Words: J. Wood
We here at Reel Steel care about cinema, and as a result we care that you, our readership are going to see the very best that cinema has to offer. Whilst we know that you will all be aware that the latest comic book extravaganza or Seth Rogen comedy is due for release, there may be some non-franchise films well worth a look that slip the net.
Our writer Joe Wood has happily compiled a list of three movies a month up until May that he highly recommends you seeing. He will report back at the end of each month to confirm whether his selections were appropriate, or whether he might have to watch Sex & The City 1 & 2 as atonement for his misguidance.
A new Coen Brothers film is always something that deserves attention and by the looks of the trailers this is no exception. A typical Coen Brothers farce set in the backlots of 1950s Hollywood, as fixer Eddie Mannix has to juggle all manner of catastrophes, not least of which is the kidnap of his star. Starring Josh Brolin and George Clooney, an actor at his finest working with the Coens, as well as fellow previous collaborators Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson, alongside Ralph Fiennes, seemingly reprising his astonishing turn in The Grand Budapest Hotel. All the ingredients are there for this to become the comedy of the year.
This has won rave reviews in America, where it has already opened, and earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, a haul some consider meagre. Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, the genius behind Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York, I would advise readers to go in expecting the unusual, yet the profoundly moving also. In particular, the involvement of Duke Johnson, who directed the Claymation ‘Community’ episode has put at ease my fears over the animation gimmick, and I genuinely think this could be very special indeed.
For such a brilliant author, the fact that in 2016 Empire of The Sun and David Cronenberg’s Crash are the only J.G. Ballard adaptations is scandalous. Thankfully Ben Wheatley, the chameleonic filmmaker behind Kill List and A Field in England rides in with this adaptation of one of my favourite Ballard works, about an enclosed, upscale community falling apart. Tom Hiddleston leads this, with support from Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller in what seems to me as a fan of the book to be very astute casting. Wheatley is one of the few filmmakers I would consider to have the darkness needed to effectively bring Ballard’s dystopian visions to the screen, so this is a match made in heaven.