There’s an easy win for Pokémon Go players this weekend – just turn up at the cinema, where a whole bunch of the little critters are starring in Detective Pikachu.
Elsewhere, Robert Pattinson gets lost in space in High Life, and the con is on for Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in The Hustle…
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
A bit of a novelty here – a Pokémon film that’s actually picking up some pretty good reviews.
That’s thanks in no small part to the casting of the ever-reliable Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular diminutive sleuth, who here comes to the aid of Tim (Justice Smith, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), a teenager investigating the disappearance of his father.
Set in Ryme City, where humans and Pokémon live side by side, the film sees Tim and the wise-cracking Pikachu team up when they discover that, unlike all other humans, Tim can actually understand what Pikachu is saying.
More than one review has made comparisons with Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and pretty much all are in agreement that it’s Reynolds’ performance – doing a more family-friendly version of his Deadpool schtick – which makes this a surprisingly entertaining big screen outing for the ever-popular franchise.
Like his erstwhile co-star Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson has carved out an impressive career for himself post-Twilight, starring in a string of acclaimed independent films (2017’s lean, mean crime caper Good Time is worth checking out on Netflix).
This intriguing-sounding sci-fi drama sees him working with highly regarded French director Claire Denis, here making her English-language debut with the tale of a group of convicts sent on a doomed mission to the outer reaches of the solar system.
The film opens with Monte (Pattinson) and his baby daughter the last survivors of the mission, now hurtling towards a black hole, while flashbacks reveal the fate of their fellow passengers.
By all accounts a strange but mesmerising piece of work, it’s been the subject of rave reviews, with Little White Lies concluding that “it’s a pleasure to have my reviewing faculties blown and my psyche splintered by this master filmmaker.”
Your gender-flipped remake this month comes courtesy of Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, in this update of ‘80s con artist comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Wilson takes on the Steve Martin role as small-time hustler Lonnie, while Hathaway does her best Michael Caine impression as the more upmarket Josephine.
Taking place against the backdrop of a sunny French seaside town, the plot sees the two set their sights on an unsuspecting young tech billionaire.
The film also marks the directorial debut of our own Chris Addison, best known as the hapless recipient of Peter Capaldi’s expletive-fuelled tirades in The Thick Of it.
Other screenings and one-offs
City Screen this week offers the chance to witness the Queen of Soul at the peak of her powers, in never-before-seen concert film Amazing Grace.
Filmed in 1972 but never released for technical and legal reasons (both now resolved), it captures the performance of Aretha Franklin’s live gospel album of the same name – and reviews suggest it’s the kind of once-in-a-lifetime show that fans of the singer will not want to miss.
It’s showing at City Screen throughout the week.
The Vintage Sundays strand this week hosts Stanley Kubrick’s classic Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove (Sun 12th), while their Hirokazu Kore-eda season continues on Tues 14th with After Life.
Originally released in 1998, the Shoplifters director’s drama is set in a limbo realm in which the recently deceased are allowed to choose one memory to take into eternity – which is then immortalised for them as a short film.
City Screen also have a showing of last year’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man on Mon 13th, as part of their Empire 30 season (celebrating 30 years of Picturehouse and Empire magazine) – highly recommended if you missed it first time round.
And finally, over to Everyman, where Aretha Franklin makes her second big screen appearance of the week in cult classic The Blues Brothers.
Franklin was one of a host of music legends to grace the much-loved musical comedy, which follows the misadventures of Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) as they try to save their old orphanage from closure.
You can join them on their “mission from God” at Everyman on Weds 15th.