I’m not sure whether Fox sees Ridley Scott’s latest as awards bait (Gladiator did win Best Picture, after all) or a great big Christmas epic, but here it is. Also, it is not very good. But until the Hobbit finale arrives on Wednesday, it’s the only mega-3D blockbuster in town … along with some other stuff.
Antarctica: A Year on Ice: Andrew Powell’s personal look at day-to-day life on a polar base is a charming answer picture to the recent slate of rather more self-important Antarctic docs. Also very pretty.
The Decent One: Henrich Himmler, one of the architects of the Nazis’ Final Solution, is the subject of Vanessa Lapa’s feature documentary. Jose describes it as “suitably nauseating”, so if that’s the endorsement you’ve been waiting for, be my guest.
Exodus: Gods and Kings: In which Ridley Scott goes very, very big. And I go home … after two and a half really long hours. I did admire Joel Edgerton’s commitment to the no-win role of Rameses, though. Dude found layers.
The Imitation Game: Benedict Cumberbatch puts a little more pain into his prickly Sherlock persona, and there’s Alan Turing. It’s a frustratingly mainstream treatment of Turing’s life story — downplaying the gay aspect into near-invisibility is not really the best way to pay tribute to the man’s life — but it’s still a damn sight better than The Theory Of Everything, this year’s other Weinstein-produced look at a tragic genius. Glenn liked it a little more than I did, in any case.
Top Five: Chris Rock finally directs a movie that’s as electric, funny and irreverent as his stand-up — though his understanding of entertainment media is kind of ridiculous. (Studios don’t junket a movie on its opening day, for a start.) Rad is more than willing to overlook the logistical stuff and fall for the chemistry between Rock and Rosario Dawson — and for the most part, so am I.
Zero Motivation: Talya Lavie’s Israeli service comedy plays like Broad City with subtitles and automatic weapons. This is mostly a positive — and Nelly Tagar and Dana Ivgy certainly have a frenemy chemistry that matches Abbi and Ilana’s mutually assured frustration. Enjoy, but watch out for the dark side.
And there we have it. I’m about to disappear into TFCA balloting hell, but I get my life back when I come out the other side on Monday. So that’ll be nice. Awards are announced on Tuesday; watch this space!