Cinema Roundup: May 16th

khaaaaannnnnGet your fake rubber Spock ears out of storage. On Monday May 19th at 6.30pm, the Irish Film Institute hosts a special 70mm screening of Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan, the movie regarded by most as the best of Star Trek’s big screen outings. Following the snooze inducing turkey that was 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, this 1982 sequel delivered sci-fi action in spades, winning over the fans. William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban play off each other in scenery chewing fashion and the chance to hear Shatner’s famous “Khaaaaannnn!!!!” scream through the IFI speakers is too good to miss.

Not quite classic sci-fi, but a worthy attempt, is Godzilla. This latest resurrection of the famous creature comes from director Gareth Edwards, whose 2010 low budget movie Monsters remains one of the best films of recent years. Godzilla suffers from a weak final 30 minutes but for the most part it’s a spectacle unmatched by any recent big budget Hollywood output. If you’re a fan of Spielberg, you’ll appreciate this one as it’s packed with homages to the great man’s work.

The thriller Two Faces of January is an adaptation of a novel by Patricia Highsmith, whose books have previously inspired such hit movies as The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train. The book was published in 1964 and with a sub standard plot that feels like a mediocre reworking of Ripley, it’s easy to see why it remained unfilmed for 50 years. The story’s Greek locations are utilised nicely though, and Viggo Mortenson and Oscar Isaac put in their usual reliable performances. Kirsten Dunst, on the other hand, is as wooden as ever.

Another literary adaptation out this week is In Secret, this time taking the classic French writer Emile Zola’s 1867 novel Therese Raquin as its source. While it may have been shocking in the nineteenth century, this tale of adultery and murder feels highly dated now. Oscar Isaac does his best in this one too but his performance can’t save the film from a dull script.

The only reason to see the Irish-Norwegian co-production A Thousand Times Good Night is for its use of local D4 locations, including Sandymount Strand and Marian College. Otherwise it’s a highly cliched drama, featuring one of the most loathsome protagonists I’ve seen in quite some time.

A Touch of Sin looks at contemporary China through four separate stories. Pretentious, immature and over the top in its portrayal of violence, this is a real test of patience.

By Eric Hillis

Pictured: Some typically subdued acting from William Shatner in NewsFour’s movie of the week, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan