tv The Film Review BBC News March 25, 2018 11:45pm-12:01am BST
the robotic sequel. claire foy is a big—ticket? the new film by steven soderbergh, claire foy will be very much in the shadow of an old sam fuller film, called shock corridor, an interesting, trashy, exploitation film. claire foy is a businesswoman whose life has fallen apart because she has endured a stalker, and basically, as a result of this, she has had to move towns, keep her identity quiet, keep her phone number secret. she has lived a very difficult life as a result of this stalker‘s attentions and unsurprisingly she suffers from anxiety and depression. she goes to see her doctor, during the course of the conversation, she happens to mention in passing that she has thought about suicide but she mentions it literally as an aside. the next thing, she is signing a piece of paper which she is told is completely standard and suddenly she finds herself incarcerated. against your will.
she is completely sane, but she's now in prison, so here she is now in prison, so here's a clip. can i ask, do you think i could just make a phone call, to let my family know that i am 0k? you get a phone call... that is so nice. thank you. you are saying you want your phone call now? yes, yes, that is what i am saying, it is like you read my mind. yes, hello, my name is sawyer valentini, i am at highland creek behavioural facility. lam being held here against my will, please send help, thank you. i will be out of here in like 20 minutes. do you know how many calls the cops get like that every week? those are from crazy people. that is kind of the set—up, then she's trying to prove that she is completely sane,
and the more she attempts to do that, the more insane they think she is. very odd, like side effects, which started like a serious drama and went off the rails, this begins in a fairly intense fashion, and then descends more and more into just complete craziness. and it does so very knowingly. the interesting thing, it is shot on an iphone 7. it does not look grungy, that gives it a very immediate look. he said he found it liberating, steven soderbergh. we have seen other films shot on iphones before, for instance, tangerine. juno temple, great screen presence, she is an unruly force of nature, she has a small role. she's really captivating. the film itself, steven soderbergh is interesting, not above exploitation movies, he's not above enjoying a certain degree of cinematic hysteria. what makes this work is claire foy, because herjob is to keep a completely straight face while everything around her is descending. and the whole thing is, you have to believe in her. she starts to think that her stalker is working in the hospital.
is he, isn't he, is she imagining it, is it true? none of this would work if you did not have a performance at the centre which had complete conviction, somebody where you think, i'm investing my sympathy and belief in this character. on one level, it'sjust like a big, overblown episode of the twilight zone. it has that sense of seriousness at the beginning. that goes out of the window very fast and it descends into entertaining histrionics, all over the place, makes no sense whatsoever, all over the place. there is a point where someone clearly said, this plot does not... actually, let's carry on! laughter. claire foy carries it and it is a great tribute to her. terrible thing to say but i was so stressed just watching the trailer that i did not go to the screening because i thought, i am so stressed and angry
over these two minutes, i cannot handle that for two hours. perfectly fine... is it stressful throughout? certainly, at the beginning, when she is saying, i'm not meant to be here. i do find that stuff... it is intense. a third of the way through, it goes, never mind, let's go completely and enjoy ourselves. that is what happens. claire foy keeps it together. superb actress, she's terrific. a fantastic director, ava duvernay, what do you make of this? this means you have read some of the reviews are not positive. this is her adaptation of the much—loved book a wrinkle in time by madeleine l'engle. storm reid goes searching for her missing scientist father, an adventure through time and space, led by three bizarrely attired astral guides. the film is really interesting in as much as it is a broad canvas, a film breaking the white male grip on the fantasy market,
trying to do something adventurous, aimed very specifically at the seven to 14 age group. and as a 56—year—old man, i am demonstrably therefore not in the target audience! the thing that troubles me is this, because i'm excited by the idea of it, is why didn't i like it more? the thing it reminded me of was peterjackson?s adaptation of the lovely bones. a really difficult book, he did this fantastical adaptation which had loads of dreamy visuals. but it never got under the skin of the book, and i felt all the time that i was watching the film rather than experiencing it. fantasy, you have to be engulfed, you have to be swept along. what i did like about it, a film with a young female central character who gets through on her wits rather than anything else. she is the emotional heart of the film. all the way through i could feel myself thinking, i want to be carried along by this but i am not.
i am willing to accept that it may read differently if you are in the target market. it may be that i was just too detached from the film—making to be able to fully invest in the story, and i confess, i will go and see it again but i would be lying if i said the film worked for me. i wanted it to, but if you think of the best fantasy films, i?m thinking about et, for instance, no matter your age, you burst into tears. you weep buckets because it is et. this does not do that, my feeling is it is an honourable failure. nothing wrong with that, i would rather see a film—maker aim high and trip up than play it safe, but i did feel that i wanted this to work and it did not. 0k, and your third choice, is this a blockbuster? let's wait and see! the first pacific rim, guillermo del toro took greatjoy in the spectacle of really big robots hitting really big creatures. ok, so made by somebody who loved all that stuff, and i think del toro is sorely missed on the sequel.
