Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 3rd October 2008


How To Lose Friends And Alienate People: Paramount will be expecting this adaptation of Toby Young‘s bestselling memoir about his time at Vanity Fair magazine in the 90s to bag the top spot. On the surface it has many things going for it: an impressive cast (Simon PeggKirsten DunstJeff BridgesDanny Huston, and Megan Fox); a timely appeal (although inspired by the craziness of 90s celebrity culture, things have actually got worse);a director from a great TV show (Robert B. Weide of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame) and it will appeal to male and female audiences. The problem it faces is that given all the elements in it’s favour, the finished film is not as funny or clever as it should have been, so word of mouth and critical buzz won’t be that good. Despite that, the appeal of Simon Pegg is a major plus point – if he can help a comedy like Run Fat Boy Run top the UK charts for a month then he might very well have a similar effect on this film. Added to that the rise of Megan Fox should give a similar bump to its US prospects. Anything outside the box office top two would have to be considered a major disappointment. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with Simon Pegg and Robert B Weide

Brideshead Revisited: Aimed squarely at lovers of period costume drama, this adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic 1945 novel of the same name. It faces a number of challenges, most notably in the looming ghost of the famous 1981 TV adaptation (screened on ITV, believe it or not). The other problem is one of costume fatigue, as this is just three weeks after Kiera Knightley swanned around country houses in The Duchess. Plus, Walt Disney will be concerned about it’s underwhelming performance at the US summer box office which practically killed it’s awards buzz and have dampened expectations here. But despite all this, it is actually rather good. By compressing the story of a young Englishman (Matthew Goode) who becomes involved with an aristocratic family, it not only covers all of the novel’s themes (the decline of the English aristocracy; faith and atheism; love and duty) but gives them a renewed power and urgency. The performances are all fine (especially Emma Thompson as the domineering matriarch) and the feel of the film is surprisingly contemporary despite the period setting. [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

Listen to our interview with Matthew Goode and Hayley Atwell * 

88 Minutes: Back in Cannes 2007 (that’s nearly 18 months ago) I walked past a poster for this Al Pacino thriller which said it would be opening there that week. So why, you may ask, is this film opening here just one 7 days after his misguided team up with fellow icon Robert De Niro (the lumbering cop thriller Righteous Kill). Well, the answer is that this is an another film produced by Avi Lerner – an expert (it seems) at getting big stars to sign up for genre films that are then sold off to gullible distributors around the world. This is just such a project, a hacky thriller about a forensic psychiatrist (Pacino) who gets a phone call informing him he has 88 minutes to live. Directed by Jon Avnet (who also made Righteous Kill) it represents a new low for Pacino with it’s laughable dialogue, terrible plotting and bizarre Cique-du-Soleil-esque climax. Warner Bros are the UK distributors will presumably be hoping that either undemanding thriller aficionados or unsuspecting Al Pacino fans will be the ones to witness this dreck. [Apollo West End & Nationwide / Cert 15]



The Fall: This remarkable visual feast from director Tarsem Singh originally screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 and finally makes it to the UK a full two years later. It is the story of a stuntman (Lee Pace) in the early days of Hollywood and the stories he tells to a little girl, which are then shown in fantasy sequences. Funded by Tarsem’s own work in commercials and a lot of favours from former colleagues, the locations for the film span the globe and although the story doesn’t always work, it really is worth seeing for the extraordinary images. Momentum will be hoping curious cineastes and more discerning audiences check it out on a cinema screen, which is where any true film fan should see it. [Curzon Soho, Ritzy, P’House Greenwich & selected Key Cities / Cert 15]

Fear(s) Of The Dark: Metrodome will be hoping for some art house action from this patchwork of tales using different black-and-white animation techniques tell several scary stories. They include: a story of a teenage boy who meets the wrong girl; a small community where people disappear and are never seen again; a little Japanese girl who suffers from horrible nightmares.  [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Fly Me To The Moon 3D: Aside from The Fall, Momentum will also be releasing this 3D family movie about three young houseflies stow away aboard the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. The synposis alone should tell you this isn’t going to be 2001: A Space Odyssey.  [Vue West End & Key Cities / Cert U]

Good Dick: The title of this one could mean all manner of things but is actually a comedy drama about a lonely introverted girl and a young video store clerk vying for her attention. The Works are releasing this in selected cinemas nationwide but the cinema run looks more like a dummy run for the DVD sales. [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities – Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow / Cert 15 ]

Heavy Load: A documentary charting a year in the life of the punk band, Heavy Load, whose members include some musicians with learning disabilities. Met Film/Miracle give it a limited run at the ICA in London [ICA Cinema – Previews 1st Oct / Cert 12A]

Import/Export: A grim but critically acclaimed drama about a nurse from the Ukraine who is searching for a better life in the West, while an unemployed security guard from Austria heads East for the same reason. Trinity Filmed Entertainment will be hoing for respectable for niche arthouse business. [ICA Cinema, Barbican Cinema & Select Key Cities / Cert 15]

Drona: An Indian film who’s central character is inspired by the character of Dronacharya from epic Mahabharata of Hindu mythology. Dronacharya is the guru or mentor of Kauravas and the Pandavas in the epic, and is well-known for his skill in advanced military. Eros release it in key cities. [C’worlds Shaftesbury Ave & Feltham, Odeon Greenwich & Key Cities]

How Ohio Pulled It Off: Mercury Media release this timely documentary chronicling elections from 2004 to 2006 in the bellwether state of Ohio. [P’Houses Clapham & Greenwich, Ritzy, Screen On Green & Nationwide]

Kidnap: Studio 18 release this film starring Sanjay Dutt as a father whose daughter is kidnapped and the story follows his struggle to get her back. [Nationwide / Cert 12A]


If you have any questions about this week’s cinema releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

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> Check our latest DVD picks and the other releases this week (From Monday 29th September 2008)