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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (15.)
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges. 141 mins
Even though Vaughn had yet to put a foot wrong in an impressive directorial career, and the original 2014 prole-upstart-becomes-world-saver-in-chief-at-clandestined-but-snooty-secret-service romp seemed to have plenty of potential left, every time I saw a Man Utd player's head positioned next to prominent Kingsman Golden Circle logo in his Old Trafford post match interview, my faith waned a little. It communicated uncertainty, a bit of desperation: desperately trying to grab the attention from Phil Jones by wearing a Beefeater red jacket just doesn't suggest the class and breeding Kingsman are supposed to define.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson and Kristen Wiig. 121 mins
Darren Aronofsky, whose une films des include Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream and The Wrestler is a visionary film maker, in much the same way that Doug Livermore is an England international footballer: there was a space that needed filling, and on a rudimentary level he does the job. Mother! isn't like any other film you have seen, but has nothing new to show.
Directed by Andres Muschietti.
Starring Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Javier Botet, Sophia Lillis, Nicholas Hamilton and Bill Skarsgård. 135 mins.
If Warner Brother are good at anything it is publicising horror films. The Conjuring 2 had a fearsomely effective poster while their marketing for It has helped turn this adaptation of an old Stephen King doorstopper into something of a cultural phenomenon, set to be one of the biggest horror movies of recent times. Its poster – an exclamation mark made up of a yellow coated child victim and a red balloon, with the logo “you'll float too” - is almost indecently chilling. Well, they certainly hooked me in.
Directed by Philippe Van Leeuw.
Starring Hiam Abbass, Diamand Bou Abboud, Juliette Navis, Mohsen Abbas, Moustapha Al Kar and Alissar Kaghadou. 86 mins.
The process of becoming enveloped in a war zone must be a lot like reverse gentrification: a little bit quicker than you imagined possible, strange new faces with alien values and no regard for all you've invested emotionally in this area, encroach upon your territory and all you held dear is wiped away. The question is then is whether to hold on or get out.
Wind River (15)
Directed by Taylor Sheridan.
Starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Martin Sensmeier, Gil Birmingham and Jon Bernthal. 107 mins.
Scandi-noir comes to the Native American reservation in this directorial debut by the writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water. There are bodies half buried in snow, a miss matched investigation duo, a hero haunted by something in his past and vast, white, forbidding terrain; but no subtitles. After arriving at a blizzard set Wyoming wearing little more than a t-shirt, FBI “little girl” Olsen decides she might benefit from a little local knowledge in the shape of tracker Renner, who has a personal motivation to find out who raped and murdered the girl whose barefoot corpse was found in the snow.
The Limehouse Golem (15.)
Directed by Juan Carlos Medina.
Starring Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Sam Reid, Daniel Mays, Eddie Marsan. 109 mins.
There's been some murders. Juicy ones. In olde London town. Again.
We don't need another serial killer film, or another serial killer film examining why we are fascinated by serial killers, or even another period piece serial killer film examining why we are fascinated by serial killers.) But if we must have one this adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's novel is all you could hope for, being enthralling and ambitious and filled with the unexpected.
Moon Dogs (15.)
Directed by Philip John.
Starring Jack Parry-Jones, Christy O'Donnell, Tara Lee, Chris Donald, Tam Dean Burn and Dennis Lawson. 93 mins.
There must be some nice, agreeable people in Scotland, but on a trip from the Shetlands to Glasgow this coming of age road movie joolznjim comedy dramary fails to bump into any of them. At the start, the tale of two miss-matched step brothers, laddish Welsh Michael (Parry-Jones) and quiet introverted alt folk musician Thor (O'Donnell) is quite engaging but it all goes downhill when they meet Caitlin (Lee) a gaelic fantasy figure who is rebellious and free and can have sex without being in love.
Logan Lucky (12A.)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes and Katherine Waterston. 119 mins.
Soderbergh's return after a four year retirement is a hillbilly Ocean's Eleven which swaps smoothy Clooney for two down on their luck West Virginian brothers, Tatum and Driver, and the Las Vegas casino for the Charlotte Speedway race track during the running of the Coca Cola 600. It is a perverse and frustrating exercise in miss matching content and form. The plot is an elaborate heist involving meticulous planning and clockwork co-ordination. Its delivery is sloppy and lackadaisical, with a script that can always make time for unnecessary digressions or indulgent star cameos.
Borg vs McEnroe (15.)
