It seems only yesterday that new calendars were being placed on mantelpieces alongside a list of resolutions forgotten within a month. Now it’s October already. Where did the time go? Time is not the only thing missing this week as a trio of cinema releases attest. Ben Affleck appears to have misplaced his wife, Dracula’s misplaced his legend and Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann have misplaced a large chunk of their memory in an alcoholic haze. Over on DVD, it looks very much like the ancient Greeks have misplaced their history books as well.
The headline film is David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Not only is it adapted from Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel (by Flynn herself), it’s a Fincher film which guarantees a certain chilly quality. Ben Affleck plays the husband who finds himself the centre of attention when his wife – Rosamund Pike in a career best performance – goes missing. As every detail of their lives is raked over, Fincher delivers a tense and twisting thriller right until the end.
Now is Dracula Untold a new version of the famous vampire legend or a tacit admission by Universal that the film isn’t up to much? Let’s give it the benefit of doubt despite a less than glowing reception to date. Luke Evans plays the Transylvanian prince who enters into a dangerous bargain with a sorcerer to protect his land from Dominic Cooper’s rampaging Turkish army. Cue displays of outlandish power before the poor prince succumbs to his new thirst for blood. Whatever else it may be, at least it’s not Twilight.
A real treat this week as Withnail & I gets a re-release. The story is straight forward. Two unemployed actors, Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, escape their rundown London flat for a spell of heavy drinking in the countryside. It’s not really about the story though. The joy comes in the flights of conversation as they rail against the world while drinking enough to sink a battleship. Bruce Robinson’s film is the cult classic that just keeps giving. So make sure to get a taste on the big screen while you can.
For those looking to stay at home, 300: Rise of an Empire is out on DVD this week. Where Zack Synder’s original at least followed the general outline of accepted historical events, Noam Murro’s sequel jettisons all history books. This time the Athenians take centre stage as the battle shifts to the sea. There’s plenty of slow motion blood, and even more of Eva Green unclothed, but it’s a pale shadow of its predecessor.
So there’s no avoiding autumn now. As the leaves start to fall, next week heralds yet another young adult sci-fi adaptation. See you then.