy in No One Lives, a high-energy horror film that gleefully entertains fans with a series of grisly deaths.

After all of that, it was nice to have a few grown-up films: Le Week-end is a marvellously written and played drama starring Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum. Gloria is a strongly engaging Chilean drama about a middle-aged single woman trying to find love. Call Girl is a strikingly well-made Swedish drama about political corruption and a prostitution ring. And Clio Barnard's The Selfish Giant cleverly re-interprets Oscar Wilde's story as a gritty tale of hapless tearaway kids in Yorkshire. I also revisited Rene Clement's gorgeously restored 1960 thriller Plein Soleil and Gregg Araki's rather nutty teen sci-fi comedy-drama Nowhere. Both still feel eerily contemporary.

This coming week we have Richard Curtis' About Time, Jennifer Aniston in the comedy We're the Millers, Aubrey Plaza in The To Do List, the British internet thriller Uwantme2killhim?, the Cuban adventure Una Noche and a chance to revisit Terry Gilliam's fantastic Time Bandits, restored for a re-release.

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