This month we’ve got some handsome hunks to ogle at with ‘King Arthur’ and something to chuckle at with ‘Mindhorn’ and ‘Whisky Galore’
First up this month is Mindhorn (May 5), absurd British comedy from The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt. Barratt plays Richard Thorncroft, washed-up former star of cheesy ‘80s detective series Mindhorn, in which he played the titular character, a detective with a bionic eyepatch that can literally “see the truth”.
But Mindhorn has not aged well and neither has its star, who has become a flabby, impoverished has-been whose former co-stars (including Steve ‘I’m more than Alan Patridge’ Coogan) have all gone on to enjoy greater success than he has.
But fate, it seems, has a third act planned for Mindhorn, when a deranged killer on the run contacts police and insists that he will only negotiate with the former TV detective. The killer, Melly, (played by Russell Tovey) clearly has a tenuous grasp on reality, but so does Thorncroft, and so the police deem him the most appropriate person to negotiate with an unhinged murderer. There no doubt follows lots of silly spoofery and satirising of detective drama tropes that The Mighty Boosh fans will enjoy.
Which leads us to our next cinematic offering, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12), starring Queer As Folk’s Charlie Hunnam.
It was really only a matter of time before some movie executives trundled out the old Excalibur legend for a spot of cinematic reanimation. This is just as well really, seeing as audiences don’t seem to want new stories: they just want remakes of old ones with increasingly hotter casts. And on that at least, King Arthur: LoTS seems to deliver.
The story follows Arthur on his journey from street urchin to sexy sword-wielding monarch by way of some enthusiastic fight scenes and pensive beard stroking. When Arthur’s father (Eric Bana) is murdered, and his crown seized by his evil uncle Vortigern (Jude Law), little Art is forced into hiding. Robbed of his birthright and, over time the knowledge of his true lineage, Arthur lives the life of a petty street hoodlum (with a heart as golden as his beard, of course). But when Arthur manages the impossible and pulls the sword Excalibur from its stone, he is suddenly forced to confront the truth of his identity while kicking a lot of bad-guy ass.
Lastly this month, a wee nip of warming Scottish humour in the form of Whisky Galore (May 19), a remake of the 1949 Ealing classic of the same name. The movie recounts a real-life event, namely the scuttling of the SS Politician, an 8,000-ton cargo ship sailing for Kingston, Jamaica and New Orleans with a cargo including 28,000 cases of malt whisky, which ran aground off the coast of Eriskay Island in the Outer Hebrides in 1941.
The story is thus: the inhabitants of a Scottish island whose supply of whisky has been curtailed due to war-time rationing think their prayers to St Johnny Walker have been answered when a cargo ship carrying 50,000 cases of whisky runs aground on their coast.
Naturally, they sail out and shanghai as many bottles as they can carry before the ship capsizes. But punctilious Home Guard officer, Captain Wagget (Eddie Izzard) is determined to confiscate every stolen bottle and enters into a cat-and-mouse game with the locals, who have even less time for jumped-up Englishmen than they have for sobriety. Gentle, light-hearted comedy fare.
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