TL;DR This Week In Cinema: Squad Goals, Sweetheart
Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Hey, you know how you got a bonus film last week? Well, now I'm taxing you. Or, more accurately, there's only four films out this week.
I'm making up the shortfall with a SURPRISE GUEST that shows how deeply current I am. Witness me.
Thing is, for me, there's only one film out this week anyway. I've been hyping this bastard up all year, and if we're lucky, DC have got it right. Ladies and gentlemen...
FINALLY! If the trailers can be trusted (and we all know they can't), Suicide Squad promises madcap glory with a premise so crazy, it almost makes up for the years of drudging through grim superhero adaptations. David Ayers has been tasked with bringing some levity to the DC roster after the disaster that was Batman V Superman. Let the villainy begin!
The bright idea of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the Suicide Squad is a rogues' gallery of Gotham City nasties given weapons and pep talks and told to clean up the city or else. Naturally, not a one of these Arkham inmates can be trusted, so they're all been rigged with explosives and are supervised by a Secret Serviceman, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). And in the very likely event that they die when they're unleashed, the CIA has plausible deniability. Nothing could go wrong... right?
EVERYTHING COULD GO WRONG AND IT'S GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL. Especially considering Margot Robbie's tone-perfect turn as Harley Quinn: there's every indication she's the perfect pick role. Oh, and there's hella diversity, which I guess is problematic because everyone's a villain.
tl;dr God it's good to be bad.
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE
A couple more villains for the week, darling! Sweetheart! The disastrous duo of Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are back and more beastly than ever, having closed out their beloved TV show of 20 years in 2012.
Their silver screen debut sees Eddie seeking flashy new fare to PR for; when a slip-up at a high-society party leads her to accidentally drop Kate Moss into the Thames, she and Patsy have to make their escape to France to lay low until Moss is found, bringing Saffron (Julia Sawalha) along to keep them both in check.
Saunders is glorious, and considering she wrote the feature, fans should be well rewarded. Coincidentally, the film's success should give Saunders and Lumley the bank account booster they need to live their lives like their horrid characters, and thus generate more material. Win-win!
tl;dr All the right kinds of trashy, not...
While Eddie and Pats set about gleefully destroying themselves, Taryn Brumfitt has higher motivations - ending the culture of body loathing and shaming that plagues women on and off the camera.
Brumfitt had her own revelation as she was planning to undergo plastic surgery, during a period when she was modelling her 'perfect' figure. Choosing instead to return to (and embrace) her natural shape, she posted a before/after shot of her transformation, and suddenly blew up online. The film sees Brumfiit, the beneficiary of a huge crowdfunding campaign, dig deep into the issue in order to reinforce positive body image and battle against the epidemic of self-loathing.
It's a film by women and for women, but men should most certainly tune in - awareness of the issue is crucial, especially considering the role men play in reinforcing negative body image.
tl;dr Who knows where all this negative body image stuff is coming from...
HEAVEN ON EARTH
Well, isn't this nice. A sequel to Swedish box office hit (and Academy Award nominee) As It Is In Heaven, it gives a definitive ending to the previous film and extends its story of how choirs change lives and inspire people.
After suffering the loss of her partner, soprano Lena (Frida Hallgren) is lost, and finds solace in putting together a choir for the local church. As if that's not enough of a challenge, she decides they should perform that simplest of choral pieces, the Hallelujah chorus.
How often do you get a depiction of smalltown Swedish life, huh? Especially from an Academy Award nominated director (Kay Pollak)? Show some damn gratitude.
tl;dr Regular, ordinary Swedish things. Like mayonnaise. It's good for you.
Yeah boiiiiii. Netflix: the cinema for the socially inept. This brand new original series has utterly dominated my social media feed, and so it seemed only fitting to force it on all of you as well.
The Duffer Brothers have lovingly crafted the show as tribute to the great adventures of the Spielberg era. Set in the city of Hawkins, Indiana, it follows a bizarre series of events kicked off by the disappearance of local teen Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).
The pilot ep is a delight, boasting a retro-synth soundtrack by Survive that would make Disasterpeace proud and the kind of ghoulish, giddy thrills absent from the screen since Poltergeist (no, Jesus, not that one, the good one). Plus, Winona Ryder stealing the show! Sorry, that was rude.
tl;dr wen dey spoop like dey used to
And now for THE VERDICT - maybe you only get to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don't wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please...
Alright, DC. You get one more chance, and if you blow it, I'm out. At least until Wonder Woman. As you all knew it would be, Suicide Squad is my pick of the week. Let's get loony.
Until next week!