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Alex Cann's Weekly Film Blog - 9th April

The first of two films based on that Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew hit Netfllix this week, and Scoop was a five star treat in my book. Based on three chapters of a book by producer Sam McAlister, who arranged te interview at Buckingham Palace and has since said it was "hard to keep a poker face" while he was speakin

Played brilliantly by Billie Piper, we see how the interview came about, and ultimately led to Andrew being stood down from royal duties as a result, even though he thought at the time that it had all gone spiffingly well. Emily Maitlis is played by Gillian Anderson, with a hint of Margaret Thatcher but personifying the presenter really effectively, I thought. Some BBC journalists have pointed out that they are not in fact routinely allowed to bring their dogs routinely into the office, as we see Moody scampering around during many scenes. The interview was pure TV gold, and absolutely jaw-dropping back in late 2019, and it was quite shocking to relive it and realise just had cringey it all was.

Rufus Sewell's transformation into Prince Andrew is nothing short of remarkable, and the scene towards the end in the bath is almost as disturbing as the one in Saltburn (but not quite). It will certainly go down in TV history, and I wouldn't mind reading the book it's based on, Scoops. Well worth your time. Anyone for a Pizza Express?

A trio of cinema offerings to mention this week, too. The First Omen was certainly not in One Born Every Minute territory when it came to the birth scenes, and viewers of a sensitive disposition may struggle with the gore. I was actually quite surprised it only has a '15' certificate, as its promise of 'strong horror' was certainly fulfilled in this origin story of how Damien came to be born. Bill Nighy is always worth watching, and there are genuinely creepy moments galore. A very strong offering.

Kung Fu Panda 4 was, I think, the first of them that I've seen, but I enjoyed its silliness. It's not world-changing, but there's some strong voice talent, and the story seemed to keep the kids in the screening I attended entertained, which is surely the main point. Viola Davies as Chameleon is a real highlight, there are some genuinely funny gags, and I guess my only criticism would be it's about 20 minutes longer than necessary.

And Seize Them! was rescued from mediocrity by some very funny Nick Frost lines. It's a historical romp not really up there with Blackadder or Monty Python, but an amusing diversion for 90 minutes, as Queen Dagan is toppled by a revolution during the Dark Ages and has to fight to regain her throne. It's enjoyably sweary, but you won't remember that much about it once you've left the cinema. Not one to rush to, but worth catching once it hits streaming services.

Next week, Back To Black and Civil War.

More from Alex Cann's Weekly Film Blog

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  • Alex Cann's Weekly Film Blog - 26th March

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