It will be a strange experience for many people going back to cinemas after being so long out of them. I don’t think I ever spent 16 days outside a cinema as an adult, let alone 16 months. Little did any of us know in February 2020 that this would be our lot.
Having said that, sequestering had its own charms “far from the madding crowd”. How strange, though, that one is confronted not with cacophony in the return to cinemas but a film that’s more like a throwback to the silent era.
A Quiet Place Part II takes up where its predecessor ended. A Quiet Place had the farm of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt being attacked by aliens. Their two teenage children have shot up in height between the two films. To preserve the illusion of Blunt being bigger than them she had to stand on a box for some of the scenes.
Another aspect of the film that’s like a throwback to the past is the nature of the aliens. Krasinski – who also directs – isn’t interested in Steven Spielberg’s cuddly extra-terrestrials. No, these are more akin to the horrific creatures I grew up watching as a child.
You’ll probably remember from the original that they’re visually challenged and hunt by sound. They were driven crazy in that film when Blunt’s daughter held a hearing aid up to a microphone and created a deafening noise.
A Quiet Place was made for $17 million and netted $340 million. Nobody was surprised that the makers wanted to go back to the well. Or rather the farm. Who’s to say this one doesn’t do as well?
Land is another film featuring the director in a starring role. Here it’s a woman, Robin Wright, in her first time behind the camera. Like A Quiet Place it’s an appropriate post-Covid film as it deals with survival in a primal environment without creature comforts.
Wright plays a bereaved woman trying to deal with her loss by removing herself from everything she knows. Driving off to a remote part of Wyoming she rents a cabin, throws away her phone and prepares for a life without any trappings.
But this tenderfoot hasn’t bargained on hypothermia, or bears, or the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to in the wilds. Help comes in the form of a man carrying a similar psychological burden, Damien Bichir.
Never Give In (Amazon Prime) is a documentary about the indefatigable Alex Ferguson, the former manager of Manchester United. Sir Alex never seemed to know how to lose matches. His team won many in what came to be known as ‘Fergie time’ (i.e. after the allotted ninety minutes).
United plc has tried every kind of successor to him, most of them over-paid. None has reprised his magic. The present film, directed by his son Jason, follows his life from a rough childhood in Glasgow to a brain haemorrhage he suffered in 2018. He beat that too.