With Selma, Big Eyes and Inherent Vice all pushed from this February 5 date, we are left with a pretty quiet week. In cinemas today we have Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Gambler and Me, Myself and Mum.
Kingsman: The Secret Service – Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class), tells the story of a super-secret spy organisation that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. I haven’t liked Vaughn’s previous films very much, but this looks like a lot of stylish, tongue-in-cheek fun.
The Gambler – Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance. I suspect it isn’t going to be a very popular film with the general public (and it has been unfavourably reviewed) but I was completely engrossed by The Gambler. Review at the link.
Me, Myself and Mum – A cheerful and inventive comic confessional about Guillaume Gallienne’s upbringing, his relations with his mother, and his eventual embracing of his inner heterosexual after growing up as a female-identified boy whom everyone assumes is gay. I believe this screened at last year’s French Film Festival and I heard some murmurs of praise. Limited release only, I imagine.
Weekly Recommendation: With ‘Kingsmen’ yet unseen, I can only suggest ‘The Gambler’.