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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 3rd April 2009

UK Cinema Releases 03-04-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Boat That Rocked (Universal): The new film from writer-director Richard Curtis is set on board a pirate radio ship broadcasting to the UK in the 1960s.

 

It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Emma Thompson, Nick Frost and Kenneth Branagh and Gemma Arterton.

Although it is likely to attracted mixed reviews, the extensive marketing campaign and early opening on April 1st is likely to see it do well, even if probably won’t crack the top spot.¬†[Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]

Monsters Vs. Aliens (Paramount): The latest animated film from DreamWorks is about a woman (Reese Witherspoon) who, on her wedding day, is struck by a meteorite which causes her to grow into a giant.

The US government takes her away to a top-secret facility where it has impounded all monsters since the war, who have to save the earth when aliens attack. An impressive supporting cast includes Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland and Stephen Colbert.

A big budget effort, which will screen in 3-D on a lot of cinemas, this has already proved a hit in America and is likely to snag the top spot here too, especially given the family audiences around for the Easter holiday. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED CINEMAS

Religulous

Religulous (Momentum Pictures): A riotous documentary directed by Larry Charles in which US comedian Bill Maher explores the subject of religion.

Travelling to numerous religious places, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican and Salt Lake City, where they interview believers from a variety of backgrounds and groups including a former member of Jews for Jesus, Christians, Muslims, former Mormons and Hasidic Jews. 

 

Hilarious and refreshing, forget the predictable hand-wringing criticisms that it is smug and imbalanced and take it as a Borat-style experiment Рalbeit one that is as disturbing as it is funny. [Odeon Panton Street & selected Key Cities / Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with Larry Charles *

I Can’t Think Straight (Enlightenment Films): An¬†Indian romance about a¬†London-based Jordanian woman who fall in love with another woman before her wedding.¬†Directed by¬†Shamim Sarif¬†and starring¬†Lisa Ray¬†and¬†Sheetal Sheth. [Apollo Piccadilly Circus / 12A]

Modern Life (Soda Pictures): A look at several generations of farmers and several farmer families in contemporary France directed by Raymond Depardon. [Gate, Cine Lumiere, Everyman, Renoir & Key Cities / Cert PG]

Waveriders (Element Pictures): A documentary about the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and Irish/Hawaiian waterman, George Freet. [London & Selected Key Cities / Cert PG]

The World Unseen (Enlightenment Films): Writte and directed by Shamim Sarif, this stars Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth as two Indian South African women who fall in love in a racist, sexist, and homophobic society. [Apollo Piccadilly Circus / Cert 12A]

Cherry Blossoms (Dogwoof Pictures): A German film about a married couple (Hannelore Elsner and Elmar Wepper) who decide to to see more of life and visit their son who lives in Japan and Mount Fuji. [ICA Cinema & Selected Key Cities]

> Listen to our interview with Larry Charles about Religulous
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 23rd March) 

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: April 2009

UK Cinema Releases April 2009

WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL 2009

  • The Boat That Rocked (15) / Universal / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 3rd APRIL 2009

  • Cherry Blossoms / Dogwoof Pictures / ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities
  • I Can’t Think Straight / Enlightenment Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus
  • Modern Life (PG) / Soda Pictures / Gate, Cine Lumiere, Everyman, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Monsters Vs. Aliens (Also 3D) (PG) / Paramount / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 28 & 29 March)
  • Religulous (15) / Momentum Pictures / Odeon Panton Street & selected Key Cities
  • Waveriders (PG) / Element Pictures / London & selected Key Cities
  • The World Unseen / Enlightenment Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus

WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL 2009

  • Dragonball Evolution (PG) / 20th Century Fox / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 10th APRIL 2009

  • 17 Again (12A) / Entertainment / Odeon West End & Nationwide
  • The 400 Blows (PG) / bfi Distribution / Barbican, Curzon Mayfair, Everyman Hampstead, NFT & Key Cities
  • 50 Dead Men Walking (15) / Metrodome / Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Nationwide
  • Fast And Furious (12A) / Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Let The Right One In (15) / Momentum Pictures / C’World Haymarket, Gate, Curzon Soho, Rio, Ritzy & Key Cities
  • Race To Witch Mountain (PG) / Walt Disney / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Tera Mera Ki Rishta / Eros
  • Tony Manero (18) / Network Releasing / ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities

THURSDAY 16th APRIL 2009

  • Crank 2: High Voltage (18) / Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 17th APRIL 2009

  • Before I Forget / Peccadillo Pictures / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Good (15) / Lionsgate UK / Curzon Mayfair & Key Cities
  • I Love You Man (15) / Paramount / London & Nationwide (Previews 15/16 April)
  • In Search Of Beethoven (U) / Seventh Art Productions / All Saints Arts Centre, Barbican, Phoenix & Key Cities
  • In The Loop (15) / Optimum Releasing / Odeons Camden & Kensington, Vue Shepherds Bush & Nationwide
  • Not Easily Broken (PG) / Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide

