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UK Cinema Releases: Friday 19th September 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Tropic Thunder (Paramount): With an impressive US gross already in the bag, a high profile London premiere this week and a distinct lack of direct competition, Paramount have every right to be bullish about this Hollywood satire taking the UK Number 1 slot. Ben Stiller directs and stars alongside Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. as a group of prima donna actors making a Vietnam War film who annoy their director (Steve Coogan) so much that he abandons them in the jungle amidst a real war zone. Although not quite as hilarious as it might have been, there are a lot of good laughs to be had and Downey Jnr is remarkable as a white method actor playing a black character. [Cert 15 / Nationwide]

Linha De Passe (Pathe): The latest film from director Walter Salles (who’s previous films include Central Station and The Motorcycle Diaries) is the tale of four poverty-stricken brothers who live in a favela neighborhood in São Paulo. Although not quite as good as his previous work it is still an absorbing slice of modern Brazilian life. It premiered at Cannes back in May to generally positive reviews and SandraCorveloni scooped the Best Actress award. Pathe will be hoping the arthouse crowd turn out in force for one of South America’s best directors. [Cert 15 / Key Cities]

Listen to our interview with Walter  Salles about Linha De Passe *

Then She Found Me (Chelsea Films): Helen Hunt directs and stars in this tale of a New York teacher (Hunt) who hits a midlife crisis when her husband (Matthew Broderick) leaves, her adoptive mother dies, her biological mother (Bette Midler) turns up unexpected and she begins a relationship with the father (Colin Firth) of one of her students. Although this low budget comedy/drama didn’t exactly make waves at the US box office, it may hit the sweet spot for female uadiences who don’t want to see Mamma Mia for the 8thtime. [Cert 15 / Key Cities]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

The Chaser (Metrodome): A Korean crime drama directed by Hong-jin Na about a detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. [Cert 18 / C’World Shaftesbury Ave, Vues Islington, Shepherds Bush & Key Cities]

The Wave (Momentum): This German drama explores a high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control.  It proved a big hit in Germany earlier this year. [Cert 15 / C’World Fulham Rd, Odeon Covent Gdn, Ritzy, P’House Greenwich & Key Cities]

Unrelated (New Wave Films): A woman escaping an unhappy marriage takes refuge with a friend’s family on holiday, where events force her to confront the reality of never having her own children. Directed by Joanna Hogg. [Cert 15 / Key Cities – Click here for a full list of cinemas showing it]

Live! (Lionsgate UK): A mockumentary following an ambitious TV network executive (Eva Mendes) trying to produce a controversial reality show where contestants play Russian Roulette. [Cert 15 / Showing at Empire Leicester Square in London]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Manga Entertainment): The 2006 Japanese animated film which is an adaptation of a Japanese novel written by Yasutaka Tsutsui. [Showing the ICA Cinema in London]

Love Letters and Live Wires: Highlights from the GPO Film Unit (bfi Distribution): Programme showcasing the sheer range of films made in the 1930s by the General Post Office Film Unit, from quintessential documentary to avant-garde animation and even musical comedy. [Cert U / BFI Southbank & Key Cities]

Saas Bahu Aur Sensex (Warner Bros): A Bollywood film set against the backdrop of the money markets  and the masala and kitty parties of modern day Mumbai. [Selected cinemas Nationwide]

Zombie Strippers (Sony Pictures): A comedy horror film, written and directed by Jay Lee, starring Robert EnglundJenna Jameson, and Tito Ortiz [Cert 18 / Prince Charles Cinema in London only]

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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 via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
Check out the DVD releases for this week (W/C Monday 15th September)

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Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 12th September 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Pineapple Express (Sony): After doing impressive late summer business at the US box office, this comedy about two pot-smoking slackers (Seth Rogen and James Franco) who go on the run, Sony should be confident of similar success over here. Directed by David Gordon Green (a big change of pace for him after films like George Washington and All The Real Girls), co-written by Rogen and produced by Judd Apatow it is an amusing caper. It isn’t quite as laugh out loud funny as previous Apatow productions like Superbad and Knocked Up, but there is enough action and gags to create good word of mouth and a decent chance of the Number 1 slot this weekend. [Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with Seth Rogen and James Franco about Pineapple Express *

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Disney): This brave and moving adaptation of John Boyne’s best selling novel about the friendship between two boys during the Holocaust is a really difficult sell for Disney. Although readers of the book will be keen to see it, the dark subject matter and the centrality of children to the story might put audiences off. But it is a film sure to provoke discussion as the direction by Mark Herman (who also made Brassed Off and Little Voice) is both thoughtful and sensitive, plus there are fine performances from David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga. Special praise should also go to Asa Butterfield and Jack Scanlon, the two young actors in the lead roles. [Cert 12A]

* Listen to our interview with Mark Herman and John Boyne about The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas *

Eden Lake (Optimum): A British horror movie about a young couple (Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender) on a romantic break at a remote lake who are terrorised by a gang of violent youths. Given the spate of gory horrors in recent years, the genre may be reaching the burnt out point sometime soon (Saw V is out next month) but there still seems to be an appetite for fare like this. Directed by James Watkins, who co-wrote My Little Eye, it’s real success may lie on DVD and ancillary markets rather than the initial cinema run. [Cert 18]

The Women (Entertainment): A remake the 1939 George Cukor film (which was based on the 1936 play by Clare Boothe Luce) about a New York clothing designer (Meg Ryan) who leaves her cheating husband and bonds with other society women at a resort. Co-starring Annette BeningEva MendesDebra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith, Entertainment will be hoping for the Sex and the City crowd to dutifully turn up for more consumerist chick-flick action. Although the marketing of this film has felt a little muted, it should still do respectable box office numbers. [Cert 12]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Ashes Of Time Redux (Artificial Eye): A re-release of the 1994 film directed by Wong Kar-wai, based loosely on four characters from the Louis Cha novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes [Cert 15 / Showing at Curzon Soho, Renoir Cinema & selected Key Cities]

Eraserhead (Scanbox Entertainment): Director David Lynch‘s startling 1977 surrealisthorror film starring Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart gets a re-release at the ICA in London. [Cert 18 /Showing at the ICA Cinema in London]

Heavy Metal In Baghdad (Slingshot Studios): Filmed in the summer of 2006, this documentary by Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi tells the story of Acrassicauda – the only heavy metal band in Iraq and explores thelives of the band members have been affected by years of continual warfare. [Cert 15 / Showing at the ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

Jar City (The Works): A police-procedural thriller from Iceland directed by Baltasar Kormákur, about a detective (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) investigating the brutal murder of a sinister loner. [Cert 15 / Showing at Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn, Ritzy & Key Cities]

Partition (Soda Pictures): Vic Sarin directs this tale of forbidden love set in 1947 against the backdrop of the partition of India. Stars starring Jimi MistryNeve Campbell and Kristin Kreuk [Showing in Key Cities]

The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon (Artificial Eye): Veteran director Eric Rohmer‘s adaptation of the 1607 pastoral fantasy by Honoré d’Urfe about a lovelorn shepherd in fifth-century Gaul.  [Cert 12A /Showing at BFI Southbank & selected Key Cities]

Sydney White (Universal): Amanda BynesSara Paxton, and Matt Long star in this modern day update of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. [Showing at Vues Cheshire Oaks, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Portsmouth & Romford]

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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 via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
Check out the DVD releases for this week (W/C Monday 8th September)

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Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 5th September 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Rocknrolla (15) Although director Guy Ritchie plumbed the depths with his last two movies (Revolver and Swept Away ), Warner Bros will be aiming for this London-set gangster caper to signal redemption for the British director. Despite a spaghetti-shaped narrative and too many cockney gangsterisms, this is a deliberate throwback to the subject and style of Ritchie’s earlier work like Lock, Stock… and Snatch. Some of it feels strangely dated but for the most part it is watchable, has an impressive cast (including Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Toby Kebbell, Thandie Newton & Mark Strong) and goes into the weekend as the box office favourite.

