The Death Of Stalin
Armando Iannucci does Soviet accession as farce.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Less shit than the reviews would suggest, but definitely underpowered. Some nice little plot points, some decent action, some nice performances. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s rabble-rousing droid L3-37 is particularly delightful.
College spods engage in card-counting in Vegas. Jim Sturgess plays the newbie recruited to the team who really, really needs to make $300k so he can go to Harvard, because MIT just isn’t good enough, or something. Directed by Robert Luketic from a script by Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb, based on the to-be-taken-with-a-pinch-of-salt ‘non-fiction’ book by Ben Mezrich. Kate Bosworth plays the love interest, Kevin Spacey the prof who grooms(!) our hero, Laurence Fishburne as the casino security goon chasing after them.
The Simpsons Movie
Feature length expansion of the Matt Groening cartoon sitcom, and it actually works as a self-contained narrative film.
The Death Of Stalin
Armando Iannucci’s third full length feature, and it’s certainly interesting – the jockeying for position by various Party hacks in the Kremlin in the wake of Stalin’s sudden death in 1953 – though not perfect. The Ray Cooney farce of the first half is sublimely tasteless black humour; but then the pace is dropped, and there’s a fuzzy transition in time that detracts from the zippiness initially promised. Can’t fault the cast – Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor, Paul Whitehouse, Paul Chahidi, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine et al.
Asterix: The Mansions Of The Gods
Pretty damn good animated adaptation of one of the very best Asterix books, about a Roman plot to conquer the indomitable Gauls through lifestyle aspiration, cultural commodification and gentrification. Don’t know anything about the production, but it was written and directed by actor Alexandre Astier, an apparent Asterix fan.