It looks like we get a little break from space. After Christopher Nolan’s trip to the stars, and Philae’s trip to the face of a comet, extra planetary jaunts have been seizing the headlines. Fear not all you terrestrial lovers. Normal service is now resumed, Britain back to the depressing mundanity of international football and anti-EU rhetoric. If it’s all too much to take and you need a little break, here’s what the world of film has to offer.
The craze for the unnecessary splitting of books into as many films as possible continues this week. The Hunger Games is the latest to head down that path as Mockingjay – Part 1 hits cinemas across the country. After two highly successful outings, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen is done with the arena and is now taking the fight straight to the man – the man in this case being the delightfully slimy Donald Sutherland. The first two proved hits both with critics and audiences. Here’s hoping that streak continues.
Jennifer Lawrence isn’t the only one riding back into town. Tommy Lee Jones does the same (literally) in his western The Homesman. Jones plays an old scoundrel rescued by Hilary Swank who has tasked herself with transporting mentally ill women across dangerous territory in the Midwest. As well as taking the lead role, it’s his second time behind the camera on the big screen. If it proves anywhere near as good as The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, we’re in for a treat.
Rumours briefly circulated this year that Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie would be working on new material for Flight of the Conchords. That was sadly not the case so you’ll have to make do with their solo careers instead. Jemaine is up this time, working with Conchords collaborator Taika Waititi to direct, write and act in What We Do in the Shadows, a vampire mockumentary that’s been picking up strong reviews. If you need relief from big budget blockbuster mayhem, and you fancy a good dose of laughter, it promises both.
Nicely in time for the run-up to Christmas, one of this year’s poorer films pops up to flog a bit more merchandise for Michael Bay, Hasbro and Paramount. Transformers: Age of Extinction was predictably rubbish when released over the summer but it does have some saving graces; chiefly the absence of Shia LaBeouf and several explosions delivered with Bay’s customary gusto. Aside from the complete lack of story, why did it have to be so painfully long and boring though? At least if you’re looking for Christmas ideas, or not sure what to get for the weekly shop, there’s plenty of product placement to help out.
That’s another week brought to a close as Christmas grows ever nearer. See you next Friday for everyone’s favourite Marmalade loving bear.