Movie review: Bill & Ted Face the Music (PG) ★★★
Who knew that in 2020 we'd need a dose of silliness from Bill & Ted to help us get through a pandemic?
After all, it's been almost 30 years since the last Bill & Ted movie, Bogus Journey, was released, and our hapless students are now ensconced firmly in middle age.
It's as light and as slight as they come, but there's a spirited silliness to this movie that makes it hard not to like in these torrid times.
And if, like many, you enjoyed the original two films, this one's for you. It's now in cinemas.
The premise is as daft as you'd expect. Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have just 77 minutes to write a Preston Logan (the duo's surnames) song that will unite the world and save reality as we know it. It's an opportunity to save humanity and also to get the Wyld Stallyns, the rock band they've been trying to make a success for decades, a hit at last. But this duo have never been the most motivated or focused.
Fearful of the deadline, they instead decide to travel through time via a phone kiosk to various futures, in a bid to find the timeline where they have written the song and had a successful outcome.
But Bill & Ted are now middle-aged dads, although to the dismay of their wives they still do everything together, even marriage counselling. Their teenage daughters Billie (Brigette Payne) and Thea (Samara Weaving), who bear a comical and uncanny resemblance to their dads, go hopping through the past to find a band who can write the hit song. Along the way they meet everyone from Mozart to Jimi Hendrix.
These female characters prove an inspired addition to the series and have a hoot with the film's zany concept.
There's always been a simplicity to the Bill & Ted movies, an unknowing sense of humour that is refreshingly naive and not ironic. They're arguably among the least cynical films that have been released in the Hollywood studio system.
That's not to take away from the comic timing of its cast or the amusing lines from its writing team.
Reeves and Winter know this, and are delightful together as the goofy duo.
There's not an awful lot going on here, but for fans that's the whole point.
Actress Jessie Buckley is set to be honoured at next month's Kerry International Film Festival. She'll receive the annual Maureen O'Hara award.
Thandie Newton is set to join Chris Pine in spy thriller All the Old Knives. The movie will start shooting next year.
The Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter.
The Story: Bill & Ted travel through time to save the world.
The Verdict: Slight but hugely likeable
Irish star shines light in the dark
Nocturnal (15A) ★★★
British actor Cosmo Jarvis recently impressed in the west of Ireland-set crime thriller Calm With Horses and here he shines in another dark but very different drama.
He's matched scene for scene with young Irish actress Lauren Coe, excellent here as a wayward teenager in the drama set in the UK.
It's now in cinemas and on various rental platforms to watch from home.
Coe plays Laurie, a teenager who has relocated to England with her British mum, and is struggling to fit in and experiencing jibes and bullying from her classmates.
When she spots a fellow loner watching her from afar, she is concerned and also intrigued.
Pete (Jarvis) is a painter and decorator who lives in a run-down flat in the seaside town to which the mother and daughter have relocated.
Laurie confronts him for his creepy ways but the two hit it off and start spending time together, developing a friendship and drinking together, to the grave concern of her mother (Frost).
It's a connection that risks upending both of their lives.
The movie is the first feature from Irish-based filmmaker Nathalie Biancheri, who is currently making her second film with George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp in Dublin.
It's a promising debut from her, a tense, well-acted drama, though for me personally, it showed its hand a little too early.
It's a soulful tale, filmed largely at nighttime, with Jarvis giving a fine performance as a repressed man who doesn't know how to express himself.
The Stars: Cosmo Jarvis, Lauren Coe, Sadie Frost.
The Story: An older man forms a connection with a teenage schoolgirl.
The Verdict: A fine directorial debut.
Gang’s hits on Misses
Misbehaviour (12) ★★★ on rental platforms
It might seem twee now, but in the 1970s Miss World was one of the biggest television events on the planet. The beauty contest drew massive ratings and media attention and was a widely viewed family event.
But the tide was turning. The show may have drawn the star power of Bob Hope as the interval guest, but the pageant was coming under attack both for its tendency to field white women as candidates for South Africa, and a rising rebel tide of feminists who had had enough.
Rather than trying to be a timely post 'me too' moment - though of course it resonates - the film is of its time.
It tells two very different stories from different viewpoints. One is that of Miss Grenada aka Jennifer Hosten, who blazed a trail by becoming the first-ever black woman to win Miss World amid a period of social and historical change.
The other is of the London feminists and agitators who took on the system, including Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley) and Jo Robinson (Jessie Buckley), two very different women who set up an audacious sting to rebel against the pageant during their live TV broadcast.
Dressing up to blend in with the high-end audience, a group of them bought tickets and got into the venue, causing disruption on live TV and throwing flour bombs at organisers and Hope. They included owner Eric Morley (Rhys Ifans) who had turned the pageant into quite the cash cow.
The film is entertaining and lively, even if tonally it doesn't know whether it wants to be a light-hearted farce or something more dramatic.