This weekend doesn’t see an awful lot of new cinematic and DVD releases, with particularly little out there in the way of substantial works, but there’s a selection of Hollywood romps for you to retreat to if you’ve nothing else to do in this miserable weather. In the cinema we have Helen Mirren doing her best French accent and Amy Poehler taking on a romantic comedy with Paul Rudd, whilst The Amazing Spider-Man 2 makes its way to DVD.
The Hundred-Foot Journey sees Ratatouille fused with Bad Neighbours and East is East as a clash of food, personalities and cultures forms a bitter rivalry between Helen Mirren’s French chef and the newly moved in Indian family headed by Om Puri. I wouldn’t expect Kite Runner style social commentary but with some strong actors in the mix this looks to be an enjoyable celebration of culture and traditional storytelling, and a pretty safe bet as a Hollywood flick.
Elsewhere the makers of slasher film You’re Next return with indie action-thriller The Guest. It stars Dan Stevens, of Downton Abbey fame, as an American soldier who seeks out the family of his fallen comrade, with all kinds of danger and menace not far behind him. As well as being intense and action-packed, The Guest seeks to explore the human relationships on screen, tackling love, loss and trust as things begin to take a turn for the worse.
They Came Together sees two current stars of American comedy team up, with Tina Fey’s pal Amy Poehler and soon-to-be Ant-Man star Paul Rudd entering the realm of the rom-com. It looks like pretty textbook stuff, with the charisma of the central duo driving the film forward in what is otherwise very familiar territory for film fans.
Just one notable DVD release to speak of this week as the vastly underrated The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrives on the small screen. Despite mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike during its cinematic release, this superhero flick has more personality, emotional depth and fine acting than it has any right to. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are irresistible as the central characters, Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey, whilst the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) is boldly reinvented as an even more psychotic incarnation than Willem Defoe’s, and Jamie Foxx shines (and sparkles) as the classic villain, Electro.
As dear old Uncle Ben once said: with great power comes great responsibility. Choose wisely this weekend, film fans.