James-King

Marvellous Margot and hilarious Hugh: James King's Week in Movies

James King talks the best films to watch from your living room

James King

If you’re feeling exhausted by lockdown then this week’s movie choices should be just the boost you need. Margot Robbie - the best thing to come out of ‘Neighbours’ since Kylie & Jason - wows in her second turn as comic book bad girl Harley Quinn and Hugh Grant tickles the funnybone in the latest madcap thriller from Guy Ritchie. There’s also something new to look forward to on Disney+. Enjoy! 

BEST NEW SUPERHERO MOVIE TO BUY - Friday 24 April

BIRDS OF PREY

Back in 2016 the marvellous Margot Robbie stole the show from under Will Smith’s nose in the patchy comic book flick Suicide Squad so it’s no surprise that she’s back as the main star in the far superior sequel BIRDS OF PREY. As Harley Quinn - ex-girlfriend of The Joker - she’s mad, bad and dangerous to know but her tattooed craziness is offset by a Margot’s knowing winks and pearly whites - the greatest grin since Jack Nicholson. It’s what makes BIRDS OF PREY so much fun. Unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

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Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn

The plot follows Harley and her band of female cohorts as they fight Gotham City gangster Roman Sionis (a wonderfully over-the-top Ewan McGregor), the mood of the film rowdy and raucous, the plot taking a little while to find its flow. But once it does it’s anything goes: fireworks and fairgrounds, rock ‘n’ roll and rollerskates - all wrapped in a day-glo shell of girl power and riotous kung-fu. 

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WATCH: Birds of Prey trailer

Margot’s Harley is like Baby Spice being directed by Quentin Tarantino; a wild mix of Madonna’s blonde ambition and Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill kicks. It’s no mean feat to turn such a mad mash-up into one of modern cinema’s most endearingly odd anti-heroes.  

BIRDS OF PREY [15] is available to buy now on Prime Video

BEST NEW THRILLER TO BUY - 27 April

THE GENTLEMEN

You’ve got to hand it to Guy Ritchie. He’s been the hottest director in town (thanks to Snatch), fodder for tabloids (thanks to his marriage to Madonna), responsible for several flops (The Man from UNCLE and Swept Away) and Mr Mainstream (with his Sherlock Holmes films). That’s quite the rollercoaster. Now to bring things full circle, he’s back where it all started: with Cockney geezers and dodgy gangsters, just like in his breakthrough film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. THE GENTLEMEN might be brand new but it could easily have come direct from 1998. 

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The comedy thriller is out on 27 April

Matthew McConaughey plays drug baron Mickey Pearson, an American in London with numerous contacts all wanting to get one over on him. So begins a story with more spicy twists than a bowl of fusilli and pesto, enjoyably played out by some tasty names: Colin Farrell, Henry Golding (from Last Christmas), Charlie Hunnam plus Downton’s Lady Mary Crawley herself, Michelle Dockery. Okay, Ritchie seems more into the male characters than the women (as is often the case) and he’s clearly not bothered about political correctness. Yet even in his outrageous, hair-raising dialogue there’s something vaguely poetic. 

WATCH: The Gentlemen trailer

Never more so than in the character of Fletcher (Hugh Grant), an oddly-voiced journalist wanting to expose Pearson’s dealings in his newspaper. With Grant relishing sending-up an industry he’s not exactly fond of, we’re once again treated to the former rom-com star stealing a film from under everyone’s noses. Not even the famously fruity McConaughey can keep up with hammy Hugh, giving Ritchie’s enjoyably familiar crime caper a welcome dash of eccentricity. 

THE GENTLEMEN [15] is out to buy on DVD, Blu-ray and on Prime Video from 27th April

COMING SOON TO DISNEY+ - 12 June

ARTEMIS FOWL

Fancy some more Colin Farrell? Following on from The Gentlemen, Colin stars in the movie adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s first Artemis Fowl novel - the fantasy-packed tale of a 12-year old criminal mastermind and the search for his missing father. Kenneth Branagh directs. 

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Kenneth Branaugh directs the new Disney+ film

ARTEMIS FOWL streams on Disney+ from 12th June

Get Disney+ here

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