Peak Nothing-To-Lose Badass
Step one: watch Sharlto Copley steal the show in Elysium and District 9 with his on-the-edge wildboy glaring. Step two: become envious of all his drinking buddies as he tells Nerdist podcast about his ridiculously cool life. Step three: gaze upon his unhinged weapons dealer Vern in chaotic shoot-out Free Fire (with Ben Wheatley and Martin Scorsese in the big chairs).
See it with: Gary The Nut, your housemate whose party trick is to eat entire tubs of Utterly Butterly because he’s proper mad, mate.
Peak Majestic Weirdo
Keep your Brents. And pop your Partridge back in the original packaging and claim a full refund. If it’s oblivious British losers you want, here’s your man. Julian Barratt (him from Nathan Barley and underloved C4 comedy Flowers) is doing it all over again in Mindhorn: the Isle of Man’s one-eyed, washed-up 80s actor dead-set on reliving his glory days as an on-screen sleuth. Sh*t gon’ get bonkers.
See it with: That hyperactive friend who you suspect is disastrously unhappy but refuses to reveal his feelings, preferring to boast about "so random!" recent events in his life. They're all lies.
You don’t stand a chance, pal. Game’s over. Just when you thought Ryan Gosling had permanently hung up his Handsome Boy With A Heart jacket to give us try-our-best gents a break, he serves up a five-finger death punch of a lady pleaser in La La Land. It’s Gozzer. In a starry-eyed rom-com. That’s also a musical. In which he plays jazz piano. And gets real emosh in his pursuit to achieve his dream. Sigh. Goodbye, cruel world.
See it with: Carley, the Tinder girl who's worried you're "emotionally stunted". A teary standing ovation here will put that right. Guess again, Carl!
Peak Asian Arthouse
The Handmaiden is a twist-riddled thriller from revered Old Boy and Stoker director Park Chan-wook. He's dragged 2002 crime novel Fingersmith out of 1800s Britain and dropped it into 1930s colonial Korea, meaning you've got a safety blanket of upper-class Britishness to dive under when everything else gets distressing, dark and complex.
See it with: Blockbuster-obsessed Colin, whose idea of a fun Friday night is fuming about "egregious continuity errors in the Marvel Universe" on Reddit.
Peak Being A Sulky-Cool Band
Industry secret alert: backstage at rock shows is upsettingly dull. Less groupies, cocaine overdoses and tequila dentist chairs, more searching for a bar of Wi-Fi, shirt ironing and “Can you tell me if this Moroccan flatbread is vegan, please?” Herein lies the challenge undertaken by Michael Winterbottom in On The Road as he shadows indie rockers Wolf Alice for 16 tour dates and tries to make an access-all-areas documentary not a snoozefest. Looks like he's nailed it, of course.
See it with: Jimmy The Stixx and Piggo, your college bandmates, in a sly attempt to get your electro band, Captain Lube Stallion, back for one last show.
The five stages of a drunken tube journey
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