Here’s a round-up of the rest of this weeks theatrical releases that we’ve caught. Our lead review explored Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, and can be found here.
Detachment (Tony Kaye, US. 2011)
Tony Kaye’s return to the fore is at times achingly pretentious, to the extent that at times one might be forgiven for believing it to be a spoof of the American indie-high school drama (ala Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson), and while it’s a messy endeavour we were ultimately won over by it (although have to admit to remaining confused as to who exactly Kaye is comparing to Hitler at one point).
Adrian Brody, an infuriatingly unreliable performer is on great form, while James Caan proves to be the highlight of a solid ensemble (the less said about Marcia Gay Harden the better). Exploring the politics of the school system might not be anything new, but Kaye’s film does so with a moderately interesting hook.
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (Lorene Scafaria, US. 2012)
Tonally Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, the directorial debut of Lorene Scafaria, the writer of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist plays out a little like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind minus the creative flair, at least in the nature of the relationship at the centre of the film. Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley) are an unlikely couple drawn together during the final weeks of Earth’s existence. A little bit like a mainstream version of Don McKellar’s Last Night (and in a weird coincidence, Knightley last year starred in another film called Last Night, albeit completely unrelated to the earlier film). Unlike many works of this ilk the leads have accepted their fate: there’s no heroic attempts to save the day, the world is going to end, and it provides an interesting back-drop to a romantic situation comedy.
While a couple of overly-lengthy dialogue sequences do prove a little tiresome, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is largely enjoyable, and features a surprisingly moving third act. The cast play well, with the two leads surrounded by a repertoire of moderately well-known comedic actors, and a nice if not well-worn soundtrack pushes things along at an agreeable pace.