The Canned In Film Festival: Day Nine

They’ve just done a whole week of homeschool, so let them watch anything they want to watch, I reckon.  

But if you need to settle an argument, maybe succumb to Disney + which has just launched. I’m sure you’ll have seen many of the films on there with them already over the years, but there are some gems on it that will bring back memories and joy – I’m looking forward to watching Escape to Witch Mountain, Adventures in Baby Sitting and the Herbie movies. 

But for now, I know my kids like Eddie Murphy (I can’t wait to show them his seminal stand-up Delirious one day, one day…) but I think his Dr Dolittle (1998) movie was great fun and given there was a new Doolittle out recently, the name should be brand recognised by them and pique their interest…

Isle of Dogs (2018) PG – I guess there had to be one Wes Anderson in a festival and even though I sometimes feel I’ve reached peak Wes and I’ve had enough of his wry deadpan wit, he’ll then come up with something lovely, like Isle of Dogs. I could have also picked Moonrise Kingdom, which i think has a lot of heart and kids will relate to, Isle of Dogs feels the one to me – set during an outbreak of canine flu, so…

All the dogs are banished to a Japanese island, to be isolated. Then a kid turns up looking for his pet. A great voice cast and some beautifully detailed animation work make this rather adorable. The kids loved his Fantastic Mr Fox, so might be happy to try another from Wes…

It’s on Sky Store, or Amazon, or Chili.

Black and Blue (2019) (15) – We haven’t really had a proper thriller in the selection yet and this is one just available on streaming and which I”m sure very few of you would have seen at the cinema. It stars Naomie Harris as a rookie cop returning to her childhood neighbourhood and getting mixed up with corruption. I do love a corrupt cop movie and I like a racially conscious film, so this is perfect blend. It’s not a perfect movie, but very enjoyable and tense and it’s always a pleasure to watch Naomie pushing herself and growing as a leading lady. Entertainment with intent and content.

Amazon

Midnight Screening: The Wild Goose Lake  (2019) (15) – Set in Wuhan, would you believe, this is a superbly atmospheric Chinese noir, with great chase scenes and lots of mood. It’s a real examination of greed and the hunger of capitalism, set amid a world of gangsters and prostitutes, where a man on the run just needs a place to hide.

It’s by Dia Yinan, whose previous Black Coal Thin Ice is one of my favourite Chinese movies of the century, and I saw this at Cannes last year and was wowed again. Very different to his coal-mining parable, I absolutely loved it. It’s one to let flow over you, to relish the journey and the images and set-piece scenes – don’t worry if you can’t quite work out what’s going, or who’s doing what to whom, or why? It’s now turned up exclusively on the very classy MUBI site, who are offering a great introductory deal of three months for £1 – they’ve got a lot of excellent arthouse-style stuff, it’s well-curated,  and it’s well worth it even just for this film, which – HURRY – you’ve only got two more days to watch…

Mubi