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Cinema cinema releases

Cinema Releases: Friday 22nd August 2008

Here is our weekly rundown of the UK cinema releases.

NATIONAL RELEASES

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (12A): The sequel to the 2004 film about a demonic superagent (Ron Perlman) is a splendidly entertaining affair with director Guillermo del Toro bringing his imagination and skills to a more mainstream movie. After the success of Pan’s Labyrinth and his upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, this could have strong appeal to a wide audience. In the US it had a good opening the week before The Dark Knight phenomenon took hold. Here in the UK, Universal will be glad that the Batman sequel has already been out for a month (although it is still Number 1) and even went early with this by releasing it on Wednesday. With younger audiences still on summer holiday, it should have the desired effect of bumping up the opening week’s gross but it will be interesting to see how it fares against more family orientated competition. [Opens Nationwide]

Get Smart (12A): With Warner Bros executives still giddy from the huge success of The Dark Knight, one of their lesser summer tentpoles gets its UK release. It is a fairly middling adaptation of the 60s TV show of the same name, with Steve Carell as secret agent Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as his partner, Agent 99. British audiences may not have the same awareness of the original show as their US counterparts, but Carell has become a big comedy star and the breezy nature of the plot might appeal to those put off by the more gothic appeal of Hellboy.  [Opens Nationwide]

College Road Trip (U): Disney’s family comedy, which stars Martin Lawrence, Raven-Symoné and Donny Osmond, revolves around a family college road trip to different colleges in the US. It got a US release back in March grossing a middling $45 million and it is hard to see it doing major business over here with it’s lack of star power and the general air of naffness that appears to surround it. But given that it’s the summer holiday, suprises can happen. [Opens Nationwide]

Somers Town (12A): Given the success of This is England, the new film from Shane Meadows has garnered a fair amount of press and Optimum have given it a fairly big national release for a film of this scale. A low key study of unlikely friendship in an area of North London, it has undeniable charm – and some fine acting from Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello – but lacks the sheer weight and class of Meadow’s last two movies. However, it’s unusually short running time of 74 minutes could help cinemas do more showings and bump up the gross. [Opens in London at Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn. & at cinemas nationwide]

IN SELECTED RELEASE

Zero: An Investigation Into 9/11 (12A) Mercury Media give a limited theatrical release to this documentary exploring the events of September 11th 2001. It is already available on DVD via the Internet. [Opens in London on Tuesday 26th at The Gate, Ritzy, Screen On The Green and in Scotland 25th August)

Face Addict: Blue Dolphin give a staggered arthouse release for this 2005 documentary about photographer Edo Bertoglio – the man responsible for immortalising the scene Andy Warhol and the group of of friends and  and artists that surrounded him, including the likes of Basquiat and Debbie Harry. [Opens at the ICA Cinema in London & selected ky cities from September)

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 18th August)

Categories
Cinema cinema releases

Cinema Releases: Friday 15th August 2008

Here is the rundown of the UK cinema releases this week.

NATIONAL RELEASES

You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (12A): Sony will be hoping this Adam Sandler comedy will takes a significant bite into The Dark Knight and The Mummy 3’s box office. Although Sandler’s comedies tend to do better in the US than over here, the fact that this was co-written and produced by Judd Apatow (who Sandler has known for a long time) might help it’s prospects. Despite a tepid reaction from sniffier UK critics, heavy marketing and audience word of mouth could help it crack the top 3 slot.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG): Although Star Wars usually signals box office gold, this animated feature (dealing with events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) is something of a curiosity. It wasn’t initially planned to be a feature, but George Lucas thought it would be a good launch pad for the upcoming animated series. Only three of the actors from the prequels (Christopher Lee, Samuel L Jackson, Anthony Daniels) reprise their roles and although Star Wars has a huge fanbase, it will have to overcome some bad early buzz to make a dent on the top three. Interestingly Warner Bros are distributing this rather than Fox, who up to now have released all the Star Wars movies.

Wild Child (12A): Working Title (and their distributor Universal) venture into the tween market with this film about an LA girl (Emma Roberts – best known for her role in the Nickelodeon show Unfabulous) shipped off to an English boarding school. Given that it is the summer holidays, the target audience for this kind of material is plentiful but a lack of genuine star names and plenty of box office competition may hinder its chances.

