KATE MUIR: Mary Shelley is Jane Austen with sex, drugs and poetry

Mary Shelley (12A)

Verdict: Gothic romance


Mary Shelley tells the story of the creation of Frankenstein's monster, through the eyes of the teen author of the book.

If you've ever wondered how an 18-year-old girl had such a powerful and terrifying idea that still resonates two centuries later, this movie is your answer.

Elle Fanning plays the lead role and Douglas Booth plays his lover, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. His wild and unbridled love story provided the emotional and intellectual education (and harm) that resulted in the sensational Frankenstein.

Fanning is phenomenal, rosy-cheeked and full of intellectual hunger. That hunger becomes sexual when Mary, 16, meets Percy, 21, on a trip to Scotland. Shortly after, she has the pink eyes of opium and wine, and leads her down the romantic Gothic path towards social ruin.

Poetic love: Douglas Booth as Percy Bysshe Shelley and Elle Fanning as Mary Shelley

Mary's stepmother, played by Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey, is against the relationship, but her father William Godwin (Stephen Dillane) welcomes Percy into his literary room.

The two young men believe in free love, just as Maria's mother did. She was the early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Percy and Mary have their first date in their grave in the movie.

But when Mary becomes pregnant at age 17, and the baby dies, the dream of free life becomes a nightmare. Percy, it turns out he has a wife and a son. The situation is not helped by Claire Clairmont, Mary's stepsister (Bel Powley), who establishes what appears to be a ménage à trois with the couple.

Claire introduces Percy to the (famous) poet Lord Byron, and the party really begins. The girls escape to Europe with Percy and go to Villa Diodati for Lake Leman, where Byron is in court.

He is played by Tom Sturridge, more histrionic than Byronic, with eyeliner ties. Meanwhile, Percy looks like Pete Doherty of the Libertines on a difficult morning, with his hair on the bed and speaks with his words dragging.

After drinking a lot of claret and taking drugs, the scene reeks of a psychedelic night at a music festival. After all, romantic poets were the rock stars of their time. What is surprising here, given the seriousness of his literary work, is that they are all very young. And silly.

But unconventional life created unconventional fiction, and during that stay in Switzerland, Byron's suggestion of a story contest between them resulted in the germ of Frankenstein's idea.

In the film, Mary will see a scientific demonstration of "galvanism," the use of electricity to revive the muscles of a dead frog and the results of inspiration. The idea of ​​a monstrous creature that resorts to violence after being abused and neglected may have come from its own trials and tribulations.

Mary Shelley is directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the woman who made Wadjda, the first Saudi-directed film by a woman, about a girl who wants to buy a bicycle.

The themes of liberation and repression unite the two dramas, and Al-Mansour seems freed from that English rigidity that often percolates our costume drama. Like a movie, Mary Shelley is not perfect, and the budget is small, but when you think that Frankenstein came out only five years after Pride and Prejudice, this takes differently at that time is fascinating.

It's Jane Austen with sex, drugs and poetry. What's not to like?

Swimming with men (12A)

Verdict: Wet middle-aged comedy


The stars of Swimming With Men Rob Brydon and a synchronized men's swimming team in a mid-life crisis.

There is an assumption that men who point with their toes and surround the Busby Berkeley style in formation on the water will be absolutely fun, but often the film ends up treading water. Still, comedian Brydon earns our sympathy as Eric, a bored accountant with a weak marriage and a growing and inexplicable sense of panic about his suburban life.

His wife Heather is played by the cheerful but long-suffering Jane Horrocks. She has just become a local councilor, and her teenage son leads her own life.

Only when Eric is swimming in the local pool does he feel some calm.

When Heather gets involved in her new job, and it seems that with a new and stupid colleague, Eric goes stupid and runs to a hotel. But it continues to swim in the evenings, and ends up advising geekily the synchronized male swimmers about the mathematical imbalance in their formations.

Eric is recruited for the team, and finds the lost camaraderie and purpose in his life.

