Keep your pants on for this week’s At The Flix. Protection is only compulsory when the films aren’t so good. I’m here to provide you with a hint of how much protection you actually need at the cinema!
So without further ado, to paraphrase Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me, ‘let’s delve deeply into our cinematic treasures.
Sex Tape (15)
First, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel team up for Sex Tape. The film could be deemed topical subject matter given the leak of various celebrities in states of undress this week. The film follows a not too dissimilar context. Diaz and Segel work to get their Sex Tape off the interweb to supposedly hilarious consequences.
Warning signs of the film’s allegedly comedy pretensions include a promotional campaign promoting it as being “From the Director of Bad Teacher” which is most certainly no endorsement, a trailer which probably has the funniest bits in it, and a whole host of mediocre reviews (18% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing). Take of that what you will. I really like Segel as a comic actor and screenwriter. He’s better than this! A smutty premise of film sadly looking rather flaccid.
Before I Go To Sleep (15)
On the surface, this should be a gripping thriller. Nicole Kidman plays a woman who wakes up every day with no memory as the result of a traumatic accident in her past. Of course, truths start to out, and she starts to question everything and everyone from her doctor (Mark Strong) to her husband (Colin Firth).
With a thriller such as this, much depends on the character study and the strength of the film’s conviction to see its premise through to the end. So many thrillers run out of ideas and when the ‘reveals’ happen, they usually result in some fantastical denouement and quite often some kind of slasher/shoot-em-up context.
Here’s to hoping that with the calibre of actors on show here and Rowan Joffe‘s direction, that is is able to match this.
Here’s a film with a very intereting premise starring Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory, the owner of a Michelin starred restaurant in France, who soon finds herself in direct competition to the Kadam family, who leave India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road. It’s heading for all out war until Mme Mallory becomes charmed with the Indian cooking and indeed takes chef Hassan’s under her wing.
Screenwriter Steven Knight proves his versatility beyond crime thrillers, So moving his craft to adapted feel good fodder is a really intriguing move. When legendary Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom is on form, he delivers fantastic films and is master of the good-nature sweet, romantic film. This seems right up his street.
We may have had a Sex Tape this week but this is a sort of Food Porn with added saccharine and much fun had from all on screen.
The Guest (15)
This week’s big draw could well be this film, an oddball genre-bending action meets horror flick getting a fair whack of mainstream attention. Garnering fantastic reviews, this has been described in Empire as “”a demented action-horror hybrid of sci-fi conspiracy thriller and gore-fest.
Got it? Well, Dan Stevens (yes, him of Downton fame) stars in and steels this this film made by director Adam Wingard which odes to Folks reminiscing of their 80s VHS collection may appreciate its leanings, especially if large slabs of John Carpenter, The Carpenter and other iconic cinematic flavours are your thing.
Elsewhere, get your woolly jumpers on as The Electric are showing The Keeper of Lost Causes, a Swedish crime thriller following two cops digging into a case about a disappeared woman. The mac are showing screenings of the documentary Finding Fela!, a documentary about Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life,music, and political importance from acclaimed filmmaker Alex Gibney.
So, all in all, a hefty mix of cinematic goodness this week. As always, get your quibbles, queries, questions into me on twitter @timmy666 and I’ll happily engage in some twitterific movie chat.
Until next week, keep your Sex Tape locked away! Pip pip!