IN SELECTED RELEASE

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (PG): This World War 2 period comedy with Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, based on the 1938 novel by British author Winifred Watson, didn’t exactly light up the US box office back in March. But given that it was filmed here in the UK, Momentum will be hoping it will appeal to an older audience with it’s cosy retro vibe. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (best known for TV work such as Life on Mars and Hustle) it seems more likely to find an audience on DVD. (Showing in key cities)

The Banishment (Izgnanie) (12A): Artificial Eye give a limited release to the second film from director Andrey Zvyagintsev (who made The Return in 2003) which deals with a family moving to an old house in the Russian countryside.  (Showing in London at the Curzon Soho , The Gate, Renoir, Richmond Filmhouse & other key cities)

God Tussi Great Ho (12A): Eros release this Bollywood remake of Bruce Almighty, which stars Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles. (Showing at Cineworld Cinemas in Feltham and Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave, Vue 02 & Key Cities)

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains: The BFI are giving a limited run to this Jonathan Demme documentary about former US president Jimmy Carter at the BFI Southbank in London.

Little Box Of Sweets: An Indian film about a village girl named Asha who falls in love with her childhood friend Seth (Joe Anderson), the half-English son of a local commissioner. Oceansonic Pictures will give it a limted run at the ICA Cinema in London & selected key cities.

Black White & Gray : Revolver release this documentary (directed by James Crump) about the relationship between curator Sam Wagstaff, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and musician/poet Patti Smith in a limted run 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 11th August)

Categories
Cinema releases

Cinema Releases: Friday 8th August 2008

Here are the films out in UK cinemas this week.

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (12A): One of Universal’s tent pole releases for this summer got released on Wednesday to capitalise on the summer holiday. The third film in the action-adventure franchise pits Brendan Fraser against an ancient Chinese warrior, but all the special effects and epic scale of the film can’t hide Rob Cohen‘s sloppy direction and the fact that this franchise feels as dead as the title character. The waste of Asian icons like Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, plus the miscasting of Maria Bello (replacing Rachel Weisz) only adds to the sense of woe. [Opens nationwide]

The Fox And The Child (U): Director Luc Jacquet scored a surprise hit documentary in 2005 with March of the Penguins and his latest film is a simple but charming tale (narrated by Kate Winslet) of the relationship between a young French girl and the fox she befriends. Pathe have marketed this like a traditional children’s film and will be hoping for family audiences eager for something other than Kung Fu Panda or WALL-E. However, adults taking their kids may be pleasantly surprised at the thought and craft that has gone into making it.  [Opens nationwide]

* Listen to our interview with Luc Jacquet about The Fox and the Child *

Make It Happen (PG) Another dance film in the mould of Flashdance and Save the Last Dance which sees Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a young dancer trying to make the big time in Chicago. Optimum will be hoping that this attracts the Bebo demographic (the official UK site is hosted there) and follow in the footsteps of recent dance films that have done decent box office. [Opens nationwide]

IN SELECTED RELEASE

Elegy (15): The latest adaptation of a Philip Roth novel hits the big screen with Ben Kingsley playing a cultural critic afraid of committing to a relationship with a younger woman (Penélope Cruz). Altough Roth has often been poorly served on the big screen, the choice of Isabel Coixet to direct proved an inspired one as she coaxes out fine performances from an impressive cast that also includes Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard and Debbie Harry. Entertainment will be hoping the solid name cast leads to decent business amongst more discerning audiences. [Opens in key cities]

* Listen to our interview with Ben Kingsley about Elegy *

Death Defying Acts (PG): This supernatural romantic thriller directed by Gillian Armstrong stars Guy Pearce as escapologist Harry Houdini in the height of his career in the 1920s. Despite the presence of co-star Catherine Zeta Jones this got released last month in the US by The Weinstein Company to mixed reviews and a distinct lack of fanfare. Lionsgate are releasing it over here (where it was largely filmed) but it’s prospects for making much cash look slim given the lack of marketing and awareness for it. (Opens in key cities]

Elite Squad (18): The winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival is a semi-fictional look at the BOPE (the Special Police Operations section of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police). It is the feature debut of director José Padilha, who had previously made the documentary Bus 174. Optimum will be looking for decent art house buzz and audiences hungry for another brutal slice of Brazilian realism. [Opens in key cities]

Blindsight (PG): Set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, this documentary directed by Lucy Walker follows six blind Tibetan teenagers as they climb a mountain in the shadow of Mount Everest. Spark Entertainment will be hoping this award winning and critically acclaimed documentary can generate good word of mouth in a limited release. [Opens at the ICA in London & selected key cities]

CJ7 (PG): A science fiction/comedy from Hong Kong co-written, co-produced and directed by Stephen Chow, who also stars in the film. [In limited release at London’s BFI Southbank]

Singh Is Kinng (PG): A Hindi film starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif that was mostly shot in Australia. The UK distribuotr is Studio 18. [Opens at the Cineworld in Ilford, Wood Green, Wandsworth & selected cinemas nationwide].

