Marvel’s latest folly – IN SPACE!, a Michel Gondry darling and World War I romance lead this week’s new cinematic releases
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Directed by James Gunn || Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman || Stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper || Made in USA || Distributed by Disney || Rated 12A
Marvel had a decent start to the year with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which showed the comic-book outfit are slowly starting to mature with age. So, screw all that, then, as their next trick sees the Avengers-verse take to the stratosphere for Guardians Of The Galaxy, a wacky sci-fi that pits another team of superheroic misfits against a bigger threat – only this time, IN SPACE! Flavour-of-the-month Chris Pratt (The LEGO Movie, next year’s Jurassic World) takes the lead as cheeky Indy Jones-alike Peter Quill, who finds himself the subject of a universe-wide manhunt after stealing a powerful magic orb from the tyrannical Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). To save his hide (and possibly the rest of the galaxy), Quill gets together a team of ex-criminals to find Ronan first. With a cast of eccentrics and weirdos including a sentient tree, a gun-toting raccoon and a bald, blue-tinged Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), and with writing and direction from James ‘Super’ Gunn, Guardians could be the bastard step-child of the Marvel canon – or it could end up being the most fun the franchise has had since Joss Whedon climbed aboard.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is currently playing in cinemas nationwide
Directed by Michel Gondry || Written by Luc Bossi and Michel Gondry || Stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou and Omar Sy || Made in France and Belgium || Distributed by StudioCanal || Rated 12A
Michel Gondry, the French master of whimsy that gave us the charming headscratcher Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and, er, The Green Hornet, is back for another round of romantic mischief. Mood Indigo casts Romain Duris (Populaire) and Audrey Tatou (Amelie) as beautiful lovers Colin and Chloe (alliterative names – you know it’s going to be whimsical!): set against the backdrop of an idealised Paris, Colin falls head over heels for Chloe, only to find that she is dying from a most peculiar illness. A flower has started to grow in her lungs, and, apparently, the only cure is to surround/smother her with fresh flowers(?). A surreal premise that should delight those immune to cloy, this sounds like The Odd Life Of Timothy Green without the terrible parenting, or a Franco clone of Wes Anderson with more floral arrangements.
Mood Indigo is currently playing in cinemas nationwide
Directed by Patrice Leconte || Written by Patrice Leconte and Jérôme Tonnerre Stars Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden || Made in France and Belgium Distributed by Altitude Film || Rated 12A
In a move that is sure to delight all the Snape fangirls out there (I still can’t believe that is a thing that exists…), A Promise sees Alan Rickman don the heritage hat for a period romance set during World War I – but alas, he’s not the romantic hero here. That would be Richard ‘Robb Stark’ Madden as Friedrich, a young and handsome hopeful that enters the inner sanctum of his boss Karl (enter Rickman), where he falls for his much-younger wife Lotte (Transcendence‘s Rebecca Hall). Once the war begins, the two become separated – can they find each other again? Will they stray? Will Alan Rickman get ANY? Another passionate affair from across the channel, this Franco-Belgian production is adapted from the Stefan Zweig novel ‘Journey Into The Past’ by Patrice Leconte (The Widow Of Saint-Pierre).
A Promise is currently playing in key cities
IN LIMITED RELEASE
BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME (Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori; USA; TBA) — music documentary all about cult rock troupe Big Star
BLACKWOOD (Adam Wimpenny; UK; 15) — British ghost story starring Ed Stoppard and Sophia Myles
THE DEER HUNTER (R/I) (Michael Cimino; UK, USA; 18) — 1978’s Academy Award-winning war thriller, from the director of Heaven’s Gate
DELIGHT (Gareth Jones; UK; 15) — a Wales-set romance about a former war journalist who falls for a younger man
HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES (Daniel Patrick Carbone; USA; 15) — coming-of-age American drama
A NIGHT AT THE CINEMA IN 1914 (Various; UK; U) — a compilation of early 20th century theatrical delights from the BFI vaults
IN WIDE RELEASE
THE NUT JOB (Peter Lepeniotis; Canada, South Korea, USA; U) — Warner Bros. animation about squirrels raiding a nut store, with the voices of Will Arnett and Liam Neeson
STEP UP 5: ALL IN (Trish Sie; USA; PG) — a Las Vegas-reunion for the popular dance-flick series