FRIDAY 24th APRIL 2009

  • City Rats (18) / Revolver Entertainment / Apollo Piccadilly
  • Encounters At The End Of The World (U) / Revolver Entertainment / Odeon Covent Gdn, Phoenix, Renoir & Key Cities
  • FAQ About Time Travel (15) / Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Key Cities
  • From Russia With Love (PG) (R/I) / Park Circus / BFI Southbank & Nationwide
  • The Grocer’s Son / ICA Films / ICA Cinema, Odeon Panton St., & Key Cities
  • Observe And Report (15) / Warner Bros. / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Outlander (15) / Momentum Pictures / Odeons Greenwich, Whiteleys, Vues Islington, West End & Nationwide
  • Shifty (15) / Metrodome / Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Nationwide
  • State Of Play / Universal / Empire Leicester Sq. & Nationwide (Previews 22 & 23 April)
  • The Uninvited (15) / Paramount / Nationwide

WEDNESDAY 29th APRIL 2009

  • X Men Origins: Wolverine (TBC) / 20th Century Fox

Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases 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.

> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 27th March 2009

UK Cinema Releases 27-03-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Damned United (S0ny Pictures): The film adaptation of¬†David Peace‘s¬†bestselling novel¬†about Brian Clough and his turbulent spell¬†as manager of¬†Leeds United¬†sees¬†Michael Sheen¬†in the central role.

Adapted by Peter Morgan and directed Tom Hooper (best known for his TV miniseries work on Longford and John Adams) it lacks the dark, interior qualities that made the book so riveting but features some excellent performances.

Sheen does a fantastic job in the title role, bringing the same kind of charm and authenticity that featured in his previous portrayals of Tony Blair and David Frost.

There are also some excellent supporting turns from Colm Meaney as Don Revie and Jim Broadbent as Sam Longson.

It is unusual for Sony to do a British film like this but they have done an excellent job in marketing as a film as something football and non-football fans can enjoy.

Given the competition this week, it stands a chance of claiming the top spot given the good reviews and positive word of mouth.   

Knowing (E1 Films): The current number 1 film at the US box office stars Nicolas Cage as a scientist who comes across a set of numbers that appear to predict disasters.

Directed by Alex Proyas, it mixes drama, action and sci-fi and whilst plodding for the most part, does actually contain three excellent set-pieces and an ending that may surprise people with its ambition. 

E1 Films were a little reluctant to screen it for critics and actually released it early on Wednesday to bump up the opening weekend’s figures.

Given that Cage is still quite a big draw in the action genre (despite his incessant frowning in films like this) it should crack the top two and depending on how well The Damned United does, looks like the marginal favourite to claim the top spot.    

The Haunting in Connecticut (Entertainment): Another horror film hits UK cinemas and this one is about¬†the allegedly true story (which almost certainly means its total bollocks) of the Snedeker family’s encounter with the¬†paranormal¬†in¬†Southington, Connecticut.

This is one of those films with plenty of posters and billboards and virtually no real buzz.

 

Given that the most well-known actors in it are Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas, Entertainment will be hoping that horror fans will be up for it and that all those billboards have had some impact. 

I’m guessing that it will have a short cinema life and will make most of its money on DVD. [Cert¬†15 /¬†Vue West End & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

UK Selected Releases 27-03-09

Two Lovers (Lionsgate): ¬†A¬†romantic¬†drama film, very loosely based on¬†Dostoevsky‘s¬†“White Nights”¬†¬†which stars¬†Joaquin Phoenix¬†as a troubled young man living in¬†Brighton Beach¬†in New York, who falls in love with two very different women¬†(Gwyneth Paltrow¬†and¬†Vinessa Shaw).

Directed by James Gray, who has made films such as The Yards and We Own the Night, it is a pleasingly old fashioned and charming film with Phoenix excellent in the central role (easily his best since Walk The Line in 2005) and good work from Paltrow and Shaw.

The technical work (notice the lack of sets) and cinematography by¬†Joaquin Baca-Asay are all first rate and although it is getting a limited release, is well worth seeking out.¬†[Cert 15 /¬†Apollo Picc Circus, C’World Haymarket, Curzon Mayfair & Key¬†Cities]

Genova (Metrodome): Another film from the festival circuit last year is the story of two American girls and their British father (Colin Firth) who move to Italy after their mother dies.

Directed by the prolific Michael Winterbottom, it also stars Catherine Keener and Hope Davis.

It was filmed in the titular city of Genoa (Genova in Italian) during the summer of 2007. [Cert 15 / Curzon Soho, Ritzy Clapham, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Barbican & Key Cities]

The Life Before Her Eyes (Paramount): A thriller directed by Vadim Perelman adapted from the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood. [Cert 12A / Key Cities]

Traitor (Momentum Pictures): A political thriller about an FBI agent (Guy Pearce) who heads up the investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, which seems to lead back to a former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn (Don Cheadle). [Cert 12A / Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities]

Tyson (Revolver Entertainment): A dcoumentary about boxer Mike Tyson directed by James Toback and produced by Nicholas Jarecki. [Cert 15 / Curzon Soho, Ritzy & selected Key Cities]

Aa Dekhen Zara (Eros): A Bollywood romantic¬†sci-fi¬†action thriller (yes, you did read that right), starring¬†Neil Mukesh¬†and¬†Bipasha Basu.¬†[C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, S’bury Ave., Odeon Greenwich, Vue O2 & Key Cities]

Afghan Star (Roast Beef Prod): A documentary exploring how contestants on Pop Idol in Afghanistan risk their lives to appear on the show. [ICA Cinema]

Martyrs (Optimum Releasing): A French mysteryhorror film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. [ICA Cinema]

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> See what other films came out in March 2009
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 23rd March)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 20th March 2009

UK Cinema Releases 20-03-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Duplicity (Universal): The big release of the week sees Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in a caper where they play a pair of corporate spies who hook up to con their respective bosses.

