27 June 2016-06-27

George Clooney in Hail, Caesar

Out This Week Hail, Caesar! (Universal, cert 12) To describe the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar! as a love letter to Hollywood is to understate the woozy, delirium these two middle aged men must have been in as they planned and put it together. But then their entire career has been marked by a regard, if not obsession, with the golden age. So what’s the plot? Josh Brolin plays a studio fixer trying to find a sword’n’sandal star (George Clooney) abducted by a bunch of blacklisted communists – the Hollywood Ten in all but name. And… er… that’s about it. Clooney is a Victor Mature/Richard Burton composite, a white-teethed naive who’s sculpted a career on his looks, though he’s keen … Read more

20 June 2016-06-20

Bella Heathcote and Lily James in Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Out This Week Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (Lionsgate, cert 15) And it is literally that… Pride & Prejudice… and zombies. Once the famous preamble – lightly scrambled – was out of the way, and I had been apprised of the fact that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains, it was straight into the tale of Elizabeth, if not the most beautiful then certainly the smartest of the Bennet daughters, and her growing relationship with dark, thunderous Mr Darcy. Lily James and Sam Riley play it straight as Elizabeth and Darcy, and Sally Phillips and Charles Dance also fit so neatly into the traditional roles of garrulous, mercenary Mrs … Read more

13 June 2016-06-13

Richard Jenkins and Kurt Russell in Bone Tomahawk

Out This Week Bone Tomahawk (The Works, cert 18) Someone somewhere described this as The Hills Have Eyes done as a western. That’s a good enough as a shorthand, but what that logline doesn’t quite capture is the amount of love and care – set design, locations, clothes, hair and make-up are all exquisite – that have been lavished on what is effectively a horror movie. And it’s off to an immediately strong start as we meet a pair of murdering robbers slitting a victim’s throat before they accidentally wander into an Indian bone cemetery. Bad shit happens in there, but we don’t find out exactly how bad until the film’s end, by which point … Read more

6 June 2016-06-06

Deadpool, Warlord and Negasonic Teenage Warhead

Out This Week Deadpool (Fox, cert 15) From the guys who wrote Zombieland, a similarly knowing and smart play in the genre pool, though this time it’s superheroes rather than the undead who get a prolonged playful kicking. The style is Honest Trailers – YouTube fanboys with brains ((“Trailers that tell you the TRUTH about your favorite movies and TV shows”) – and follows Ryan Reynolds as the eponymous hero as he searches … actually, there is no need to recount the plot at all, since that’s why you watch the film, though I should say that it is more than just a mere peg for jokes. And they come in all shapes and … Read more