Like cinema? Hate GOING to the cinema? Me too. Here's a round up of this month's summer blockbusters, all of which previewed in my mind this week without me having to leave the house. Incidentally, if you want tickets to the cinema in my mind, I warn you it involves a dark journey into a stormcloud of the imagination. But I do offer Orange Wednesdays.
The Rise of the Dawn of the Beginning of the Start of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox, PG-13)
Having barely survived a deadly virus, mankind faces an even greater threat: an overuse of prepositions and definite articles. While debating what to do about the uprising of super intelligent monkeys (which are also a feature of the film), humanity finds itself unable to adequately express the nature of the threat and falls into anarchy. Gary Oldman delivers the film's climax with dramatic intensity, as he leads a plucky crew of grammarians on a last-ditch attempt to say anything sensible about what's going on (they settle on "scary monkey trouble bad. Of the apes.")
The Guardian of the Galaxy (Marvel Studios, PG-13)
A kooky alliance of liberal North Londoners fight interstellar injustice. In the opening scene we find tree-alien Groot penning a passionate op-ed about an unfair tax on soya beans. But soon Groot must team up with a ragtag bunch of heroes to fight a greater injustice - the insufficient celebration of the birthdate of the first Chinese woman to wear a hat. Deploying an arsenal of cool-as-hell weapons, including the propensity to be outraged about everything and therefore dilute the impact of serious concerns (represented in the form of a huge laser gun), the team put together a forceful think piece and then go back to drinking lattes in the Upper Street Starbucks. Some of the pace is lost in the last hour of the film, which is simply a live stream of the comment section underneath the team's article (featuring unrelated but strongly-held opinions on Tony Blair, 9/11 and soya beans).
The Nut Job (Warner Bros, U)
Animated family adventure about a squirrel's slow decent into madness. "We are merely slugs crawling across a razor blade" - so opens this knockabout caper for all ages. Curmudgeonly squirrel Surly is trying to store up enough nuts for the winter with his zany sidekick Buddy, when he finds himself gazing into an abyss wherein all hope and morality dissolve into a "cosmic joke". Learning some lessons about love ("man's great lie to himself") and friendship ("the etiquette of hatred"), the film's bloody conclusion is a laugh-a-minute tragedy. Surly's cheery catchphrase of "chaos reigns" is sure to become a mainstay in playgrounds this summer.