'The Lunchbox', a Mumbai fable that's wonderful and 'Calvary', profound and compelling with Brendan Gleeson giving a performance to behold. Two gems in one week.
Beyond the fantasy child, the everywhere child, and the policed image of children, we are living in a golden age of films about children, and haven't quite noticed. Movie directors in Iran, Japan, the UK, Holland and elsewhere are releasing masterpieces about childhood. Why is this golden age happening, and why does it matter?
The scale of The Raid 2 is much larger than the first, with a sprawling, fitfully successful crime saga plot introduced, involving rival Japanese and Indonesian gangs. The plot merely provides moments to compose yourself between the carnage, and what carnage.
female characters remain dramatically under-represented with only 13% of the top 100 films featuring equal numbers of major female and male characters, or more major female characters than male characters. It's not all depressing news however, a number of actresses, directors and executives are paving the way.
What are they going to do in an 90 to 120 minutes of movie world time? Tell us about that one time Adama spanked Apollo for disobeying orders? A mini-collage of Starbuck kicking ass and changing the game? A Rambo-esque montage of Gaius Baltar being a raging dickhead?
Spanning a decade, Half Of A Yellow Sun opens in 1960 with newsreel footage of Nigerians celebrating Independence from Britain. We are then introduced to and follow the fortunes of Olanna (Thandie Newton) and her twin sister Kainene (Anika Noni Rose), the middle-class, well-educated and headstrong daughters of a wealthy Lagos businessman.
Two years after Marc Webb rebooted Sony's lucrative Spider-Man series, the jury is still out over whether it was too soon to revive the franchise so quickly after Sam Raimi's third installment.
Fire in the Blood is a harrowing viewing experience. The sombre documentary portrays the real events of an AIDS drug extortion scandal which has slipped under the radar of public consciousness, but continues to take an unthinkable number of lives.
So, 30 years of watching Cruise on screen, 23 years writing about him condensed into five seconds of thanks in one hand shake.
'The Double' is absurdist, timeless, Kafkaesque, sad, funny and weird, eccentric and visually captivating.
At the centre of this is newcomer lead Pedro Ferreira, who impresses in the two minute trailer. The snippets we see suggest a complex arc for his character Sombra, a drug-dealer recently out of prison who gets threatened by the mob, seeks revenge, befriends a local youngster, chills out with his iguana and gets in a huge amount of trouble.
'Nymphomaniac' will undoubtedly be compared to McQueen's 'Shame', and sadly to the forthcoming '50 Shades of Grey', but the subtle difference here is the complete lack of glamour compared to the gluttonous lifestyle that shroud's both Fassbender's Brandon, and inevitably Dornan's Christian Grey.
Before the trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie dropped, I was as sceptical as anyone. Michael Bay, this time as a producer, takes another 90s kids' beloved property and repeatedly, heartlessly milks it for cash, we all know the drill. Or do we?
It certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to epic set pieces and impressive visuals. Alas, after a while I tired of the blurry hand-to-hand combat, and was a little bored during the third act, which felt too much like the deafening heli-carrier battle from Avengers Assemble.
THANK YOU for pointing out Frozen's repressed lesbian allegory, because now my family and I can re-watch the award-winning film, and the many that came before it and consume them all from an enlightened fresh perspective. We can now enjoy Disney the gay way.
Writing a film is like swimming the Channel, it needs training and preparation, a support team and the right weather and currents, all aligned on the right maps and charts.