This week of course, that £10million take by Ice Age could appear like pocket change as The Dark Knight Rises finally arrives on the big screen. After months of trailers, posters, trailers, posters and more trailers and posters, the film itself has arrived to a wave of hugely positive reviews. There has obviously been the odd dissenting voice in there too, but even then it’s only to claim the film is average rather than amazing. My hopes are still sky-high. I’m confident it won’t be a bit of a Prometheus, if you get my meaning?
There are a handful of other movies braving this Bat-heavy weekend, Ice-T’s rap documentary Something From Nothing The Art of Rap, Greta Gerwig-starrer Lola Versus, and quirky musical comedy The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best.
If you want to check to see if any of these films are playing near you, you can visit Find Any Film and they’ll be able to help.
The Dark Knight Rises *Pick of the Week*
Christopher Nolan’s Bat trilogy comes to an end this weekend and it’s fair to say that anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises has now reached crazy levels, arguably even above the buzz surrounding both Prometheus and Avengers Assemble. Ever since Nolan released the game changer that was The Dark Knight, rumours began circulating about a third and final installment and after the former’s immense success, the release of a follow-up seemed to be a total non-brainer. Over the past year or so, casting and character rumours did the internet rounds on a near daily basis and gradually over time little snippets of information made their way into the public eye. Then began the deluge of posters and trailers which served only to whet appetites even further.
Now though, the big day has arrived. Usually here I’d give a brief summary of what they reviews have been saying but truth be told, I have deliberately avoided reading all reviews for this bad boy. I’m going in clean. I’ve glanced at the odd star rating and paid attention to the daily drawl on my Twitter feed and it would certainly appear that the vast majority of folks felt it was an absolute belter. Ok, there was the odd brave dissenter who suggested it was only a 3/5 movie and not a 5/5 classic like its predecessor, but they were very much in the minority.
Clocking in a 2 hours and 45 minutes, TDKR is something of an epic and one can only hope that it does prove to be a fitting conclusion to one of the most successful and critically acclaimed franchises of modern time.
Kenji Lloyd says:
I know I’m a fan of the first two, so my opinion’s naturally swaying in that direction, but I thought it was incredible!! If you love the first two, you will be leaving the cinema with your jaw on the floor. I’m entirely unashamed to say it was, hands down, the most intense cinema experience I’ve ever had! The perfect conclusion to an epic trilogy. I can’t wait to see it again.
Jon Lyus says:
If you’re a fan of Nolan’s Batman then you’ll love it. It’s a perfectly satisfying finale with a few surprises (not least how good Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are). It’s flawed of course – there’s the usual lack of genuine emotion and exposition abounds out no-one does crowd-pleasing spectacle like Nolan.
You can read Jon’s full review here.
Something from nothing: The Art of Rap
Ice-T directs this feature-length documentary looking at the rise and rise of rap music charting the genres’ origins as well as analysing the actual art of rapping itself. As one might expect from a Rap behemoth like Ice-T, he’s roped plenty of fellow megastars along for the ride. Eminem, Snoop Dogg, D. Dre, Nas and Chuck D are all onboard and give their thoughts on what makes rap so special and what it means to them. There’s also plenty of unique performances from the various interviewees and Ice-T gains plenty of insider truths from some fairly candid and open discussions. Reviews have been fairly positive and if you have even a passing interest in rap music, this is a must see movie which grants unprecedented insights into the genre and its pioneers.
In Your Hands
Little has been written so far about this psychological French thriller starring Kristen Scott-Thomas. From what I can gather from the snippets I found on the interweb, Scott-Thomas plays a OB-GYN doctor called Anna who is kidnapped as an act of revenge by a distraught father after his wife died during a cesarean section carried out by Anna. After spending several days in the man’s basement, Anna and her captor begin to realise that their contempt for one another has given way to a whole raft of new emotions. It doesn’t sound particularly easy-going, but French cinephiles may find something to enjoy here.
Revenge of the Electric Car
Another documentary out this week looks at the slightly less glamorous world of the electric car. Back in 2006, the machine was considered all but dead as manufacturers across America ceased production. 5 years later however and the electric car is back in a big way and filmmaker Chris Paine goes behind the scenes of Nissan, General Motors and Tesla Motors to look at how each manufacturer is trying to perfect the electric car as they race against one another to be the first to create the first publicly popular electric car. Reviews have been fairly average for this one with many suggesting Paine struggles to inject much drama into proceedings. It’s well-polished and expertly made, but apparently the subject matter may not generate that much excitement. Who knew?
Another documentary out this week! This time, I think the official movie blurb can do the film far more justice than I ever could:
For four weeks throughout the months of September and October 2011 Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair pedalled a plastic swan over 160 miles from the seaside in Hastings to Hackney in East London. They drank 84 litres of water, 2 bottles of whisky, 4 bottles of wine and 24 cans of special brew. They got through 8 pairs of sunglasses, a handmade suit, a pair of walking boots and a camper van. Andrew Kötting wore the same clothes throughout. Iain Sinclair was changed regularly.
They met all sorts en route, from the Hoi Polloi to the Hoity Toity, from the very old to the very young, with the pedallo acting as catalyst and magnet. Sometimes they were accompanied by invited guest pedallers, Alan Moore, Stewart Lee, Dudley Sutton, Dr Mark Lythgoe and Marcia Farquhar.
Rising star Greta Gerwig takes the lead in this comedy drama about a woman called Lola who is dumped by her boyfriend shortly before their wedding and then ropes in her closest friends to help her embark on a series of romantic adventures as she comes to terms with being a single woman turning 30. Reviews have not been too kind for this one with words like ‘cliché’, ‘false’ and ‘grating’ cropping up a couple of times. Gerwig still receives a fair number of plaudits but the film as a whole seems to be a fairly formulaic and even her considerable talents can’t quite drag it up above mediocrity.
Kenji Lloyd says:
I haven’t seen it yet, but I think Lola Versus could be good, even though it’s got a 4.1 on IMDb / 49 on Metacritic. Greta Gerwig is one of the best, if yet-to-be-fully-recognised, young actresses at the moment. And it’ll be a good chance to see Joel Kinnaman before he goes action-blockbuster in RoboCop next summer. I haven’t seen anything he’s been in, so nice to get an idea beforehand of what he’s like.
Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best focuses on Alex, a down on his luck musician who has been kicked out by his bandmates, dumped by his girlfriend and fired from his job. Thoroughly depressed and at hits wits end, he forms an unlikely duo with a devoted fan called Jim which includes the pair playing children’s instruments. The two of them set out on a cross-country tour but as the shows get stranger and the disasters begin to mount up, they are forced to dig deep in order to achieve their dreams. It’s had some pretty decent reviews and if you want a sweet indie comedy alternative to all the Bat palaver this weekend,this looks like it could be a decent bet.
Adam Lowes says:
The Dark Knight Rises is set to completely dominate this weekend (and rightfully so) but for fans of small, quirky indie comedies, The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best won me over this week, and is definitely worth checking out. A road movie of sorts, writer/director/musician Ryan O’Nan has carved out an amiable and engaging debut, which defiantly marks him out as a talent to watch.
You can read Adam’s review here.
I am Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains incredibly popular to this day and his movies are still held up as absolute classics in the Martial Arts genre. This documentary (yup, another one, it’s almost like no feature films want to go up against TDKR!) offers a fascinating insight what made Lee so great and what has contributed to his enduring popularity. There’s plenty of talking heads from the world of Martial Arts and action movies in general and plenty of rare archive footage thrown in as well. Reviews would suggest that it’s one more for dedicated Lee fans only, but non aficionados may well find something to enjoy too.