Movie-going during March and April hit something of a slow patch.
The schedule at my local multiplex was partly to blame. Some films were a no-show (Hunky Dory), whereas others came and went in the blink of an eye (Bel Ami). And sometimes there was literally nothing I wanted to see (or at least pay good money to see). The unseasonably warm weather back in March was also a factor: why sit indoors in the dark when I could sit outside in the sun?
So, with these caveats in mind, here’s a round-up of the films I saw this time around.
4th March: Safe House. Rookie CIA operative Ryan Reynolds gets in over his head when captured rogue agent Denzel Washington is deposited in his South African safe house. A tense, psychological thriller in the style of the Bourne trilogy. Reynolds was the good guy but at some point Washington subtly managed to win me over to the cause of his character.
11th March: This Means War. Two best friends (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy)—who also happen to be secret agents—slug it out in grand style to win the girl (Reese Witherspoon). The perfect Sunday night date movie, with rom com and action all rolled into one. Directed by McG. If you like his TV show Chuck (I do), then you’ll definitely enjoy this film (I did).
1st April: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. Plasticine, pirates and puns galore. Plus scientists! And music by Tenpole Tudor and The Clash. The latest claymation offering from Aardman was both clever and amusing. The star-turn came courtesy of Charles Darwin’s simian sidekick Mister Bobo.
8th April: The Cold Light of Day. A young man’s family are kidnapped while sailing off the Spanish coast. Despite some big names (Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver) and high-speed chases though Madrid, this thriller was decidedly average.
17th April: Titanic 3D. Fifteen years on from its original release, Titanic returned to cinemas in startling 3D to mark the centenary of the sinking of the so-called unsinkable ship. Leo and Kate looked incredibly youthful but time hadn’t improved the iffy dialogue, Billy Zane’s pantomime baddie antics and the sound of Celine Dion warbling on (and on) during the final credits. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Titanic on the big screen again and indulged myself in a right good blub at the end.
22nd April: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Don’t be put off by the title of this film. It’s not a natural history documentary but rather a gentle comedy based on the best-selling novel by Paul Torday. When a low-level civil servant reluctantly agrees to head a project to bring Scottish salmon to the Yemeni desert, he has no idea of the repercussions in store. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt had great chemistry as Fred and Harriet but found themselves upstaged by Kristin Scott-Thomas as the political spin doctor looking for a “good news” story from the Middle East. Salmon Fishing probably just edged it over This Means War as my favourite film of the current crop.