January can be a depressing month as the Christmas high drains away leaving only the realisation that you have to go back to work in the cold. But the good news is we are all past divorce day, and the even better news is another weekend of exciting releases. So settle in for Foxcatcher, Taken 3, and National Gallery with a bit of Australian dystopia on DVD.
To kick us off, we have Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in a film together, the former with a prominent fake nose, the latter as a wrestling star. You wouldn’t necessarily expect a slow burning psychological thriller. Yet that’s exactly what Foxcatcher promises, telling the story of the mysterious and unhinged John du Pont whose obsession with the US (freestyle) wrestling team took them all to dark places. Such is Carell’s transformation, he’s been receiving Oscar buzz for months. It might not be pleasant, but it sounds worth checking out.
If you want something a little more explosive, look no further than Liam Neeson. Back for the third time as Bryan Mills, he’s about to go through the wringer once again in Taken 3. First time out they took his daughter, then it was both him and his wife, and now he’s framed for the murder of a loved one. It’s certainly not been a good few years for the Mills household. You wonder why they keep prodding him really as each time it’s left a trail of bodies a mile long. Expect no change here.
Over the half century he’s been making films, documentarian Frederick Wiseman has established himself as one of the most influential figures in the field. His latest, National Gallery, focusses on the famous art museum in Trafalgar Square. Filmed in 2012, his camera moves around the gallery, capturing the daily workings of the institution. Deploying his trademark style with no talking heads, voiceovers or unnecessary gimmicks, it’s an engrossing look at how art is communicated in the modern world.
If you managed to miss it on general release last year and don’t fancy braving the cold, The Rover, David Michôd’s first film since Animal Kingdom is out now on DVD. Set in the Australian outback in the near future, Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson are stuck in a largely lawless wilderness following a global economic collapse. This is bleak, unrelenting filmmaking and none the worse for it.
Well that’s all for now folks. Stay positive and I’ll see you next week for drumming, gunning, and some darn painful hiking.