This week, our resident movie critic, Kevin McIndoe, shares his views on Aftermath, The Devil’s Candy, Salt & Fire, and Unforgettable.
What is it with actors who become politicians? It seems they go back to what they do best.
After 23 years as a British MP, Glenda Jackson made a triumphant return to the stage in 2015.
Now the former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is aiming for a similar resurgence on screen, after a few cameo parts in which he admirably sent himself up.
We all know Arnie hasn’t won two Oscars like Glenda but could it be that he is finally displaying a certain degree of gravitas to add to his stellar screen presence?
Roman (Schwarzenegger) is a construction foreman whose life is demolished by the loss of his wife and daughter in a plane crash.
Based on a true story, it turns out their tragic deaths were caused by an air traffic controller’s error. Roman’s ability to cope with his shattering loss is sorely tested after first being told of it by a stranger, and then by being offered compensation.
When he learns of the identity of the air traffic controller, Roman’s inner tumult is incomplete and he is not yet ready to quit.
I’m surprised and delighted by Arnie’s portrayal of a vulnerable man dealt an unimaginable blow in life.
He doesn’t overplay the role or attempt to exceed the parameters of his (hitherto) limited range. This might well be his best screen performance yet.
This is the type of role Gerard Depardieu or Liam Neeson could do in their sleep but Arnie has made a fine fist of it. Yes, really.
The Devil’s Candy
When metal head artist dad Jesse Hellman (Ethan Embry) spots a house in rural Texas, he sizes up its barn as a possible studio while his placid wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) is happy to go along with it.
The couple have a daughter, Zooey (Kiara Glasco) who, surprisingly for a teenager, is also up for the move. Pretty soon, things start going bump in the night, and a demonic force with a track record for the terrible starts stalking the family.
It’s all very Amityville Horror, atmospheric and tense, but the likeability of the characters prompts our sympathy. Even with a slight sense of déjà vu, horror fans will love it.
Salt & Fire
A team of UN scientists led by Laura (Victoria Ferres) has got a beef with a huge company over an ecological disaster in South America.
But when a volcano starts erupting in Bolivia, the team ends up being kidnapped by the company’s sinister CEO (Michael Shannon) and are forced to work for the company to avoid a natural disaster of cataclysmic proportions.
This is almost a throwback to the “disaster” movies of the 1970s. Perhaps, like the musical, this genre might be set for a comeback. At least the special effects will be a lot more realistic. The film also stars Gael Garcia Bernal as Laura’s weaselly assistant. It’s OK but not earth-shattering.
The Long View
It’s always tempting fate to give a film a title that might be a misnomer in case the film doesn’t live up to its name. In this, hell has no fury like a woman scorned, and a divorced woman sets out to make life utterly horrid for her ex-husband’s new spouse.
The question is, why does she have to be so beastly? Why can’t she just go down the Ivana Trump route and hit the scoundrel where it hurts – in the pocket? Alternatively, she could go down the Lorena Bobbitt route. Spurned wives and girlfriends will love this, though. Katherine Heigl stars.
Release date: April 20.