Four new films to see this week

Unsettling Deerskin, Fear Street trilogy, sequels to The Croods and Space Jam

Jean Dujardin in Deerskin

Jean Dujardin in Deerskin

 

DEERSKIN/LE DAIM ★★★★☆
Directed by Quentin Dupieux. Starring Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Pierre Gommé. Cinema release/streaming, 77 min
A week after the lovely Jumbo – in which a woman falls for a fairground attraction – cinemas open their doors to the even better Deerskin. This time round, a handsome rogue falls head-over-heels with a deerskin jacket. If clothes maketh the man, this garment has a great deal to answer for. Dujardin is terrific as a man who initially seems eccentric but rapidly develops into something a bit scarier. This French film flogs no message, just invites us to take risks on a ride that is as unpredictable as it is spooky. Full review DC

FEAR STREET ★★★☆☆
Directed by Leigh Janiak. Starring Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr, Sadie Sink. Emily Rudd, Ashley Zukerman, Ted Sutherland, Gillian Jacobs. Netflix, 330 min total

Fear Street, Part I: 1994
Fear Street, Part I: 1994

Netflix delivers a trilogy of horrors based on the Fear Street novels of RL Stein. The first part tells of Scream-style slayings in 1994. The second takes us back to Friday the 13th mayhem in the late ’70s. A final section teases out the witch-hunting origins of it all in 1666. It all hangs together nicely, but one wonders what demographic is being targeted. The teen-friendly ambience of Stein’s work remains. There is, nonetheless, a lot of explicit violence, some drug taking and a touch of pneumatic sex. Full review DC

THE CROODS: A NEW AGE ★★★☆☆
Directed by Joel Crawford. Voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, Kelly Marie Tran. PG cert, cinema release, 95 min

The Croods: A New Age
The Croods: A New Age

More caveman frolics from DreamWorks. It has taken only two instalments of The Croods for the sequence to feel as overpopulated and cluttered as the grim, later episodes of Ice Age. Happily, this belated sequel to the lively 2013 animation isn’t as bad as all that. A slick DayGlo entertainment, the script rapidly fires off prehistoric jokes: some of them even land. Encounters with punch monkeys, landsharks, wolf-spiders, and chicken seals bring a welcome cryptozoological mayhem to an already zany landscape and caffeinated pacing. Full review TB

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY ★★★☆☆
Directed by Malcolm D Lee. Starring LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, Zendaya. PG cert, cinema release, 115 min

LeBron James and Bugs Bunny in Space Jam: A New Legacy
LeBron James and Bugs Bunny in Space Jam: A New Legacy

Come for the corporate merger, stay for the product placement. After a lengthy introduction, LeBron James and his son are trapped in the Warner 3000 Server-Verse, a dimension ruled by megalomaniac AI Al-G Rhythm (Cheadle). There, in the same studio-selling overkill that characterised Ready Player One, our hoop-hopping hero rubs shoulders with everything from Casablanca to The Iron Giant before playing basketball alongside Bugs Bunny and the other Merrie Melodies vets. The sequel to 1996’s Space Jam has some good jokes, but it can’t keep pace with LeBron’s energy. Full review TB

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