You Instead – David Mackenzie
It’s that wonderful time of the year again, it’s summer and we’re in the midst of the festival season. People and bands are heading up en masse to Scotland’s countryside to attend T in the Park, one of the UK’s biggest – and best – festivals.
Part of the temporary migration are artists Adam and Morello. Adam, the stereotypical strutting indie-star, covered with tattoos and groupies, and lead singer of The Make, is an international phenomenon on the electro pop scene. Morello, the feisty doesn’t-take-crap-from-anyone rebel, complete with pinkish, unwashed hair, is preparing to play the gig of her life as lead singer of an all-girl punk band.
It goes without saying, a snowman in summer would have a better time than opposites Adam and Morello.
At the festival however, the two are handcuffed together, leading to a series of fights and inconveniences when Adam has to use the bathroom, but ultimately, as expected, they bond over their shared love for music, leading to some passionate scenes in the mud.
Frankly, the plot is downright weak, it’s simply a repetition of other light-minded, but not striking in the slightest romantic comedies. A bad plot doesn’t necessarily lead to a bad film (e.g. The Hangover), but it is vital the surroundings provide the right atmosphere, or else it is all too easy to be let in the wrong direction (e.g. The Hangover: II). It is safe to say that the exuberant energy behind T in the Park would have given director David Mackenzie the opportunity to make something out of it, but You Instead doesn’t get better on screen.
There is just something lacking, whether it’s the overdone and therefore unnatural appearance of the cast or simply the plot, something’s off.
On a completely different note, the shots of the festival in progress, which wouldn’t suit ill in a music video or documentary, are downright amazing. The festival scenes are shot in guerrilla-style and give a brilliant impression of the T in the Park experience.
The shots feature live performances of Newton Faulkner, Paolo Nutini and many others, live shots of the audience, campsites, fair, parties and portaloos. Watching 100,000 people partying to some of the greatest music in the world, sliding through the mud, spinning around in one of the rides until feeling sick... it just makes you want to dive through the screen and be part of the experience.
In cinemas from September 16th
Tyrranosaur – A Warp X and Inflammable Films Production
Paddy Considine is known for his parts in dark films with piercing character portrayals (Dead Mans Shoes, Red Riding Trilogy), especially with his lon-term partnership with British director Shane Meadows, and his first feature film, entirely written and directed by him, is no exception. Shot in Leeds, West Yorkshire, starring a host of British actors, Tyrranosaur tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mulllen), whose life is spiralling out of control through drink, drugs and gambling. Enter Hannah (Olivia Colman), a devout Christian working in a charity shop who meets Joseph at the peak of his demise. The story then follows the two as their relationship develops to reveal that that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating consequences for both of them. Set against the rather depressing West Yorkshire backdrop the film doesn’t let up on its melancholic fabric with a series of brutal scenes depicting sexual and domestic violence. But this what we’ve come to expect of films which Considine is involved with. A must see.
In cinemas from 7th October
Final Destination 5 - Steven Quale
A directorial debut from Quale, but fifth in the series of hard-hitting, gore porn. Death is back and he's angrier than ever, unleashed after one man’s premonition saves a group of office workers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. As he takes revenge on their soul, each chapter becomes even more ridiculous than the next as the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda. Expect gymnasts dodging upturned nails, laser eye surgery gone wrong and even a nasty incident with some acupuncture.
Whilst this was clearly never goign to win an oscar, I have to say, the fact that they've embraced the hilarity of the plot this time around makes for surprisingly good watching.
In cinemas from August 26th
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