This week’s movie releases
Pen-and-paper game 'Battleship' becomes a blockbuster
Two generations of journalists collide in 'Madrid, 1987'
Battleship is a big, special-effects-heavy blockbuster based on the ark-old pen-and-paper guessing game later marketed by the Milton Bradley Company (MB). Realizing that their starting point of a bunch of pegs on a plastic grid wouldn’t get them very far, the makers, including MB owner Hasbro, have concocted a story about a US naval fleet facing down an alien invasion on the high seas. Looking to score a few hits against the extra-terrestrials are John Carter star Taylor Kitsch as a naval weapons officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; pop star Rihanna making her acting debut as his crew mate; and Liam Neeson as Vice Admiral Shane, commander of the fleet and father of Kitsch’s squeeze (Brooklyn Decker).
Madrid, 1987 engineers a generational confrontation between a revered newspaper columnist (José Sacristan) and a young journalism student (María Valverde), as the two find themselves trapped together in a public baths on a scorching hot day in July 1987. Writer and filmmaker David Trueba — brother of Chico & Rita’s Fernando — directs.
Arriving in the run-up to the French general elections later this month, The Conquest (La Conquête) charts President Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year rise to power and the parallel breakup of his second marriage. Touted by some as France’s The Iron Lady, Xavier Durringer’s film stars Denis Podalydès as the diminutive Gallic leader.