Directed by Jonas Metz
Starring Sverrir Gudnason, Shia Lebeouf, Stellan Skargard, Tuva Novotny and Robert Emms. Partly subtitled. 140 mins.
Borg wins in the end. I don't normally like giving away endings, but this Swedish production about the great tennis rivalry, centred on the weeks of the 1980 Wimbledon championship, is clearly a rigged game. The traditional tennis watching position is the swivelling head sat in line with the net; this film though keeps its gaze fixed firmly on Borg's side of the coat. The Mc is really just making up the numbers, which is tough when the number being made up is two.
Victoria and Abdul. (PG.)
Directed by Stephen Frears.
Starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith, Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Michael Gambon, Paul Higgins and Olivia Williams. 112 mins.
Queen Victoria (Judi Dench incarnation) and director Stephen Frears share a propensity for putting it about a bit. During nearly a half century of directing for the big and small screen, Frears has filmed the works of David Hare, Roddy Doyle, Alan Bennett and Hanif Kureshi, and had a go at any number of topics and styles. But even so, isn't it a bit of come down for the man who used to make Comic Strip episodes and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, to be doing what is effectively Mrs Brown 2? After Dench's previous dalliance with a Billy Connolly's Scottish security guard, this time The Queen Vic's roving eye alights on an Indian servant (Fazal) who carves out a role for himself as her Majesty's spiritual guru, or Munshi. What is Frear's doing directing such tame, heritage cinema stuff? He's doing brilliantly I'd say; this is a fine exercise in having your crown and smashing it on the floor.
Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast.
Directed by Daniel Draper.
Featuring Dennis Skinner. 96 mins.
Movies take so long to make that it is almost impossible for them to be topical. (In which case, how come there are so many Trump references in movies this summer? I thought that was supposed to be an against the odds shock?) During the 18 months Draper spent piecing together his crowd funded portrait of the Beast of Bolsover, Labour's longest serving MP, he must have assumed that this was a requiem for lost idealism. Now, thanks to Theresa May, it has become very topical – if he had been ten years younger maybe he would be tantalisingly close to being the Prime Minister.
Belle De Jour (18.)
Directed by Luis Bunuel.
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Genevieve Page, Pierre Clementi. 96 mins.
This week sees 50th anniversary re-release of Catherine Deneuve's performance as possibly the most famous prostitute in cinema history. Belle De Jour is a middle class Parisian lady whose marriage to a handsome doctor would be ideal if it wasn’t for her being a touch “cold” when it comes to the physical side of their relationship. To rectify this she ends up working in a brothel.
Kills On Wheels (15.)
Directed by Attila Till.
Starring Szabolcs Thuróczy, Zoltán Fenyvesi, Ádám Fekete, Mónika Balsai, Lídia Danis, Dusán Vitanovics. In Hungarian with subtitles. 103 mins.
It is Assassin week in the nation's cinemas with punters having a choice between the American not-screened-for-reviewers assassin, the Korean lady assassin (Villainess) and the Hungarian wheel chair assassin. Now, if you're me, the later is the obvious choice, in the expectation of some garish, darkly comic, high jinks. Till's feature debut though isn't particularly funny; it might be in Hungarian but whatever humour it contains isn't anything the subtitles feel like sharing. (Against that the English translation of the title is wittier than the original.)
God's Own Country. (15.)
Directed by Francis Lee.
Starring Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones and Ian Hart. 105 mins
God's own country is, in this case, Yorkshire and there's something very Yorkshire about the grim situation spun around young farmer Johnny Saxby (O'Connor), reluctantly struggling to keep the family farm going with his granny (Jones) and his partially disabled father (Hart.) His life is a James Herriot book rewritten by a gay Thomas Hardy. Surly, bitter, universally resentful, binge drinking Saxby is like a grunting compendium of our national failings. Still, there's no wonder he's always miserable; the moment he experiences any kind of pleasure some livestock die or his father has another stroke.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jack Reynor, Ben O Toole, Hannah Murray, Anthony Mackie and John Krasinski. 143 mins
I don't know how The Special Relationship is holding up these days but in this film at least it seems to involve Us washing Their old dirty laundry. Detroit is one of those big powerful Hollywood Oscar pleading dramas in which a big stubborn stain from America's past is given a public airing as a mirror to contemporary woes. Specifically the murder of three black men by three police officers during the chaos of the third day of rioting in Detroit in 1967. The subject matter is apparently so sensitive that legions of Brits have been drafted in to do the recreating; all the oppressors, and around half the oppressed are from our side of the pond.
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