The Duchess (12A): Pathe will be hoping that a period costume drama starring Kiera Knightley as an unhappy 18th century aristocrat (Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire) will tempt the female and highbrow audiences. The recent faux-controversy about Princess Diana being used to market the film (the main character is distantly related to her) seems a little stage managed, but the main problem this film has is that, despite some decent production values and competent performances, it is essentially a TV costume drama with a more handsome budget. Although Knightley has become a big star (mainly down to the Pirates franchise), she has yet to really prove herself as someone who can open a movie. Despite the presence of Ralph Fiennes in a key supporting role, this will be an interesting test of a film heavily marketed on her pulling power alone.

Bangkok Dangerous (18): The Pang Brothers remake their own 1998 thriller stars Nicolas Cage as a hit man in Bangkok. Entertainment will be hoping action fans will turn out for this one, but given the lack of buzz, a key change to the original film and wildly erratic career of Cage it is difficult to gauge how this one will do. I imagine the target audience at the multiplex will opt to choose Rocknrolla, if their girlfriends haven’t already dragged them to The Duchess. It opens in the US today as well, although I suspect if it does any real box office it will be in foreign and ancillary markets.

Disaster Movie (12A): One can only hope that the US box office failure of this spoof will signal justice for the cinematic crimes Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have inflicted upon audiences. In case you are unaware, they are the team behind a series of wildy unfunny – but bafflingly successful – comedies such as Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans. The formula is to just spoof recent hits at the box office along a certain theme. However, the cycle now looks in trouble as last week potential viewers might have found the release of this film on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to be a little too much. Momentum will be hoping less discerning viewers see it or at least buy the DVD in the near future.

IN SELECTED RELEASE

El Cantante (15): Revelation Films are the UK distributor for this film based on the life story of salsa singer Héctor Lavoe (who is played in the film by Marc Anthony). The main point of interest from a commercial viewpoint is that Jennifer Lopez starred and produced in it, but it gets a release two years after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and a full year after bombing at the US box office to mixed reviews. Given the dramatic decline of Lopez as a box office star and the niche appeal of the story, it is hard to see this doing any real business. [Opens in Select Key Cities]

Never Apologise (15): Verve Pictures give a limited release for this documentary about director Lindsay Anderson, who made such films as This Sporting Life (1963), If…. (1968) and O Lucky Man! (1973). It is narrated by Malcolm McDowell, who was a friend and collaborator. [Opens at the Curzon Soho & selected Key Cities]

Sweet Land (PG): Revelation Films release this 2005 independent film about a woman who travels from Germany to Minnesota in order to meet the man destined to be her husband. [Opens in Select Key Cities]

Mera Pind – My Home (U): Adlabs release this film centered around a Punjabi village, starring Navjot Singh Sidhu and Harbhajan Mann. [Opens at C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Staples Corner, Wood Green & Nationwide]

> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
> Check out the full UK release schedule for cinemas this month
> DVD releases for this week (W/C Monday 1st September)

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Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: September 2008

Here are the films coming out at UK cinemas this month.

FRIDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2008
Bangkok Dangerous (18) Entertainment [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]
Disaster Movie (TBC) Momentum Pictures [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]
The Duchess (12A) Pathe [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]
El Cantante (15) Revelation Films [Select Key Cities]
Mera Pind My Home (TBC) Adlabs Films [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Staples Corner, Wood Green & Nationwide]
Never Apologise (15) Verve Pictures [Curzon Soho & Selected Key Cities]
Rocknrolla (15) Warner Bros. [Odeon West End & Nationwide]
Sweet Land (PG) Revelation Films [Select Key Cities]

FRIDAY 12th SEPTEMBER 2008
Aashayein (TBC) Adlabs Films [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Staples Corner, Wood Green & Nationwide]
Ashes Of Time Redux (TBC) Artificial Eye [Curzon Soho, Renoir Cinema & Selected Key Cities]
The Boy In Striped Pyjamas (12A) Walt Disney [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]
Eden Lake (18) Optimum [C’World Shaftesbury Ave, Vue West End & Nationwide]
Eraserhead (18) Scanbox Entertainment [ICA Cinema]
Heavy Metal In Baghdad (15) Slingshot Studios [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]
Jar City (15) The Works [Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn, Ritzy & Key Cities]
Partition (TBC)  Soda Pictures [London & Key Cities]
Pineapple Express (15) Sony Pictures [Nationwide]
The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon (12A) Artificial Eye [BFI Southbank & Selected Key Cities]
The Women (12A) Entertainment [Vue West End & Nationwide]

FRIDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 2008
The Chaser (18) Metrodome [C’World Shaftesbury Ave, Vues Islington, Shepherds Bush & Key Cities]
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (TBC) Manga Entertainment [ICA Cinema in London Only]
Linha De Passe (15) Pathe [Odeon Covent Garden & Key Cities]
Live! (15) Lionsgate UK [Empire Leicester Square & Selected Key Cities]
Love Letters and Live Wires: Highlights from the GPO Film Unit (U) BFI Distribution [BFI Southbank & Key Cities – Previews 18th Sept]
Saas Bahu Aur Sensex (TBC) Warner Bros. [Nationwide]
Then She Found Me (15) Chelsea Films [Select Key Cities]
Tropic Thunder (15) Paramount [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide – Previews 17 & 18 Sept]
Unrelated (15) New Wave Films [Apollo West End, Barbican, Everyman & Key Cities]
The Wave (15) Momentum Pictures [C’World Fulham Rd, Odeon Covent Gdn, Ritzy, P’House Greenwich & Key Cities]
Zombie Strippers (18) Sony Pictures [Prince Charles Cinema in London only]

WEDNESDAY 24th SEPTEMBER 2008
Grease (PG) (R/I) Park Circus [Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave. & Nationwide – One Day Only]

THURSDAY 25th SEPTEMBER 2008
A Matter Of Life And Death (U) (R/I) [BFI Distribution BFI Southbank & Selected Key Cities]

FRIDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2008
Alexandra (PG) Artificial Eye [Selected Cinemas]
Death Race (15) Universal [Nationwide]
The Foot Fist Way (TBC) Momentum Pictures [Nationwide]
I’ve Loved You So Long (12A) Lionsgate UK [Selected Key Cities]
Redbelt (TBC) Sony Pictures [Nationwide]
Righteous Kill (TBC) Lionsgate UK [Nationwide]
Steep (PG) Metrodome [Key Cities]
Swing Vote (12A) Delanic Films [Nationwide]
Taken (15) 20th Century Fox [Nationwide]

We’ll continue to post a breakdown of the weekly releases every Friday with more detail on each film.

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

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> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
> Check out this week’s cinema releases (W/C Friday 29th August)

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Cinema cinema releases

Cinema Releases: Friday 29th August 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Step Brothers (15): Will Ferrell and John C Reilly play two step brothers who have been living at home with their parents for too long and the result is a broad but funny comedy from director Adam McKay who also made Anchorman and Talledega Nights. Sony will be hoping for the same kind of solid business that this did in the US, which was overlooked amidst all the fuss over The Dark Knight back in July. Although it’s a busy weekend here in the UK, this looks to be the favourite to top the box office given the marketing and continuing popularity of Will Ferrell. [Opens Nationwide]

* Listen to our interview with Will Ferrell and John C Reilly about Step Brothers *

