[The Secret Life Of Pets 2 title screen]
The Secret Life Of Pets 2
Somehow I missed the first one of these, but I was persuaded to take the kids for the sequel at the local fleapit, whereupon with consummate ease I slid into my traditional ‘family movie routine’ (i.e. watch the first third, fall asleep during the mid-section, awake for the ending). Was actually okay. An Illumination animated joint by Chris Despicable Me Renaud, so with. Bit of a pedigree; some city animals go to the country, come back again, foil a dastardly plot. SCANDAL! Patton Oswalt takes over voicing the lead character from Louis CK because, y’know, wanky comedian doesn’t necessarily make for kiddie flick box office pay dirt.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Keanu and chums return in another high octane, in-camera actioner about a glum hitman coming out of retirement for REASONS. Some great fight sequences, obvs. The cast is rounded out with new faces like Riccardo Scamarcio (Romanzo Criminale), Franco Nero and Ruby Rose. Directed by stunt dude Chad Stahelski.
One of those doesn’t-quite-get-there New York movies, like City Hall, but still an enjoyable ride. Timothy Hutton is the can-do rising star of the DA’s office with the shady past who is brought on board to exonerate a dirty shooting by a veteran cop, Nick Nolte. Naturally, he doesn’t play ball. With Armand Assante, Lee Richardson, Charles Dutton, Luis Guzman, Paul Calderón and Patrick O’Neal, directed by Sidney Lumet from a novel by ex-judge Edwin Torres, who also gave up Carlito’s Way.
A Few Good Men
Tom Cruise , Demi Moore and Kevin Pollak as military lawyers digging into the death of a young Marine at a pre-9/11 Gitmo; Jack Nicholson gets to grandstand to great effect. Meaty populist entertainment from Rob Reiner.
Always Be My Maybe
Amusing romcom with Ali Wong and Randall Park childhood friends who grew apart twenty years ago but who are thrown together in middle age and start to find common ground. Directed by Nahnatchka Khan.
[Three Days Of The Condor title screen]
Three Days Of The Condor
Sydney Pollack tries to do the gloomy, pessimistic post-Watergate seventies spy thing – based on a novel by James Grady – but it never really hits the spot. Robert Redford is the lowly CIA clerk in some backwater Agency open source analysis team who by virtue of his tardiness and indiscipline manages to escape the massacre of his colleagues – only for his barely-remembered training to kick in enough to keep him alive as the assassins come after him too. Faye Dunaway is the stranger whose help he enlists, Max Von Sydow the freelance assassin on his tail.
Seth Gordon directs this dark comic take on Strangers On A Train about a trio of friends (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) trying to do away with each other’s horrific employers (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Anniston and Colin Farrell). Pretty decent.
The Longest Day
A thick wedge of Hollywood and international stars fills the screen, directed by a veritable football team of directors – Ken Annakin, Andrew Morton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F Zanuck – in this canonical war epic about D-Day.