In Cinemas: '22 Jump Street' (2014) + 'How We Used To Live' (2013)
In my opinion, co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller can do no wrong. For now, at least. Their hit list runs 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs', '21 Jump Street', 'The LEGO Movie' and now '22 Jump Street' (★★★★) - each film proving both a success at the box office, as well as winning over the critics. Their latest effort is arguably their silliest yet, an almost perversely self-aware sequel that re-unites Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as a buddy cop duo.
2011's '21 Jump Street' saw the twosome go undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring, and the follow-up knowingly recycles the plot, upgrading them to a university setting. The same kind of wacky humour is also present, but everything is bigger and bolder - particularly the ridiculous action sequences. It's topped off by the wonderfully satirical end credits, with its seemingly never-ending reel of imagined sequels. I'd definitely be up for '31 Jump Street: Ninja Academy'.
Filmmaker Paul Kelly has a strong connection to the UK music scene, having collaborated with several bands on music videos and artwork, as well as having been part of East Village and Birdie. His work with Saint Etienne has been particularly notable, and 'How We Used To Live' (★★) is something of a prequel to Kelly's 2002 feature collaboration with the band, 'Finisterre'.
Soundtracked by the band, 'How We Used To Live' uses vibrant footage from the BFI National Archive to paint a portrait of London, post WW-II. The lack of narrative hurts this documentary, and it suffers from being lesser than the sum of its parts. 'How We Used To Live' is on a limited run across Picturehouse cinemas now.
At Home: 'Knocked For Six' (2012) + 'Robocop' (2014) + 'The Past' (2013)
We actually caught (ahem) 'Knocked For Six' (★★★) at the 2012 BFI London Film Festival, under its original 'Save Your Legs' title. Finally out on DVD in the UK, this fish-out-of-water comedy sees an ailing Aussie cricket team travel to play a tournament in India to revitalise their spirits. Predictable, but enjoyable.
The less said about Jose Padilha's recent 'Robocop' (★★) remake, the better - although if you must know more, you can read our spoiler-free review here. Academy Award winning director Ashgar Farhadi's 'The Past' (★★★★½) is much more deserving of column space.
'The Past' arguably matches its Best Foreign Language Film predecessor 'A Separation', examining the increasingly disjointed life of a suburban French family. Inherently melodramatic but almost masterfully so, the film is driven by themes of guilt and regret, with an excellent central performance from an explosive Berenice Bejo, complimented by a more subtle intensity from Ali Mosaffa and Tahar Rahim.
Incoming: 'The Fault In Our Stars' (2014) + 'Chinese Puzzle' (2013)
Perhaps against the odds, teen romantic drama 'The Fault In Our Stars' (out 19 June) has won over the critics. Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, box office success has been all but guaranteed but it's surprising that this unashamed sop-fest charmed more critical eyes. Unsurprisingly, rising star Shailene Woodley has been well-received, and the film's soundtrack looks impressive with the likes of Lykke Li and Charli XCX appearing.
Less surprisingly, Cedric Klaipsch's 'Chinese Puzzle' (out 20 June) has gone down well with critics. Following 2002's 'L'Auberge Espagnole' and 2005's 'Russian Dolls', the supposed final instalment of Klaipsch's "Spanish apartment trilogy" stars French icons Audrey Tatou and Romain Duris.
TV & Movie News
Perhaps the biggest, and most unfortunate, news in the televisual world came with the unexpected death of Rik Mayall - whose anarchic comedy style took in 'The Young Ones', 'Bottom', and 'Blackadder', as well as big screen roles such as 'Drop Dead Fred'.
In happier news, the excellent Open City Docs Fest has just begun - bringing some of the best new documentaries from across the world to central London. We particularly like the look of Large Hadron Collider doc, 'Particle Fever'. If an open-air summer setting is more your thing (or you're not based in London) then UK-wide Luna Cinema looks promising - you can even watch films at castles and palaces! Not bad.
We covered Edgar Wright leaving the forthcoming 'Ant-Man' adaptation recently, so we might as well pass on the news that Peyton Reed ('Bring It On') is now on-board as director, with the script being rewritten by 'Anchorman' director Adam McKay. In other Marvel news, 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' has a new and more engaging trailer, which you can watch above.
Finally, much-loved TV animation 'Danger Mouse' is making a return, having last been aired in 1992. We're a bit nervous. Crumbs.
Read previous On Camera columns here. Email us at film(at)fadedglamour.co.uk to appear in a future column.