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UK Cinema Releases: Friday 16th January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 16-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Seven Pounds (Sony Pictures): Will Smith stars in this drama about an IRS agent who tries to change the lives of seven people. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, who worked with Smith on The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006, it is a fable-like story that won’t be to everyone’s taste. However, in its way it does work and Smith and Rosario Dawson give good performances in the lead roles. Some of the supporting characters don’t fully click but this is much better than some of the US reviews would have you believe. Although Smith’s status as the biggest movie star in the world still holds, it didn’t help the US gross, which was below par for his usual standards. That said it should expect to do decent business over here, especially as it will have a wider opening than the other national releases. [Cert 12A / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]

The Wrestler (Optimum Releasing): Since making waves and winning awards at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, this proved a glorious comeback for Mickey Rourke. He plays  an ageing wrestler – Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson – who struggles to make ends meet doing shows on the weekends in New Jersey. The story follows him as he works in a deli, strikes up a relationship with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and seeks a reconciliation with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). It marks a departure of sorts for director Darren Aronofsky, with none of the stylistic flourishes of his earlier work. However, it has a refreshing down-to-earth quality and in Rourke contains one of the performances of the year. Rourke won a Golden Globe earlier this week and is a (un)likely Oscar contender. Given the popularity of wrestling here and the buzz over the film this could do excellent business for Optimum. [Cert 15 / Nationwide]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Walt Disney): The tale of a Chihuahua who gets dognapped in Mexico and has to escape from an evil Doberman did surprisngly brisk business at the US box office and could ensnare family audiences over here. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis and features the voice of Drew Barrymore as the chihuahua. Depressingly decent box office could await. [Cert U / Odeon Mezzanine & Nationwide]

My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Lionsgate UK): A 3-D remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher film of the same name. The lack of big names and awareness might hamper its prospects but horror in January can do well. [Cert 18 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

A Christmas Tale (New Wave Films): The latest film from director Arnaud Desplechin, who made Kings and Queenin 2004,  is a drama about a dysfunctional family who gather together for the first time in years after a tragedy and stars Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric. It got solid reviews when it premiered in Cannes and is likely to do decent arthouse business here. [Cert 15 / Apollo Picc Circus, Cine Lumiere, Odeon Covent Garden, Renoir & Key Cities]

Boogie (Dogwoof Pictures): Three Romanian thirty-somethings relive their college days for one night. Directed by Radu Muntean it stars Dragos Bucur and Anamaria Marinca. [Renoir & Key Cities]

Chandni Chowk To China (Warner Bros.):  A Bollywood action-comedy about a simple cook from Chandni Chowk who is mistaken for the reincarnation of an ancient peasant warrior Liu Shengh by residents of an oppressed Chinese village. Directed by Nikhil Advani it stars Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles. [Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Nationwide]

Clubbed (Route One Rel.): An underworld drama set in the early 1980s, about a lonely factory worker whose life is transformed when he becomes a nightclub doorman. [Cert 18 / Apollo Picc. Circus, Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities]

Hansel & Gretel (Terracotta Distribution):  A South Korean horror film loosely based on the fairytale, which sees a salesman (Chun Jeong-myeong) crash his car and wakes up to find an angelic little girl standing over him. When he goes back to her house in the woods things take a sinister turn.  [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

Notorious (bfi Distribution): Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic 1946 thriller which stars Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman as two people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation. [BFI Southbank & Key Cities]

UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
Check out our latest DVD picks (Monday 12th January)

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