It’s back to the past time with remakes, sheep and the US/Mexico drug war this week. An incongruous mix perhaps, but when has that ever been a bad thing.
Reaching back to times gone by, we find a TV series no one was crying out to see updated. Dad’s Army certainly brings a wealth of British acting talent together: there’s Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson and roles for the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon in there as well. Is there any point to it though? The plot revolves around the visit of a glamourous journalist and a possible spy, which sounds like any other episode of the iconic TV comedy. Reviews suggest an ok effort that hasn’t done enough to explain why anyone bothered to make it in the first place.
Back to the more recent past we go for a remake of Point Break, another production no one was clamouring for. The 1991 original, ridiculous in so many ways, has become a much loved cult classic. Who can say no to a mix of Kathryn Bigelow, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. Plus there was plenty of dopey surfer philosophising and the sight of Reeves’ drop-kicking a dog. This new version retreads the same ground with extreme sports, bank robbery and an undercover FBI agent, but all its going to do is make you wish for the original.
In Rams it’s an ancient way of life under threat. Two Icelandic sheep farming brothers who haven’t spoken for four decades have to deal with an outbreak of a fatal disease that necessitates mass livestock slaughter. With the livelihoods of everyone in the remote valley threatened, not to mention the animals themselves, creatures both brothers love more than anything else, they must find a way to overcome differences. This moving and often wry comedy-drama is neither as depressing nor heart-warming as it sounds. It’s a wonderful example of carefully crafted cinema that gets to the heart of a way of life so far from the urban world.
Out on DVD this week, there’s a very modern battle dealing with a problem ongoing for some time now. Sicario, the latest from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, follows another FBI agent, this time Emily Blunt, as she’s enlisted in a secret Government task force to bring down the leader of a drug cartel. There she finds her principles tested as the rest of the team, one that includes Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, are not averse to using some pretty underhand tactics to get what they want. Intense and frequently thrilling, it’s a very good film worthy of multiple viewings.
Well that’s all for now. See you next week for Ryan Reynolds’ latest shot at superhero stardom.