Terminator Salvation (Sony Pictures): The fourth Terminator film tries to reboot the franchise with a story set in the apocalyptic future only glimpsed at in the first three films. Christian Bale stars as future Resistance leader John Connor, Sam Worthington plays a mysterious man named Marcus Wright and Anton Yelchin is a young Kyle Reese, the protagonist from the original 1984 film.
Set in 2018, it focuses on the war between humanity and Skynet and although the action sequences are mostly well done, all the stuff inbetween is pretty ropey (although to be fair Worthington’s role is better than you might think). Hiring McG as a director was a big mistake, as the basic premise of this new Terminator franchise could have been quite tasty in the hands of a skilled director (like James Cameron) but instead it is pretty formulaic stuff.
Sony have distribution rights for the UK and can expect a big opening weekend but bad word of mouth might affect the box office in the next week or two. The now infamous Christian Bale rant that surfaced earlier this year has probably been one of the most effective (if unintentional) viral ads ever. [London & Nationwide / Cert 12A]
Last Chance Harvey (Momentum Pictures): A romantic film starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson as two people who meet and fall in love in London. Written and directed by Joel Hopkins, it also stars Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Liane Balaban and Richard Schiff.
Momentum will be hoping to attract the older audience who aren’t going to see Terminator and given the OK reviews it got stateside, it might do respectable business. [Chelsea Cinema, Curzon Mayfair, Odeon West End & Nationwide / Cert 12A]
IN SELECTED CINEMAS
Sugar (Axiom Films): The second film from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck is the story of Miguel Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) nicknamed ‘Sugar’, a Dominican pitcher from San Pedro de Macorís, who tries to make it to the big leagues of US baseball. After their brilliant debut in 2006 with Half Nelson, the filmmakers here deserve a lot of credit for sticking to their artistic guns and not making a formulaic indie movie.
It wisely eschews the cliches of US sports movies and provides a rare and fascinating glimpse into the business of US sport, as well as being an absorbing immigrant story. Like Half Nelson it is well observed and free of any cheap sentiment. It premiered at Sundance in 2008 and although it did the festival circuit to some critical acclaim struggled to make an impact at the box office. Axiom will be hoping it does OK arthouse business on the back of very good reviews, which it deserves as it is the kind of US film that you rarely get to see these days. [Curzon Soho & Key Cities / Cert 15]
Anything For Her (Metrodome): A French thriller about a married couple (Diane Kruger and Vincent Lindon) whose life takes a turn for the worse whenone of them is arrested on murder charges. Metrodome will be hoping the same audiences who turned out for Tell No One in 2007 will be up for this. A US remake is already in the works and I’m guessing more people will revisit this film when that vversion is finally released. [Barbican, Cine Lumiere, C’World Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Key Cities/ Cert 15]
The Hide (ICA Cinema): A low budget film about two men who form a close bond after news of a police manhunt sets them both on edge. Directed by Marek Losey, it stars Alex MacQueen and Phil Campbell. [ICA Cinema]
Max Manus Man Of War (Revolver Entertainment): A Norwegian biopic about resistance fighter Max Manus, directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, it stars Aksel Hennie and Nicolai Cleve Broch. [Genesis Cinema Mile End / Cert 15]
Shadows In The Sun (Artificial Eye): Set in the late 1960s, this is the story of how a mysterious loner changes the lives of one family and helps them re-discover their deep affection for one another. Directed by David Rocksavage, it stars Jean Simmons, Jamie Dornan, Clemency Burton-Hill and James Wilby. [Curzon Mayfair, Renoir & selected Key Cities / Cert 12A]
Accident (bfi Distribution): A BFI re-issue for this 1967 film, directed by Joseph Losey and written by Harold Pinter, based on the novel by Nicholas Mosley. The story is about the complex relationships between an Oxford professor (Dirk Bogarde), one of his students and the young woman who captivates both of them. It was the second of three collaborations between Pinter and Losey, preceded by The Servant and followed by The Go-Between. [London & Key Cities / Cert 12A]
This Sporting Life (Park Circus): Another re-issue of a 1960s film based on a novel of the same name by David Storey about a rugby league player (Richard Harris) in Wakefield, Yorkshire whose romantic life is not as successful as his sporting life. Co-starring Rachel Roberts and Alan Badel, it was directed by Lindsay Anderson and was one of the last major films of the British New Wave. [ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities / Cert 12A]