The good, the bad and the ugly – new movie offerings
A scene from The Salesman.

The adorable Emma Watson proves there’s life after Harry Potter in Disney’s latest version of Beauty and the Beast. 

This time the beast (Dan Stevens) can only  be freed from his wolf-like guise by the love of Watson, who’s distraught at being imprisoned in his enchanted castle until she begins to realise his heart is in the right place whatever about his physical features.

The rest of the cast read like a grocery list of household names  - Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans, Ian McKellan, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline. Music is also added to the mix in what promises to be one of the major box office hits of the year.

Another trip down Memory Lane occurs with T2:  Trainspotting, the sequel to the film of the same name which made Danny Boyle’s reputation back in 1996. He’s at the helm again here, and again re-uniting with the busy Ewan McGregor, returning to the drug-ridden world he left 21 years ago for more excess and abandon.

Kong: Skull Island deals with a team of explorers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific unaware that they’re about to encounter a myriad of monsters. Again the film has a ‘beauty and the beast’ element, this time with overtones of another iconic movie, King Kong, which provides it with some of its more violent aspects.

The Belko Experiment has a group of Americans locked in their high-rise office in Bogota, Colombia and ordered by an unseen person whose voice comes over an intercom to kill their colleagues or be killed themselves. The horrific premise gets ratcheted up to even scarier degrees when they refuse.

Adult film

The Salesman is an adult film featuring a theatrical Iranian couple whose relationship goes downhill while they’re appearing in a performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in Tehran. They’re forced to leave their apartment and move to a shabbier one. One night a stranger calls, enquiring about the previous tenant, and violence ensues.

The film won this year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar. Its director, Asghar Farhadi, snubbed the ceremonies in protest at what he called Donald Trump’s  ‘inhuman’ recent law banning the entry of immigrants to the US.

Moonlight, the film that won the Oscar for Best Movie of the year overall, is still showing in some cinemas. It’s the story of the traumatic life of a black man growing up in a rough area of Miami. Again it’s an adult film with themes of homosexuality and drugs. 

No doubt you’re aware of the mix-up that had Moonlight’s Oscar mistakenly given to La La Land in one of the most embarrassing gaffes of Oscar history. 

The accountant who gave the wrong envelope to presenter Warren Beatty took the rap but my own belief is that the right one was stolen by Bonnie and Clyde – Beatty and his co-presenter Faye Dunaway. 

Clearly, the two gangsters are still up to their tricks 50 years after their landmark movie.