May is upon us, and with it traditionally comes the avalanche of beautifully rendered pixels and overpaid Hollywood stars. Except the increasing love for, and success of, the Hollywood blockbuster in recent years has caused a swelling of the season. Come next year, by the first day of May we’ll already have had a penguin-themed Madagascar spin-off, the tragically delayed Fast & Furious 7 and the mother of all superhero smackdowns to date in Avengers: Age Of Ultron before a constant stream of often deliberately brainless eye candy and the occasional thoughtful actionfest takes us right through to November and December, with Star Wars 7, Mission: Impossible 5, Hunger Games 3 1/2 and Kung Fu Panda 3. Along the way we’ll get Bond 24, Jurassic Park 4 and Terminator I-lose-count, a tiny Marvel in the shape of Ant Man, a Fantastic Four reboot, a Ted sequel and seriously, doesn’t anyone even make films without something exploding in them any more?
Thankfully a few people have made simpler films this year, so you’ll actually find more than two films playing in most of your multiplexes this year. Who knows if next year we’ll be so lucky?
Next Goal Wins
For those facing the end of the football season, there’s either two options: you’re a football fan and you can’t wait for the World Cup and the excitement of England getting knocked out in the group stages because they can’t cope with either the heat or Luis Suarez and his Uruguayan team mates, or it’s another miserable month of stupid men in shorts running about pointlessly on a field, and it will be on TV every night until nearly the middle of the summer and oh the humanity. Next Goal Wins might appeal to those with a romance in their hearts but who can’t face a daily dose of soccerball for an extended period.
The Wind Rises
I have to confess I’m something of a latecomer to Japanese animation in general and to Miyazaki in particular, so it’s likely I’ll see his movies in a rather strange order. He does hold a fond place in my heart, not least for the fact that my review of Ponyo was the first ever post on this blog, a little over four years ago. Hopefully I’ll get chance to catch a few more of his master works on the big screen in the next few years.
I always get slightly nervous when I see the name Weinstein on a film, not least with the reputation for cutting that Harvey has gotten over the last few years. But this is another film being distributed in this country by Picturehouse Entertainment, and it’s good to see the likes of them and Curzon taking a more active role to get and to keep a wide variety of films in our cinemas. As long as nobody’s got their editing scissors on them too much first.
The Two Faces Of January
It’s amazing what you can find out about people from Wikipedia. Apparently Patricia Highsmith, on whose book of the same name this film is based, was a comic book artist, writing romance comics for Marvel’s predecessors. She was a strong anti-Semite, yet counted notes Jewish people among some of her closer friends. She apparently also liked cats and bred snails. I dread to think what my Wikipedia page would say about me; let’s be thankful I’ll never be that famous.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
To think there was a time when a Batman sequel came out and we were worried because it had three villains in it. Seems barely credible now, when we can now manage to squeeze in two entire blockbuster casts, some giant fighty robots and the short bloke from Game Of Thrones without even batting an eyelid. There would be less mutants in this film if there were actual mutants in the cast.
Edge Of Tomorrow
And what blockbuster year would feel complete without a Tom Cruise movie? It’s Tom Cruise. Not much more I can say.
Tom Cruise. Mmm.