FILM OF THE WEEK
There is no one to blame but Sylvester Stallone for this mindless franchise. He co-wrote and directed the 2010 original, which followed the story of a highly trained group of mercenaries hired by a CIA operative. Three films later and the new one is as redundant as ever with only Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren from the original cast.
Scott Waugh steps into the director’s shoes for this instalment which follows the mercenaries on a new adventure. This time they are assigned by the enigmatic Marsh (Andy Garcia) to put a stop to a series of explosives that threaten to destroy the planet…
Stallone sleepwalks throughout as Barney while Statham’s Christmas struggles to inject some much-needed energy into this dull affair. Lundgren returns wearing a ghastly wig, and he also looks bored with the proceedings. Megan Fox’s Gina is one of the new recruits, but her performance and heavily made-up presence belong to a different film all together.
The confused plot doesn’t make much sense, but this is not the kind of film that people watch for its plot development. The action sequences feel repetitive, and the endless explosions become tiresome by the end. There are a couple of twists which one can spot coming a mile ahead.
This will probably attract and give pleasure only to undemanding teenage boys.
A YEAR IN A FIELD
Christopher Morris’ unique documentary opens on a Cornish field on winter Solstice 2020 and continues each day capturing the beauty of this magnificent landscape before it comes full circle and concludes on the exact date a year later. But this is not a simple celebration of nature, it is also a passionate plea against climate change.
Morris armed with his camera and tripod also documents the field’s numerous inhabitants – birds, worms, and other insects in perfectly framed compositions.
The film is in cinemas now just in time to celebrate the Autmn equinox. A mesmerising experience!
Iranian director Babak Jalali’s has co-written this intelligent, black-and-white feature, along with Carolina Cavalli. They tell the story of Donya (Anaita Wali Zada), an Afghan immigrant now living in Fremont in a building close to many other Afghan refugees. She is reluctant to socialise with any one and chooses a job in a Chinese fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. She is hard working and is soon promoted to writing the fortunes but is tempted to send he own private messages…
Zada is spellbinding in her first role and lights up the screen. She is particularly effective in her scenes with a psychiatrist where she talks about her life in Kabul, where she worked as a translator to the American military.
An assured piece of filmmaking and a brilliant lead performance worth discovering!
Dexter Fletcher’s enjoyable action thriller follows the story of Cole (Chris Evans), an ordinary guy who falls madly for the mysterious Sadie (Ana de Armas). But as soon as he finds out she is a secret agent he is thrown into an international adventure with no time to think or have any regrets…
The film works thanks to the winning chemistry between its two charismatic protagonists, who previously shared the screen in KNIVES OUT and THE GRAY MAN. The main premise may sound a touch too familiar to TRUE LIES or possibly MR AND MR SMITH, but overall, Fletcher delivers the goods a plenty, combining action with comedy to a good effect. (Apple TV+)
A STORMY NIGHT
David Moragas has not only written and directed a brilliant film but also plays the role of Marcos, a Spanish man who gets stranded in New York when his flight to San Francisco is cancelled due to a storm. A friend offers her room for the night, which she shares with Alan (Jacob Perkins), who agrees to accommodate the Spanish stranger for the night. Marcos is a filmmaker on his way to a Film Festival while Alan works from home for a gay dating app and apart from being both gay, they have nothing else in common…
The dialogue which is probably semi improvised feels true and fresh and is perfectly complimented by two engaging performances. It is good to see two talented actors relishing their dialogue and bouncing off each other so effectively in this enjoyable black and white feature! (Prime Amazon)
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