James King joins Jane Hill to guide viewers through this week's cinema releases, including Atomic Blonde, A Ghost Story and Step.
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championship as well. It's coming up at half past six with me, world
athletics Sportsday. Now it's time for Film Review.
Hello and welcome to The Film Review on BBC News.
To take us through this week's cinema releases is James King.
What have you been watching? I've been watching Charlize Theron in a
spy thriller that is James Bond meets basic instinct. The name is
blonde, Atomic Blonde. From the Academy Awards to the afterlife, the
Oscar winner Casey Affleck returns under sheet in A Ghost Story. And
get ready to tap, clap and stomp your way through an uplifting new
dance documentary, Step. Quite an eclectic mix this week, James. Let's
start with the big blockbuster. It looks like one. Atomic Blonde,
starring Charlie is the wrong, as spy thriller directed by David
Leitch. He worked on John Wick with key newbies a couple of years ago
and there are similarities with this film. -- with piano Reeves. They
have stylish content, polished, cartoonish. Atomic Blonde has some
basis in real events because it is set in 1989 after the fall of the
Berlin Wall. Charlize Theron is a spy sent there by the British
government to track down a list of missing agents. Let's have a look.
OK. So is this your first time in Berlin? Yes. It is a remarkable time
to be here. Wonderful music. Marvellous restaurants. You must try
the central cafe for a drink. You will need it later. Do you remember
Mr Abramowitz? Of course you do. Yeah. We can kind of Guess what
happens after that. It has been hard to find clips which are not violent.
She's quite adept with her stilettos. It is ridiculous. But
there is some fun to be had with its ridiculousness. Firstly Charlize
Theron is great and there is a pairing that she has with James
McAvoy, he wasn't in that clip that he's a fellow British agent in
Berlin and he's crazy and over the top and she is high school and
measured so they have this great chalk and cheese partnership. But
really works. She's a watchable actress. Very watchable. She has an
Oscar winner, she can act. She doesn't have to act much in this but
we know she can. And the style is great, this industrial punk
aesthetic to it, this pumping 1980s electro soundtrack. We can see a bit
of action, the car chases and the fights are stunning and relentless.
It almost beat Steve and his admission. -- beats you into
submission. With it being visually striking should it remind us of Pop
Fiction, with the violence? What it does not have is the witty, clever
script. It is easy to be snobbish and say the plot is flimsy and
stretched. It means you can get away with quite a lot. I think it
relishes its own silliness and pulpy quality. It acknowledges that and
when a film is shameless about it it can get away with much more. Is it a
missed opportunity because the time period in which it is set, Berlin,
such a great city, it could be the most fantastic story. Are they not
bothered about that. Slightly missed opportunity but still worth seeing,
a male fantasy of a female spy, I don't think many spies are six foot
tall former model is a wander around in stockings and suspenders. But
there is just enough awareness for it to get away with it and I would
happily watch another, that movie hasn't done really well but if there
is a sequel I will not complain. OK. We moved to something that could not
be more different. I am intrigued that this was shot in secret, is it
apocryphal that the director was so concerned about how it might end up
that he thought, I just won't tell people I am making it. It is very
low budget. This is David Lowery, he moved into the mainstream lost it
with a remake of Pete 's Dragon. -- he moved into the mainstream roster.
That is out of character comedies and independent film maker, this is
a return to that. This is a ghost story as the title suggests. Not a
horror film, drama. Casey Affleck plays a recently deceased man who
returns in spirit to his home to watch over his grieving partner,
Rooney Mara. Still wearing the sheet that he had placed over him in the
morgue. Talking about difficult clips to find, it is hard to show
you any clips out of contact because pacing and the rhythm of the film is
so key. It is very slow. There are many takes were seemingly not much
happens, the camera is very static and quiet. There's probably more
music than dialogue in it. It's even shot in the old fall by three ratio,
the square TV ratio to make it feel claustrophobic. So it's pretty bold
and risk taking. I can understand why David Lowery might have want to
keep it secret in case it did not work. I think it does work. You have
to take a bit of a leap of faith to get into its rhythm and slowness but
when you do it is rewarding and a film about memory and legacy and
slowly change. I am a bit worried because the trailer might put people
off, it's quite bizarre! It isn't that kind of movie. What is your
third choice. A documentary, Step. People use the weird feel good too
much, to the point of redundancy but this is generally feel good. A
documentary about a girl 's dance troupe, the Lethal LEDs in
inner-city Baltimore. The film focuses on three of the dancers
about their hopes and aspirations. Trying to break the
cycle of poverty they come from and get into college. Very charismatic
leads, the people in the film are very charismatic. As we will see in
this clip. This is the girls in training. You will watch me step.
I'm going to make you watch misstep. It's going to get up in your grill.
I'm going to take you by your Mac and go, watch me do what I do -- I'm
going to take you by your neck. And you are going to go, watch me.
That's what you project. That is what you step on. If you are not
stepping on it, sit down, go home, good night. Stand to attention and
give me that face. Nothing to stop! I like that teacher, I am not
missing with her. She's brilliant, everyone is brilliant. I really
uplifting story. Uplifting because it does not scrimp on the hardships.
These people that we focus on have had tough lives. There is a lot of
anger and it's set among the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter
movement and the female empowerment movement. So there tough issues.
That makes it all the more feel-good when the highs come along and when
it gets more optimistic. Not really a film about stepping as a dance. If
you don't know much about stepping which is popular in American
colleges, it's not about the technique and history of that dance.
Rather it is about what dance means to people when they don't have very
much else. I'm really looking forward to that one. And for best at
this week you have delighted me because it is a reissue and what a
pleasure it was to watch this film so many years later. This is Prick
Up Your Ears. About playwright Joe Wharton, rereleased for the 50th
anniversary of his death, the film itself is 30 years old. Stephen
Frears is the director, it's based on the diaries of Joe Orton, we see
the editor played by Wallace Shawn and then it flashes back to the life
of Joe Orton. Gary Oldman is amazing as Orton. I am always reminded of a
couple of things, first that time in the 1980s and Gary Oldman and
contemporaries like Daniel Day Lewis and Tim Roth with the angry Young
men of British cinema and the future. Now Daniel Day Lewis has
announced his retirement! And Gary Oldman will be playing Winston
Churchill! So you feel very old watching this! Secondly, more
importantly, what Alan Bennett did with his script is captured the wit
and boisterousness that made Joe Orton such a great playwright in the
1960s. Gary Oldman great, Vanessa Redgrave, for me, it is offered
Melina's movie. He plays Kenneth Halliwell, Orton's lover. They had
it and she was ultimately tragic and shocking relationship. He steals the
show. -- they had a two modulus and ultimately tragic relationship. The
film is 30 years old and it is a litany of wonderful actors because
the mother of Orton is played by Julie Walters and his sister is
played by Frances Barber, these people are part of Britain's acting
firmament. Alan Bennett has become even more part of the furniture.
What he does brilliantly is give us movies that sing traditional but
they are pretty out there when you look at what is going on. Know
quickly, the DVD. Raw, student who goes to better in every college and
discovers a cannibalistic tendencies. Beautifully unsettling.
Determined to freak you out with the acting, performing and lighting and
Eddington. It is like Carrie directed by Salvador Dali! James,
thank you. That's just about it for this week. Enjoy your cinema going.
Goodbye. Let's check the weather for Friday
night, it's looking pretty cloudy this evening with some spots of