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UK Cinema Releases: Friday 9th January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 09-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Bride Wars (Fox): A high profile chick flick that Fox are releasing here on the same weekend that it opens in the US. As you might have guessed from the poster and trailer, it involves two friends (Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson) whose start feuding when their wedding dates clash and neither is willing to back down. Aimed ruthlessly at audiences vulnerable to a combination of weddings and sassy ‘you-go-girl’ nonsense it looks likely to do well but faces competition from a variety of other releases hitting cinemas this week. Weak reviews may harm its long term prospects but it is likely to do solid business this weekend. [Cert PG / Vue West End & Nationwide]

Defiance (Momentum): Set in the eastern regions of occupied Poland during World War II this is an adaptation of Nechama Tec’s book ‘Defiance: The Bielski Partisans‘, which was based on the true story of the Bielski partisans. Directed by Ed Zwick, it stars Daniel CraigLiev SchreiberJamie Belland George MacKay as four brothers from Poland who escape from the Nazis and fight back to rescue fellow Jews. Although the expected Oscar buzz for this film failed to materialize, it is a well made and admirable piece of work. Commercial prospects will be helped by a marketing campaign that has emphasised Daniel Craig (aka James Bond) and the action aspects of the film. It faces stiff competition in a busy week at the UK box office but a high profile premiere and marketing campaign may see it crack the top 3. [Cert 15 / Odeons Swiss Cottage, West End, Whiteleys, Vue Islington & Nationwide]

* Listen to out interview with Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Ed Zwick on Defiance

Role Models (Universal): If Bride Wars is aimed at younger females then this is the male equivalent, a comedy squarely targeted at the younger male demographic. It stars Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as two guys working for an energy drink company who are forced to do community service for a charity after bereaking the law. Called ‘Sturdy Wings’ it is a place where they have to mentor two very different teenagers: a foulmouthed youngster obsessed with breasts (Bobb’e J. Thompson) and a nerd (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) obsessed with live action role-playing games. Although it is very much in the style of the Judd Apatow produced comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, there are some good laughs to be had, especially Ken Jeong in a highly amusing supporting role. Likely to do well, but the real commercial action for this is probably going to be on DVD. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

Sex Drive (E1 Films): A classic case of a ‘where did this come from?’ film that suddenly appears with little or no buzz. The plot summary on the IMDb says: ‘A high school senior drives cross-country with his best friends to hook up with a babe he met online’. Given the lack of stars (James Marsden is the only real name here), the mixed reviews in the US and the presence of a rival male-orientated comedy, this might struggle in a packed week for releases. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide] 

Slumdog Millionaire (Pathe): A thrilling and uplifting drama about a young street kid (Dev Patel) who ends up on the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire finally gets a UK release. Directed by Danny Boyle, it was adapted by Simon Beaufoy from the novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup. It has received a lot of buzz and acclaim at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals and is widely considered a front-runner for BAFTA and Oscar consideration. The film deserves no less as it is one of the best films of the year, managing to weave a charming fable around the chaos, joy and poverty of Mumbai. A remarkable film that has already generated great word of mouth and done impressive platform business in the US. Expect it to crash the top two and maybe even claim the top spot. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

* Listen to out interview with Danny Boyle about Slumdog Millionaire *

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Hannah Takes The Stairs (ICA Films): A short run at the ICA in London for this 2007 mumblecore indie film by Joe Swanberg. It is the story of Hannah, a recent college graduate living in Chicago who coasts from relationship to relationship, trying to find a direction in her life. [Cert TBC / ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

Stuck (High Fliers Films): A thriller directed by Stuart Gordon about a woman (Mena Suvari) who accidentally hits a pedestrian with her car (Stephen Rea) and drives him home with the promise that she will get the man help. [Cert 15 / Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus, Showcase Bristol & Showcase Manchester]

UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
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