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 and search)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
> Check out the DVD releases for this week (W/C Monday 4th August)

Categories
cinema releases

Cinema Releases: Friday 1st August 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (15): Although the last X-Files movie was 10 years ago and the TV show ended in 2002, agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back, although no longer at the FBI. However, when a missing person’s case baffles the bureau they – along with a mysterious priest (Billy Connolly) – are recruited to solve the mystery. It is hard to discuss a lot of specifics about the plot (which has been kept tightly under wraps) but this is a grittier than some might expect, eschewing the alien conspiracy plot that dominated the TV show. Although there may be fans curious to see it, a disappointing US opening combined with Batman dominating the box office doesn’t bode well for Fox. (At multiplexes everywhere)

The Love Guru (12A): Mike Myers has had a tough time since the last Austin Powers movie with misfires like  The Cat in the Hat and the last Shrek movie (easily the worst of the three). His latest comedy is about a US/Indian guru helping out a Canadian hockey team on a losing streak. Sadly it doesn’t work and although there are a couple of laughs here and there, the central character and over reliance on stupid humour only confirms the US critical reaction, which was mostly hostile. Paramount will be hoping it will offer an alternative to the darkness of Batman (and the X-Files) but I don’t see this dumb comedy attracting many converts. (At multiplexes everywhere)

Space Chimps (U): A lighthearted animated film who’s title gives you some idea of what to expect – when a NASA probe goes missing in space, a bunch of chimps are recruited to retrieve it. Given the poor critical and commercial response in the US, Entertainment will be hoping that family audiences who are put off by the violence in The Dark Knight – and have already seen WALL-E – might go and see this. (At multiplexes nationwide)

IN SELCECTED CINEMAS

Man on Wire (15): The film of the week is this thrilling and fascinating documentary about Philippe Petit, the man who did a spectacular wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Directed by James Marsh (who made Wisconsin Death Trip) it explores Petit’s extensive preparations and the actual incredible act itself. With good word of mouth, critical acclaim and a decent smattering of publicity, Icon have every right to think that this could do very well in selected release. (Key cities and Curzon Soho in London)

* Listen to our interview with Philippe Petit about Man on Wire *

Cass (18): Another British film about football violence deals with Cass Pennant, who became a football hooligan who led West Ham’s Inter City Firm in the 80s. It stars newcomer Nonso Anozie in the lead role and  director Jon S Baird has been touted as a filmmaker to watch. As with a film like The Football Factory, it may find a better audience on DVD but Optimum will be hoping it gets a good lift off in limited release. (London & Key Cities)

El Bano Del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet) (15): A story about a poor Uruguayan family in 1988, who try to capitalise on the visit of the Pope to their their village by building a toilet. Some positive reviews and the fact that it was directed by Fernando Meirelles’s regular cinematographer César Charlone alongside debutant Enrique Fernández, this could do well in limited art-house release.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (15): A welcome re-issue from Park Circus for Sergio Leone‘s classic 1966 spaghetti western. The third in the ‘dollar trilogy‘ starring Clint Eastwood as the ‘Man With No Name‘, a bounty hunter drawn into a search for hidden loot during the American Civil War. it also stars Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach. (BFI Southbank & Key Cities)

Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (15): A belated and limited release for this 2005 comedy film with Sarah Silverman from Warner Music Entertainment. Is this being re-released now dud to the success of that Matt Damon viral video? (Apollo West End & Scotland)

Married Life (PG): Verve Pictures release this adaptation of John Bingham’s novel which despite it’s impressive cast (Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams) is only getting a smallish release. (Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue in London & Key Cities from 8th August)

A Letter to True (PG): Metrodome re-release this 2004 documentary by photographer Bruce Weber about his and other people’s dogs. (Curzon Soho 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
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms
> Check out the DVD releases for this week