TL;DR This Week In Cinema: The King Is Back To Rule The Jungle (And The Box Office)
Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This is a big week for us - two Aussie releases, another US blockbuster filmed on our turf, an Iranian award-winner and a Japanese box office smash!
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Awwww yeah. This ain't your dad's King Kong, folks. Eschewing any and all airs of subtlety or grace, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts goes full Dredd, puts balls against walls and lets the monkey madness commence. It time for make smack on lizard scum!
John Goodman, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, Straight Outta Compton buddies Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, Jing Tian and Toby Kebbell (who also mo-capped the monkey) all head to Skull Island under false pretences to face off against the most lethal menagerie this side of Isla Nublar. And it's RAD. AS. HELL.
Essentially, any criticisms that Skull Island doesn't live up to the original are moot. This isn't about (sorry) aping a classic. The more faithful remake is largely overlooked! And just how grand can the reveal of the most overused giant beast outside of Godzilla be? This is man against nature, and it's the movie Predators could and should have been.
tl;dr SLO MO LET'S GO.
DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE
And now for something completely different - a retrospective on one of our most beloved Aussie film critics, the wonderful David Stratton, as viewed through the lens of documentarian Sally Aitken.
What you may not know about our Dave is that he helmed the Sydney Film Festival for a solid 18 years, championing a great many iconic films and their makers along the way. The film tells Stratton's story weaved through the films he loves.
Among those singing his praises are Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, George Miller, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Hugo Weaving, Eric Bana, Jacki Weaver and Judy Davis. It's a surprisingly touching and inspiring look at the value of what we as a nation have given the world.
tl;dr Betcha Margaret hates it (she doesn't, and she is in it).
Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi's lastest drama/thriller picked up Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards - and Farhadi couldn't receive his award in person, because Trump banned Muslims from entering the country.
If this is not enough of a recommendation to see this film and ensure that a great filmmaker is duly rewarded for their efforts, how about this: Farhadi's A Separation also won BFLF in 2012, and deservedly so. His tightly coiled thrillers never fail to shock and surprise.
As couple Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Emad (Shahab Hosseini) embroil themselves in a production of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, their apartment is destroyed, forcing them to move into a new home with a history that threatens to crack apart their present.
tl;dr Yet another reason to put this fucker in the bin.
A FEW LESS MEN
Oh god why is this happening...
2011's A Few Best Men was an attempt to combine the gross-out comedy of The Hangover with Four Weddings & A Funeral's charm and heart. It bombed, and deserved it. This sequel should not exist, and the trailer is more proof than we ever needed.
Ironic, really, that they should choose a Weekend At Bernie's scenario to attempt to revive this corpse of a franchise. Poor old Kenny (Shane Jacobson), Ryan Corr (Holding The Man) and Deborah Mailman guest star, allowing themselves to be dragged through the dirt.
SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE
Speaking of slo-mo swordplay...
For those unfamiliar with the world of anime: firstly, I have some things for you. Secondly, you may not be familiar with Sword Art Online, a wildly successful Japanese young adult novel series that sold over 19 million copies and spawned an animated adaptation.
The first story 'arc' of Sword Art Online's animated series was refreshing and exciting video game wish-fulfilment; its second arc was a notorious garbage fire that damselled its heroines and robbed the story of all complexity.
The film, naturally, will not appeal to those who haven't watched the series, and hasn't been super warmly received by those outside the fan base. My money says you're better off binging all of Code Geass and having a great time at home instead. Go do that. Trust me.
tl;dr brb just triggering some SAO fanbois
And now for THE VERDICT - maybe you only get to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don't wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please...
I promise I'm not leading you into another Suicide Squad - I've seen it, I love it, and this should come as no surprise. Fuck helicopters, it's Kong time!
Until next week!