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Trouble with all boxing films: they aren't Rocky. Rocky not only set the benchmark, but the template, out of which no one's really managed to break: guy has to overcome adversity, the other boxer is a metaphor for his life, and his real opponent is himself. True-lifer Bleed For This is a bit different. But not that different.
In times of crisis, look to Hanks. America's on its arse and what it needs now more than ever is a man whose Twitter account is dedicated to finding gloves on the streets of New York, not making baseless claims of voter fraud. Inferno got it wrong, but Sully understands better what sort of hero Hanks can be: the kind who manages to land a malfunctioning aeroplane but afterwards just wants everyone to stop going on about it.
Brad Pitt, I have decided, is too handsome. My reaction to more or less anything he does on screen these days is instinctively: "Yeah, but this character wouldn't look like that. No one does." In Allied, which is fine and all that but a bit daft, he marries Marion Cotillard while looking amazing then grows suspicious she is a spy while looking amazing, and I can't shake the feeling that all of this looking amazing is part of a comfort zone out of which he's unprepared to step.
By now you'll have heard that Inferno is awful, not that your hopes were high, and you don't need me to confirm it. Maybe the books make terrible source material, but come on, it's Hanks and Howard: how bad could it be? Well, not as bad as The Da Vinci Code, to be fair, but still pretty darned bad.
Here's Emily Blunt on the Girl on the Train poster, looking suspiciously like she has more make-up on than she does in the actual film (again
). She's very much the best thing about it, but still: if there's one genre for which I have a soft spot, it's the serviceable but unexceptional thriller.
"Men are like buses," says the Bridget Jones's Baby advert on the side of the ones currently making their way through school run-gridlock, possibly because we're awful and stained with last night's food and can't be relied on to turn up. Bridget's choices were often bad over the first two films, but the scripts usually ignored the fact that her men were worse. Three films in, the franchise seems to have caught up and started rewarding her.
What a Beatles documentary has never quite captured is their cultural significance. You can't, not really: it is too tightly bound up in everything we hold as self-evident about popular culture and our relationship with celebrity. Ron Howard, having had the sense to focus his film on the touring years up until 1966 rather than compress The Beatles Anthology into two hours, allows us a window into just how mental those four years were, and gets closer to the truth of it than anyone else has managed.
Worst superhero movie ever. Don't bother staying for the mid-credits sting to see if Wolverine shows up; there's NOTHING.
As a child of the eighties you notice as you get older that a lot of contemporary mainstream entertainment seems designed to take you back there. Now there's a distinctive crossover demographic: those of us in our thirties who went nuts for Spielberg and Star Wars at the time, and now have our own children whom we want to show the originals and take to see reboots. For my generation the prospect of Spielberg doing The BFG is an intersection in a Venn diagram where we hold each circle very dear, and there's only so bad it could possibly turn out. But it should've been better.
You probably learn more about how comedy works through watching a bad one than a good one. Not that that's much consolation when you've shelled out thirteen quid. The Boss isn't terrible, as anything with Melissa McCarthy in it would struggle to be, but it falls far enough short to be instructive.