York film preview: Creed III, Close and Luther
When it comes to rebooting a much-loved franchise, the Creed series is surely the heavyweight champion of the world.
In a landscape littered with underwhelming revivals powered by slavish fan service, the Rocky reboot and its sequel stood apart simply by being good films in their own right, accessible to newcomers whilst still sharing a clear continuity with the original saga – most obviously in the presence of the Italian Stallion himself as trainer to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed.
With Sly out for the count this time, Jordan is going it alone in this week’s eagerly awaited third chapter – but has he met his match in Quantumania’s Jonathan Majors?
And more to the point: has he got a theme song as fist-in-the-air iconic as Rocky III’s Eye of the Tiger?
Michael B. Jordan steps back into the ring – and behind the camera, for this third instalment in the hit series which picks up where Rocky left off.
Having retired at the top of his game, champion boxer Adonis Creed (Jordan) is devoting his time to his family – musician wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent) – but, in time honoured fashion, a blast from his past sees him donning the gloves once more.
That blast comes in the form of childhood friend Damian (Jonathan Majors, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), fresh out of a long stretch in jail and determined to get the shot in the ring that a twist in fate denied him.
There’ll be no inspiring pep talks from Mr. Balboa to help Creed out this time round, with Sylvester Stallone having decided to sit this round out – but impressive reviews suggest that the film (which marks Jordan’s debut as director) still packs a thrilling punch.
For all its black comedy, The Banshees of Inisherin derived its melancholy power from the pain and shock of a close friendship’s abrupt demise – an experience which is perhaps even more brutal when it occurs during the intensity of adolescence, as this acclaimed Belgian drama explores.
The story follows Rémi (Gustav De Waele) and Léo (Eden Dambrine), two inseparable teenage best friends whose close relationship begins to draw the attention – and mockery – of their peers as they start a new school year.
When their previously solid friendship snaps under the scrutiny, the consequences are devastating in director Lukas Dhont’s emotional coming-of-age tale (Dhont’s second study of teenage growing pains following 2018’s portrait of a transgender ballerina, Girl).
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Idris Elba’s hard-bitten London detective gets his first big screen outing in this Netflix-produced continuation of the hit BBC show (it lands on the streaming service on 10th March).
Luther’s adversary this time round comes in the form of a cyber serial killer (played by Andy Serkis) who manipulates his victims into killing themselves, while Cynthia Erivo (Widows) plays the Detective Superintendent with whom our hero forms an uneasy alliance.
If you’re new to writer Neil Cross’ lurid crime saga, this might not be the best place to start, with most reviews agreeing that while a bigger budget allows for more Bond-style escapades than on the small screen, it fails to hit the heights of the original series.
City Screen have a perfect choice to celebrate International Women’s Day this week, in the form of last year’s action-packed historical saga The Woman King.
Showing on the day itself, Weds 8th March, this rousing story of the all-female warriors who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey – led by a never-better Viola Davis in the title role – is a thrilling throwback to cinematic epics of yore, and definitely best experienced on the big screen.
There’s an IWD-inspired selection for this week’s Throwback screening at Everyman too, with Julia Roberts taking no prisoners as crusading activist Erin Brockovich, showing on Sun 5th and Tues 7th (the latter is a Baby Club screening).
Meanwhile, City Screen’s celebration of the Weimar cinema movement concludes on Sun 5th with a screening of 1931’s cult romantic drama Madchen in Uniform, a film now seen as a landmark in queer cinema for its depiction of the relationship between a kindly teacher and her student at an all-girls boarding school.
It’s followed by another chance to see 1930’s The Blue Angel, a tragicomic romance also featuring a lovestruck teacher, this time a respectable professor who falls hard for a cabaret singer (Marlene Dietrich in her international breakthrough role).
Mon 6th sees the next screening in City Screen’s selection of films from the Japan Foundation Tour, a UK-wide celebration of the best of Japanese cinema: What a Wonderful Family! is a comedy-drama about the repercussions of a middle aged matriarch’s decision to divorce her husband.
There are screenings of two acclaimed recent documentaries at City Screen on Tues 7th, with British film Dead Good following three groups of people dealing with the process of saying goodbye to their loved ones, and Dreaming Walls paying tribute to New York’s legendary Chelsea Hotel, a countercultural landmark that’s played host to everyone from Patti Smith to Arthur Miller.
If you’ve been feeling like an ass for missing idiosyncratic Polish drama EO at City Screen, there’s another chance to catch up with the adventures of its doleful four-legged protagonist at Vue this week on Weds 8th.
Over at Cineworld, Tues 7th sees a preview screening of new British drama Allelujah, an adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play about a geriatric hospital under threat of closure featuring a host of familiar faces including Jennifer Saunders, Derek Jacobi and Dame Judi Dench, or DJ Dench as I like to call her (is there a DJ out there with that name? If not, there really should be).
You can also catch a preview of the latest chapter in a legendary horror saga on Weds 8th, as Scream VI shows at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue in a double bill with last year’s franchise reboot Scream (which confusingly wasn’t titled Scream V, or even the there-for-the-taking 5cream).
Your budget family-friendly options at Cineworld this week are Matilda the Musical and Disney caper Strange World (Sat 4th/Sun 5th, £2.50), while Vue are going back to the start of the Shrek saga with the big green softie’s original 2001 outing (Sat 4th/Sun 5th, £2.49) and City Screen have a modern Disney heroine in the form of Moana (Sat 4th, £3.30).
And finally, with the Oscars just over a week away, there’s still time to catch up with this year’s big contenders at all four York cinemas, from Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical tale The Fabelmans to The Banshees of Inisherin’s bickering former besties – and what’s more, if you head down to Cineworld from Mon 6th, you can take advantage of their Oscar week promotion to see them for just £5.00.
At a loose end this Friday? Fancy going on the run in the American Midwest or getting your hands on a bit of prime Parisian haute couture?
With both South Bank Community Cinema and Film at the Folk Hall putting on screenings, you’ve got a choice between two very different viewing options this week.
SBCC are screening Terrence Mallick’s 1973 classic Badlands, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as young lovers out on a beautifully shot crime spree – the film shows at Clements Hall, South Bank on Fri 3rd at 8pm (doors 7:30pm), tickets are £4 (cash only), and SBCC advise that it’s best to book in advance by e-mailing [email protected].
Over in New Earswick, you can join the redoubtable Lesley Manville in her quest to find the perfect dress in last year’s comedy drama Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, showing at the Folk Hall, New Earswick on Fri 3rd at 7:30pm (doors 7pm).
Tickets can be reserved via Eventbrite, or you can buy them in person at the Folk Hall reception or on the door on the night – the price is £5.00 (£4.00 for concessions), and there are also a small number of free tickets available for those who need them.