Couples Retreat (Universal): A comedy centered around four couples (including Vince Vaughn, Mailn Akerman, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davies and Kristen Bell) who go to a tropical-island resort on holiday. One of the couples is there to work on the marriage, whilst the others don’t realize that participation in the resort’s therapy sessions is not optional.
Directed by Peter Billingsley, it has got brutal reviews in the US despite the fact that Universal flew out a load of journalists to Bora Bora for the US press junket. Result? Decent opening weekend box office. It will do decent business here too, especially as Universal opened it early on Wednesday hoping to ensnare gullible couples over the weekend. [Vue West End & Nationwide / 15]
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus (Lionsgate UK): The latest film from Terry Gilliam is the fantastical story, set in the present day, of a traveling theatre troupe including a sleight of hand expert, Anton (Andrew Garfield), and a dwarf, Percy (Verne Troyer) that offers audience members a chance to go beyond reality through a magical mirror.
Best known for being Heath Ledger’s last film (he died during the production in January 2008) his role has been filled out by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Mixed reviews might temper the interest and ultimate box office. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 12A]
Triangle (Icon): A horror film which revolves around a group of passengers on a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas.
Directed by Christopher Smith, it stars Melissa George, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Liam Hemsworth. [Nationwide / 15]
IN LIMITED RELEASE
Thirst (Metrodome): Drama about a failed medical experiment turns a man of faith into a vampire. Directed by Chan-wook Park, who made Old Boy in 2004. [Curzon Soho, Gate, Ritzy, Screen On The Green & Selected Key Cities / 18]
Pontypool (Kaleidoscope Entertainment): A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town. Directed by Bruce McDonald. [Key Cities / 15]
Ong-Bak: The Beginning (Revolver Entertainment): A prequel to the original which explores how a young Thai boxer learns the skills and inner meaning of martial arts. [Nationwide / 15]
W.M.D. (Independent Digital): A political thriller focused on the falsification of evidence in the build-up to the Iraq War, which is being released ‘digitally’ (i.e. in not many cinemas). [Shortwave Cinema SE1]
> UK cinema releases for October 2009
> DVD & Blu-ray picks for this week including Coraline, Looking For Eric and Synecdoche, New York (W/C Monday 12th Ocotber 2009)