Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke re­view the cur­rent cin­ema re­leases

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

NEW RE­LEASE ALL EYEZ ON ME See re­view, irish­times.com NEW RE­LEASE ALONE IN BER­LIN See re­view, irish­times.com NEW RE­LEASE BABY DRIVER ★★★★ See re­view, page 10

BAY­WATCH ★ Di­rected by Seth Gor­don. Star­ring Dwayne John­son, Zac Efron, Alexan­dra Dad­dario,

Kelly Rohrbach 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 a TV episode. Early on, Zac won­ders aloud if this isn’t just some sadis­tic haz­ing rit­ual. Maybe it is. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 118 min TB BER­LIN SYN­DROME ★★★ Di­rected by Cate Short­land. Star­ring Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt, Matthias Habich, Emma Bad­ing Palmer plays a stu­dent im­pris­oned by a ma­niac in the lat­est from the di­rec­tor of Som­er­sault and Lore. The performances are all strong. Ger­main McMick­ing’s widescreen photography cap­tures Ber­lin and, softly and cau­tiously, sucks us into the cap­tive’s claus­tro­pho­bia. But the re­la­tion­ships are fa­mil­iar, the even­tual res­o­lu­tion un­sur­pris­ing and the di­a­logue no more than ad­e­quate. It gets by on sin­is­ter am­bi­ence. Just. 16 cert, Triskel, Cork, 116 min DC

THE BOOK OF HENRY ★★ Di­rected by Colin Trevor­row. Star­ring Naomi Watts, Jae­den Lieber­her, Ja­cob Trem­blay,

Sarah Sil­ver­man Henry’s (Lieber­her) dy­ing wish is that his mother fol­low the elab­o­rate in­struc­tions left in a red notebook, in­struc­tions that will al­low her to help the with­drawn and sex­u­allyabused teenage girl next door. The girl’s preda­tory step­dad, in­con­ve­niently, hap­pens to be a po­lice chief (Nor­ris). Her un­cle, in­con­ve­niently, hap­pens to be the head of child ser­vices. Mad, un­hinged, of­ten in­ap­pro­pri­ate drama from the di­rec­tor of Juras­sic World. This is what he does for a van­ity project? 12A, gen 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 In the days be­fore the Nor­mandy land­ing, 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 NEW RE­LEASE DE­SPI­CA­BLE ME 3 ★★★★ See re­view, page 11 DI­ARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL ★★ Di­rected by David Bowers. Star­ring Ja­son Drucker, Owen Asz­ta­los, Char­lie Wright, Ali­cia Sil­ver­stone, Tom Everett Scott 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 FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON/MAL DE PIERRES ★★★ Di­rected by Ni­cole Gar­cia. Star­ring Mar­ion Cotil­lard, Louis Gar­rel, Alex Bren­demühl, Brigitte Rouan, Vic­toire Du Bois, Nicely made, of­ten rather silly melo­drama fea­tur­ing Cotil­lard as an unstable women who cre­ates ro­man­tic havoc af­ter be­ing com­pelled to wed the wrong man. It is pretty and well ap­pointed. It has ev­ery chance of play­ing well with those who equate “French” with “qual­ity”. But it slips from the mind as soon as it ends. Still, it is worth en­dur­ing to gawp at the lu­di­crous twist in the tale. I ver­ily dropped my pince nes. 16 cert, lim­ited re­lease, 120 min DC 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 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 HA­LAL DADDY ★★★ See re­view, page 11

HAMP­STEAD ★★ Di­rected by Joel Hopkins. Star­ring Diane Keaton, Brendan Glee­son, Les­ley Manville, Ja­son Watkins, James Nor­ton, Hugh Skinner, Phil Davis, Adeel

Akhtar A widow (Keaton) ro­mances an ec­cen­tric squat­ter (Glee­son) in Richard Cur­tis’s ver­sion of north Lon­don. No­body with any­thing other than ice in their soul could fail to be en­tranced at the no­tion of a ro­man­tic com­edy star­ring Brendan and Keaton. Just look at that lovely still of them sit­ting idyl­li­cally on Hamp­stead Heath. Now wave it in front of your eyes for an hour or two. That ex­pe­ri­ence will be richer than any­thing in Joel Hopkins’s un­der­pow­ered screen filler. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 102 min DC NEW RE­LEASE THE HOUSE ★ See re­view, irish­times.com NEW RE­LEASE A MAN CALLED OVE See re­view, irish­times.com THEMUMMY ★★ 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

GlenGrip­ping, 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 ★★★★★ 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 ( Mac­don­ald) 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 ★★ 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 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 NEW RE­LEASE REV­O­LU­TIONS ★★★★ See re­view, page 11

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

SLACK BAY/MA LOUTE ★★★ Di­rected by Bruno Du­mont. Star­ring Fabrice Lu­chini, Juli­ette Binoche, Va­le­ria Bruni

Tedeschi, Bran­don Lavieville A par­ody of clas­sic French class come­dies and an end­less pa­rade of grotes­querie, this late Belle-époque lam­poon pitches in­bred toffs against can­ni­bal peas­ants. The filthy lat­ter de­mo­graphic make mon­strous sounds and kill hol­i­day­mak­ers. But they are nicer than their wealth­ier neigh­bours. The peren­ni­ally ec­cen­tric Du­mont cre­ates a won­der­fully strange uni­verse. It’s a shame the film doesn’t have more or­der. 15A cert, lim­ited re­lease, 122 min TB 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

TRANS­FORM­ERS: THE LAST KNIGHT ★ Di­rected by Michael Bay. Star­ring Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Stan­ley Tucci, An­thony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, John Tur­turro,

Is­abella Moner The fifth Trans­form­ers film has some­thing to do with King Arthur, an an­gry lady ro­bot and an­other at­tempted alien in­va­sion. The film is, as usual, al­most im­pos­si­ble to fol­low if your mind func­tions as most drug­less minds do. One thinks of the sen­sory over­loads that the CIA folded around Gen­eral Nor­iega’s com­pounds. The di­a­logue is bel­lowed. The com­puter graph­ics are so dizzy­ing and un­real that the brain strug­gles to make co­her­ent sense of them. Ut­ter rub­bish. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 149 min DC TWICE SHY ★★★★ Di­rected by Tom Ryan. Star­ring Shane Murray Cor­co­ran, Iseult Casey, Ardal O’Han­lon, Paul Ro­nan, Pat Shortt An in­verted Hiber­nian Be­fore Sun­rise, Twice

Shy fol­lows Andy (Murray-Cor­co­ran) and Mag­gie (Casey), a young Ir­ish cou­ple, as they travel to Eng­land with the in­ten­tion of ter­mi­nat­ing Mag­gie’s preg­nancy. Flashbacks chron­i­cle a very Ir­ish ro­mance: con­ver­sa­tions about the Leav­ing Cert, the big Debs night, their first holiday, and, fi­nally, the slow dis­so­lu­tion of their re­la­tion­ship as univer­sity life, new friends and old fam­ily prob­lems come between them. A lovely com­edy built around a timely premise. 16 cert, lim­ited re­lease, 77 min TB

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 su­per­punch-up. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 140 min DC

Shane Murray Cor­co­ran and Iseult Casey in Twice Shy, out now on lim­ited re­lease

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