Whatever your religious convictions, the Easter break offers a four-day weekend, doubling the time you can spend at the cinema. So why not get down there for blockbuster sequels, surprising adaptations and welcome re-releases. If you don’t want to go out, there’s even a bit of Star Wars action for home consumption.
We start where we’ve been before. It’s been said in the past (by me as well) but who’d have thought back in 2001 that The Fast and the Furious would turn into a smash hit franchise? Now we’re onto the 8th outing with Fast & Furious 8 (also known as The Fate of the Furious). The story really doesn’t matter, though if you must know it’s something to do with terrorism. Lots of cars will drive around and blow up and Vin Diesel is still in the lead alongside Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez and pretty much everyone else at a loose end when filming commenced. If you like the others you’ll probably like this.
2001 seems to be the year this week. Also released back then was David Lynch’s almost uncategorisable Mulholland Drive. His twisting, baffling horror/thriller/mystery/drama continues to provoke debate to this day. It’s also brilliant, and is out again with a 4k re-release. You could do far worse than dip back into the world of Naomi Watts’ aspiring actress who gets mixed up in car crashes, mob hits and all the nightmares a person can stomach. Then you can spend your time debating the meaning for years afterwards.
The Handmaiden is an adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Victorian-set novel moved to World War II Korea by famed director Park Chan-wook. That description alone should be enough to get you interested. The narrative centres on a female thief who falls in love with the aristocratic woman she’s sent to rob. Loyalty is tested with double-crossing at every turn in a film stylish, sexy and full of beautiful imagery. Don’t make the mistake of not seeing this on the biggest screen possible.
When Star Wars sprung back to life with The Force Awakens, everyone rushed to proclaim it the masterpiece it really wasn’t. While perfectly enjoyable (and a million times better than the atrocious prequel trilogy), the story was no more than a copy of the original. Then came Rogue One, a Death Star spin-off that manages to feel fresh. Genuinely thrilling and, with the removal of those tedious Jedi Knights, it has this franchise expanding business off to an excellent start. Out now on DVD, you might find yourself returning to this one.
I guess we should stop there. See you next week for ornate period drama.