I don’t know if there’s a German word for ‘the acute feeling of regret, when watching a film on TV, that you never saw it in the cinema’, but if there isn’t, there should be.
It was certainly the reaction I had when watching the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy – specifically the bit where Chris Pratt dances his way towards his latest mission to the tune of Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love, pausing to use some kind of space weevil as a microphone as he goes.
By the time I came to Guardians, its reputation as the scuffed-up jewel in the MCU’s crown was well established – but I couldn’t help wishing I’d been among those early audiences who went in blind and came out enthusing about the film’s team of lovable misfit heroes, and its winning blend of offbeat comedy, old-fashioned adventure and 70s pop-rock.
The gang are back for their last hurrah this week – but will they all make it to the closing credits? And perhaps equally importantly, which songs have made it onto Star-Lord’s Zune?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Nine years after the ragtag band of cosmic adventurers became instant MCU fan favourites, their story comes to an end with what director James Gunn claims is an emotional final outing.
That’s perhaps not surprising given that the story finds Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) still reeling from the loss of his beloved Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – though of course, in standard Marvel style, a different version of her has helpfully hopped over from another timeline – and also digs into the traumatic origins of Bradley Cooper’s trash-talking Rocket Raccoon.
The plot sees the Guardians set out to rescue Rocket when he’s targeted by the mad scientist who created him (Peacemaker’s Chukwudi Iwuji) – a mission that also sees the gang come up against Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), an artificial being created to destroy them.
If that all sounds pretty heavy, then never fear, as the colourful trailer suggests there will still be plenty of the series’ trademark wisecracks to lighten the load.
Plus – in honour of the Guardians’ canine comrade Cosmo the Space Dog, City Screen are hosting a special Dog-Friendly screening of the film at 11am on Sun 7th!
Return to Seoul
This acclaimed, soul-searching drama follows a young Korean-born French woman who returns to the country of her birth in search of her roots.
Having been adopted by French parents at a very young age, 25-year-old Freddie (Park Ji-Min) arrives in Seoul intending to track down her biological family – but the discoveries she makes only serve to stir up her conflicted feelings about her heritage.
Director Davy Chou’s film has been quietly impressing critics since its premiere at Cannes last year, with Time Out hailing a ‘captivating’ performance from first-time actor Park, and Little White Lies comparing it to the work of Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar.
South Bank Community Cinema serves up a classic slice of film noir this week in the form of 1958 thriller Lift to the Scaffold.
The debut of celebrated director Louis Malle, the film also features French New Wave icon Jeanne Moreau in her breakout role as a woman plotting with her lover to murder her wealthy husband.
Shot on the streets of Paris, its naturalistic cinematography combines with a classic Miles Davis score to create an atmospheric tale of a dastardly deed gone wrong, hailed by the Guardian as ‘a glittering jewel of 50s French film-making’.
The film shows at Clements Hall, South Bank on Fri 5th 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].
On the off-chance that younger family members aren’t going to be glued to the telly for the coronation festivities, there are a few cinematic viewing alternatives available over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Cineworld’s budget offering this week stars a feline adventurer who’s hobnobbed with a king or two in his time, with three more screenings of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish showing from Sat 6th to Mon 8th (tickets £2.50).
Vue’s selection is Little Eggs: An African Rescue (which, considering Charlie’s recent egg-based misadventures, seems a shockingly disrespectful choice), screening from Sat 6th to Mon 8th (tickets £2.49); they’re also showing How to Train Your Dragon 2 over the same period (tickets standard price, £6.99 – £9.99).
And if the coronation concert line-up doesn’t float your boat, you can always head over to City Screen to watch Sing 2’s poptastic menagerie belt out the hits instead (Sat 6th, £3.30).
Other new releases, previews and old favourites
Head back to the roaring 20s at City Screen this week with new period drama The Laureate, which tells the story of war poet (and I, Claudius author) Robert Graves and his unusual living arrangements, which saw him and his wife Laura in a menage a quatre with an American writer and an Irish poet – you can catch them squabbling over the milk on Fri 5th, Sun 7th and Weds 10th.
City Screen are also bringing back last year’s excellent Bill Nighy drama Living for two more screenings this week (on Mon 8th and Thurs 11th), both of which are followed by a recorded conversation between Nighy and the film’s producer Stephen Woolley.
On Weds 9th, City Screen have a preview of highly rated Italian drama The Eight Mountains, a portrait of a lifelong friendship set against the beautiful backdrop of the Alps.
As part of City Screen’s regular Discover strand, it’s free for members and £8.00 for non-members – as is The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Sun 7th), which is this week’s screening in City Screen’s ongoing celebration of US indie hitmakers A24.
There’s a hint of Wes Anderson to this reflective 2019 tale of friendship, belonging and gentrification, based in part on the life of lead actor Jimmie Fails, who plays a man struggling to let go of his childhood home – much to the bewilderment of its new owners.
If you’re using the coronation Bank Holiday as an excuse to head out camping, here’s hoping your holiday works out better than the one undertaken by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram’s oddball couple in macabre British comedy Sightseers, showing on Mon 8th as part of City Screen’s season in honour of the brilliant Ben Wheatley.
Over at Vue, they’re opening up The Notebook once again, as the much-loved 00s weepie returns to the big screen on Sat 6th, Sun 7th and Tues 9th.
And finally, on this most historic of weeks, Everyman are offering us all the chance to pledge our allegiance to the queen of 90s teen cinema, Alicia Silverstone, as the irrepressible Cher Horowitz heads back to the mall in Clueless, showing in their Throwback strand on Sun 7th and Tues 9th.
Repeat after me: “So, okay, like right now, for example, the Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, ‘What about the strain on our resources?’ But it’s like, when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday, right? I said RSVP because it was a sit-down dinner. But people came that, like, did not RSVP, so I was, like, totally buggin’…”