UK Cinema Releases: Friday 27th August 2010


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Universal): This live action adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic series is the story of a Toronto bass playing geek (Michael Cera) who falls in love with a delivery girl named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), only to realise he must fight her ‘seven evil exes’.

What follows is an action-comedy hybrid in which director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) throws a barrage of visual artillery at the screen in order to recreate the look of comics and computer games.

Although it will have a devoted fan base, a question mark remains over the mainstream appeal of the material and the hyperactive way in which unfolds.

Although I found the film a colossal disappointment, especially given Wright’s track record, it is likely to find a more receptive audience here in the UK amongst a certain niche.

However Universal will have good reason to be nervous after it opened in the US two weeks ago. Despite mostly warm reviews, huge buzz at Comic-con, the fawning support of leading geeky websites, plenty of tweets and an expensive marketing campaign, it absolutely bombed, leaving many at the studio scratching their heads in disbelief. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 12A]

Grown Ups (Sony Pictures): Adam Sandler’s latest goofy comedy is about five friends (Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) who reunite after thirty years to celebrate a Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Despite a torrent of negative reviews this has actually made a decent chunk of money worldwide, although it will probably be swiftly forgotten in the coming months. [Nationwide / 12A]

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Momentum Pictures): The second film adapted from the enormously successful Stieg Larsson trilogy of novels sees Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) return to Sweden after a year abroad only to fall under suspicion for murdering a journalist and his wife.

Although the Hollywood version of Larsson’s Millennium trilogy is under way with David Fincher at the helm, these native versions have done excellent business in Europe and with the novels still selling at a rapid pace, the second film is also likely to prove an art house hit. [Key Cities / 15]

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (20th Century Fox): A live action (and partly animated) comedy film based on the illustrated books by Jeff Kinney. It stars Zachary Gordon as a kid having a tough time at school and also features Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick and Chloë Moretz.

Strictly aimed at family audiences, it arrives with little buzz and seems like it will find a bigger audience on DVD. [Nationwide / PG]

Avatar: Special Edition (20th Century Fox): James Cameron’s futuristic sci-fi blockbuster about an injured marine (Sam Worthington) who goes native on an alien planet gets a full re-release despite already being the most successful film of all time at the global box office.

This version will feature around 10 minutes of extra footage but it will be interesting to see how it does. The target audience appears to be those who didn’t see it first time around in 3D and those who want to see it again. [Nationwide / 12A]


Dog Pound (Optimum Releasing): Based on Alan Clarke’s Scum, this prison drama focusing on youthful delinquents in the US (although actually shot in Canada) by French director Kim Chapiron. [Key Cities / 18]

The Last Seven (Metrodome Distribution): A low budget British thriller which features Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan. [Key Cities / 18]

The Maid (Artificial Eye): A Chilean drama from director Sebastián Silva about a maid (Catalina Saavedra) who serves an upper-middle-class family. [Key Cities / 15]

Wah Do Dem (Picturehouse): A US indie film about a twenty-something drifter (Sean Bones) who ends up travelling to Jamaica. [Key Cities / 15]

The Leopard (bfi Distribution): A re-release for Luscio Visconti’s epic 1963 film about the upheavals in 1860s Sicily, starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon.


> UK DVD and Blu-ray picks for this week including The Gold Rush and Lebanon
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