Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke’s picks of the cur­rent film re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE -

NEWRELEASE BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYAL E ★★ Di­rected by Drew God­dard. Star­ring Jeff Bridges, Cyn­thia Er ivo,J on Hamm, Dakota John­son, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pull­man, Chris

He ms worth, Nick Of­fer man A bunch of one-note odd­balls -- Hamm’s seedy sales­man, Erivo’s soul singer, Bridges’ whiskey priest – ar­rive at a Lake Taho mo­tel and fall out. If God­dard is go­ing to make a film that so shame­lessly echoes the post-Tarantino fol­lies of the mid-1990s, are we al­lowed to just re­print a re­view from that same era? Things to Do in Den­ver When You’re Dead sounds about right. The ac­tors are all fine, but El Royale out­stays its wel­come long be­fore the fi­nal, ex­haust­ing show­down. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 141 min DC

BLACK47 ★★★★ Di­rected by Lance Daly. Star­ring Hugo Weav­ing, James F rec he ville, Stephen Rea, Fred die Fox, Barry

Keogh an, Jim Broad bent The first widely re­leased fea­ture to fo­cus on the Great Famine is an un­mis­tak­able genre piece. It’s The Outlaw Josey

Wales with fewer Co­manches but more rain. Weav­ing is the weath­ered cop pur­su­ing Frechevill­e’s be­reaved avenger across the dev­as­tated west of Ire­land. At times, the de­ter­mi­na­tion to in­clude ev­ery his­tor­i­cal de­tail causes the pack­age to strain. But the grey pools of De­clan Quinn’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy and the evoca­tive strains of Brian Byrne’s score keep the brain twitch­ing

in even the glummest mo­ments. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 99 min DC BLACKKKLAN­S­MAN ★★★★

Di­rected by Spike Lee. Star­ring John David Wash­ing­ton, Adam Driver,

Laura Har­rier, Top her Grace Com­ing off as a spicy mix of 1970s cop show, blaxs­ploita­tion thriller, civil rights jeremiad and di­dac­tic doc­u­men­tary, Lee’s lat­est cir­cles around the true story of a black cop who in­fil­trated the Ku Klux Klan. With one swift move­ment, the sharp John David Wash­ing­ton (son of Den­zel) shakes off his fam­ily his­tory and carves out a place just for him­self. The col­li­sion of styles is ex­hil­a­rat­ing. Ter­ence Blan­chard’s soundtrack is a blast. What’s not to like? Spike’s best in decades. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 135 min DC

COLD WAR/ZIMNA WOJNA ★★★★★ Di­rected by Paw el Paw­likows ki. Star­ring Joanna Kulig, To­masz Kot,

Bo­rysSzyc Love is not enough in this sor­row­ful, swoon­ing Soviet-era drama con­cern­ing pi­anist Wik­tor (Kot) and the blonde, cheru­bic singer-dancer Zula (the mes­meris­ing Kulig) who heads his folk en­sem­ble. When the troupe reaches East Ber­lin, the pair have a clear chance to de­fect but it soon be­comes clear that only one of them has any de­sire to cross the Iron Cur­tain. Thus be­gins a decade of bor­der-cross­ing, part­ings and re­unions. Al­most in­de­cently mov­ing and eas­ily one of the films of the year. 15A cert, IFI, Dublin, 85 min TB

COLUM­BUS ★★★★ Di­rected byKog on ada. Star­ring John Cho, Ha­ley Lu Richard­son, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin , Michelle Forbes It seems only fair that mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture – in­clud­ing Eero Saari­nen’s Ir­win Union Bank build­ing and the Miller House and IM Pei’s Cleo Rogers Memo­rial Li­brary – takes cen­tre stage in de­but­ing writer-di­rec­tor Kog­o­nada’s care­fully cal­i­brated, min­i­mal­ist

drama. Tak­ing cues from the clean, un­fussy lines of those con­struc­tions, Colum­bus con­cerns a book trans­la­tor (Cho) who finds him­self stranded in the In­di­ana town of the ti­tle, where he be­friends an ar­chi­tec­tural en­thu­si­ast (Richard­son). Could pass as an Amer­i­can re­make of a hith­erto undis­cov­ered Ya­su­jiro Ozu drama. Club, IFI, Dublin, 104 min TB


Di­rected by Jon M Chu. Star­ring Con­stance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry

Gold­ing Rachel (Wu), a Chi­nese-Amer­i­can pro­fes­sor at NYU and a hugely lik­able clever-clogs, ac­com­pa­nies her suave boyfriend, Nick (Gold­ing), a Chi­nese busi­ness­man from Sin­ga­pore, home for his best friend’s wed­ding. Only then does Rachel learn that Nick is the heir to a real-es­tate em­pire, a “crown prince” as the lo­cals have it. Nick’s im­pe­ri­ous mother (Yeoh) ex­pects him to re­turn to Sin­ga­pore and marry a suit­able – read rich – lo­cal. A big-skirted Cin­derella story that coasts on the chem­istry be­tween Wu and Gold­ing. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 121 min TB

