Just six seven (I forgot one when I originally posted) new movies and one screening of a modern classic this month:
Danny Collins: Inspired by the true story of singer Steve Tilston. Al Pacino has great fun with the part and manages to give a funny and compelling performance and avoids his tendency to shout instead of act. Annette Bening provides fantastic support and has real chemistry with Pacino.
Survivor: Perfunctory spy thriller. Milla Jovovich is miscast but likeable, Pierce Brosnan looks uninterested in a role that he should have some fun with. Not a terrible film, but one to catch on TV on a Sunday afternoon, not one to pay to see.
Mr Holmes: Ian McKellen was born to play Sherlock Holmes. Rather than rehash the old and well trod stories, director Bill Condon (who directed McKellen in Gods and Monsters 1998) uses the novel by Mitch Cullin. An older Holmes with a fading memory looks back on his final case, it is more a film about mortality, aging and memory than investigation. Child actor Milo Parker is also excellent.
The Longest Ride: Nicholas Sparks adaptations follow a tried and trusted formula. This one offers nothing original or outstanding but is solid and enjoyable romantic melodrama. The cast is great with Britt Robertson again proving to be a star in the making. Scott Eastwood makes a compelling leading man and looks frighteningly like his dad in his younger days.
Knock Knock: Keanu Reeves finds himself in the middle of something that falls between the erotic thrillers and yuppies in peril movies of the 80’s and 90’s. Keanu is as likeable as ever despite playing a character who makes some questionable choices. The film has an interesting payoff but the nast undertone you expect from Eli Roth.
Amy: Director and producer Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees are back with portrait of singer Amy Winehouse. As compelling as Senna (2010), the real brilliance of the film isn’t the telling tale that played out in front of the worlds press, but the less know and more intimate story of the tragic figure.
The Terminator: The effects are looking a little shaky, but the 1984 classic remains the best of the Terminator franchise. NOTE: although I list cinema screenings of reissue films they aren’t in contention for movie of the month.