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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 12th December 2008

National UK Cinema Releases 12-12-08

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Fox): A remake of the 1951 sci-fi film about an alien named Klaatu (here played by Keanu Reeves) who comes to Earth to assess whether humanity can prevent the damage they have inflicted on their own planet. A team of scientists (played by Jennifer ConnellyJon Hamm and John Cleese) try to convince him that humans are worth saving before it’s too late. Directed by Scott Derrickson, it has some reasonable visual effects but is mostly a drab affair which wastes the talents of the actors involved. That said, the marketing for this film has been savvy and it has a good chance of a respectable gross this weekend before a busy Christmas period. It opens here on the same day as the US and will have to make it’s mark this week before negative word of mouth and bad reviews impact the box office. [Cert 12A]

Dean Spanley (Icon): A charming and unusual comedy based on the novella by Irish author Lord Dunsany which tells the story of an old man (Peter O’Toole) and his son (Jeremy Northam) who strike up an unlikely friendship with a local clergyman named Dean Spanley (Sam Neill). A quirky but rewarding film, which sees an impressive cast in good form and marks Toa Fraser out as a director to watch. Decent box office will depend on word of mouth, which could be very good, even if it is likely to be a film more people discover on DVD. [Cert U]

Inkheart (Entertainment): A long delayed fantasy film based on the German novel of the same name by Cornelia Funke. The story is about a young girl (Eliza Bennett) who discovers her father (Brendan Fraser) has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook’s hero. Despite a highly impressive supporting cast (including Paul BettanyAndy SerkisJim Broadbent and Helen Mirren) awareness of this film doesn’t appear to be what it should. Entertainment will be hoping family audiences who haven’t seen the new Madagascar film might want some Christmas fantasy fare but it will do well to make serious money. [Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Selected Cinema Releases 12-12-08

Lemon Tree (Unanimous Pictures): A drama based on the true story of a Palestinian widow (Hiam Abbass) who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down. [Showing at Curzon Soho, Odeon Swiss Cottage & Key Cities / Cert PG]

The Man From London (Artificial Eye): A drama from Hugarian director Béla Tarr based on the French-language novel by Belgian writer Georges Simenon. It stars Tilda Swinton opposite Czech actor Miroslav Krobot. The international ensemble cast also features British actress Leah Williams, and Hungarian actors Janos Derzsi and Istvan Lenart. [Showing at Renoir & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Trade (Lionsgate UK): Drama about two girls who are kidnapped in order to be sold in to the international sex trade. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, it stars Kevin KlineKate del Castillo and Cesar Ramos. [Showing at Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus & The Ritzy, Brixton in London / Cert 15]

North Face (Metrodome): Set in 1936, centers around four mountain climbers who attempt to climb the north face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland and the tragic events that follow. [Shwoing in London & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (bfi Distribution): Robert Louis Stevenson’s celebrated horror novel, first published in 1886, has inspired countless screen adaptations, but this 1931 adaptation by director Rouben Mamoulian remains the best and gets a reissue at by the BFI. [Showing at BFI Southbank / Cert 12A]

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Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 8th December 2008)