9 months ago

Close Up March 18


FILM REVIEW There’s entertainment for everyone this month from mischievous rabbits to killer parents! Enjoy! MONSTER FAMILY ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 2nd March A whole host of British stars, including Emily Watson, Jason Isaacs and Catherine Tate, lend their voices to this spooky tale of a loving but dysfunctional family who are cursed on Halloween and turned into monsters. Borrowing bits from a lot of animated movies (mostly hit American franchise Hotel Transylvania), the film has its charms but is a bit too simplistic to compete with the big boys of the animation world. With a one animated classic already in cinemas this year in the form of Pixar’s Coco, this is for very bored families only! MOM AND DAD ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 9th March The strange career of Nicolas Cage takes another turn in this horror movie about teenagers who must survive murderous attacks from their own parents (Cage and Selma Blair) when a strange disorder forces them to turn on those they love. It’s a weird idea for a movie, but one that works given that everyone’s tongues are firmly in their cheeks. As a guilty pleasure, seeing Nicolas Cage do the kind of crazy freak outs that have made him an internet favourite is not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. WONDER WHEEL ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 9th March The annual Woody Allen film, starring Kate Winslet as a former actress dealing with middle age and her own part in a love triangle, as well as working as a waitress in 1950’s Colney Island. A disappointing effort from a director who had been on a bit of a winning streak, the story offers little that hasn’t already been explored over and over by the filmmaker, and doesn’t make the most of his talented cast that also includes Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple. Never mind, there’s always next year. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 9th March He’s normally the softly spoken dramatic actor of numerous award winning films, but here Joaquin Phoenix plays a tough contract killer who uncovers more than he imagined while on a job. Bringing the best out of the star and script, director Lynne Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin) mixes Taken style action with genuine drama to deliver something that feels fresh and original. It also showcases the amount of range in its star, who might have an action career in his future based on this evidence! 70

FILM REVIEW PETER RABBIT ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 16th March James Corden voices the title character in this big screen adaptation of the Beatrix Potter books, where Peter and friends terrorise mean farmer Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson). Your enjoyment of this film depends almost entirely on how well you know the original books. Lovers of Beatrix Potter will be aghast at the wise-cracking, twerking update to one of children’s literature’s most famous heroes, although newcomers and small children will probably not be as bothered. It would have been nice to have seen Peter Rabbit be given the same kind of care as the Paddington films, but as it is it’s a forgettable romp. JOURNEYMAN ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Out 30th March After 2011’s incredible Tyrannosaur, Paddy Considine is back as a director, also starring as a boxer who has to come to terms with severe brain damage that affects his career and his life with his wife (new Doctor Who Jodie Whitakker). There are excellent performances from both stars, who both give it everything they’ve got. However, the plot can be a bit heavy handed in the more emotional moments, leaving subtlety back in the dressing room. While not a knockout, it’s a story worth getting in the ring with. ALSO OUT THIS MONTH… A WRINKLE IN TIME Out 23rd March How’s this for a cast – Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Oprah Winrey in a film directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma)? This big budget fantasy follows two young children who travel to a distant planet to rescue their missing father (Pine), helped by a trio of Astral Travellers (Witherspoon, Kaling and Winfrey). It’s a hugely anticipated movie that reunites Winfrey and DuVernay, and the hugely well-received trailer teases what could be the kind of spectacular fairy tale that becomes a cinematic classic. You’ll be able to judge for yourself on the 23rd! READY PLAYER ONE Out 29th March Based on the best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg directs this sci-fi epic about a young man (Tye Sheridan) who enters an immersive virtual game to find a fortune left by its late owner (Mark Rylance). The source material was a huge hit that it seems only a name as big as Spielberg can bring to the screen, and the story seems tailor made for a techsavvy age. With the blockbuster master having flopped with The BFG and now more known for his historical dramas, could this be the film that puts him back on track? Agree? Disagree? Tweet us @closeupmag #CloseUpFilm 71

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