9   +   9   =  

22-jump-street-posterWe are only a week out from the football World Cup so now’s the time to get to the cinema before the recent glut of interesting releases dries up. At least there are a couple of decent prospects out now to ease you into the fatalistic fervour that is bound to grip the nation.

It’s fair to say you wouldn’t want Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s incompetent cops operating in your area. At least their antics in 21 Jump Street made for good entertainment back in 2012. 22 Jump Street sees them return, this time to a venue across the road and a mission that has them graduate from high school to college. Hopefully it will prove more of the same following the genuinely funny original. At the very worst, at least you get to see the intrepid duo attempt to impersonate Latino criminals with suitably dire results that involve the semi destruction of an entire port.

Every now and again a film comes around that just has to be seen. Fruitvale Station, the debut feature from Ryan Coogler, fits that bill. It tells the real life story of Oscar Grant’s last day on earth before he was shot dead accidentally on the San Francisco BART by police. Coogler, who also wrote the screenplay, has crafted a wonderfully evocative film, drawing out the humanity in what ultimately proved to be a very inhumane situation. His Oscar is a flawed man who was turning the corner on a troubled life before the heavy handed behaviour of the police put an end to it. It’s not easy viewing but it’s unmissable.

Equally, every now and again a film comes around that is so bad it almost defies belief. Last year, the truly atrocious Princess Diana biopic occupied that territory. This year, it looks like Grace of Monaco will take the crown. Nicole Kidman stars in a film that received excoriating reviews when it opened the Cannes film festival last month. Vacuous and boring, the level of vitriol levelled at Olivier Dahan’s effort would have been unprecedented had Diana not appeared last year to much the same reaction. It’s almost worth watching just to see what all the fuss is about.

Who’d have thought after enduring the likes of The Wedding Planner and Failure to Launch that Matthew McConaughey would one day go on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. After ending up stuck for a decade as the charming/sleazy Southern beau, he started a renaissance (the McConaissance) that culminated with the Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club in March. Out now on DVD, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a homophobic oil worker who contracts HIV and sets up a buyers club (in Dallas obviously) to access innovative drugs blocked by the FDA. It’s a sturdy drama elevated by McConaughey and ably supported by Jared Leto’s (also Oscar winning) performance as Ron’s transvestite friend Rayon. Both awards were certainly warranted.

I hope that leaves you sated. If football’s not your thing, check back next week for Colin Firth and dark Icelandic horse action (and yes, those are different films).

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