It’s now well and truly summer. If the fact that your local multiplex is clogged up with soggy Pirates and men with Hangovers isn’t enough to put you off going to the cinema, then the fact that it’s sunny outside, an event which still inspires conversation and debate in this country due to its seemingly relative rarity, means that you may not want to spend two hours or more in a dark room. I’d remind you that it’s normally a cool dark room if the air conditioning is on, and that while you will normally see the same old scenery outside, you can actually see something different if you’re looking at the right walls inside.
And actually, this summer hasn’t been half bad so far. Despite my misgivings nearly twelve months ago about the barrage of sequels that would be upon this year, many of them have turned out to be great so far, including Thor, Kung Fu Panda 2 and X-Men: First Class. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find something a little more intimate, more daring or just a little different to a bog standard blockbuster, it just means you have to try that little bit harder. If you are willing to put that little bit extra in, here’s six of the best that might well tempt you this month.
In the world of movies, it’s not uncommon to get two films coming along on similar themes within weeks of each other. Whether it be insects (Antz and A Bug’s Life), meteors (Deep Impact and Armageddon) or volcanoes (Dante’s Peak and, erm, Volcano), there’s always a feeling of self-imposed competition. So hot on the warmed-up rubber tyres of TT3D comes another documentary about men who drive at ridiculous speeds and face danger at every turn. And since TT3D was fantastic, Senna will have to be outstanding to win this battle. I’m sure the great man himself would have relished the competition.
Life In A Day
Often a trailer will catch my eye because of a caption, as you will know if you’ve seen previous mild rants on such topics as “Academy Award nominee”. In this trailer it’s the caption “Directed by Kevin McDonald”. Since this is submitted footage that’s been captured from YouTube, surely edited is a more appropriate moniker? I look forward to see how much Kevin actually directs, unless he actually achieved omniscience, omnipresence and lots of other omnis on the day that this life was recorded.
I thought this was just going to be another reasonable looking foreign film, sitting anonymously in among the other trailers, but if you’ve been to the cinema in the past week or so you’ll probably know it’s following in the footsteps of The A-Team, Gulliver’s Travels and Rio as the film being horribly mutilated in the name of the Orange campaign. While turning off your phone is a valid message, the choice of this is left field in the extreme, to the point where I expect many people to believe it’s not even a real film. Unless the whole thing’s some sort of Orange publicity scam. (Other mobile networks are available. Most of them don’t make horrendous adverts to be shown in the cinema. Unless you turn up on time, in which case you might see this awful effort from my current network provider.)
Just Do It
Lots of documentaries this month, and for that I make no apologies, and again it’s the captions that have grabbed my attention. All I’ll say on this one is that it’s the very last, title caption that sold me on this one. You’ll know when you see it.
In the world of trailer crimes, one of the biggest, which I also singled out ‘Tamara Drewe’ for last year, was the use of laughing from the film to make a sort of laughter track. Either put a laugh track on your trailer or film or do something that justifies me laughing, OK? It also features Kristen Wiig, well known in the US for Saturday Night Live but more familiar for propping up everything from Knocked Up to Ghost Town in throwaway roles. After having graduated to poorly handled romantic lead in Paul, she finally gets the chance to headline a film, and hopefully this will just be the first of many opportunities.
And finally this month, another film in the grand tradition of Academy Award nominees for Best Foreign Language Film that take forever to reach our shores. I look forward to seeing winner In A Better World, and then being able to grumble that it wasn’t better than Dogtooth or Biutiful, which were both amazing. Perhaps this could have also been unfairly overlooked? Anyway, make the most of it becuase next month it’s Transformers 3 and we’re all going to hell. Probably.