FACESPLACE­S/VISAGESVIL­LAGES ★★★★ Di­rected by and fea­tur­ing Agnès

Varda and JR This fun, free­wheel­ing doc­u­men­tary hatched be­tween 89-year-old cinema vet­eran Varda and 33-year-old out­door in­stal­la­tion artist JR is just about the most adorable film of the year. Al­though slow on stairs, there is a spring in her step as the di­rec­tor of Cleo From 5 to 7 takes to road with JR’s cam­era-shaped van and a printer ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing the gi­ant pho­to­graphic im­ages he uses in his large-form art­works. Rolling into var­i­ous vil­lages around France, they find suit­able sub­jects and make en­chant­ing art. An ab­so­lute de­light. Club, QFT, Belfast; Triskel, Cork, 89 min TB


Di­rected by Damien C hazel le. Star­ring Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Ja­son Clarke, Kyle Chan­dler, Corey S toll, P at rick­Fug it, Chris to her Ab­bott, Ci arán Hinds, Olivia Hamil­ton Fine study of Neil Arm­strong from the di­rec­tor and star of La La Land. The film is great on the sen­sual as­sault of space travel, but it is most no­table as a char­ac­ter study. Who bet­ter to play such a fa­mously un­know­able char­ac­ter than the peren­ni­ally blank Gosling? Foy will get more de­mand­ing roles in her ca­reer, but she may be re­lieved that her dreaded “wife part” is more fleshed out than is usu­ally the case. Spec­tac­u­lar, but also in­ti­mate. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 141 min DC

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS ★★★ Di­rected by Eli Roth. Star­ring Cate Bl an chett, Jack Black, Kyle

Mac Lachl an, Owen V ac car oRoth’ s un­ex­pected kids’ movie wastes no time in whisk­ing the viewer and its 10-year-old pro­tag­o­nist, Lewis (Vac­caro), into a strange new gothic world. It’s 1955, and Lewis has been sent to New Zebedee, Michi­gan, fol­low­ing the death of his par­ents, to live with his od­dball, ki­mono-wear­ing Un­cle Jonathan (the al­ways ami­able Black), a war­lock, and his good witch neigh­bour (Blanchett). To­gether they must undo some bad magic left be­hind by their en­chanted house’s pre­vi­ous owner, Isaac Iz­zard (MacLach­lan). This is whim­si­cal new ter­ri­tory for the di­rec­tor be­hind such gory stan­dards as

Hos­tel and The Green In­ferno, but Roth has crafted a very con­vinc­ing Spiel­ber­gian fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment. PG cert, gen re­lease, 105 min TB

THEINCREDI­BLES2 ★★★★ Di­rected by Brad Bird. Voices of Craig T Nel­son, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vow­ell, Huck Mil­ner, Sa­muel L Jack­son Ter­rific se­quel to Pixar’s su­per­hero saga finds Bob Parr, the some­time Mr In­cred­i­ble, left at home with young Vi­o­let (who turns in­vis­i­ble), younger

Dash (who moves speed­ily) and baby Jack-Jack (who does a lot of things). Mean­while, He­len Parr is drawn into a scheme to re­ha­bil­i­tate the su­per­hero rep­u­ta­tion. The an­i­ma­tion is glossier than ever. The de­sign is so gor­geous you yearn to wear it home. It is, how­ever, the jokes that re­ally stand out. Ex­cel­lent fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment. PG cert, gen re­lease, 125 min DC

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN ★★ Di­rected by David Kerr. Star­ring Row an Atkin­son, Ben Miller, Olga Ku ry lenko, Jake La cy, Emma Thomp­son As long ago as 2003,

Johnny English, an en­tirely su­per­flu­ous spy spoof, was al­ready un­der­whelm­ing and out­moded when it tran­si­tioned from lik­able TV ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign to the big screen. The be­lated 2011 se­quel didn’t of­fer much of an im­prove­ment, but it was a riot placed be­side this un­nec­es­sary, half­baked third film. Emma Thomp­son, play­ing a half-bright Bri­tish PM, the charm­ing tal­ents of Kurylenko and Lacy (play­ing a tech-bro bil­lion­aire), and even Atkin­son’s con­tor­tions are squan­dered by a script that doesn’t seem to con­tain a sin­gle joke. PG cert, gen re­lease, 89 min TB

THE LIT­TLE STRANGER ★★★★ Di­rected by Lenny Abra­ham­son. Star­ring Domhn all Glees on, Ruth Wil­son, Char­lotte Ram­pling, Will

Poul­ter The di­rec­tor of Room re­turns with a queasy, un­clas­si­fi­able adap­ta­tion of Sarah Wa­ters’s novel con­cern­ing a young doc­tor (Glee­son) caught up with a crum­bling dy­nasty in post­war Eng­land. There has been some crit­i­cism of the dis­trib­u­tors for flog­ging the film has a straight-up ghost story. That is in there. But The Lit­tle Stranger is more a drama about class, money and the Bri­tish post­war re­arrange­ment. A com­par­i­son with Brideshead Re­vis­ited would as use­ful as any with

The Turn of the Screw. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 111 min DC

Booster seat: Neil Arm­strong (Ryan Gosling) watches a launch in Damien Chazelle’s First Man.

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