The autumn equinox is here and nights are now longer than days. As we bid farewell to summer for another year, there is at least comfort in the fact the cinema release schedule continues no matter the season. With that in mind, settle in for flashy remakes, intimate dramas, quick-fire retrospectives and a lot of fun.
First up we must ask does the world really need a remake of The Magnificent Seven, especially given the 1960 original is already a remake of The Seven Samurai? Probably not, but Antoine Fuqua’s film gives us one anyway. This version has Denzel Washington hired to protect a remote US town from attack in the Wild West. To do so, he hires a ragtag bunch of men including Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. It’s all very predictable, and nowhere near as charming as previous versions, but there’s still fun to be had.
Ira Sachs has a real knack for intimate, humanistic cinema. He’s at it again with Little Men, a drama that sees two best friends forced to watch as their parents get into a bitter fight over a small New York dress shop. Wry humour and raw feelings come out as Sachs peers once more into the details of family life. The film premiered at Berlin earlier in the year and is currently running up some pretty impressive aggregate review scores. There is a reason for this.
Brian De Palma has a deserving reputation as one of the most interesting stylists in American cinema. The man behind Carrie, The Untouchables and Dressed to Kill has a sharp eye for genre and a willingness to experiment that doesn’t necessarily come off but always contains something of interest. In this simple documentary De Palma sits with the man himself as he talks through his career, splicing in clips from his films. While there’s a certain irony in taking such a plain approach to his inventive career, it pays off.
A Richard Linklater film is usually something worth getting excited about, especially when it’s a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused. Out now on DVD, Everybody Wants Some!! moves the action from High School to the first weekend before University commences. Linklater follows the arrival of a new freshman, a pitcher on the baseball team at a Texan college, as he meets his team and roommates, parties, chases a girl and generally prepares for the exciting adventure to come. Fast, fun and loose, it’s a blast. And there’s a cracking soundtrack.
That’s all we have time for now. See you next week as Mark Wahlberg goes drilling for oil.