Where has all this rain come from? The sun was shining so brightly only a few days ago. On the plus side, it’s an excuse to seek the shelter of the cinema. Here’s what’s on offer this week.
Sylvester Stallone’s innovative pension scheme just keeps growing. You only need to take a look at the poster for The Expendables 3 to see the number of new names on the roster. Just a couple of the ageing stars to join Sly, Arnie and the crew include Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. Ostensibly there’s a plot but it’s not worth paying attention too. We’re all here to watch action heroes from years gone by (and a couple of young bucks) shoot, stab, punch and explode things while trading cheesy one-liners.
Ari Folman’s follow-up to Waltz with Bashir was always going to demand attention but no one expected The Congress. Blending live-action and animation, it stars Robin Wright as the soon to be washed up movie star who agrees to have herself scanned so the studio (Miramount) can make never-ending films with her young image. This makes for a blistering Hollywood satire but Folman isn’t done there. Suddenly, Wright plunges into a new technology that allows users to enter an animated realm. From here on in, grand ideas are fired off left, right and centre. It’s bold, ambitious and quite simply brilliant.
Don’t expect a pleasant experience from The Rover. Written and directed by David Michôd, the man who brought us the bleak Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom, it stars Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce in a futuristic western. Ten years after a global economic collapse, people have drifted into the violent Australian outback to scrape a living. Full of hard-bitten characters and brutal revenge, it’s dark but compelling viewing.
How could Gareth Evans ever top The Raid? That might have been a question once upon a time but The Raid 2, out now on DVD, makes it rather defunct. Picking up straight where we left off, poor Rama is thrust undercover in the criminal underworld. The plot is decent enough. The fights however are something else. Each one is a masterpiece of clever construction and excitement. Buy it now because you’ll be watching this one for some time to come.
That’s all for now. I’m escaping rainy Britain for the next three weeks but you will be left in capable hands. See you in September.