Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s greatest collaboration, Taxi Driver, returns to the big screen in a new restoration at the Irish Film Institute. De Niro is both terrifying and sympathetic as a New York cabbie driven to violence by a city that disgusts him, and Scorsese establishes himself as one of the great American directors. Unmissable.
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s than with one of the most romantic movies ever made? Douglas Sirk’s Magnificent Obsession plays at the IFI Tuesday. Rock Hudson is the playboy who becomes obsessed with curing the sight of Jane Wyman, blinded in an accident he caused. Bring tissues.
The highlight of the week’s new releases is the ’70s set drama 20th Century Women, starring a never better Annette Bening as the owner of a boarding house who enlists the aid of her tenants in raising her teenage son. Director Mike Mills’ film is a tribute to his own mother, and mothers everywhere. You may want to give your own a call after seeing it.
Prevenge is a horror comedy from British comic Alice Lowe, who plays a pregnant woman who embarks on a killing spree, seemingly provoked by the voice of her unborn child. The joke is initially hilarious, but it soon grows tiresome.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was initially touted as a potential Oscar winner, but reviews were unkind and it flopped in the US. Director Ang Lee tells the story of a soldier who questions his career choice while being presented as a war hero during a football match halftime show. An impressive performance from newcomer Joe Alwyn can’t save a film that relies too much on cheesy cliches.
In 2014, The LEGO Movie surprised us all by taking what seemed a silly idea and turning it into an effective animated comedy with a heart. The LEGO Batman Movie however is the cynical film we all expected from the original. You’ll gladly walk across a carpet of LEGO to escape this one.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com