UK Cinema Releases: Friday 2nd April 2010

Including Clash of the Titans, How To Train Your Dragon and Kick-Ass



Clash Of The Titans (Warner Bros.): A big budget remake of the 1981 film, loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus (Sam Worthington), who ventures on a dangerous mission to defeat the evil god Hades (Ralph Fiennes), before he can seize power from the all powerful Zeus (Liam Neeson) enslave earth. Directed by Louis Leterrier, it features lots of battles against creatures and demons and has been converted to 3D quite recently although it was shot on regular 2D cameras. Warner Bros will expect bad reviews but given the massive marketing push can expect a decent opening weekend before bad word of mouth spreads. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 12A]

How To Train Your Dragon (Paramount): The latest film from DreamWorks Animation is based on the 2003 book and is the mythical story of a young Viking named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) who learns how to fight the dragons that plague his village by befriending and taming a smaller one. Featuring the voices of Gerard ButlerChristopher Mintz-PlasseCraig Ferguson, and David Tennant. Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, the writing and visuals are very solid, whilst the 3D (especially in the flying sequences) achieves a pleasing sense of exhilaration. Decent reviews plus the Easter holiday weekend will mean a high family turnout and it will be a major surprise if this doesn’t take the number one spot. [Vue West End & Nationwide / PG]

Kick-Ass (Universal): Perhaps the most interesting release of the week is this post-modern superhero film based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. It tells the story of teenager (Aaron Johnson) who decides to become a super-hero named Kick-Ass after purchasing a costume (even though he has no powers or training) and soon finds himself involved with a local gangster (Mark Strong); his son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse); and a highly trained father and daughter vigilante duo (Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz). Directed by Matthew Vaughn, produced by Brad Pitt, and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, the film was independently financed – at a budget of $28 million dollars – and gleefully subverts the superhero genre whilst also paying homage to it. Internet fanboys will lap this up but whether it can break through to a mainstream audience is a big question. The violence (although comic in tone) and fruity language will likely alienate older audiences, but if it can hold its own in a very competitive weekend then it could turn out to be very profitable indeed. [Vue West End & Nationwide / 15] (Previews 26-28 March)


The Railway Children: 40th Anniversary (Optimum): A re-release for this charming 1970 adaptation of E Nesbit’s enduring tale of three children (Jenny AgutterGary Warren and Sally Thomsett) ho move to a Yorkshire village and become entranced by the local railway line and make friends with the locals (such as Bernard Cribbins and William Mervyn). Written and directed by Lionel Jeffries, it is being presented on a newly restored digital print. [Key Cities / U]

* Listen to my interview with Jenny Agutter about The Railway Children *

Psycho (Universal): A re-release for the classic thriller from Alfred Hitchcock about a woman (Janet Leigh) who ends up at an isolated motel run by the enigmatic Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) [BFI Southbank & Key Cities / 15]

City Of War: The Story Of John Rabe (Metrodome Distribution): A drama starring Steve Buscemi in the real-life tale of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38. [Empire Leicester Square / 15]

Double Take (Soda Pictures): A film by director Johan Grimonprez that uses footage of Alfred Hitchcock from 1962 and 1980 to paint a surreal picture of his life. [BFI Southbank, Curzons Mayfair, Wimbledon & Key Cities]

Kakera – A Piece Of Our Life (Third Window Films): A Japanese drama from director Momoko Andô about a college student, her boyfriend and medical artist who makes prosthetic body parts. [ICA Cinema]

Remember Me (E1 Entertainment): A romantic drama about two lovers (Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin) in New York on the eve of the 9/11 attacks. [Odeon West End & Nationwide / 12A]

Samson & Delilah (Trinity Filmed Entertainment): Australian film about a couple living in a remote community in the Central Australian desert. [Apollo Piccadilly Circus, Barbican, Empire Leic Sq., Renoir, Tricycle & Key Cities / 12A]

DVD and Blu-ray Picks for Monday 29th March including 2012, Stargate, The Informant! and Homicide
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