Soulboy (certificate 15)
New release Soulboy is a good fun film based around the English Northern soul scene of the 1970s. It has a great 60s soul soundtrack and some excellent dancing. The plot is basically a typical coming-of-age romance story, but the believable acting, interesting backdrops and sub-plots maintain interest. The ending lets the film down slightly, being predictable and rather cheesy, but over all this is an enjoyable film and worth seeing - especially if you have an interest in 60s soul, 70s England or the Northern soul scene.
Soulboy is showing at the Empire Cinema Leicester Square until Thursday 23rd September
5-6 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NA
Metropolis - restored and reconstructed (certificate PG)
Fritz Lang's much-lauded 1920s film Metropolis is currently showing in a restored and reconstructed version - the longest since its first release. Visually, this film is as impressive today as it must have been in the 1920s. The design, filming, special effects and scenery are generally breathtaking. Most of this can be admired early on however, and at around two and half hours in length, Metropolis is hard work and feels rather too long. Much of the acting has dated badly too and borders on the ridiculous at times. What redeems it however, is Brigitte Helm's astounding performance as the Maschinenmensch (machine-human). The film is well worth sitting through just to see Helm take on this exciting and erotic role toward the end of the story. Although the soundtrack has its moments, it does not always complement the action and becomes tedious after a while. It has too little variation, coming back for example to a reptitive Marseillaise-esque theme later in the film. It is definitely worth seeing Metropolis on the big screen though and marvelling at its visual impact that easily puts many of today's films to shame.
Metropolis is showing at the ICA until Thursday 30th September
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH