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Alex B Cann at the movies: Tetris, The End We Start From, American Fiction ...

A trio of film treats this week/ Tetris (Apple TV) boasts a fantastic cast, including Toby Jones, Taron Egerton and Sofya Lebedeva, and tells the extraordinary true story of the 8-bit computer game that took the world by storm.

Stick with it, and you'll be rewarded with a fascinating story brimming with twists and turns from behind the Iron Curtain. I had no idea of the game's Russian origins, and Roger Allam as Mirror tycoon Robert Maxwell was a definite highlight. In fact, it's made me feel like finding a second hand Gameboy and brushing up on my Tetris skills!

The same can be said for the peerless Jodie Comer, as The End We Start From hits cinema screens. The dialogue is sparse, the cinematography bleak, and maybe a few scenes could have been edited down a bit, but Comer's multi-layered central performance is perfect as a new mum negotiating her way through the end of the world. London is underwater, looting is rife, and there are plenty of twists and turns for Comer's character as she tries to survive with her newborn. Even where the script is a little lightweight, this remains a gripping and all too believable watch. I'd be rubbish if the world ended. I couldn't survive without my creature comforts for longer than half a day.  I certainly can't imagine living in a forest or skinning a rabbit on a camp fire to stay alive. Look out for an excellent Benedict Cumberbatch appearance too.

And finally this week, American Fiction is released next week, and it's intelligent, witty, and poignant all at the same time. I saw it at a Cineworld Secret Screening, and curiously noted that a few people walked out as the film's opening titles appeared. I found this odd. Surely it's a bit like buying a book and not even reading the opening few chapters before making the decision to donate it to your local library. Or ordering a pizza and not even taking a bite. Nowt so strange as some folk.

Anyway, the directorial debut by Cord Jefferson is a triumph, and sees Jeffrey Wright play Monk, a frustrated but gifted novelist who decides to write a 'gangster' novel with an offensive title, which deliberately panders to racial stereotypes. The only problem is that a publishing house offers him silly money to publish it under the fake name he's used, and it sells way more than anything else he's ever written. Whilst all this is going on, he's also falling in love, sorting out care for his mum after her dementia diagnosis, and dealing with the loss of his sister. It's all going on for Monk!

Oodles of laugh out loud moments, clever social commentary, and characters you'll care about, plus a good dollop of biting satire. A definite hit in my book, and I hope it finds its audience.

Next week, I'll be taking a look at the new Mean Girls musical, plus Dear England from NT Live, Poor Things, and The Holdovers. Happy film watching!

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