Top films to see in June 2011
X-men: First Class, Senna, Screwed, Prom
This week will see dodgy prison officers, a legend of Formula One driving and an utterly dire peek into the lives of American teenage girls, loud American teenage girls, *shudder*. Either way there is no excuse, there’s always something worth a watch!
First and foremost! June starts off with a big bang in the form of X-men: First Class. Do you like mutants, skin tight jumpsuits and the American war with Cuba? You do! Well then with this nifty little number you can get them all wrapped up in one nice little bundle! For all you X-men fans out there this is an exciting one; we are going back to when Professor Xaviar was fully mobile and sported a thick head of hair. With a cast that includes the beautiful James McAvoy, the man with the large forehead Michael Fassbender and good old Kevin Bacon, he’s in everything, how could this possibly go wrong? The cherry on the cake has to be Matthew Vaughn in the director’s seat. This maybe my fan girl side coming out but, seriously, go see it.
Senna: a documentary film about the Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna? Pffft, I hear you say. Now before you go skipping down the article to the next movie hear me out on this one. Senna was not just a Formula One driver; he was the Formula One driver. He won the world championships three times and was the last driver to die at the wheel of his car at the tender young age of 34. When he died the Brazilian government declared three days of national mourning and in a 2009 poll of 217 current and former F1 drivers he was named the greatest F1 driver ever. Also, he was insane, Senna is an example of a man who either had a death wish or was completely delusional about his ability, either way it worked for him.
Screwed combines two of my greatest loves; gritty British drama and exposing how corrupt and untrustworthy the police are, Oh NWA you took the words right out of my mouth. Based on a book of the same name by Ronnie Thompson this is one that’ll get the blood boiling. After returning from Iraq Sam Norwood, (James D’Arcy), becomes a prison officer in one of Britain’s most dangerous prisons. Here he is exposed to police corruption, drug trafficking, dodgy geezer accents and brutal beatings. The project is semi-biographical; go on Ronnie for coming out and sharing it, and has a fantastic cast of familiar British faces including Noel Clarke, Frank Harper and Andrew Shim. Awright blood, some dodgy geezers on a sunny afternoon? Go for it!
A movie that is going to be laughably bad yet will have throngs of screaming teenage girls throwing their panties at the screen is Prom. Ugh, need I, must I… Following the lead up to “the most important” day of their lives *incessant giggling* this movie is going to have any sane person clawing at the doors of the cinema to just let them the hell out, they’re not a terrorist, why are you torturing them like this?! You evil bastards! I’ve given you fair warning, that’s all I can do.
Kung Fu Panda 2, Kaboom, Point Blank
Things are looking up this week! Starting with the long anticipated Kung Fu Panda 2. I am of the opinion that Jack Black is a completely unacceptable human in every form so I was pleasantly surprised to see that Kung Fu Panda was actually a good movie, do not judge it on him because he is shite, Kung Fu Panda is not. The next instalment seems to be much of the same style of humour but with tasty extras like Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme thrown into the mix. Po is going to join forces with a new group of Kung Fu masters (he’s all grown up now!) to undertake an old enemy with a new weapon. Expect lots of hunger jokes and cute panda eyes.
Kaboom follows the live of a group of young people in college, making mistakes and being sexually awakened (yadda yadda yadda) but as an added bonus one of the characters is having vivid dreams and hallucinations which makes it look as if this is going to descent into some kind of end-of-the-world sci-fi drama (that’s more like it)! Having already gained comparisons to Donnie Darko and been nominated for a Sundance Film Festival Award I imagine that this is going to be a lovely realisation of some 16 year olds idealistic dreams about college, (it’s not really like that! Unless you’re terribly lucky!), only to end as some twisted nightmare! Or at least that’s what I’m hoping.
Onto a completely different type of film with the French import Point Blank. This looks to be fan-bloody-tastic! A man saves the wrong life while he is working in a hospital and because of his mistake his pregnant wife is taken hostage and he has three hours to exchange the man he saved for the woman he loves. Cue gun fights, explosions, jumping between buildings, screaming French men and all while trying not to be noticed by the police, because those are the type of things the police just ignore, right? Genius!
