As the Oscars loom up fast, calling time on a curiously muted awards season, we have a slightly lacklustre week to get through, the good stuff either out in time for the awards extravaganza, or keeping well clear until the dust settles. Enjoy as best you can.
Ok, so the trailer looks dreadful, but Grimsby comes from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, who, controversial as he often proves, has a good track record of delivering laughs. Here he plays a rowdy football fanatic from the titular town who spends his days drinking and putting fireworks where they should not go. Until he finds out he has a long lost brother who just happens to be a secret agent, plunging them into a crazy action adventure. Again, let’s hope it’s better than the trailer.
Another week, another generic horror film. This time it’s The Forest plunging Natalie Dormer into Japan’s suicide forest where she has all kinds of supernatural shenanigans to deal with. It’s taken a critical kicking and no one seems to think it’s actually very scary, which is a bit of a problem given the genre. At least it can’t be as bad as Gus Van Sant’s 2015 Cannes bomb, The Sea of Trees, which threw Matthew McConaughey into the same forest. Now that really was terrifying.
Brilliant Argentinian thriller The Secret in Their Eyes gained enough attention in America to pick up the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Not content with that award, it has now been paid the ultimate tribute and final insult of a pointless remake. Secret in Their Eyes sees a group of investigators dragged into a decade plus mystery when the daughter of one of the team is murdered. Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor all toil in vain to make this worthwhile. If you have nothing else to do this weekend, you’d still be better off buying the original.
The success of Skyfall came at a price. It left expectations sky high for the return of Daniel Craig’s Bond, complete with Sam Mendes in the director’s chair again. Despite packing in endless action sequences, and hiring Christoph Waltz, Spectre, out now on DVD, makes a bit of a hash of it. Playing more as a Bond sketch show lurching through clumsy references to past adventures, it’s overblown, stupid and wasteful. The best thing about it is Léa Seydoux’s Bond girl, and even that goes wrong. There’s undeniable spectacle in Spectre, but at what cost?
That’s all for now and at least it’s over with. Hopefully we can get back on track with the Coen brothers next time out.