After the huge success of 2004’s Lego Movie written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the foundations were laid for a lucrative brick-built franchise. The pair return to produce the spin-off which focuses on the caped crusader voiced again by Will Arnett. With the directorial duties picked up by Chris McKay, the story sees Bruce Wayne adopt excitable orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) after some encouragement from his loyal butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) to hang up his cape and cowl for good. However, when his arch-nemesis The Joker (Zach Galifianiakis) hatches a wicked plan that coincides with the appointment of new commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), he must take action to protect Gotham City from a gang of super-villains.
With his personal life shrouded in controversy in recent years, Mel Gibson’s on-screen outings have been few and far between and he hasn’t directed in over a decade. He makes his long-awaited return to the director’s chair for war drama Hacksaw Ridge, which tells the incredible true story of Desmond Doss, a pacifist World War II medic who refused to carry a weapon. We’re introduced to the him during a turbulent childhood in Virginia, and when a fight with his younger brother ends in a brutal attack with a brick, he is led to re-evaluate his religious principles. Years later, Doss (Andrew Garfield) enlists to serve for his country in Japan, much to the dismay of his doting wife Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) and father Tom (Hugo Weaving) a veteran who is mentally scarred from losing friends in the First World War.
In its thirteenth year, the Glasgow Film Festival runs from the 15th through to the 26th of this month, showcasing a range of movies with various strands celebrating different types of cinema. My picks from the fest’s brochure are as follows…
After a string of very good and very different movies including Kill List, Sightseers and Down Terrace, acclaimed innovative director Ben Wheatley is back with Free Fire, a gun-running crime drama featuring Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson and Armie Hammer.
After criticising the lack of originality in Hollywood, Max Landis’ latest screenplay intersperses the rom-com with the crime genre in Mr Right, directed by Spanish filmmaker Paco Cabezas. The plot follows wacky Martha (Anna Kendrick) who, after catching her boyfriend with another girl, goes on the rebound with mysteriously madcap Francis (Sam Rockwell), who charms and, quite literally, dances his way through life. What she doesn’t know is that Francis is a morally warped hit-man who instead of taking out his targets, kills off the people who hire him. What he doesn’t know is his former colleague and mercenary Hopper (Tim Roth) is hot on his trail, and on the hunt for the large bounty on his head.
Casey Affleck has quietly avoided the mainstream throughout most of his career, but has consistently delivered excellent yet underrated turns that seem to slip under the radar. This is set to change thanks to family drama Manchester by the Sea, the latest feature from writer and director Kenneth Lonergan. Taking its name from the small scenic Massachusetts town in which it is set, the story follows lowly and lonely janitor Lee Chandler (Affleck) who is forced to return to his roots when his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) passes away. As the legal guardian of nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), he offers his help and support whilst he wrestles with personal demons from his past that come back to haunt him.
In his third directorial feature, Irish filmmaker John Michael McDonagh leaves his homeland and takes his brand of dark comedy to America. Set in ‘breaking bad’ country Albuquerque, buddy movie War on Everyone stars Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña as police officers who regularly find themselves on the wrong side of the law. When the corrupt antics of Terry Monroe (Skarsgård) and Bob Bolaño (Peña) go too far, they cross paths with vicious Brit-gangster Lord James Mangan (Theo James) and things take a turn for the worse for the carefree detectives.