Akira, The Green Lantern, Life in a Day, Potiche, Stake Land
This week’s top film to look out for is without a doubt going to be the live action adaptation of the Japanese manga series Akira *squeal*! The film is set to be released in two parts which (should) closely follow Katsuhiro Otomos original manga script. Set in a dystopian Tokyo filled with killer bikes and wonderfully dramatic children the plot focuses on Shotaro Kaneda the leader of a biker gang. He and his best friend Tetsuo Shima (Tetsuoooooooooooooooo!) face peril after Tetsuo gains some kind of psychic abilities (completely believable in future Tokyo). These abilities send him over the edge and Shotaro is forced to try save his beloved friend. Warner Brothers has put the future of this adaptation in the hands of The Hughes Brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio has been giving the project great interest. Ohhh, it better be good!
Jumping from the utterly fantastic to the utterly dismal we have to mention The Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds, what are you at? The potential of this project was colossal but then they made it; why did they make it? Nobody has seen it yet and still the fog of disappointment has descended upon us. Where to begin… The exceptionally dodgy CGI, I thought in these modern times of 3D movies we were past the days of men obviously wearing badly applied prosthetics. They could have made this into something to rival Iron Man instead they just made it look a bit silly. A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that gives him magical alien powers… that could have been so cool! But you ruined it! For shame.
Life in a Day is a beautiful project that definitely deserves a look. It was created when a request was sent out to filmmakers all over the world to show what a day in their life was like; from this seed an example of what it is like to live in our contemporary society has grown. Heart-warming and insightful stories from all around the world this is not only one to watch today it’s a film that will act as a marker of the development of our society over the next couple of generations.
Another French release (the French are churning them out!) this month comes in the form of Potiche. Set 1977, a time of change for many women around the world, Potiche looks at a specific situation where a trophy wife takes over the family business after her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees. With fantastically flammable hair she proves to be an amazingly effective leader but complications arise when her former lover arrives on the scene. With a trailer touting Blondie as its signature tune there’s nothing you can’t love about this one (if you’re a woman anyway).
VAMPIRES! Of course there had to be vampires it’s June (?). Finally the genre is kicking back against those glittering monstrosities that adorned every cinema screen for months. Glittery vampires… words fail me. Stake Land is bringing scary vampires back and of course there are the obligatory few survivors left (if they weren’t there who would the movie follow) trying to make it to the New Eden i.e. Canada of course! Yes, we’ve seen it before, yes we probably know the ending before the film starts but isn’t it nice to be afraid of vampires again?
Countdown to Zero, The First Grader, Mr. Popper’s Penguins
In keeping with the ever present “the world is ending” mantra that seems to emanate from every media we have a movie to scare you shitless! Countdown to Zero is a documentary about the ever escalating nuclear arms race (yay!). Just making sure that everybody on the planet is aware that they can easily create nukes once they have access to uranium; the purpose of this film is to raise awareness of the danger and the presence of nuclear weapons. An interesting one anyway. And with lovely Tony Blair giving his two cents about not starting wars it has to be credible!
There are loads of heart-warmingly lovely stories coming out this June; another one to add to the list is The First Grader. A true story about an 84-year old Kenyan villager who has to fight for his right to go to school and gain an education he never could afford. Littered with scenes of little children running around and him standing in the middle looking delighted with himself.
It’s summer time, and what does that mean? Another whacky Jim Carey movie! Mr. Popper’s Penguins presents the totally credible story some normal businessman’s life is turned upside down when he inherits six penguins… Yes, that’s the plot. Instead of doing what most other people would do in that situation and donate the penguins to a zoo Carey, in typical Carey style decides to fill his house with snow and train the penguins to do a choreographed dance with him to the tune of ice ice baby… If nothing else it’s a typical Jim Carey movie, who keeps letting him do this?
Looking forward to July!