After a tough and stressful few days at work catching up on the long Easter weekend, this week’s releases allow for escapism of all kinds.
If movies had their way we would still live in the dark ages. Pretty much every technology we’ve ever toyed with leads to astonishing levels of disaster in the world of science-fiction. This time in Transcendence, it’s Johnny Depp, super scientist extraordinaire who has set out to create a machine combining sentience and collective intelligence. Facing death at the hands of an anti-technology activist, he uploads his consciousness into the machine and all hell breaks loose. Early reviews have not exactly set the world alight but Wally Pfister’s directorial debut has an impressive cast and is bound to look beautiful if his work as Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer is anything to go by.
No one can accuse Robyn Davidson of sitting back and taking life easy. In her 20s she moved to Australia to embark on a nine month journey on camels across the Australian desert. Tracks, starring the always watchable Mia Wasikowska, tells her tale in all its strikingly barren and oppressively hot glory. It’s worth watching simply to appreciate how utterly mad and wonderful people can be.
If facing the end of the world as we know it or pushing yourself to the very limits of endurance is not your thing, relax with The Other Woman. Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton end up working together to get revenge on their partner when they discover that he has been three-timing them. It never attempts to be anything other than frothy broad brush romantic comedy but sometimes that’s all you want at the weekend.
Out on DVD this week is Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Loosely adapting James Thurber’s classic short story, Stiller operates in front of and behind the camera to tell tale of frustrated dreamer Walter Mitty, a man prone to extravagant daydreams to supplement his otherwise timid life as a negative assets manager at Life magazine. As Mitty breaks free of his self-imposed restraints to travel to Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan, Stiller gives us sweeping landscapes and an abundance of Papa John’s pizza references. A half-formed film it may be, but it sure looks good.
If you’re not going to watch any of these, make sure you get down to the Sundance London festival at the O2 this weekend. Or ideally, try to fit it all in. See you next week.