More Film news

Special event: Cinema Day, August 28

David Roy
FILM Hub NI's second annual Cinema Day will be bringing loads of classic movies and recent gems back to big screens across the north on Monday August 28.

Special event: Caddyshack at Ormeau Golf Club

David Roy
CADDYSHACK might be a frightening 37 years old now, but the endlessly quotable golf-themed comedy classic remains as re-watchable as ever – even for those of us who consider golf to be barely a notch above form-filling in the entertainment stakes. Belfast Film Festival will be attempting to breathe new life into the 18-holed antics of Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and co with a site-specific screening of the Harold Ramis-directed comedy at Ormeau Golf Club on Sunday September 17. It's an outdoor screening at the 18th hole of the south Belfast golf course, so best bring your favourite golf umbrella just in case the weather resembles the conditions in the Bishop's 'best game of my life' scene. Attendees will be allowed to practice their blindfolded putting prior to the film and the festival are also encouraging you to dress in a 'golf costumes gone wrong' fashion. The worst dressed will win passes for 2018's Belfast Film Festival, while runners up will get nothing and like it. :: Tickets £8 on sale now via Tinyurl.com/seetheballbetheball .

Atomic Blonde deserves to bomb at box office

David Roy
IF THERE'S one thing that's even worse than a film that's terrible from start to finish, it's a terrible film featuring one sequence so jarringly good that it makes the rest of it look even worse by comparison. Atomic Blonde from John Wick co-director David Leitch is a case in point: about three-quarters of the way into this mind-numbingly convoluted, unfathomably badly constructed, style-over-substance, 'nice 1980s soundtrack, shame about the script' spy actioner that's set right at the fag-end of the Cold War, Leitch suddenly shakes his audience from near-slumber by throwing an extended bit of bravura film-making at them which seems to arrive from out of nowhere. Until this point, Charlize Theron's titular 'atomic blonde' has been shooting up and smacking down her Berlin-based foes in bog standard action flick manner, effortlessly winning those familiar three-or more-on-one fights where each thug considerately waits their turn to take a pop at her. The painfully obvious fight choreography kind of defeats the purpose of Theron apparently doing them with minimal use of a double – often while sporting spike-heeled thighboots, no less – though it does at least add some unintentional comic value to proceedings as we watch various stunt goons attempting to work out how to occupy themselves until it's time to reach for their gun just a moment too late to avoid being violently dispatched. To be frank, with Leitch being a former stuntman with about 20 years experience under his belt, we might have expected better: then again, John Wick's over-rated 'indestructible killer' antics offered much the same kind of thing. However, then comes the aforementioned 10-minute-long sequence in which Theron's undercover British agent Lorraine Broughton must defend a wounded East German defector (played by a largely wasted Eddie Marsan) from a pair of tough knife and gun-wielding thugs. Presented as one take (though in reality it's multiple takes cleverly stitched together), this stairwell-set action set-piece starts brutal and gradually escalates into a pure feral scramble for survival that is by far and away the best thing Atomic Blonde has to offer. Sadly, 10 top quality minutes out of 115 is not really an acceptable hit ratio for any film, much less one which also squanders the talents of fine actors like Marsan, Toby Jones, John Goodman and James McAvoy. The latter plays an undercover agent posing as a crazed smuggler in East Berlin who is supposed to be helping Broughton track down a stolen microfiche (that most 1980s of spy cliches) containing a full list of active secret agents operating in the divided German capital. Apparently, if the Russians get their hands on this information it could be enough to extend the by now extremely lukewarm Cold War "by 30 or 40 years".

DVDs and Downloads: The Zookeeper's Wife, Clash, Atypical

Damon Smith
THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE (Cert 12, 127 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Drama/War/Romance, available from today on Amazon Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from August 28 on DVD #19.

Blu-ray of the week: Free Fire

David Roy
BEN Wheatley's excellent shoot-out thriller arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday August 7, equipped with a selection of extra features to entice you to part with your hard-earned cash in exchange for this violent, funny and stylishly realised film about a 1970s arms deal that quickly descends into a brutal extended gunfight.

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