A big hit at the BFI London Film Festival last year, Elstree 1976 is a lovingly crafted ode to ten people who worked on a little movie called Star Wars, but who won’t necessarily be known to the wider public (well, Dave Prowse might argue about that). That none of them went on to find worldwide fame and fortune isn’t the point of Jon Spira’s documentary; rather it’s the communal joy that came out of working on a project that none of them could have known would have been so successful, and which has enriched their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined (even if it didn’t feel like it at the time).
The latest movie from the mercurial mind of Shane Black, The Nice Guys is the kind of uproarious mismatched buddy movie that only Black can put together. The teaming of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling looks inspired, and the Seventies setting looks so vivid it’s hard to believe it wasn’t filmed in 1978 and has been sitting on the shelf ever since. The plot concerns the apparent suicide of a fading porn star, but don’t be surprised if there are larger shenanigans afoot, along with lashings of stylised violence, visual gags galore, and whip-smart banter between the leads.
The latest chiller from producer James Wan, Lights Out takes writer/director David F. Sandberg’s short movie – just three minutes long – and expands it to feature length. Its tale of a supernatural entity stalking three generations of the same family may suffer from being extended from its original set up, but hopefully Sandberg has crafted a back story that will explain everything satisfactorily. Either way, expect plenty of scares, lots of spooky rooms for the scares to take place in, and an array of characters who keep turning the lights off when they know they really shouldn’t.