Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Critical Week: Looking for the right mix

It's been another eclectic week of press screenings for London-based critics. We Are Your Friends is an engaging L.A.-set drama starring Zac Efton as a DJ looking for his voice. Straight Outta Compton has already stormed the American box office, and comes to Britain next week - it's the gripping, gritty story of NWA's rise to fame in the 1990s. And even though it stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, and is written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Aloha was so wobbly in America that it's going straight to video in the UK. It doesn't really work, but it isn't that awful either.

We also had two films costarring the wonderful Kathryn Hahn: M Night Shyamalan's new film The Visit (comments are embargoed until closer to the release), and Jack Black and James Marsden in the surprisingly bold and thoughtful comedy The D Train. And there was also: Owen Wilson and Lake Bell in the seriously suspenseful chase thriller No Escape; Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston in the amazing, arty friendship drama Queen of Earth; and the amusing B-movie vampire-mayhem workplace comedy Bloodsucking Bastards.

This coming week we've got Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van, Kevin Bacon in Cop Car, Nicholas Hoult in Kill Your Friends, Cary Elwes in A Haunting in Cawdor, the Sundance winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the South African comedy-drama Leading Lady, and the activism doc How to Change the World. And it's a long weekend, so I should be able to catch up on some screeners at home.

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