With Snowtown, director Justin Kurzel proved he could create a grim and foreboding mood; now with Macbeth he doubles down on that with an adaptation that’s visually stunning even as it whittles the text down to a point well past the bare essentials.
Never having met their grandparents due to a falling out with their mother (Kathryn Hahn) before they were born, Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (a realistically annoying Ed Oxenbould) are thrilled when she agrees to let them go on a holiday visit to the family farm.
Charming but lightweight films in which single dads struggle to balance bringing up their adorable kids with the demands of their creative side aren’t exactly thin on the ground – we’ve already had Infinitely Polar Bear this year – and it’s often hard to avoid the impression that simply seeing a single dad at work is mean to be quirky enough to make their story worth telling.
As a photographer himself, who better than Anton Corbijin to tell the story behind the iconic photo of James Dean in Times Square? Well… maybe someone who’s not a photographer? There’s a lot to enjoy in Life – especially the performances – but it’s hard not to come away from this feeling like it flatters the (usually ignored) man behind the camera at the expense of his subject.
What begins as a tribute to ’70s Spanish sexploitation film-maker Jesus Franco, the film swiftly becomes something different. As British director Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio) digs down to find the real substance in this increasingly offbeat look at a relationship between two women in a world without men, cars, or much of anything else beside butterflies.
How’s this for a high concept: aliens, having somehow encountered the video games of Earth circa 1983 and decided they’re a hostile act, have attacked our planet using those same video game icons against us. It’s the kind of dumb movie idea that pretty much sells itself. Trouble is, it’s also an Adam Sandler vehicle, and big special-effects heavy blockbusters are not his natural environment.
In the mid ’80s friends O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson (played by his real-life son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and Andre “Dr Dre” Young (Corey Hawkins) are would-be musos whose big chance to break into the music business arrives when friend and local drug dealer Eric “Eazy-E” Wright (stand-out Jason Mitchell) agrees to finance their first single.
The big problem a lot of young adult series face is that they don’t plan ahead. All the effort goes into the first book because if that bombs there won’t be a second, but if it’s a hit often there’s been no planning for what comes next and “next” is coming in a hurry to make sure they keep the momentum going from the first book.