An embarrassment of riches awaits moviegoers this week, with everything from Woody Allen’s latest and action galore, to German vampire flicks and Romanian romantic comedies.
What better place to start than with Allen’s latest tourist guide... sorry, movie, To Rome With Love, which once again sees the lifelong Manhattanite abandon his beloved isle to shoot in foreign climes. After Barcelona, Paris and London, Allen now turns his lens on the Italian capital, turning out another of his signature romantic comedies, based on a series of intertwining stories. Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Penélope Cruz take on the acting duties, as does Allen himself — although thankfully he’s playing an ageing, retired dad, rather than still trying to convince audiences that he can cut it as a romantic lead. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, and the film doesn’t quite hang together, but it will please fans of the veteran filmmaker.
Back on our screens this week is Nicolas Cage, who is evidently still trying his darndest to pay off his tax bills. The Face/Off star is back in action mode, playing a former thief whose daughter has been kidnapped in Stolen.
Staying on the theme of pursuits, this week also sees the release of Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike messenger who attracts the attention of a corrupt cop thanks to a valuable envelope he is carrying. It may be formulaic, but it’s well worth a look.
The cast list alone of Killing them Softly will be enough to pull in audiences, given that it stars Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas). An added bonus is that this is a great film, following an enforcer, played by Pitt, investigating a robbery at a mob-protected card game.
Fans of video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will no doubt be familiar with the town of Pripyat, which was left deserted after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the 1980s. They will also know that it’s not the sort of place you’d want to spend a vacation. But that’s exactly what the hapless characters in Chernobyl Diaries decide to do, hiring an extreme tour guide to take them there. Pretty soon though, in time-honored horror-movie style, they discover they are not alone. Paranormal Activity director Bradley Parker is at the helm of this disappointing wannabe frightfest.
And finally, for a bit of non-English language cinema this week there is We are the Night, a German foray into the hugely popular vampire genre, and Tuesday, After Christmas, a Romanian movie about a man who must choose between his wife and his lover.