4   +   5   =  

Another quieter week at the cinema and now there’s not even the Rio gold rush to provide alternative entertainment. With parental misbehaviour, arms dealers, Jason Statham and Disney remakes, there should be enough to keep you busy though.

First up is Bad Moms which doesn’t exactly go for a complicated recipe. It simply lines up a collection of good comic actors like Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, and lets them go at it when frustrations, particularly within their Parent-Teacher Association, break loose. There’s not much more to it than over-the-top chaos and crude gags, but, while it’s not exactly at the progressive sharp point, it’s nice to see a film not lazily relying on the same collection of middle-aged male actors to take these kinds of roles. It also helps that it’s pretty funny.

From there we move to War Dogs, directed by Todd Phillips who has been at the forefront of the middle-aged men let it all go to hell sub-genre of late with his Hangover series. Here he’s on slightly more serious form as Jonah Hill and Miles Teller team up to sell arms in their twenties. There’s some biographical truth in the story, a few omissions, and riveting central performances that hold together the fuzzy edges.

Back in 2011, when The Mechanic came out, there was no clear need to have remade the 1972 film of the same name. To compound the needlessness of the entire affair, we now have a sequel in Mechanic: Resurrection. Ultimately though, it matters little as it’s the chance to watch Jason Statham do his action man stuff all over again. For some reason the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Alba and Michelle Yeoh turn up as Statham reluctantly returns to the assassination game. It won’t be clever or complex, but for action fans it will have all you need.

When Disney added The Jungle Book to their list of live action remakes, it drew little excitement. Early trailers and worrying leaks hardly helped. On the film’s arrival, much to the surprise of many, it proved to be remarkably good. Out now on DVD, it’s worth experiencing Mowgli and his journey through the animal kingdom all over again.

That’s it for another week. See you in the usual place for Woody Allen’s annual outing.

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