Out in the UK This Week
Tabu (New Wave, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)
From Miguel Gomes, director of the unique, genre-confounding Our Beloved Month of August, another amazingly original work – a story of forbidden love set in colonial Africa that looks and feels like an archive photograph of the “dark continent” come to life. Give it half an hour for its odd magic to start working, and for the strange use of sound (no dialogue, just background atmospherics) to start making sense.
Shadow Dancer (Paramount, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)
ITN reporter Tom Bradby adapts his own book for the screen and brings first-hand knowledge to a gripping, dirty, tamped-down drama about an IRA woman (Andrea Riseborough, brilliant again) being recruited by MI5. A lot better than some of the rather half-hearted reviews would suggest, a film about covert living which is unafraid to proceed by extreme stealth.
Forks Over Knives (Crystal Lake, cert E, DVD)
Supersize Me done back to front, as documentary maker Lee Fulkerson reverses his terrible blood figures by eating a wholefood plant-based diet. “Animal protein is really good in turning on cancer,” says one of his medical-expert witnesses, and the evidence, not least from a survey of the eating habits of the Chinese, is pretty compelling. A bit less evangelising and more counter-argument would have been welcome but it’s still undoubtedly food for thought (contractually obligatory play-on-words sign-off).
Dredd (EV, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD)
A visually impressive outing for 2000AD comic’s most vengeful creation, with Keith Urban (Mr Nicole Kidman) playing the hi-tech lawgiver who loves wasting perps. Urban decides that to beat the problem of the helmet (Dredd wears it at all times) he’ll overact. Stallone, famously, didn’t bother with the helmet but Urban’s Dredd, has the edge, if only just. Note to Hollywood: Dredd is not meant to be sympathetic.
Lawless (Momentum, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD)
The mystery of Shia LaBeouf’s star status is the hole at the centre of this otherwise tasty tale of rough, tough moonshiners. A beautiful looking film directed by The Proposition’s John Hillcoat which is hamstrung by LaBeouf’s boy-to-man story arc. Still, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain are in it, and while they’re on screen the whole thing shudders like a thoroughbred.
360 (Artificial Eye, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)
Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Ben Foster and Rachel Weisz star in City of God director Fernando Meirelles’s version of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, a luxuriously slick series of almost-linked love stories threatening at every turn to become interesting.
Samsara (Arrow, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD)
Ron Fricke was the cameraman on Koyaanisqatsi and went on to direct Baraka, a similarly lordly overview of the world, humanity and its works. Samsara is more of the same, a National Geographic-style smorgasbord of awesome imagery, timelapse being Fricke’s signature, all shot in 70mm. It will thrill hi-def junkies and owners of new giant TVs but will probably bore everyone else rigid.
© Steve Morrissey 2013