4   +   10   =  

My, my, hasn’t that Jurassic World taken the UK (and everywhere else it seems) by storm. Blazing up the box office, nearly everyone has wisely stayed away. Again. So aside from the big family release, you’ll have to dig a little deeper once more to unearth the gems. Dig away.

Despite all the time and money spent rounding up a voice cast that includes the likes of Steve Carell, Julie Andrews, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig and even Russell Brand, the real stars in Despicable Me seem to be the tiny yellow minions. So popular in fact, they now have their own spin-off film. Minions features the lovable henchmen as they travel around trying to find an evil master to serve. The minions have been great in small doses; early reviews suggest they manage ok on their own.

The phrase sex comedy is not often a welcome film description. It conjures up the horrific image of repugnant and emotionally stunted teenage boys somehow hooking up with fantasy women straight from a modelling catalogue. The Overnight is different. After receiving praise at Sundance, Patrick Brice’s film based around a children’s playdate that develops into something more for the parents arrives on British shores. With a cast including Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Jason Schwartzman, this is definitely worth a look.

When Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian fame ventured into the world of film, he at least did so on familiar terrain with indie musical God Help the Girl. Debut director John Maclean, formerly of The Beta Band, goes far off the beaten path with Slow West. An atmospheric western more in love with image than conventional narrative, he appears to have struck gold. It doesn’t hurt that Michael Fassbender and the ever terrifying Ben Mendelsohn also mosey on into the production.

While E.L. James continues to milk the cash cow following the recent publication of a book retelling the same story, the smash hit film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is now out on DVD. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (who won’t be returning for the remainder of the trilogy) and starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan (who should be), it proves remarkably entertaining for long stretches. There’s a knowing wink and nudge to much of the material. It falls away badly in the second half, but when it plays ironically it’s good fun.

That concludes another week. Next time out, I’ll return with Arnie.

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