Swimming with men starring Rob Brydon, Adeel Akhtar, Jim Carter, Rupert Graves, Daniel Mays and Thomas Turgoose, a synchronized swimming team in a mid-life crisis

Swimming with men starring Rob Brydon, Adeel Akhtar, Jim Carter, Rupert Graves, Daniel Mays and Thomas Turgoose, a synchronized swimming team in a mid-life crisis

Swimming with men starring Rob Brydon, Adeel Akhtar, Jim Carter, Rupert Graves, Daniel Mays and Thomas Turgoose, a synchronized swimming team in a mid-life crisis

The aqua-lads of south London include Daniel Mays, Rupert Graves, Adeel Akhtar and Thomas Turgoose, as well as Jim Carter (somehow it's wrong to see Carson of Downton in his swimmers). Charlotte Riley is her coach.

Each man has his own burden: divorce, criminal career, difficult companion, but the constitution of the swimming team insists on everything that remains at home, and is given full concentration to make deadly leaps, frog kicks, synchronized and elegant dives body alignment

It seems that the actors are really making their moves, so the points and rewards for that.

Oliver Parker, who was behind the new flaccid version of Dad & # 39; s Army, is the director. Despite the Speedos, Swimming With Men is not exactly The Full Monty, as it lacks political resonance and outrageous fun.

The inspiration for this latest story came from the documentary Men Who Swim, about the Swedish men's synchronized swimming team, and the Swedes interpret themselves when the film goes to the world championships in Milan.

The original team was called Stockholm Art Swim Gents and was formed "as a protest against the nonsense of life".

The English version is more common, but radical in its way, with a celebration of love handles for men, big bellies and even furry backs.

As it says in the constitution of the swimming club, "what happens in the pool remains in the pool".

Why the world will always love you, Whitney

Whitney (15)

Verdict: revealing documentary


The voice of Whitney Houston in full skin, singing "I'll always love you", the theme of The Bodyguard, leaves your spine and soul with a tingling, but the film also contains chilling revelations about child abuse.

This demanding and detailed documentary, made with the cooperation of the Houston family, has appeared in the news after interviews with her siblings and caregivers revealed that, as a child, she had been sexually assaulted while in the care of her older cousin, Dee. Dee Warwick, sister of the singer Dionne.

Whitney never spoke about the abuse, and she herself tragically died, at age 48, in a bathtub in a hotel room in 2012.

But the revelations may go a long way in explaining Houston's struggle with drugs and addiction in later life, despite a brilliant career that sold 170 million albums.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, the story of Whitney's rise and fall in celebrity brilliance parallels the recent documentary Amy, about the late Amy Winehouse, and also uses fragments of intimate home video to add to the footage.

Whitney Houston (pictured) died tragically, at age 48, in a bathtub in a hotel room in 2012

Whitney Houston (pictured) died tragically, at age 48, in a bathtub in a hotel room in 2012

Whitney Houston (pictured) died tragically, at age 48, in a bathtub in a hotel room in 2012

Both singers also suffered at the hands of a controlling parent, and both failed to complete rehabilitation.

But the sadness is tempered by Whitney's electric performances, including the national anthem in the Superbowl, and an exciting concert before Nelson Mandela in the newly liberated South Africa.

In addition, there are excellent shots of fashions and hairstyles over-the-top of the eighties and nineties. The film also focuses on Whitney's long lesbian relationship with her manager and best friend Robyn Crawford, who was never publicly recognized by the singer.

Clearly, no one, in less enlightened times, wanted to talk about anything that could affect the battle machine, particularly with Whitney's Christian Gospel Choir fund. Whitney's mother, Cissy, 85, interviewed at New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey, where her daughter sang for the first time, makes no comment about the allegations.

Meanwhile, Whitney's ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, refuses to talk about his drug use.

Refusals to speak add to a disturbing image of celebrity isolation. The movie makes you aware of how much was lost.

Massive shootings like reality shows … who would believe it?

The first purge (15)

Verdict: urban terror thriller


This fourth film of the horror and suspense series The Purge must have the words "inspired by real events" after the title. The Purge is fictional: a night in which Americans can kill each other without judicial consequences, but many scenes here seem eerily like images of recent news.

