New film releases this weekend
Saturday 19 May 2012
2 Days in New York (15)
Dir. Julie Delpy
Stars: Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, 95mins
The influence of Woody Allen is even more pronounced in Julie Delpy's follow-up to her clear-eyed 2007 walking-and-talking rom-com 2 Days in Paris. Unfortunately, this time it isn't vintage Woody Allen but the one who relies on stock situations and whose films are variable. Chris Rock actually gives the least broad performance in it, as a journalist and radio DJ whose overbearing French in-laws come to stay.
The Raid (18)
Dir. Gareth Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, 101mins
When an armed raid on a drug lord's squalid apartment building goes wrong, it's left to a rookie cop to fight his way to the top floor. Which flimsy, videogame-style plot is designed purely to showcase the Indonesian martial art pencak silat, and the remarkable talents of one of its practitioners, Iko Uwais. Bullet-in-the-eye, knee-to-the-face, skull-pulverised-into-concrete, splintered-wood-through-the-neck brutal, The Raid is also the most stylish, best-choreographed, well-paced all-action fight movie in years.
Even the Rain (15)
Dir. Iciar Bollain
Stars: Luis Tosar, Gael García Bernal, 103mins
A thoroughly researched and heartfelt screenplay by Ken Loach's long-term collaborator Paul Laverty is the bedrock of this film, in which a movie producer has a political awakening while shooting a period drama about the conquistadors' exploitation of South America, using Bolivian extras who are involved in their own fight against foreign economic interests, during the so-called "Cochabamba water wars" of 2000.
She Monkeys (12A)
Dir. Lisa Aschan
Stars: Mathilda Paradeiser, Linda Molin, 83mins
Set in the confusing and hermetic arenas of teenaged female sexuality and equestrian vaulting, this airless Swedish non-drama is about an exploratory lesbian relationship between rival young horse-riders.
The Source (15)
Dir. Radu Mihaileanu
Stars: Leila Bekhti, Hafsia Herzi, 124mins
Using the only bargaining power that they have, the women in an Islamic north African village vow to go on a sex strike, in the hope of getting their menfolk to install a communal water pipe. A serious-minded but sensuous, and even life-affirming fable.
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (15)
Dir. Florin Serban
Stars: George Pistereanu, Ada Condeescu, 93mins
Set and filmed in a young offenders' prison in Romania (with real offenders as cast members), and with a camera hovering just over the shoulder of its 18-year-old protagonist, this is a claustrophobic and close-up prison drama full of pent-up aggression and impotent fury – all of which is unleashed during a gripping third act.
The Man with the Jazz Guitar (U)
Dir. Marc Mason, 115mins
A fond but tediously over-detailed and yet still superficial documentary profile of the British jazz guitarist and radio presenter Ken Sykora, which includes interviews with his children, his producer, his lodger and his dentist.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (U)
Dir. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, 163mins
The Citizen Kane of English war movies tells a whole life story, and Roger Livesey is equally great as a dashing hero of the Boer War and the bumbling old man of the home guard in the Second World War. Thankfully, the attitudes and assumptions that it satirises have since faded, but Powell and Pressburger's film remains vivid.
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