Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke

re­view the cur­rent cinema re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS -

NEW RE­LEASE AF­TER THE STORM See re­view, page 10

ALIEN COVENANT Di­rected by Ri­d­ley Scott. Star­ring Michael Fass­ben­der, Kather­ine Water­ston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Car­men Ejogo, Jussie Smol­lett, Cal­lie

Her­nan­dez The lat­est in the cy­cle be­gins very much more like a pre­quel to Alien than a se­quel to

Prometheus. A colony ship ap­proaches a rainy planet on which a hore-shoe-shaped ship has crashed. There’s a face-hug­ger. There are gi­ant eggs. So far, so en­joy­ably shame­less. Sadly, in its sec­ond half the film gives in to the sort of fan ser­vice that drags down so much pop­u­lar cul­ture. Who cares where the Aliens came from? 16 cert, gen re­lease, 120 min DC NEW RE­LEASE BAY­WATCH See re­view, page 10 THE BOSS BABY Di­rected by Tom McGrath. Voices of Alec Bald­win, Miles Christo­pher Bak­shi, Tobey

Maguire, Jimmy Kim­mel, Lisa

Kudrow, Steve Buscemi Bald­win pro­vides the voice for a tyran­ni­cal baby in a busi­ness suit who spreads ter­ror across an in­creas­ingly des­per­ate house­hold. Ad­mit it. You’ve got that im­age of Trump in a truck at the front of your brain. In fact, the Boss Baby is just too or­gan­ised and fo­cused to stand as a good par­ody of the Prez. Not that this was the in­ten­tion. A rea­son­ably ef­fect metaphor for the pres­sures of new par­ent­hood fea­tur­ing de­cent an­i­ma­tion and rea­son­able jokes. G cert, gen re­lease, 97 min DC

COLOS­SAL Di­rected by Na­cho Vi­ga­londo. Star­ring Anne Hath­away, Ja­son Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stow­ell, Tim Blake Nel­son. Cert 15A, lim­ited re­lease, 109mins

Colos­sal be­gins with a clas­sic Kaiju stomp-about, as a gi­ant mon­ster dom­i­nates the sky­line of Seoul. We cut across con­ti­nents to Glo­ria (Hath­away), an un­em­ployed writer strug­gling with al­co­holism and a long-suf­fer­ing boyfriend (Stevens) heads for the generic sleepy Mid­west­ern town where she grew up. Once there, she’s re­united with her child­hood best pal Os­car (Sudeikis). The plot twist that links mon­ster and drunk is a doozy, but Colos­sal has even more sur­prises up its sleeve. Take note DCEU and Marvel­verse. TB NEW RE­LEASE DAUGH­TERS OF THE DUST See re­view, page 11 DE­MON HUNTER

Di­rected by Zoe Ka­vanagh. Star­ring Ni­amh Ho­gan, Alan Tal­bot, Michael Parle, Aisli

Mo­ran Black hoods are doffed to di­rec­tor Ka­vanagh for pulling off an en­joy­able, unashamedly genre-hug­ging hor­ror flick within the not-al­ways hos­pitable en­vi­rons of the Ir­ish film busi­ness. Oth­ers have passed this way be­fore. Many have not lived to tell the tale. The film is very much in the Buffy school. Ho­gan plays the tit­u­lar de­mon hunter, a fast-talk­ing rogue who chops off heads for laughs. It’s rough, silly and in­con­sis­tently acted. But it is what it’s meant to be. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 85 min DC DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL Di­rected by David Bow­ers. Star­ring Ja­son Drucker, Owen Asz­ta­los, Char­lie Wright, Ali­cia Sil­ver­stone, Tom Everett Scott The lat­est adap­ta­tion of Jeff Kin­ney’s books con­cern­ing a sat-upon kid and his strug­gles against the world. Even re­turn­ing di­rec­tor Bow­ers can’t stop this unlovely in­stal­ment from go­ing south. The trou­ble be­gins when the Hef­fley fam­ily em­bark on a cross-coun­try road trip to visit their grand­mother on her 90th birth­day. There’s a mean-spirit­ed­ness in The Long Haul – a ver­i­ta­ble show­case of self­ish­ness and break­ing and en­ter­ing – that sim­ply wasn’t there be­fore. Disor­gan­ised, dull. Enough. PG cert, gen re­lease, 92 min TB A DOG’S PUR­POSE Di­rected by Lasse Hall­ström. Star­ring Den­nis Quaid, Britt

