Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke

re­view the cur­rent cin­ema re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | FILM - Di­rected by Joachim Røn­ning

BAY­WATCH

Di­rected by Seth Gor­don. Star­ring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Dad­dario, Kelly Rohrbach, Priyanka Cho­pra, Jon Bass, Ilfe­nesh Hadera It’s worse than you might have feared. Here is a film so poor, so half-ar­sed, so con­temp­tu­ous of its au­di­ence, that it screws up one of the great, (pre­vi­ously) in­fal­li­ble tropes of con­tem­po­rary cin­ema: the David Hassle­hoff cameo. The part­ner­ship be­tween Johnson and Efron is squan­dered. There is barely enough story to fill an episode of the source TV series. Early on, Zac won­ders aloud if this isn’t just some sadis­tic haz­ing rit­ual. Maybe it is. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 118 min TB

NEW RE­LEASE THE BOOK OF HENRY

See re­view, page 11 ★★

BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK

Di­rected by Anocha Suwichako­rn­pong. Star­ring Visra Vi­chit-Vadakan, Arak Amorn­su­pasiri, Ras­sami Paolu­eng­ton Suwichako­rn­pong’s for­mally dar­ing sec­ond fea­ture be­gins as a film about mak­ing a film about the 1976 Tham­masat Univer­sity Mas­sacre. A young di­rec­tor, pre­sum­ably a sur­ro­gate for Suwichako­rn­pong, in­ter­views a mid­dle-aged writer who was in­volved in these ill-fated stu­dent demon­stra­tions. It then curls upon it­self. A Go­dar­d­ian puz­zle. A chal­leng­ing dis­in­ter­ment of grim se­crets. Maybe a lit­tle too oblique. Club, lim re­lease, 105 min TB

CARD­BOARD GANG­STERS

Di­rected by Mark O’Con­nor. Star­ring John Con­nors, Fionn Wal­ton, Jimmy Small­horne,

Kier­ston Ware­ing O’Con­nor, a young Dubliner of some in­ven­tion, de­liv­ers his most com­plete film yet with this story of a small-time hood­lum (Con­nors) seek­ing to take a few steps up the lad­der. Set in Darn­dale, Card­board Gang­sters has ad­mirable ki­netic sweep and a keen sense for the ab­sur­di­ties of city life. The pic­ture does lack story and struc­ture. But it is so en­joy­able on a scene-by-scene ba­sis that it proves hard to care. Con­nors is great. 18 cert, gen re­lease, 92 min DC

CHURCHILL

Di­rected by Jonathan Teplitzky. Star­ring Brian Cox, Mi­randa Richard­son, John Slat­tery, James Pure­foy, Ju­lian Wad­ham, Danny Webb, Richard Dur­den, Ella Pur­nell In the days be­fore the Nor­mandy land­ing, Bri­tish prime min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill (Cox) re­trieves his hat along a blus­tery coast­line be­fore ut­ter­ing some of the worst di­a­logue you’ll hear this sum­mer: “Beaches al­ways bring it back . . . Al­most 30 years ago now . . . So many young men.” The film’s at­tempt to con­flate D-Day and Churchill’s “black dog” de­pres­sion is not just his­tor­i­cally ques­tion­able, it dra­mat­i­cally doesn’t ring true. Cox re­sponds with a mas­ter­class, re­gard­less. PG cert, lim re­lease, 98 min TB

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

NEW RE­LEASE FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON/MAL DE PIERRES

See re­view, page 10

GIFTED

★★★ Di­rected by Marc Webb. Star­ring Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Dun­can,

Oc­tavia Spencer A de­cent guy (Evans) tries to re­tain cus­tody of his niece (Grace), a maths prodigy, while his evil mother (Dun­can) cir­cles men­ac­ingly. Af­ter serv­ing his time on the two Amaz­ing

Spi­der-Man films, Marc Webb, di­rec­tor of (500) Days of Sum­mer, steps to­wards a less flashy cor­ner of the main­stream with a solid, un­threat­en­ing drama. Call it

Kramer vs Kramer’s Mom. Call it Lit­tle Girl Tate. Call it what you like, but Gifted gives glo­ri­fied TV movies a bet­ter name. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 101 min DC

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

NEW RE­LEASE HAMP­STEAD

See re­view, page 11

THE MUMMY

Di­rected by Alex Kurtz­man. Star­ring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wal­lis, Jake Johnson, Court­ney B Vance, Rus­sell Crowe

Largely use­less re­boot of the Uni­ver­sal hor­ror sta­ple con­cern­ing an an­cient Egyp­tian (Boutella, good) caus­ing havoc in the present day. Cruise is work­ing so hard at con­vinc­ing us he can still be Cruise that he finds no time to cre­ate a char­ac­ter. Wal­lis has noth­ing to do as the mor­tal fe­male lead. Huge sec­tions of the back­story are ex­plained in car­pets of ex­po­si­tion that turn much of the open­ing act into an il­lus­trated lecture. Don’t bother. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 110 min DC

MY COUSIN RACHEL

Di­rected by Roger Michell. Star­ring Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Hol­l­i­day Grainger, Iain Glen, Pier­francesco Favino,

Si­mon Rus­sell Beale Grip­ping, nicely over­heated adap­ta­tion of Daphne du Mau­rier’s novel con­cern­ing a mildly for­eign woman (Weisz) who causes havoc when she vis­its the es­tate of her late hus­band’s cousin (Claflin). At­trac­tively shot on lo­ca­tion, with strong turns by the two leads, My

