Brad Pitt looking sad in space. B-
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
Difficult to focus on an otherwise perfectly decent Cold War thriller with a more than decent widescreen sheen when you’re so transfixed by the majesty of Sean Connery’s facial hair. A landmark moment in the history of male grooming. B
The Woker Man.
(There’s a sense of missed opportunity that this–not even really that woke–Mummerset horror shares with Last Night in Soho, in providing a platform for some quality cinematic man-bashing, only to largely squander it. Settle in for some randomly interjected misogyny, which takes the place of thematic groundwork; a reel of folk horror clichés masquerading as symbolism; Rory Kinnear’s head CGed onto a small child; and Rory Kinnear giving birth to himself more times than you’ll ever need to remember. ) C+
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
What it lacks in its predecessor’s accidental kitsch supremacy, it compensates for with spectacular fighter-jet action, utilising effects tech which the ‘80s original couldn’t dream of. Also complementary is its accurately assembled cast. Ed Harris gets a cameo (which should’ve been more), while Jon Hamm deputises as the stick-up-his-arse authority figure whose sole purpose is to bust Mav’s balls. Tom Cruise has a bumpier ride however. Faced with the same romantic obligations he had when he was a 29-year old film star, 59-year old Cruise grimaces when confronted with Jennifer Connelly’s contractually obliged flirtatiousness–the palpable awkwardness of a leading man who’s left that period of his life and career behind. But he gets back into his groove once the action gets into its groove, something I doubt he’ll ever lose his talent for. B