What's on at the movies 8 June 2017?
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The Mummy ✪✪½ Opened June 8
I love these big popcorn movies and this one has Tom Cruise who has always been smart in his film role choices. Normally I wouldn't be holding my breath for Mummy film though, but with Tom Cruise I figured it's going to be one heck of a ride. Add in Russell Crowe and how can you possibly go wrong?
Well I'll tell you ... the script and director.
The director of this Alex Kurtzman also directed one of the worst super-hero reboots of all time with The Amazing Spiderman 2. He's either written the screenplay or been involved in some not-so-greats that could have been great in more capable hands. Cowboys vs Aliens anyone? So I imagine Kurtzman to be the major culprit here. Lots of moving parts with nothing quite meshing and I think Tom only brought his B game.
This is not a terrible film but the glimpses of what could have been a great film are frustrating. Tom Cruise throws all his boyish charm at this, but it felt as though they weren't sure where to go with the story. Is it campy and fun like Knight and Day? Is it meant to be scary like Walking Dead? Is it meant to be a chase thriller? Is it a disaster movie with London being destroyed by sand? Is there a weird love story going on here? Is this a remake of American Werewolf In London? Did they even mean to steal so many ideas from so many other films, so you feel as though you've seen it all before?
Honestly I don't know and it feels as though neither did the director.
The Mummy is a mess and the only scary thing about the film is that it is the beginning of another franchise using the realms of the Dark Universe. We've got Van Helsing, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein to eagerly not anticipate, if this is an example of the quality of character and storytelling. I will say one thing though French actress Sofia Boutella looks great in bandages. Some excellent ideas for dress up here.
Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy. Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters. Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television's Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV's American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar (R) winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator). The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years-with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series, and Morgan being the narrative engineer of the Fast & Furious saga as it has experienced explosive growth from its third chapter on. Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, produces alongside Kurtzman and Morgan.
My Cousin Rachel ✪✪✪✪ Opened June 8
Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite authors and I've read Rebecca half a dozen times. I've also read My Cousin Rachel and it is trademark Du Maurier. Everything is not what it seems is this author's forte.
Roger Michell wrote the adaptation and directed and he's done a fine job. This film is just beautiful to look at and divine to experience. Michell has also directed one of my favorite films Notting Hill. He has a great eye for framing a shot, so there are many beautiful scenes in this period piece.
Sam Claflin and Rachel Weisz are great casting for their roles. My Cousin Rachel will keep you guessing all the way through and create quite the debate afterward about what is true and what isn't. I hope they remake Rebecca.
A dark romance, MY COUSIN RACHEL tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Starring Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen, Pierfrancesco Favino, and Andrew Knott.
Churchill ✪✪✪ Opened June 8
Churchill should have been a rousing, inspirational piece on a man who is considered one of the greatest leaders, if not the greatest leader of the last century. This film suffers from the same issue as The Iron Lady, which won Meryl Streep another Oscar. The screenwriters and director decided to focus on the doddery, broken down side of the human being and not their strengths.
Churchill is portrayed as a depressed old man, to whom nobody listens, with a wife that badgers him and is on the point of abandoning their marriage. The film offers little relief to the misery endured by Churchill or those around him.
Yes, there's a couple of great speeches and the eventual re-enactment of that great D-Day speech delivered by Churchill, which inspired a nation. However, this is no King's Speech, although it tries very hard to be. If it were released later in the year I would say Churchill would get a nod at the various awards for Brian Cox and also set and costume design. Not terrible, just not fabulous or terribly engaging, and in my opinion about thirty minutes too long. Might be proof that depression is contagious. I didn't feel so happy when I left the cinema.
Tensions mount for the beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) in the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944. Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon. Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson). With her strength and shrewdness, "Clemmie" halts Winston's physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness.
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