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tv   The Film Review  BBC News  May 21, 2021 5:45pm-6:01pm BST

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why'd they put you in a fire tower? well, i'mjust lucky, i guess. angelina jolie plays smoke jumper hannah, combating forest fires in montana. hannah is a wild card, haunted by guilty memories of a mission in which she misjudged the wind, with grim consequences. having been sent to spend a season alone atop a fire tower, their path conveniently crosses with that of a young boy, lost and on the run after his father was targeted by sinister hit men, played by aidan gillen and nicholas hoult. give 'em something| else to worry about. loosely adapted from a novel by michael koryta and directed by taylor sheridan, whose credits include the oscar—nominated screenplay for hell or high water, this is solidly pedestrian stuff —
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a by—the—numbers, box—ticking affair spiced up by shoot—outs, lightning strikes and some very impressive fire escapes. we can't go through that. that eats everything in its path! none of it is particularly believable, withjolie looking far too much like a movie star to convince as a battle star firefighter. battle—scarred firefighter. still, her character is far more convincing than the hit men, who were essentially upmarket, b—movie caricatures, killing everyone they meet whilst complaining about the scenery in entertainingly daft fashion. he's still on duty, you can try him on your radio. on the other hand, you have medina senghore stealing the show as the most in dominantly badass mother—to—be since as the most indominantly badass mother—to—be since francis mcdormand's marge gunderson in fargo. no masterpiece, then, but distracting popcorn fair tailor—made to be seen on the big screen. on the subject of indomitable women, sigourney weaver achieved iconic status as ripley
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in the alien movies, a role which earned her an academy award nomination. she's had two further oscar nominations for working girls nods for working girls and gorillas in the midst, and starred in such varied fair as ghostbusters, the ice storm and the cult sci—fi spoof galaxy quest. in her new movie my new york year, from the 2014 memoir by joanna rakoff, weaver plays old—school literary agent margaret, whose most high—profile client is reclusive catcher in the rye author, jd salinger. well? i like it. really? but what do you make of it? i'm not sure what you mean. well, it's not a kids�* book, is it? no, no. it's about kids for grown—ups. it's about female friendship. but will adults buy a book about kids? can i sell it? into margaret's agency comesjoanna, a college grad played by once upon a time hollywood costar margaret oualley,
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who has never read salinger but aspires to be a poet. she's set to work dealing with salinger�*s fan mail, ensuring that no one gets to the writer, while keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. over phone: don't get stuck answering the phone, joanna. you're a poet. what follows is a whimsical drama in which salinger befriends joanna over the phone and encourages her to concentrate on her writing, despite margaret's fierce insistence that she must never telljerry that she's a writer. there are echoes of the master—slave relationship at the heart of the devil wears prada, although this has none of the bite of that acerbic novel—turned—film. instead, it settles for something more twee — a nostalgic world observed with dewy—eyed wonder by character who, although based on real life, never seems real. is it on? but weaver has fun as the imperious grande dame who cannot abide computers and whose withering look is worth the price of admission. it's in cinemas now. a decade ago, saw sd, the seventh
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film in the torture—packed franchise, promised to be the final instalment. fat chance. after 2017's jigsaw, we now have a ninth movie, portentously entitled spiral from the book of saw. what is that? "play me." hello, detective banks. directed by darren lynn bousman, who held episodes two, three and four, this new chapter stars chris rock, promising to do for the saw franchise what 48 hours did for buddy cop movies. he's zeke, a wisecracking detective whose dad, played by samuel ljackson, was a legend in the force. i could've killed you. faced with a jigsaw—style copycat targeting the police, loner zeke, who's watching his back after turning in a dirty cop,
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finds himself paired with a wide—eyed rookie played by max minghella. detective, thanks. zeke initially hates the rookie because, hey, that's what cliched movie cops do. but gradually, he comes to respect him because, hey, that's what cliched movie cops do. based on a script that has been polished by rock — and remember, there are some things you just can't polish — spiral seems to be pulling in two different directions. on the one hand, there's rock doing his post—eddie murphy procedural shtick, and on the other, there's the elaborate set pieces in which people get horribly tortured by ridiculously complicated machinery while a puppet explains the plot on a tape. when's the last time| you saw your father? the saw franchise may be predicated upon these set pieces, but it would help if they actually made sense and didn't leave you wondering a, how the killer designed, built and then set up all this machinery without anyone noticing, and b, what exactly the point of the trap is, particularly one
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that seems to offer the victim the choice between death and, er, death, without even the possibility of cake. most importantly, for all its grotesquery, nothing in spiral is scary, with its plot twists provoking not shocks, but groans. it's in cinemas now. meanwhile over on netflix, we have army of the dead, the latest from zack snyder, who recently scored an online hit with his director's cut ofjustice league. is there anybody else here who hasn't killed a zombie? well, we all know the basics. zombies, shamblers, the undead — whatever you want to call them — when it comes to killing them, it's all about the brain. one comes at you, shoot in the brain. it's that simple. any questions? yes. what if i took a big rock and smashed it into the head? would that work? best known for such comic book—inspired movies as 300, watchmen and batman v superman, snyder cut his teeth on a remake of
