Despite cries to abandon ship, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ has set sail yet again. We’re on film five now and this really is swashbuckling by numbers, with prison altercations, ghost crews, hangman’s high jinks and battle scenes that could have been lifted from earlier movies.
It’s set in southern France, but this low-key, bleak film is a very British drama. A mum (Juliet Stevenson) and her teenage son, Elliot (Alex Lawther), are both facing emotional difficulties (her marriage is crumbling; he thinks he’s gay). And both deal with their problems in a very British way, by isolating themselves from each other and occasionally freaking out.
SHADES OF GREY Ray Wise reveals Leland’s true colors. Much like noble gas vendor Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), forever stuck with his deranged, one-eyed wife, Nadine (Wendie Robie), the masterpiece episodes that begin Twin Peaks’ sophomore—and final—season are irrevocably tied to the directionless garbage that concluded David Lynch’s first TV experiment.
Guy Ritchie’s way-over-the-top, frenzied spin on the legend of King Arthur, with a leaden Charlie Hunnam as the streetwise monarch-to-be and a much more fun Jude Law as his preening evil uncle King Vortigern, offers wall-to-wall testosterone, digital effects, fights and supernatural freak-outs. It walks like a hyped-up ‘Game of Thrones’ on a mega-budget with vast rural vistas, crowds of thousands, endless battles and plenty of bone-crunching.
If just thinking about Michael Fassbender makes you want to strip off all your clothes, ‘Alien: Covenant’ has a cure for that. David the robot, his creepier-than-a-serial-killer android butler, was the breakout star of Ridley Scott’s 2012 ‘Alien’ prequel ‘Prometheus’. Scott, realising perhaps that David is scarier than a spaceship full of parasitic flesh-eaters, makes him the star of this sequel to the prequel. Just as well, because nothing else kicks quite enough ass.
When auto mechanic James Busbee (Michael Rapaport) is sent to fight the Japanese during World War II, he leaves behind his wife (Emily Watson) and two sons, London (David Henrie) and Pepper (Jakob Salvati). Pepper feels his father's absence most keenly, and can't wait for him to return home. An encounter with a magician (Ben Chaplin) and advice from a priest (Tom Wilkinson) convince Pepper that the power to bring his dad back safely may be within himself and his actions.
Masterfully addressing the American racial divide – past and present – director Raoul Peck’s six-years-in-the-making documentary, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ thrums with a sense of history repeating itself. It’s inspired by 30 pages from the writer and intellectual James Baldwin’s unfinished final book, ‘Remember This House’.
This delicate and thoughtful film – small in scale but brimming with the quiet passion of the title – imagines the life of the nineteenth-century American poet Emily Dickinson, played with brittle, red-eyed intensity by ‘Sex and the City’ star Cynthia Dixon. It takes some commitment to adjust to the dialogue and manners of the era.
Back when the average volcano's work rate put Terrence Malick's own to shame, no grateful film lover could have imagined describing one of his films as 'over-familiar' – a new Malick film was a rare mirage of beauty that you feared might disappear if you looked at it too long.
Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin: the triple-whammy veteran cast that heads up this light-hearted Brooklyn-set heist caper (a remake of a largely forgotten 1979 movie starring George Burns) is just about distracting and charming enough to paper over the film’s sketchy story and low energy levels. The three play an ageing trio who are sick of being bashed around by life in retirement.