If an extended look at Disney’s new Aladdin remake was one of your three wishes, then today is your lucky day.
It’s embarrassing how long it has taken the MCU to embrace meaningful equality. Twenty films. No female-led films. How come Chief Feige? Hot on the heels of last year’s revelation that leading heroes don’t have to be white, Captain Marvel now seeks to prove that they don’t have to be women either. Who knew? Whilst this isn’t the sickly romcom Scarlet Johansson once forecast in a bitingly brilliant spoof – ‘Marvel knows women!’ – neither is it the groundbreaking triumph that was Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman two years ago. When push comes to shove, Captain Marvel is actually very average.
Relentless and crushingly unpredictable, sexism has long since been a devastating iceberg in the ocean of gender equality. Seas of change, however, brew in this gripping film by seasoned sports documentarian Alex Holmes. Maiden tells the tale of yachting legend Tracy Edwards and her quest to skipper the first ever all-female crew to enter the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race. It is a story driven by intense passion and endurance, captured with an immediacy not so dissimilar from the likes of Maidentrip and Deep Water.
‘We are all on our path to University’ is really not so inspirational a mantra as the teacher who announces it to a group of troubled eleven year olds towards the start of H is for Harry believes. Neither is it revolutionary. In fact, the word reductive springs to mind. Not that directors Edward Owles and Jamie Taylor particularly pass comment. Theirs is a nicely made little feature – cutely produced and warm to the core – but frustrates as a documentary. Without the focus of a critical eye or narrative voice, the film ambles without real cause or impact.
Is it even possible to defend Serenity – this year’s most harshly pilloried film to date – without blowing its gargantuan twist right out of the water? Probably not, but let’s have an eager crack at it anyway. The pundits detest Stephen Knight’s latest creation but it’s actually pretty exceptional. Yes, it’s a somewhat sour-tasting bouillabaisse of ill-assorted ingredients. Yes, it’s disgustingly saccharine. And yes, it’s weirder than a smitten Tom Cruise. One to miss, though? Absolutely not.
‘Just a quick question.’
It’s not a convention start to our interviews with Jeremy Wooding, Elinor Crawley and Aki Omoshaybi. But, then again, Burning Men is no conventional film. This is the story of two would be musicians who hit the road in an attempt to raise cash enough to fund a relocation to the USA but get more than they bargained on trying to flog a stolen black metal vinyl.