Below-par ‘quirky’ comedy, with millennial singleton Anna Kendrick somehow hooking up with ‘eccentric’ assassin Sam Rockwell. Scripted by Max Landis, directed by Paco Cabezas, definitely could have used a couple more drafts to tighten shit up. Best thing you can say is that the leads certainly have a solid go at it, and RZA’s bit part as a glass-half-empty local hitman is nicely done.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Feature-length expansion of Zach Galifianakis’ web series – the set-up being he’s a regional public access talk show host who says rude things to big stars. The ‘plot’ is just a tool to string as many stunt interviews together as possible. The opener, with Matthew McConaughey, is pretty good, right up to the point he is drowned in a plumbing tragedy; the Chrissy Teigen-John Legend-Galifianakis love triangle is amusing; and there are nice bits with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd.
The Killing Fields
Powerful, emotive drama based on real people’s lives against the backdrop of the Khmer Rouge takeover in Cambodia, with Roland Joffé directing from Bruce Robinson’s proficient script. Sam Waterston and Haing S Ngor are excellent as journalists Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran, there are memorable side turns by the likes of John Malkovich, Julian Sands, Spalding Grey, Monirak Sisowath, Bill Paterson, Craig T Nelson and Athol Fugard, and it is photographed beautifully. Well structured, with some of the most efficiently executed emotional manipulation in popular film. Irrespective of how real human-scale events are reforged into a smoother narrative, a fine film which conveys love, guilt, helplessness and resilience.
Watergate Plus Thirty: Shadow Of History
Very watchable with-the-benefit-of-hindsight documentary which breaks down the whole Plumbers/CReeP/‘rat-fucking’/burglary/cover-up situation into an easily understandable narrative, with talking head interviews from many of the key players. A classy doc from Foster Wiley.