Another quiet week as Fast & Furious 7 continues to burn up the box office, and everyone else holds off until The Avengers juggernaut rolls back onto our screens. So in the interim you have the good fortune to spend your time with films not entirely reliant on a large special effects budget.
You should know simply be looking at him that to mess with Mads Mikkelsen is to significantly shorten your life expectancy. Putting on his spurs in The Salvation, Mads’ plays a Danish émigré who skimps and saves to bring his wife and child to America only to watch them die at the hands of local roughians before they even reach the farm he owns with his brother. Soon, he’s locked in battle with a vicious gang led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Eva Green, one that’s only going to end in buckets of blood. Brisk and stylish, there’s a lot of fun to be had as Danish director Kristian Levring tears up the Old West.
There’s nothing quite like a successful historical thriller to bring out the stars. Adapted from the first of Tom Rob Smith’s Stalin era trilogy, Child 44 stars Tom Hardy as a disgraced Soviet agent tasked with investigating a series of child murders. Directed by Swede Daniel Espinosa, he brings along his fellow citizens Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman, alongside familiar names such as Gary Oldman, Vincent Cassel and Paddy Considine. Expect twists, turns, and if the critics are to be believed, not much at the end.
No Scandinavian director for A Little Chaos. Instead, our own Alan Rickman stands both sides of the camera in a lush period drama following two landscape gardeners competing to design a fountain for Rickman’s Louis XIV at Versailles. With the ever handsome Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts, romantic entanglements are bound to occur. And if that’s not enough, at least the scenery will look delicious.
What happens when you take a bunch of vampires, transport them to the modern age, and set them up in a flatshare? Out on DVD this week comes the brilliant New Zealand mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, directed, written by, and starring two of the Flight of the Conchords team, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Mining their material brilliantly, they find jokes in fire safety regulations, bar etiquette and first dates, not to mention a feud with local werewolves led by fellow Conchords alumni Rhys Darby. This one is a definitive purchase.
That concludes another week; you have a few days now to prepare for The Age of Ultron. I’ll see you then.