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Friday, 11 September 2015

5 for Friday (September 11): Trailers, new releases and box office


This week's most intriguing cinema releases, including The Visit (pictured above)...

1. Pasolini 
What is it? Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salo, The Gospel According To Matthew) was murdered in 1975. This mix of fiction and reality from Abel Ferrara (Welcome To New York, Bad Lieutenant) seeks to document his final day. Willem Dafoe is Pasolini.
Critical consensus? A healthy, if not spectacular, 69 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where in the UK can I see it? Key cities only but it is also available right now via Curzon Home Cinema. Also released on DVD and Blu-ray next month.
My take: Welcome To New York was one of my favourite films of last year and I’ve been curious to see what maverick director Ferrara would do next. Pasolini – a poet, playwright, novelist, critic, communist and defiantly ‘out’ gay man, as well as the director of one of the most controversial movies ever made (Salo) – is a fascinating choice of subject. That Dafoe fella can act a bit, too.


2. Irrational Man 
What is it? Writer/director Woody Allen’s 3,016th film (I may be out a couple there). Joaquin Phoenix is Abe, a tormented philosophy professor conducting affairs with both a colleague (Parker Posey) and one of his students (Emma Stone). In a bid to give his existential angst meaning, Abe decides to murder an unethical judge. As you do.
Critical consensus? A highly irrational 41 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where in the UK can I see it? This is getting a wide release so should be fairly easy to track down.
My take: I doubt Woody (80 this year) has another Crimes And Misdemeanors or Hannah and Her Sisters in him but, every now and again, he pops up with something roughly in the same ballpark quality-wise. The sublime Blue Jasmine proved that, although last year’s Magic In The Moonlight felt like something he’d dashed off in an afternoon. To be honest, I’m just happy he’s still out there making movies – we won’t have him forever.


3. In Cold Blood (reissue)
What is it? Richard Brooks’ 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote’s controversial non-fiction novel gets a swanky new 4K restoration. A docu-drama, it tells the story of a Kansas family’s brutal murder at the hands of the gunmen who invade their home looking for cash. Robert Blake (Baretta, Lost Highway) stars.
Critical consensus? A mighty 89 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where in the UK can I see it? It’s only getting a limited release, including at the BFI Southbank. Presumably, a Blu-ray release will be forthcoming.
My take: Brooks’ film is a critically-adored noir classic but, these days it’s impossible to think of it without also contemplating the fact its star, Blake, was tried and acquitted of murdering his wife in 2005. Later the same year, though, he was found liable in a California civil court of her wrongful death. In cold blood, indeed.


4. Containment 
What is it? This intriguing slice of low-budget British sci-fi sees a man awake to find the doors and windows of his flat sealed shut, and his power and water switched off. At first he thinks it’s someone’s idea of a prank but then notices the foreboding figures outside his window wearing Hazmat suits. His nightmare is only just beginning…
Critical consensus? Only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far but they’re all positive. Even Sight and Sound likes it!
Where in the UK can I see it? It’s only getting a limited cinema release but is out on DVD early next month.
My take: I do like a bit of dystopian Brit SF so will definitely check out Neil Mcenery-West’s debut as writer and director. The fact it’s set in a tower block immediately made me think of JG Ballard’s High Rise, an adaptation of which directed by Ben Wheatley (The Kill List, Sightseers) is out later in the year.


5. The Visit
What is it? M Night Shyamalan discovers found-footage horror a squillion years after everyone else as two rosy-cheeked kids go to stay with grandparents they’ve never met for a week. Unfortunately, for the children, it turns out the golden oldies have a deep, dark secret. Scary stuff ensues…
Critical consensus? A just-about fresh 62 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where in the UK can I see it? Everywhere!
My take: Yes, we all know Lady In The Water, The Last Airbender and The Happening were terrible but let’s not forget, way back when, Shyamalan gave us The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and that one about the aliens invading a planet covered in water even though it was poison to them. What I’m saying is, as surprising as it sounds, this looks pretty good.

                                                      
Also in cinemas this week…
Brahmin Bulls
Hero
La Famille Belier 
The Master Mind Kinda Sukha
Swimming Pool (from Saturday)
The World Of Astley Baker Davies
Yatchan
Zoran, My Nephew The Idiot 

UK box office top 10
1. Straight Outta Compton
2. Inside Out
3. No Escape
4. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
5. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
6. Pixels
7. The Transporter Refuelled
8. American Ultra
9. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
10. Hitman: Agent 47 

US box office top 10
1. War Room
2. Straight Outta Compton
3. A Walk in the Woods
4. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
5. The Transporter Refueled
6. No Escape
7. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
8. Un gallo con muchos huevos
9. Sinister 2
10. Inside Out 

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