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Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Release Roundup for the Weekend of 26/04/2013

With this weekend's less than terrific films out of the way, we do at least have one gem to talk about.

Danny Boyle's Trance (8/10) is a mind-bending heist film that sees the eclectic director return to trashier pleasures after doing such excellent but worthy films as Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. And that's to say nothing of his stage production of Frankenstein and, oh yes, doing the opening and closing ceremonies for a little something called the Olympic Games.

The plot of Trance involves a young auctioneer working with a group of thieves to pawn off a valuable painting but when he tries to double cross them things go very wrong very quickly as he develops a very inconvenient bout of amnesia and they turn to a hypnotherapist to pull the information of the painting's whereabouts from his head. Got all that? Good, because that's when it starts to get really demented, really trippy and, at times, somewhat nonsensical.

The film has plot twists aplenty and a very good cast but the real joy of the whole thing is watching a master stylist like Danny Boyle really play around with narrative and gleefully indulge in his trashiest, most faux-exploitative tendencies in a way that we haven't seen since at least Shallow Grave. It's a film about fairly crappy people doing fairly crappy things to one another but because it is all directed with a playful gleam in its eye, it's always massively entertaining rather than in any way unpleasant.

It's not going to go down as Boyle's bets film and certainly not his most coherent or deep, but if you're looking for stylish, b-movie fun, then Trash is definitely the film to see in cinemas right now.  

On the DVD front, nothing released this week (well, OK, last week) is particularly with talking about, even if it's just because the film's in question have been well covered on this site already. Instead, I'm going to recommend Sunshine, which is probably still Danny Boyle's most controversial films. It's a hard science fiction film about a group of astronauts tasked with reigniting a dying sun but it's mostly a meditation on faith, religion and man's relationship with his "creator" written by an avowed atheist and directed by a lapsed Catholic turned "flexible" atheist. While no one would argue that Boyle made a spectacular looking film with a relatively small budget, its narrative and its "message" have often come under fire, especially in the film's final act. Personally, I think it is flawed and, at least on a literal level, lost its way in its final act but it's a beautiful, intriguing and intelligent science fiction film that's worth seeing at least once.

Anyway, sorry as always that this is a week late but paying work kind of got in the way. Coming very soon though are reviews of Iron Man 3 and a roundup of whatever else was released this week. Stay tuned.

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