UK Cinema Releases: Friday 24th October 2008


High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Disney): The third part of the Disney TV movie behemoth is all set to storm the UK. If you are over the age of 15 you might not know that this musical is probably the biggest kids phenomenon since, well, the last thing that was really popular. The first two High School Musicals were huge hits on The Disney Channel and became such a phenomenon that they have released this one in cinemas. The plot for all three films revolves around about two high school kids – Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a shy student who is good at maths and science. When they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, it all kicks off. This one involves their final or ‘senior’ year (obviously). The Mouse House have made so much money from this franchise already (with lucrative tours and album sales keeping the accountants happy) that a cinema release is a slam dunk. [Cert U]

* Listen to an interview I did with Zac Efron last year for the Hairspray movie

Saw V (Lionsgate): In some ways the Saw films are to horror fans what HSM is to younger kids – an emormously profitable franchise that has defied expectations. Only instead of cute people singing in a high school school, these films involve people getting tortured to death in ever more fiendish traps set by the diabolical Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). Although, this wasn’t press screened (as per usual since the second film) my sources inform me that the opening death is ‘a belter’ and that this is more of the same, prompting one to consider the fact that Lionsgate will just keep making these films until audiences get sick of them. Which could be quite some time. Expect this to do solid business. [Cert 18]

* Listen to an interview I did with Tobin Bell about the Saw films in 2006 *

Ghost Town (Paramount): The first proper leading man role for Ricky Gervais in a mainstream Hollywood movie is a smartly written comedy about a grumpy English dentist in New York who starts seeing ghosts after an operation goes wrong. Written and directed by David Koepp (who made the overlooked ghost story Stir of Echoes in 1999, as well as penning blockbusters like Spider-Man and Jurassic Park), it has a neat comic setup, solid supporting performances from Greg Kinnear and Tia Leoni and some surprisingly touching moments. It has picked a tough week to come out though with the kids seeing HSM3 and the lads gearing up for Saw V, so it will be an interesting test of Ricky Gervais’ ability to open a movie like this. The fact that his persona in the film is very similar to the one in The Office and Extras may or may not be a hindrance. Good but not great box office could await. [Cert PG]



Incendiary (Optimum): An adulterous English mother (Michelle Williams) has her life torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a football stadium. Ewan MacGregor co-stars as a journalist, Matthew Macfadyen plays a dectective and it is directed by Sharon Maguire. [Selected cinemas nationwide / Cert 15]

Blessed (Independent Distribution): This low budget drama stars James Nesbitt, Natascha McElhone and Gary Lewis in a tale of a city trader who’s life changes when he moves to a remote island. [Independently distributed at the Clapham Picutrehouse and the Rex Berkhamstead / Cert U] 

A Bloody Aria (ICA Films): A 2006 Korean film about opera student (Cha Ye-ryeon), who is riding in the passenger seat of a new car of a powerful older man (Lee Byeong-sun). After a serious altercation they find themselves in a remote location surrounded by hostile locals. [ICA Cinema & Key Cities / Cert TBC]

Chocolate (Showbox Entertainment): A drama An autistic woman with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money. [ICA Cinema / Cert 18]

Heroes (Eros): A Bollywood film directed by Samir Karnik and starring Salman Khan. [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave, Vue O2, Odeon G’wich & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Outlanders (Miracle Comms): A low budget drama about a young Pole joins his brother in London, only to be sucked in to covering up a crime. [Apollo West End / Cert 15]

Quiet Chaos (New Wave Films): A look at the strange bereavement behavior of an Italian executive, based on a novel by Sandro Veronesi and starring Nanni Moretti and Valeria Golino. [Apollo West End, Curzon Mayfair, Gate, Everyman & Key Cities / Cert TBC]


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

Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
Check our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 20th October 2008)