Life and romance plays out like a series of videogame challenges by way of a comic book fantasy in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal), which I review at MSN. It’s based on a series of graphic novels and director Edgar Wright, whose love of popular culture bounces through his films and TV projects with creative abandon, celebrates the graphic qualities of the comic book origins in a playfully cinematic manner. Also new is Neil Marshall’s Romans-versus-Barbarians warrior epic Centurion (Magnolia), a survival thriller of a lost Roman legion in 2nd Century Britain that I reviewed as part of my SIFF coverage here, and Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (Criterion), which I review on my blog here.
The Battle Of The River Plate (aka The Pursuit of the Graf Spee) (Hen’s Tooth) – The penultimate collaboration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the filmmaking team known as The Archers, is a World War II military drama with an unusual approach. The British campaign to stop German pocket battleship Graf Spee, a fast, well-armed ship wreaking havoc on British transports in the South Atlantic, was the first major British victory of the war. The Archers frame the conflict as a battle of wits between two brilliant naval minds (Peter Finch commanding the Graf Spee, Anthony Quayle conducting the British ships).