In Cinemas: 'The Falling' (2014) + 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' (2015)
Writer-director Carol Morley follows up beguiling 2011 docu-drama 'Dreams Of A Life' with the hypnotic 'The Falling' (★★★★). When tragedy strikes at a girls' school in sixties Britain, grief is expressed in angst, confusion and rebellion, with a mysterious fainting epidemic also afflicting pupils. The situation has a playful absurdism, which shifts into something altogether more disturbing as the film progresses - a transition in tone handled superbly by Morley.
The acting is solid (with 'Game Of Thrones' star Maisie Williams at its heart) but it is Agnes Godard's autumnal cinematography and Tracey Thorn's mystical musical motifs that generate a particular sense of delirium in the viewer. The film overreaches somewhat toward its end but 'The Falling' is nonetheless a feverish, mesmerising addition to Morley's catalogue.
Joss Whedon returns to the helm of a Marvel superhero with 'Age Of Ultron' (★★★½), the sequel to his incredibly successful 2012 'Avengers Assemble'. In the latest instalment of the Marvel film franchise, the Avengers are unexpectedly pitted against their own creation, the AI-based Ultron (creepily voiced by James Spader), who is aided by the vengeful Maximoff twins Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
Whedon injects his sardonic personality throughout (perhaps distractingly so) but more importantly, actually promotes character development for the much sidelined characters Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). The action and drama however seems to have suffered as a result - the set pieces feel less perilous and the CGI more obvious than its predecessor. An enjoyable film but one which feels like a placeholder for the forthcoming Phase Three.
At Home: 'Lip Sync Battle' + 'Peter Kay's Car Share'
Jordan FG delivered his latest Telly Text column this past week, casting his eye to Netflix Original 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' as well as new Spike TV UK addition 'Lip Sync Battle'. We've covered the former in On Camera #18, but you might have missed Jordan's recommendation for this celeb-infused show - his particular highlight being Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson taking on Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off':
Minimalist BBC sitcom 'Peter Kay's Car Share' follows the everyday journeys of comedian Kay and Sian Gibson as they play two colleagues who share a car to work. Despite premiering online on iPlayer, almost immediately the writing feels outdated and lazy - opening with comedy based on urine and (homo)sexuality. Unfortunately the show never really recovers across its six episode run. Some endearing moments between the duo permeate, when the intention is sincerity rather than comedy, but 'Car Share' is all too often tiresome and cringeworthy.
TV & Movie News
By Grabthar's hammer, there may be a TV adaptation of underrated sci-fi comedy 'Galaxy Quest'!
You'll have already seen a near unrecognisable Jared Leto as The Joker in David Ayer's 'Suicide Squad' but you may not have yet seen a similarly hard to recognise Johnny Depp as US gangster Whitey Bulger in 'Black Mass':
Netflix Original series 'Daredevil' is coming back for a most welcome second season, albeit with new showrunners.
Elsewhere, there's less good news for Netflix as their current Adam Sandler-led offering has suffered multiple walkouts from the set due to its cultural insensitivity.
When we caught 'Age Of Ultron' in cinemas, Brad Bird's latest film 'Tomorrowland' caught our eye. Starring George Clooney, here's the latest action-packed trailer:
Read previous On Camera columns here. Drop us a line at film(at)fadedglamour.co.uk if you have something you think might be worth featuring in a future column.