Robert­son, Josh Gad, KJ Apa,

Juliet Ry­lance, Peggy Lip­ton It’s a shaggy beast of a con­ceit: a dog, voiced by Gad, pon­ders the na­ture of his (or some­times her) ex­is­tence through suc­ces­sive rein­car­na­tions. These lives are shaped and de­ter­mined by hu­man com­pan­ions and the kind­ness (and un­kind­ness) of strangers. Against all odds, this trans­lates into a warm, fam­ily-friendly en­ter­tain­ment, par­tic­u­larly for those who live with a dog. Or have lived with a dog. Or have ever seen a pic­ture of a dog on the in­ter­net. Cheesy but nice. PG cert, gen re­lease, 100 min TB

FAST AND FU­RI­OUS 8 Di­rected by F Gary Gray. Star­ring Vin Diesel, Dwayne John­son, Char­l­ize Theron, Ja­son Statham, Michelle Ro­driguez, Kurt Rus­sell, He­len Mir­ren, Scott

East­wood In­de­scrib­ably silly eighth episode in the car-chas­ing and he­li­copter-ex­plod­ing fran­chise. This time round, Theron comes on board as a ruth­less hacker with am­bi­tions to do some­thing ter­ri­ble. She and Mir­ren - as an ab­surd East End moll - are slightly mis­used, but the stunts are as ex­trav­a­gant as ever. The cen­tre­piece sees evil Charize send a mass of re­mote con­trolled cars about the streets of Man­hat­tan. It’s com­pletely stupid amd it’s com­pletely awe­some. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 135 min DC FRANTZ Di­rected by François Ozon. Star­ring Pierre Niney, Paula

Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie

Gru­ber A French­man in the in­ter-war years vis­its the grave of a slain Ger­man sol­dier in Ozon’s tricky, clever re­make of an ob­scure 1932 Ernst Lu­bitsch film. He be­comes friends with the fam­ily. But what is he hid­ing? Such game­play­ing is typ­i­cal for the post-Hitch­cock­ian Ozon, who, through­out Frantz teases with disin­gen­u­ous epis­to­lary voiceover and un­trust­wor­thy im­ages. Even the ti­tle serves as a twisty po­lit­i­cal homonym: France is vic­to­ri­ous, but at the cost of Frantz. Lovely b&w im­ages. 12A cert, Triskel, Cork, 114 min TB

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 Di­rected by James Gunn. Star­ring Chris Pratt, Zoe Sal­dana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Kurt Rus­sell, Sylvester

Stal­lone, Karen Gil­lan Disor­dered, manic se­quel to the galaxy-hop­ping su­per­hero romp that re­peats all the first film’s gim­micks with half as much con­vic­tion an a quar­ter as much en­ergy. There is no plot top speak of. Peter Quill (Pratt) and his mob fall in with Kurt Rus­sell’s mega­lo­ma­niac and spend two hours trad­ing quips and lis­ten­ing to cheesy 1970s FM hits. If you want an­other yard of generic Guardians ma­te­rial then here it is. I sup­pose it’s “for the fans”. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 136 min DC THE HANDMAIDEN Di­rected by Chan-wook Park. Star­ring Kim Min-hee, Kim

Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo , Cho

Jin-woong Park brings lav­ish grace to his adap­ta­tion of Sarah Wal­ters’s novel Finger­smith. This is eas­ily the most lav­ish pe­riod piece of the past year, com­posed of strik­ing, be­witch­ing tableaux that could of­ten pass for an­cient scrolls or wood­cut­tings. The tricksy plot stream­lines and im­proves the fi­nal messy sec­tion of the source, to tease and mis­lead even the most as­tute viewer. The les­bian sex scenes are as pas­sion­ate as ru­moured. 18 cert, Light House, Dublin, 144 min TB

HAND­SOME DEVIL Di­rected by John But­ler. Star­ring Fionn O’Shea, Ni­cholas Gal­itzine, Moe Dun­ford, Andrew Scott, Michael McEl­hat­ton, Ruairi O’Con­nor, Amy

Hu­ber­man But­ler’s lovely fol­low up to The Stag stars O’Shea as an artis­tic young fel­low cop­ing badly at a posh, rugby-ob­sessed school. Gal­itzine plays the jock with whom he grad­u­ally learns to con­nect. Set in a de­lib­er­ately un­cer­tain pe­riod, with con­tem­po­rary fash­ions scored to 1980s mu­si­cal ref­er­ences, Hand­some Devil is proudly tra­di­tional in its sto­ry­telling. Set­backs come at just the right mo­ments to pre­pare us for the next out­burst of fist-in-the-air re­lief. A cracker. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 94 min DC I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY

Di­rected by Feng Xiao­gang. Star­ring Fan Bing­bing, Zhang Ji­ayi, Yu Hewei, Dong

Chengpeng, Guo Tao Solid take on a Chinese moral­ity play about a woman who, with her lover, con­spires to kill her hus­band. I Am

