Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Critical Week: Going gaga

Yes, London critics were treated to the B-movie spoof Machete Kills this past week. The film essentially places Danny Trejo amid a flurry of wacky star gags including Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Sofia Vergara, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jessica Alba, Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens and so on. At least they all look like they had fun. We also finally got a look at Naomi Watts as Diana in a film that's sure to spark snide criticism even though it's not actually that awful. It's not that good either. Much better, but equally likely to receive cynical reviews due to its open-handed sentimentality, is Philomena. Based on an extraordinary true story, the film features awards-attention performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

A little off the beaten path, we also had the gritty, especially well-made care-home drama Short Term 12 with Brie Larson, the strained Scottish rom-com Not Another Happy Ending with Karen Gillan, the cleverly constructed mock-doc The Conspiracy, and the eye-opening athletics doping doc 9.79*.

This coming week, we'll be watching Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in Prisoners, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in The Railway Man, James Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus in Enough Said, Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer in The Family, Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden in Parkland, the festival winner Leviathan and the animated sequel The Reef 2: High Tide.

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