This week, there are FIVE new films out for you to choose from: Ladies & Gentlemen, hereeeeeeee’s Grace! It’s a documentary for Ms Jones in Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, there’s a tender love story with a difference for Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name, the Saw legacy continues in Jigsaw, Andrew Garfield has trouble with basic respiratory action in Breathe, and superheroes beat each other up into next week again in Thor: Ragnarok.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Larger than life, wild, scary and androgynous – Grace Jones plays all these parts. Yet here we also discover her as a lover, daughter, mother, sister and even grandmother, as she submits herself to our gaze and allows us to understand what constitutes her mask. The stage is where her most extreme embodiments are realised and her theatrical imagination lets loose: this is where the musical of her life is played out. The film includes Grace’s unique performances singing iconic hits such as Slave To The Rhythm, Pull Up To The Bumper, as well as the more recent autobiographical tracks Williams’ Bloods and Hurricane.
These personal songs also link to Grace’s family life, as the film takes us on a holiday road trip across Jamaica, where her family roots and the story of her traumatic childhood are uncovered. In Jamaican patois, ‘Bloodlight’ is the red light that illuminates when an artist is recording and ‘Bami’ means bread, the substance of daily life. Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Also featuring Jean-Paul Goude and Sly & Robbie, and no doubt many more, Grace Jones is clearly one of the most bizarre individuals ever to have walked the Earth, but also one of the most fascinating, so I can’t wait to see this.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Read the review!
Call Me by Your Name
In 1983, the son of an American professor is enamored by the graduate student who comes to study and live with his family in their northern Italian home. Together, they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.
I was unsure what I’d think of this before watching the trailer, but found it quite a charming tale, whilst also presenting challenging themes for the era.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay: James Ivory (based on the novel by André Aciman)
Stars: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!
Jigsaw – it was the ’80s kids show with Janet Ellis and Adrian Hedley, plus Wilf Lunn and, of course, Noseybonk. It taught children all about the alphabet, and it’s high time to see the series is finally getting a big-screen outing… Pardon? Saw? Did I see what? Oh…
So, to change direction, this is actually a horror movie…
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer (Tobin Bell). But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade! Egads! Odds Bodskins!
I’ve never seen a Saw movie, so whether I rush to see this is questionable.
Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Also stars: Laura Vandervoort, Callum Keith Rennie, Matt Passmore, Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Tina Jung, Bonnie Siu, Sonia Dhillon Tully, Mandela Van Peebles
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!
Breathe is a film that’s based on a true story, but which looks a little futuristic in one scene, making me wonder just how true it was.
It centres on Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralysed, leaving wife Diana (Claire Foy) to look after him.
I’m not wholly sold on this, but it’s possibly okay.
The film is directed by Andy Serkis, best known for his motion-capture work on the Tolkein films for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, plus many more, with a screenplay by William Nicholson.
Also stars: Diana Rigg, Miranda Raison, Dean-Charles Chapman, Hugh Bonneville, Kiera Bell, Camilla Rutherford, Ed Speleers and Stephen Mangan.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!
Thor: Ragnarok is the final part of the Thor trilogy and, again, looks like they’re trying to ape Flash Gordon in the trailer’s style.
The God with the big heavy hammer, played by Chris Hemsworth, must face the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a gladiator match, but that’s not his only task.
He’s imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett).
While I’ve kept up with the Marvel movies for a good while, I only had the first two Thor films out of the Marvel movie canon to catch up on, and I did so over the last weekend, with a view to seeing this on opening day and…. I just don’t care. I might’ve enjoyed them a lot more had I seen them at the time of release, but now, I’ve seen so many superhero films that are mostly indistinguishable from another, and I think I’ve reached ‘peak Marvel’.
I’ll probably see this at some point, but on Blu-ray as I don’t need to see it in the cinema. After next April’s Avengers: Infinity War, I’ll call it a day with their films altogether. Inbetween, there’s February’s Black Panther, but I have zero desire to see that in any form.
Director: Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows – remake)
Writers: Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Stephany Folsom, Eric Pearson
Also stars: Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Tessa Thompson, Ray Stevenson, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Stan Lee.
Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.