It’s all about the battle between Marvel’s The Avengers and DC’s Justice League on the big screen these days, but before either property packed out multiplexes (to be fair Justice League hasn’t really arrived yet but it gets an inclusion via Batman v Superman) another group was already out saving the day. They’re back again this week alongside Irish musicals, experimental reflections on death, and Rocky.
Another year, another terrible situation for the X-Men to wade into. Upping the stakes once again (the clue is in the title), X-Men: Apocalypse has the crew coming together to stop the world’s first mutant from indulging in a little bit of light extinction. There’ll be plenty of explosions, a wide array of powers and the usual bickering. Is it any good though? Not particularly according to reviews. No surprise there then. It’s the ninth instalment in the X-Men film series, and to date I’ve only liked three of the previous eight.
Next up I think we can agree the endless near destruction of humanity can be tough. Sometimes a little song and dance is needed to cheer everyone up. Sing Street does its best to deliver as a young boy in Dublin escapes family troubles by forming a band. Obviously there’s a girl to impress as well. With a string of positive reviews trailing in its wake, it might be the good hearted fun everyone needs.
Now for something completely different. Experimental American artist Laurie Anderson returns to film for the first time since 2006 with the intriguing Heart of a Dog. Centring on memories of a beloved dog, it delves deep into Anderson’s imagination, also straying off into wider reflections on life and death, particularly New York after 9/11. An undeniably gorgeous piece of work, it left me a little cold, but plenty of others have lapped it up.
The Rocky series has seen its share of dubious entries but the curve of late has been up. Rocky Balboa in 2006, the first since the dire Rocky V in 1990, was a decent effort. Creed, out now on DVD, is even better. Michael B. Jordan plays the son of Rocky’s old foe/friend who turns to the aging legend for guidance when he decides to embrace life in the ring. It hits many of the usual clichés while managing to remain thrilling, fun, and genuinely uplifting. Certainly worth repeat visits at least.
I’ll let you get back to the screen now. See you next week for the return of Johnny Depp and Alice.