Director Ben Wheatley, who made a couple of weird films, A Field in England and the brilliant horror-comedy Sightseers, gets even weirder with his latest, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel about class warfare inside a high-rise building. Tom Hiddleston is Robert, a doctor who moves into the building to get a new start on life. He has an affair with the beautiful woman downstairs (Sienna Miller), makes himself some new friends, and even gets to know the building’s eccentric architect, Royal (Jeremy Irons). Things are going relatively well in the complex, save for a couple of control panels and elevators breaking, when an occupant falls to his death. That sets off a chain reaction where the tenants fall into an anarchic state. They rape, they pillage, and they paint their own apartments with no authority to do so. Wheatley’s movie has echoes of Gilliam and Kubrick, although he has an incredibly unique vision. Hiddleston is good in the lead, slowly falling into madness. There are times where the film doesn’t make much sense, but it’s always insane and somewhat enjoyable. Having lived in apartments most of my life, I’d say much of what happens in this complex is fairly accurate. (Available for rent on iTunes and Amazon.com during a limited theatrical release.)
3 KeanuAfter a few years on their TV show, the comedy duo Key and Peele come to the big screen with a lively kidnapped cat comedy boasting a high body count. Part John Wick and part Adventures in Babysitting, the film gives us Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Clarence and Rell, a couple of wimpy guys trying to get a beloved kitten back from some hardcore gangsters. In order to do so, they masquerade as Shark Tank and Tectonic, two badasses from Allentown who will end your life if you don’t give them their cat back. The title character is, of course, the cat, who has to be the cutest kitten anybody has ever put in a movie. Clad in a doo-rag and jewelry, the multiple cats recruited for the part make this film an absolute necessity for cat lovers, even if you hate Key and Peele. The felines steal every scene they’re in. The movie isn’t the most original piece of work this year. Fish-out-of-water scenarios are a dime a dozen, and much of the humor—Clarence’s obsession with George Michael, Rell’s trouble with women—is based on stuff we’ve seen before. That said, Key and Peele have a knack for taking familiar scenarios and playing them out to nutty, funny extremes.