On Camera #7: Sin City 2 / The Congress / Cuckoo / Almost Royal / Locke / London Film Festival

on Friday, September 05, 2014
Words: Lauren Johnson-Ginn and Saam Das

In Cinemas: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014) + The Congress (2013)

It’s been nine long years (yep, really – feeling old?) since 'Sin City' burst gung-ho onto screens, spraying bullets and blood splatter all over a grim noir landscape. 'A Dame To Kill For' (★★★), thrusts us right back into the gutter, with a familiar motley crew of characters (Mickey Rourke’s juggernaut Marv is a highlight) and a couple of intriguing new additions, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green as a bewitching femme fatale.

Considering the original’s ground-breaking visual effects and general onslaught of ultra-violent craziness, it was a tough ask for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez to match their first outing. While this sequel disappointingly doesn’t pack the same level of punch and pace (or dirt and depravity) as its predecessor, it’s still a fun, pulp-tastic watch – with enough eye-candy to hold the attention when the plot flags.

Ari Folman's visually striking account of his memories following Israeli military service in 'Waltz With Bashir' marked the director as a talent worth keeping an eye on. He has retained his vivid filmmaking style in his latest effort, 'The Congress' (★★) - a twisted tale that turns real life into sci-fi and fantasy, inspired by Stanislaw Lem's 1971 novel 'The Futurological Congress'.

Winding down her acting career, Robin Wright (essentially playing herself) is offered her final job in a more technologically-based world. Her digital likeness is captured by a film studio (named Miramount, in rather try-hard fashion) and she is propelled toward digital stardom. The film takes a significant about turn in style halfway through the film, and soon is more reminiscent of a hazy Studio Ghibli animation but with less of the charm.

At Home: Cuckoo + Almost Royal + Locke (2013)

Jordan FG covered a couple of comedies that are currently gracing the small screen, in his latest Telly Text column. Despite early concerns over the replacement of Andy Samberg with Taylor Lautner, the second series of BBC's 'Cuckoo' actually seems to be progressing quite nicely. Jordan's also particularly enjoying new E4 show, 'Almost Royal', which is perhaps looking to be something of a spiritual successor to 'Da Ali G Show'.

Written and directed by Steven Knight, perhaps best known for his screenplays for 'Dirty Pretty Things' and 'Eastern Promises', the taut 'Locke' (★★★) almost entirely takes place within a car - framed very much on Tom Hardy, as his character makes a series of life-changing phone calls. Hardy's accent is a curiosity but his performance is otherwise typically assured, although the film ends in a rather dampening fashion. 'Locke' is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

TV & Movie News

The BFI London Film Festival is returning between 8-19 October 2014, investigate the full 200+ film line up at the BFI website. Some of the big hitters on offer include Xavier Dolan's Cannes award-winning 'Mommy', Brad Pitt's new film 'Fury', and potential Oscar contender 'Foxcatcher'.

The Dissolve's Matt Singer takes a more critical eye at the nitpicking YouTube video series, like Everything Wrong With... and Honest Trailers.

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' is returning to the TV screen, and has a new teaser trailer. Watch above.

In light of the news of journalist executions, the BBC has opted to edit the forthcoming episode of 'Doctor Who' to remove beheading scenes.

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