this is set ten years after the battle at the end of that one. black marketeer jake pentecost, son of idris elba's character from the first, has to go to prison or go back and work as an instructor for more people to learn how to drive these massive robots, these jaegers, and of course, he agrees to be an instructor. how are you doing? this is a military base. you remember how that works. ranger pentecost. ranger, sir. let's get you squared away. try not to steal anything while you are here. did that haircutjust call you pentecost? as in stacker pentecost? pilot of coyote tango, hero of basically the whole world? it isjust a name. it is a really cool name!
in its favour, it is a film about massive robots hitting each other, it has none of the leering nastiness of a michael bay movie, that is good. on the other hand, what it does not have is any of the magic and wonder and awe of a guillermo del toro film. nor does it have the fun of real steel, for instance, with hugh jackman and big fighting robots. very quickly, despite the fact we have some interesting actors, very quickly it becomes big robots hitting each other and smashing great big buildings and none of it having any impact whatsoever. really odd, you are left with the spectacle. empty spectacle. very few occasions in which empty spectacle alone will get away with it. i think we have seen enough big robots hitting each other to no longer be impressed by that. what you need... i know this sounds old—fashioned, you need a story that you care about, characters that you like and you are rooting for. some kind of heart amidst all the real steel smashing. and real steel did have
that and this did not. i get the feeling you did not like it much. what is good ? the best thing out, you were never really here, by lynne ramsay. she has made only four features. morvern callar, we need to talk about kevin, ratcatcher and this. she dances to the beat of her own drum. this is a really brilliant film, starring joaquin phoenix as a guy who is a hitman, specialises in retrieving lost teenagers. but the film is not interested in the nuts and bolts of the plot, it is more a psychological state, a brilliant score byjonny greenwood, you need to see it on a big screen because it is proper cinema. i think lynne ramsey is a genius. an absolute genius, please go to see this film because it is wonderful, make it a hit. this is written and directed by angela robinson, great performances by rebecca hall, bella heathcote, believe me, i did not know this story before i saw the film,
very eye opening, very entertaining, not enough people saw this in cinemas. i would like more people to see this film on dvd, professor ma rston and the wonder women. that is just about all we have time for this week. you can find all of the film news and from across the bbc on the website. all the previous programmes are on the iplayer, as ever. enjoy your cinema—going. see you next time. westbridge softly, i haven't been to the movies for ages, too much work! very good evening to you. a decent day here —— whisper it softly. it
was a glorious day, can we keep it going that way? no, i am afraid there will be tears before bedtime because things are set to turn a little less glorious than this. there was a veiled cloud across the southern counties, but that has melted away. further north we have heard enough about the cloud for there to be showers through the day, but that also fading away and underneath the clearer skies, the temperatures are already beginning to dip away. so we will have a cold start to the new week. one or two spots well below freezing. there could be a scraping of the car is going on. less so around the coasts oi’ going on. less so around the coasts or widely across the southern counties. there is some mild air, albeit rather briefly, monday and tuesday across the british isles but there is no doubt that the cold feed across the north will be very noticeable indeed. there is more cold aircoming in noticeable indeed. there is more cold air coming in from scandinavia, as if we hadn't seen that already in the past couple of months or so. at least it is a glorious if somewhat
crisp start to the new day on monday. comely afternoon that sunshine will turn more hazy across scotland, england and the greater pa rt scotland, england and the greater part of wales. go much further west in the cloud will thicken up enough for there to be rain. a weather front coming in from the atlantic but ahead of it the temperatures are not that bad at all. nine to 13 or so not that bad at all. nine to 13 or so for the most part. overnight and into tuesday, slowly it gets stuck across scotland. it is one of those, north of the central belt, certainly. coming further south, the rain clears from the west. does it clear the east coast? that is touch and go. there are drier, brighter skies following on behind, and the temperatures still holding the sum in double figures. here is wednesday, that same old weather front to be had across northern parts of scotland. a new area of low pressure bringing some heavy rain for a time across southern counties. once it has moved through wales,
northern ireland and south—west england, are bright and breezy sort of day. maybe some hail in the showers, because the temperatures even by this stage will have fallen away well into single figures. so the themes of the forthcoming week, whether you like them or not, turning colder, certainly. i haven't shown you all the rain, by any means at all, and there will be the risk of snow across the highest grounds. lots going on, you can keep up—to—date on our website. that's it for me. pcs at newsday on the bbc. —— this is. i'm rico hizon, in singapore, the headlines: a large fire at a shopping mall in the siberian city of kemerovo kills at least 37 people, with up to 30 missing, many of them believed to be children a protest in catalonia turns into a stand—off with police, after the arrest of the region's former leader. his lawyer says he'll fight the case all the way. translation: the arrest warrants is