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george romero's zombie classic dawn of the dead. in army of the dead, he conjures a satirical world in which a zombie outbreak has been confined to the walled—off enderongs of las vegas, a place that's always been hell on earth, but is now doubly so. shh. with a nuclear strike looming, muscle—bound dave bautista leads a ragtag troop back into vegas to raid a vault in one of the casinos, and also to try and save a mother who went missing in sin city some weeks earlier. it's not too late to go back. with so many zombie movies in the past few years, it's unsurprising that army of the dead, of which a prequel and a spin off anime star series are on the way, and a spin off anime style series are on the way, seems so unoriginal, lifting riffs from everything from romero's movies to world war z to return of the living dead part iii. what's more surprising is just how much snyder and his co—writers have pinched not only from john carpenter's escape from new york
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and escape from la, but also from james cameron's 1986 gem aliens, which similarly spliced genres to altogether more gripping effect. bickering squad entering a deserted area full of temporarily dormant beasties? check. let's remember the team. parent—child jeopardy reconciliation theme? check. that's crossing the line. duplicitous company man who can't be trusted? check. foolhardy return to rescue someone as the clock counts down to a nuclear blast? check. the difference is that while aliens was a nail—biting combination of horror movie and war movie, this not—very—humorous horror heist hybrid settles for altogether more goofy splatter thrills, contempt to throw blood and entrails around without ever getting beneath the surface of the story. but when it comes to snyder's films, surface is everything, as is length, with army of the dead clocking
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in at a bloated two and a half hours when it could have been in and out in 89 minutes. oh, and note to film—makers — putting a gurning cameo by trump's former press secretary sean spicer in your movie is never a good idea. ever. army of the dead is on netflix now. i'll leave you with news of rare beasts, in which star of stage, screen and pop charts billie piper ads writer—director to her cv. even though i feel scared and angry, i still love and respect myself. a post—fleabag era tale of dysfunctional male—female relationships teamed with humour and a hint of horror, it's an ambitious work boosted by an exceptional cast. so, why are you single, pete? i find women intolerable. right. piper plays mandy, a single mum living with her own mum, played by kerry fox. when mandy goes out on a date with uptight workmate pete,
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played by leo bill, he tells her that he finds women intolerable, but he refuses to be without one — something that should send her running for the hills. instead, she embarks upon a masochistic relationship with pete, while simultaneously trying to reconcile with her selfish father, played by david thewlis, and to raise her anxiously twitchy son. every wife, respect your husband! there are stylistic echoes of craig roberts�*s eternal beauty, in which piper and thewlis costarred, both in the mix of tragedy and comedy and in the heightened theatrical reality which occasionally tips over into fantasy. i want a man! at times, this super stylised performative approach can seem distracting, and some audiences will struggle to engage with the characters. but the examination of modern gender roles is intriguing and entertaining and honest. and while mandy may be an uncertain character riddled with self—doubt, piper's direction is bold and confident, suggesting that a future
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career behind the camera awaits. rare beasts is in cinemas and online now. that's it for this week. thanks for watching the film review. stay safe, and i'll see you next week. how'd you get in here? are you forgetting who the landlord is? yeah, but that doesn't give you the right to just walk in here anytime you want. renters got rights. you start paying some rent, you can get some rights. hello. it feels more like autumn, i think, then like spring. it's cool, it's what and it's windy. this is the extent of the clouds swirling around and an area of low pressure across the british isles. it's with us for the remainder of today and producing gales and gust of wind close to 90 miles an hour. even some
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other coastal areas, 60 miles an hour, and it's very unusual, particularly at the time of year. it will stay windy and it will stay wet. those winds coming down from the north across scotland, so colder here too compared with yesterday. way wetter weather in central areas. temperatures for for 5 degrees down. tempered by that wind which will start to at ease in the west, which is able to see the clear skies. but it does mean there will be a chillier night. whilst many central and eastern areas of scotland stay cloudy and windy with more rain. but eventually on saturday, it will become less windy at drier and brighter. it won't be as windy but the winds will be picking up once again. the winds will still be very brisk near the north sea coast tomorrow morning, still pushing our
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rain out of the way. following much more promise of sunshine, but equally at this time of year, with chilly air and equally at this time of year, with chilly airand i equally at this time of year, with chilly air and i strong may sunshine, we will see those towers developing. the winds coming down from that chilly place up in the arctic, which we have become so used to do. as we go through saturday night, a brief ridge of high pressure, so colder night. then come sunday, our next area of rain to bring northern ireland a wet morning, that rain crossing into western fringes of england and wales and western scotland with showers following behind. brightness and dryness toward the northeast of scotland holding onto some drier weather. but again, temperature is no great tapes as you can see. into next week, low pressure is still with us. it's still a case of sunny spells and showers, and temperatures mightjust creep up a few degrees. more on the website.
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at six, the prime minister expresses concern in the wake of the damning report into the bbc�*s panorama interview with princess diana. business as usual for prince william today after voicing his anger at his mother's deception and the subsequent cover—up. i can only imagine the feelings of the royal family and i hope very much that the bbc will be taking every possible step to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. it comes as prince harry has been explaining the impact his mother's death had on him. ok, i wasn't drinking monday to friday, i would probably drink a week's work in one day on a friday or a saturday anyway. also on the programme tonight, a ceasefire comes into force between israel and hamas after 11 days of fighting.

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