Babylon A.D. (12A): Vin Diesel stars in this pedestrian post-apocalyptic thriller as a mercenary who has to escort a woman from Eastern Europe to New York. Interestingly, director Mathieu Kassovitz has practically disowned the film, complaining that the studio forced cuts on him during the editing process. Although the film is fairly middling, Fox might expect better than average box office given the marketing and appetite for this kind of action material. [Opens Nationwide]

The Wackness (15): An engaging US indie film set in the summer of 1994 about a teenage pot dealer (Josh Peck) and his psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley). Since premiering at Sundance earlier this year to considerable buzz and acclaim, the US release was something of a box office disappointment for Sony Pictures Classics (as some bloggers had predicted). Here though things might well be different and Revolver (the UK distributor) might expect a decent per-screen-average due to word of mouth and the fact that it is coming out at the tail end of the summer movie season. [Opens Nationwide]

* Listen to our interview with Jonathan Levine about The Wackness *

The Strangers (15): A horror movie starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a couple terrorised in their home by strangers. For some reason I wasn’t allowed to see it, but it looks a lot like a US version of the 2006 French film Them. Universal will presumably be hoping the cinema release does well enough to help the DVD sales in a few months. [Opens Nationwide]

IN SELECTED RELEASE

Angel (15): Francois Ozon‘s latest film is an adaptation of Elizabeth Taylor‘s 1957 novel about Angelica “Angel” Deverell (Romola Garai), a romantic writer in Edwardian England. Although Ozon is one of France’s best contemporary directors, this film has met with rather mixed reviews since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Lionsgate will be hoping that the art house crowd embrace it, but given the importance of critical support that will be very difficult given some of the pans this film has received. [Opens at Curzon Mayfair, ICA Cinema & in Key Cities]

Ben X (15): This Belgian drama about an autistic teenager (Greg Timmermans) who retreats into the world of online role-playing games has an intriguing premise and has already garnered some positive reviews. However, Momentum will do well to   [Opens at Odeon Panton St., Richmix, Coronet & in Key Cities]

Badlands (15): A BFI re-rerelease for Terence Malick‘s stunning debut film from 1973 with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as two young lovers who go on the run in the badlands of North Dakota in the late 1950s. Although it is only showing on two screens, it is worth making the effort to see one of the truly great films of the 1970s with its pitch perfect performances, gorgeous visuals and haunting score. [Opens at BFI Southbank & Edinburgh Filmhouse]

Times And Winds (Beş Vakit) (15): Artificial Eye give a limited release for this acclaimed drama directed by Reha Erdem set in the mountainous region of north-eastern Turkey. It explores the lives of three children in their early teens as they struggle with the day-to-day reality of their lives and has already garnered some rave reviews despite the delay in getting it to UK cinemas (it is already two years old and is available on Region 1 DVD). [Showing at Curzon Mayfair, Renoir & selected Key Cities / Opens in Scotland on 3rd October]

Daylight Robbery (15): Liberation Entertainment release this film at one venue only release for this film about a group of England football supporters who steal millions of pounds from a London bank. [Opens at the Apollo West End, London]

Hijack: Eros release this Indian thriller directed by Kunal Shivdasani and starring Shiney Ahuja and Esha Deol about a [Showing at C’worlds Ilford, Feltham, Odeon Greenwich, Vue O2 & in Key Cities]

Rock On!!: Adlabs Films release this Hindi film starring Arjun Rampal and Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai in the lead roles. [Showing at C’worlds Ilford, Wood Green, Staples Corner & selected cinemas nationwide]

Sakuran (15): ICA Films release this live-action film adaptation of the Japanese Manga series about a girl named Kiyoha who becomes an oiran courtesan. [Showing at the ICA Cinema in London & in Key Cities]

Triangle: Manga Entertainment release this Hong Kong crimethriller film produced and directed by a trio of ‘tag team’ filmmakers: Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To. [Showing at the ICA Cinema in London]

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 via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
> Check out the DVD releases for this week (W/C Monday 25th August)