Armed attacks against African-American churches by white men in Ku Klux Klan hoods reflect the shooting of the Church of Charleston by an Aryan supremacist, and the opening montage shows the United States in crisis, with rising unemployment, a subprime mortgage crisis and Black Lives Matter banners carried by the protesting crowds.

The solution, according to the fictional president of the New Founding Fathers of America, is to allow citizens a night of mass vengeance. The test terrain will be Staten Island, New York.

And ¿Noel Noel makes a number Die Hard, all the muscles in a vest, like a gangster turned into a hero

And ¿Noel Noel makes a number Die Hard, all the muscles in a vest, like a gangster turned into a hero

And # Noel Noel makes a number Die Hard, all the muscles in a vest, like a gangster turned into a hero

The First Purge is a prequel to the blood-spattered series, which usually features furious people dressed as Halloween who besiege their neighbors or shoot their enemies in a night of government-authorized chaos.

This time, wealthy citizens leave Staten Island for safety, but the black and Hispanic community stays, thanks to a $ 5,000 offer from the life-changing government, which wants to prove that the experiment will be psychologically cathartic.

The entire "show" is filmed for social networks by drones, security cameras and camera contact lenses that are used by citizens who have plans for crime and carnage.

From the stars, Y 'Noel Lan makes a Die Hard number, all the muscles in a vest, like a gangster turned hero, and Lex Scott Davis is his ex-girlfriend. Her brother is Joivan Wade, and Marisa Tomei is the psychologist in charge of the condemned experiment.

The action is competently supervised by African-American director Gerard McMurray, and like Black Panther, this new take makes an old story really resonant.

Coogan in a camp continues

Ideal Home (15)

Verdict: Never work with children


He hoped that Ideal Home was a glorious game in the world of interior design, but instead turns out to be a gay parenting comedy starring Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd.

"We can not have children," says Rudd's character. & # 39; We are children & # 39;

Coogan, who plays the flamboyant Erasmus television chef Brumble and Rudd, who plays his bearded companion Paul, suddenly lands with a ten-year-old boy.

The boy (Jack Gore) is the grandson distanced from Brumble.

Will the couple give up their life of drinking, drugs and decadence in the elegant city of Santa Fe to provide a decent home?

Or will the kid fit into a world where these adult men rarely get up before noon, and then resolutely hungover?

Ideal Home is a gay parenting comedy starring Steve Coogan (left) and Paul Rudd (right)

Ideal Home is a gay parenting comedy starring Steve Coogan (left) and Paul Rudd (right)

Ideal Home is a gay parenting comedy starring Steve Coogan (left) and Paul Rudd (right)

Without leaving any cliché of unexplored camping, the film tries not to jump between the English comedy of Carry On-style and the warm and confused American emotion.

The boy eclipses the adults in each scene and orders Taco Bell take-away food from the famous chef. Paul refers to him as "that child of The Shining".

There is some laughter, but Ideal Home feels embarrassingly old-fashioned with its homosexual jokes and the assumption that it is a big business for men to be parents.

This seems to be the inappropriate man-child film season, from last week's Tag to Swimming With Men label, and it's a genre that looks pretty thin.

Strictly out of control

Terminal (15)

Verdict: thriller thriller


The World Cup provides perfect coverage when you want to shoot a bad movie. The visits to the cinema have diminished, reason why few will see Terminal, a very bad film for next year in Turkey.

This black thriller stars the talented Margot Robbie, Oscar-nominated Yo, Tonya, who plays a lovely waitress, a pole dancer and a Hitchcock-style vamp in what might seem like a bad case of multiple personality disorder.

But it turns out that she is a manipulative killing machine.

Located in an English city of neon and lawless at an unspecified time before mobile phones, the film was actually filmed at a low price in Budapest. The games are like cardboard cutouts.

The plot is sub-Quentin Tarantino, and the simplified script disappoints everyone.

The cast includes Simon Pegg as a man in his last legs, Mike Myers as a cleaner, and Max Irons and Dexter Fletcher as clumsy gangsters.

The main mystery here is how so many smart actors ended up in this bad smell.