The Week in Film: 4 - 10 July

Blog by Jonathan Melville | 03 Jul 2008

Currently plastered on the sides of buses everywhere, Hancock opens this week and tells of hard-living superhero John Hancock (Will Smith) whose public image is at rock bottom, leading to a drinking binge and a trail of destruction around his hometown. It’s now up to Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) to try and change the public perception of the once great man.

Trailer: Hancock

Animated animals are, unsurprisingly, at the centre of Kung Fu Panda from Dreamworks. Jack Black is the voice of Po, a slacker panda who has to team up with the legendary Furious Five to combat the evil snow leopard Tai Lung. Reviews have been uniformly positive about this one and it threatens to wrestle the title of best animation away from WALL-E, out in a few weeks time.

Elsewhere, the latest Stephen King adaptation arrives on UK shores after a long time on the shelf. Written and directed by Shawshank Redemption helmer Frank Darabont, The Mist takes us to a small New England town where a mist is rolling in across the water. Death, icky monsters and a moral minefield soon follow in this corking thriller that Skinny film editor Paul reckons is the “finest horror film of the last 25 years”.

Over in the indie flick realm, Edinburgh’s Cameo brings us The Visitor (also screening at Glasgow’s GFT), fresh from its appearance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The new film from director Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent) is the story of a college professor (Richard Jenkins) who returns to his New York apartment to find two immigrants living there. Some stark emotions mark this out as one to catch. There’s also a Sunday double bill of romance from director Richard Linklater in Before Sunset and Before Sunrise, starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.

Further down Lothian Road at the Filmhouse, their Burt Lancaster season continues with Ernest Hemmingway's The Killers (Saturday and Sunday), Criss Cross (Saturday only) and Brute Force (Wednesday). Their snappily title Modernity and Tradition: Film in Interwar Central Europe season runs until Wednesday 30 July and explores the unique cinematic style that developed in interwar central Europe. Modernist masterpiece Berlin: Symphony of a Big City (Saturday) explores urban life through a rhythmical construction of the daily flow of activities in the metropolis while FW Murnau’s 1924 silent classic The Last Laugh (Sunday) incorporates many pioneering technical elements and is an essential work in the history of cinema.

Trailer: The Killers

Glasgow’s GFT celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday with a screening of Jazz on a Summer’s Day, a documentary capturing the highlight’s of the 1958 event. The annual Australian Film Festival kicks-off on Tuesday with Global Haywire, a semi-animated documentary questioning whether and why we have reached such a drastic stage in the relationship between East and West. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin star in 1958’s Some Came Running (Sunday and Tuesday) while Derek, a documentary about artist Derek Jarman, screens on Wednesday and Thursday.

Finally, of particular note at Dundee's DCA is David Lean’s In Which We Serve (Monday-Thursday), the story of the sinking of HMS Torrin and the men who survive. The DCA Film Club are showing South Korean horror flick The Host on Tuesday.