Films in town and around from July 2, 2022

By PW and JM

The Roses

Jurassic World: Dominion makes it to the Roses the week. The Quiet Girl, the Gaelic language film screened at the Guildhall a few weeks ago, is also part of this week’s programme. The new film showing is Good Luck to You Leo Grande, directed by Sophie Hyde and starring Emma Thompson as a retired and widowed schoolteacher looking for adventure, especially of the sexual variety, so she hires a young male escort. Why not? (PW)

The Guildhall

The Guildhall is showing Elvis. Stephen Ilott has seen it and, it is fair to say, was rather keen. ‘There may be things to quibble about – playing fast and loose with the facts, some fat actor’s face, looking nothing like Elvis, superimposed over film of Elvis singing Unchained Melody, pointless as it then switches to the actual Elvis. And I could have done with more of Elvis himself singing, but it is definitely Baz Luhrmann’s vision, full of fragments that show the writers knew their subject. It is a total success in capturing the excitement of watching Elvis. It is the best film I’ve seen in the cinema in ages, so moving I was frequently having to wipe away tears. It is a rare to see a film that, even at 159 minutes one wouldn’t want to end. It is also just about the best-looking film I’ve ever seen in IMAX and the sound is fantastic See it in IMAX!’

Also, as described elsewhere, The Guildhall has Men, the horror tale which has been on at Cineworld, and a new one for them, Swan Song, a comedy directed by Todd Stephens and starring Udo Kier as a retired hair stylist who leaves his nursing home in order to do the hair and make-up of a deceased and disagreeable former client. Along the way he lays a few ghosts and recovers his own flamboyant persona. (PW/SI)

The Sherborne

Lightyear and Jurassic Park: Dominion all week, and then Elvis on Friday. Stephen Ilott saw Lightyear in 3D at Cineworld this week. Audiences of three. This is what he said: ‘The 3D was excellent and there was a handful of good jokes, but otherwise it was very uninspired and a decidedly unworthy spin-off of Toy Story.’ (JM)

The Cineworlds

Cineworld Cheltenham this week offers us Minions: The Rise of Gru. This is one of those ‘origin-story’ variants on the ‘money for old rope’ theme that has captured Hollywood. Reminder: if you like this stuff, the originals are on Freeview this week. Otherwise, Lightyear, Elvis, Jurassic Park: Dominion, Top Gun: Maverick, The Black Phone and, er, that’s pretty much it until Thursday when we get Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth (pictured, looking oddly like someone whose normal-sized head has been grafted on to a prize-winning bullock) and Natalie Portman.

The Thor franchise kicked off with another would-be auteur at the helm, in the shape of Ken Branagh. It was rather interesting and a bit peculiar. He had a good cast (Hopkins, Elba, Hiddlestone as well as the Chris Hemsworth in the lead role) but I don’t think it did very well. He never did another. Somebody called Alan Taylor got the next one, then Waititi was given his first go, and now he’s been given it again.

Waititi, with a Maori father, is an interesting director. I liked What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I wasn’t keen on Jojo Rabbit. But his Hollywood career, as it seems to be unfolding, is peculiar. He’s turned a British documentary about the American Samoan soccer team into a comedy, called Next Goal Wins. That was held up because of allegations against one of the actors, Arnie Hammer, who was dropped mid-shoot. Coming soon is something called Tower of Terror. That’s a movie based on a Disney roller coaster ride. After that we’re promised The Incal, a space opera based on a French comic-book (graphic novel, if you must). Strangest of all is the Untitled Taita Waikiki Star Wars Film, which seems to have been in the works for years already and which is scheduled for December 2025. Orson Welles made Citizen Kane in less than a year. But that was when the film industry knew what it was doing.

Gloucester has exactly the same stuff, more or less, plus that Good Luck to You Leo Grande with Emma Thompson in her Jim-jams. I hope she keeps her jim-jams on. A man can only take so much excitement.

On the whole, I may stay in and wash my hair. What’s left of it. (JM)

2 thoughts on “Films in town and around from July 2, 2022

  1. Looking forward to getting to see Rifkin’s Festival.

    1. I hope to work out a way of doing that very soon. It is a delightful little film.

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