Cousin Rachel has enough uneasy mo­ments – the sex is no­tably queasy – to separate it from classy Sun­day night telly. It’s a

shame it ends so jar­ringly. The ac­tions builds, then the film comes to a crash­ing halt. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 105 min DC

MY LIFE AS A COUR­GETTE/ MA VIE DE COUR­GETTE

Di­rected by Claude Bar­ras. Voices of Gas­pard Sch­lat­ter, Six­tine Mu­rat, Paulin Jac­coud Won­der­ful French an­i­ma­tion con­cern­ing a group of dis­ad­van­taged youths in a care home. The film is a beau­ti­fully bal­anced, vis­ual marvel. Bar­ras has a habit of hold­ing group shots longer than ex­pected to press home the in­creas­ing close­ness of the kids. He gives them round, expressive eyes, framed by red­dened rims that speak to their con­tin­u­ing stress. Only a jerk would com­plain about it paint­ing to rosy a pic­ture of such sce­nar­ios. 12A cert, lim re­lease, 66 min DC

NAILS

Di­rected by Den­nis Bar­tok. Star­ring Shauna Macdon­ald, Richard Fos­ter-King, Steve Wall, Robert O’Mahoney, Ross No­ble, Jog­ger mum Dana (Shauna Macdon­ald of The De­scent) awak­ens in a Hor­ror Hos­pi­tal af­ter a hit-and-run ac­ci­dent that leaves her paral­ysed from the waist down and un­able to breathe and talk un­aided. It gets worse: Dana soon be­comes aware of a malev­o­lent pres­ence creep­ing around her room at night. Her fears are dis­missed as para­noid delu­sions. Tech­ni­cally well car­ried off but con­fus­ing, clunky, murky and lu­di­crous. What’s it sup­posed to be? 16 cert, lim re­lease, 85 min TB

PI­RATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S RE­VENGE

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 Caribbe

an: 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

THE SHACK

Di­rected by Stu­art Hazel­dine. Star­ring Sam Wor­thing­ton, Oc­tavia Spencer, Avra­ham Aviv

Alush, Radha Mitchell Ap­par­ently sin­cere adap­ta­tion of a best­selling, faith-friendly book con­cern­ing death, for­give­ness and a re­ally cool Je­sus. Per­haps there are Chris­tians who will ap­pre­ci­ate The

Shack’s Oprah­fied uni­ver­sal heaven, but it made us pine for the God of the Book of Job to hurl leviathans. While the film’s in­tro­duc­tion of a Holy Qu­a­ter­nity – say hello to Wis­dom (Alice Braga of I Am Leg­end) – does seem novel, the­ol­ogy and colour-blind cast­ing are the least of this ma­nip­u­la­tive movie’s prob­lems. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 132 min TB

NEW RE­LEASE SLACK BAY/MA LOUTE

See re­view, irish­times.com

STOCK­HOLM, MY LOVE

Di­rected by Mark Cousins.

Star­ring Neneh Cherry The lat­est cin­e­matic es­say from Belfast’s Mark Cousins casts Cherry as an ar­chi­tect pon­der­ing fa­mil­ial re­la­tions as she wan­ders about the Swedish cap­i­tal. The film starts off bril­liantly. Christo­pher Doyle’s steady shots of neat ar­chi­tec­ture ac­com­pany worth­while in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the city’s char­ac­ter. As it goes on, how­ever, the quasi-fic­tional mono­logue be­comes tir­ing. Di­vert­ing enough, but not a patch on Cousins’s I Am Belfast. Club, lim re­lease, 88 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE TRANS­FORM­ERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

See re­view, page 10

NEW RE­LEASE TWICE SHY

See re­view, page 11

WHIT­NEY: CAN I BE ME

Di­rected by Nick Broom­field and Rudi Dolezal. Fea­tur­ing Whit­ney Hous­ton, Bobbi Kristina Brown,

Bobby Brown A cau­tious but rig­or­ous ex­am­i­na­tion of the pres­sures that led to the death of Whit­ney Hous­ton: the $100 mil­lion law­suit her fa­ther took against her from his deathbed; the drug ad­dic­tion; the code­pen­dency that she and Bonny Brown slid into. The sub­se­quent death of her daugh­ter Bobbi Kristina adds an aw­ful coda. Car-crash gaw­pers may quib­ble that Broom­field has (re­spect­fully) avoided footage of the fi­nal years, but this re­mains a qui­etly dev­as­tat­ing por­trait of a mag­nif­i­cently loud tal­ent. 12A cert, lim re­lease, 105 min TB

WON­DER­WOMAN

Di­rected by Patty Jenk­ins. Star­ring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Hus­ton, David Thewlis, Con­nie Nielsen Gadot stars as an Amazon su­per­woman who helps Pine’s agent de­feat the Ger­mans dur­ing (in ques­tion­able taste) the first World War. It wouldn’t take much for

Won­der Woman to be­come the best film in the DC Ex­tended Uni­verse to date. Sure enough, it knocks Sui­cide Squad and Bat­man

v Su­per­man into a cocked cowl. It’s funny, lively and un­pre­ten­tious. Sadly, Won­der Woman does still end in the usual bor­ing su­per-punch-up. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 140 min DC

Don’t let go: McKenna Grace and Chris Evans in Gifted, out now on gen­eral re­lease

Let go: Annabelle Wal­lis and Tom Cruise in The Mummy, out now on gen­eral re­lease

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