Jamie Neish: February proves film dumping ground

Eddie Redmayne Pic: PA
Eddie Redmayne Pic: PA
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FOR the first time in I don’t know how many years, I’d convinced myself the start of 2015 was not a cinematic dumping ground.

Last month I saw some wonderful films, from Into The Woods and Whiplash, to Ex Machina and Birdman. I’d even seen one or two early February releases that delighted me too.

It all went belly up last week when I sat through Kingsman: The Secret Service, and again, yesterday, when I was treated, or perhaps subjected is a better word, to an advanced screening of Jupiter Ascending.

Both films, reminders that January and February are the perfect time for Hollywood to ‘dump’ the films they have little belief in, hopeing they might just make back a fraction of their production costs.

It’s understandable. With movie lovers knee-deep in the awards season, most films out there are serious dramas with little in the way of escapism. Studios clearly hope counter-programming can work for even the worst of films.

The truth is, audiences should never be shortchanged. Ever. Especially when so much money and talent is in play.

Jupiter Ascending, for instance, comes from the Wachowskis, the duo responsible for The Matrix. Sadly their latest film presents none of the flair displayed 15 years ago. Instead we get a convoluted mess of overdone CGI, hammy acting and ridiculous narrative threads, despite the presence of Eddie Redmayne, pictured.

Kingsman isn’t much better, with Matthew Vaughn delivering a Bond spoof that overcompensates for a dull plot and cheesy sensibility with hyper violence and slick visuals.

It’s about time studios resisted ploughing millions into dead-end concepts instead of just releasing them early in the year and hoping for the best.

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