Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Critical Week: The boys are back

Three distinct kinds of reboots were screened to UK critics this week. First, there's the movie version of the TV show Entourage, a snappy, energetic movie that perfectly captures the series' dopey macho attitude while depicting the inner workings of Hollywood in a hilariously realistic way. Nearly 15 years after the third movie it's clearly time to reboot that dinosaur franchise. So Jurassic World roars onto the big screen with major expectations it should have no trouble living up to, especially with a swashbuckling Chris Pratt in the lead role. It turns out that Insidious: Chapter 3 is a reboot as well, going back to the beginning to relaunch a franchise around the wonderful Lin Shaye's character Elise. It's also an auspicious directing debut for writer-actor Leigh Whannell.

The only original feature was Accidental Love, a deeply chaotic comedy directed by David O Russell in 2008 but reworked later and released under a pseudonym. Alas, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, Catherine Keener and James Marsden can't remove their names because their faces are recognisable on-screen. Being documentary season on the festival circuit, there were screenings of the lively and startlingly relevant Best of Enemies, which traces the epic 1968 TV debates between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley, and the fascinating but underworked Lord Montagu, which recounts the life of a British baron who has had a rollercoaster life.

This coming week, we have screenings of the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, Al Pacino in Manglehorn, the indie movie Those People and the short film compilation Boys on Film 13: Trick or Treat. There are also three more documentaries: The First Film, The Yes Men Are Revolting and the classic Man With a Movie Camera. And I'm really looking forward to attending this summer's Secret Cinema interactive event on Friday night, because it's themed around a screening of one of my very favourite films, The Empire Strikes Back. 

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