A biography of Rudy Ray Moore, focusing on the making of his film Dolemite. A swaggering movie with a heart, focusing – like its scriptwriters’ Ed Wood – on an upbeat try-hard outsider – with affection for the exploitation underbelly of Hollywood. As a star showcase, it reminds us how good Eddie Murphy is when he’s backed with the right material.
A presidential hopeful’s nomination campaign is derailed by his philandering. Smart observational true-life political drama clearly in love with the likes of All The President’s Men. While it doesn’t quite grapple with its protagonist’s weaknesses, the film is nevertheless professional, skilful and well-crafted throughout. Recommended.
The ageing Laurel and Hardy reunite for a UK theatre tour, hopeful that this will restart their movie careers. Straightforward though handsome and respectful biopic of the black-and-white comedy legends, anchored by two exceptional lead performances and genuine affection for its subjects. Recommended.
The rise and fall of 1970s heavyweight contender and Rocky analogue Chuck Wepner. Well-judged biopic that despite featuring every one of the usual story and character beats, hits every one of them with unassuming skill.
Biopic of Hungarian/Transylvanian serial bank robber Attila Ambrus. Overlong but hugely entertaining and well-crafted story, with a great visual sensibility, that takes its time to get to the meat of its purpose. Well worth sticking with.
Biopic of Neil Armstrong, from test pilot to Apollo 11 days. An impressionistic, oblique approach doesn’t really penetrate the subject, leaving Gosling free to offer another blank, introverted performance. Impressive rather than good, though with a sterling cast of character actors in support.
A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.