Not Madame Bovary, a com­mer­cial smash in China, looks like a con­scious at­tempt to fol­low that na­tion’s art­house au­teurs into the global mar­ket­place. The film breaks eye-lines rules with 180 flips while un­abashedly em­u­lat­ing tra­di­tional ink-wash paint­ing. Ev­ery tree and rooftop re­minds one of silk scrolls or Chi­nois­erie wall­pa­per. Sadly, it’s still a lit­tle dull. Club, lim re­lease, 137 min TB

KING ARTHUR: LEG­END OF THE SWORD Di­rected by Guy Ritchie. Star­ring Char­lie Hun­nam, Astrid Bergès-Fris­bey, Jude Law, Dji­mon Houn­sou, Eric Bana, Ai­dan Gillen, Fred­die Fox, Craig

McGin­lay, Tom Wu We will say the fol­low­ing in favour of Guy Ritchie’s King Ar­fur. It’s a much bet­ter As­sas­sin’s Creed film than

As­sas­sin’s Creed. The king of the geezers restages the myth as duff-up be­tween vil­lains in the streets of Lon­dinium’s East End. It doesn’t re­ally hold to­gether. The draw­ing of the sword is botched. Hun­nam lacks charisma as Ar­fur. But there is a crazy joy to the film’s un­apolo­getic gang­ster logic. Shame no­body will go and see it. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 126 min DC NEW RE­LEASE MY LIFE AS A COUR­GETTE/ MA VIE DE COUR­GETTE See re­view, page 11 PI­RATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S RE­VENGE Di­rected by Joachim Røn­ning and Espen Sand­berg. Star­ring Johnny Depp, Javier Bar­dem, Bren­ton Th­waites, Kaya Scode­lario, Kevin McNally, Ge­of­frey Rush, Or­lando Bloom, Keira Knight­ley There comes a mo­ment in Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Alimony’s Re­venge when Johnny Depp and new­com­ers Or­lando 2.0 (Th­waites) and Keira 2.0 (Scode­lario) find them­selves be­ing chased by the rot­ting corpse of a shark. That’s right. Not con­tent with hav­ing fig­u­ra­tively jumped the shark dur­ing the mud­dled On Stranger Tides (2011), this stale, bloated fran­chise has only gone and killed the fish for good mea­sure. It’s more of the same. And the same was bad. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 129 min TB

THE RED TUR­TLE/LA TORTUE ROUGE Di­rected by Michael Du­dok de

Wit Lovely an­i­ma­tion from Stu­dio Ghi­bli con­cern­ing a man who, af­ter be­ing ship­wrecked, gets men­aced – or maybe pro­tected – by a gi­ant tur­tle. The damp washes and el­e­gant story are right up to Ghi­bli’s con­sis­tently high stan­dard. The pic­ture’s baf­fling swerves do noth­ing to de­flate its fi­nal emo­tional pay­off. What we have is a beau­ti­ful fa­ble that plays out in an en­vi­ron­ment that is so ef­fec­tively re­alised the view­ers feels he has lived there for days. Not to be missed. PG cert, Light House, Dublin, 81 min DC SNATCHED Di­rected by Jonathan Levine. Star­ring Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cu­sack, Ike Bar­in­holtz, Tom Bate­man, Os­car Jae­nada Use­less Amy and use­less mom Goldie get kid­napped while on hol­i­day in South Amer­ica. Schumer is al­lowed to in­dulge her in­fu­ri­at­ing habit of re­peat­ing the punch­lines of bad jokes – now as a mut­ter, now as a growl – in a hope­less ef­fort to bully us into laugh­ter. More un­for­giv­ably, Hawn is of­fered a role that gives her noth­ing to do at in­or­di­nate length. A waste. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 90 min DC

SPARK: A SPACE TALE Di­rected by Aaron Wood­ley. Voices of Jace Nor­man, Jes­sica Biel, Su­san Saran­don, Pa­trick

Ste­wart, Hi­lary Swank Crappy in­ter­na­tion­ally co-pro­duced an­i­ma­tion, ahoy! Thir­teen years ago – just long enough to pro­duce a bratty teen pro­tag­o­nist called Spark – the evil General Zhong over­threw his pre­sum­ably nicer brother to seize the throne of the planet Bana, us­ing a doo-dah thingy known as a “slick”. These space-time con­tin­uum-bust­ing slicks are defe­cated - out by an in­ter­ga­lac­tic ma­rauder known as a space kraken. So far, so Scien­tol­ogy, right? The B52s are com­ing! If only. PG cert, gen re­lease, 91 min TB NEW RE­LEASE WONDERWOMAN See re­view, page 9

Swash­buck­led: Bren­ton Th­waites and Johnny Depp in Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Re­venge, out now on general re­lease

Cast away: The Red Tur­tle, out now on lim­ited re­lease

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