Written and directed by Tony Gilroy (who made a highly impressive directorial debut last year with Michael Clayton) this has a number of things going for it: two charismatic A-list stars, a superb supporting cast (featuring Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) and some wonderful cinematography from Robert Elswit.

However, the narrative twists and turns are often hard to follow and it will be interesting to see how they go down with a mainstream audience. At times it is like a game of cinematic sudoko.

Universal (who open the film in the US today as well as here) can expect a strong opening weekend but it may fall off next week as audiences scratch their collective heads and don’t enthuse about it to their friends.

That said, it is heartening to see a major studio take risks like on a project like this and it may prove more of a favourite in years to come when people get to see it a second and third time. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

Lesbian Vampire Killers (Momentum Pictures): A British comedy horror which stars James Corden and Mathew Horne.

Directed by Phil Claydon, the plot revolves around two slackers who go on holiday to a remote village, only to find that all of its women have been enslaved by lesbian vampires due to an ancient curse. [C’World Shaftesbury Ave., Odeon Tottenham Ct Rd., Vue West End & N’wide / Cert 15]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony Pictures): This relatively low budget ($26 million) comedy vehicle for Kevin James sees him play a goofy security guard at a shopping mall which gets overtaken by a gang of organized crooks.

A sleeper hit in the US, it may do similarly depressing business here. [London & Nationwide / Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

UK Selected Releases 20-03-09

Il Divo (Artificial Eye): A stylish and fascinating film that explores the extraordinary career former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti.

It spans the period since the seventh election of Andreotti (played by Toni Servillo) as Prime Minister of Italy in 1992, until the trial in which he was accused of collusion with the Mafia.

Although at times the action moves so fast that you need a PhD in modern Italian politics, it is brilliantly shot, features a terrific central performance by Servillo and is directed with real panache by Paolo Sorrentino.

It was favourite on the festival circuit in the past year and was nominated for the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May, where it was awarded the Prix du Jury. [Curzons Mayfair & Soho, Gate, Renoir & Key Cities / Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with Paolo Sorrentino *

Diminished Capacity (Paramount): Matthew Broderick plays a Chicago journalist suffering from memory loss who takes leaves from his job and returns to his rural hometown, where he bonds with his Alzheimer’s-impaired uncle Rollie (Alan Alda) and his old flame (Virginia Madsen). [Odeon Leicester Square & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Flash Of Genius (Optimum Releasing): A film about the life of Robert Kearns (played by Greg Kinnear), the man who fought a patent infringement case against Ford in the 1960s.¬†Directed by Marc Abraham, it also stars Lauren Graham and Dermot Mulroney and is based on a 1993 New Yorker magazine article by John Seabrook. [C’Worlds Haymarket, W’worth, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Greenwich & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

Bottle Shock (Paramount): A film about the events that led up to the Judgment of Paris in 1976, when California wine beat French wine in a blind taste test. It stars Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine and Rachael Taylor and was directed by Randall Miller. [Key Cities / Cert 12A]

The Age Of Stupid (Dogwoof Indie): A drama-documentary-animation hybrid which stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watching archive footage from 2008 and asking why humans didn’t do more about the environment. [Odeon Panton St., Rich Mix, Tricycle & Key Cities / Cert 12A]> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> See what other films are out in March 2009
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 16th March)
Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 13th March 2009

UK Cinema Releases 13-03-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Marley And Me (20th Century Fox): Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as two journalists who adopt a dog named Marley in this story adapted from the bestselling memoir of the same name by John Grogan.

Directed by David Frankel, it did stellar business at the US box office around Christmas and looks set to have similar success over here, powered by dog lovers and less discerning audiences. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert PG]

Bronson (Vertigo Films): A biopic of the criminal Charles Bronson – one Britain’s most notorious prisoners. Tom Hardy takes on the central role and it is directed by¬†Nicolas Winding Refn.

Vertigo will be hoping for good word of mouth, mostly based around Hardy’s acclaimed performance, although the 18 certificate may limit its overall box office.¬†[C’World Haymarket, Empire Leicester Sq., Odeon Covent Gdn & Nationwide / Cert¬†18]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

UK limited cinema releases 13-03-09

The Burning Plain (Paramount):  The latest film from writer Guillermo Arriaga sees him make his debut behind the camera.

Like his previous work (Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel) this has a fractured narrative and stars Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger as two women in different parts of America struggling to deal with their lives.

It also stars Danny Pino, Jennifer Lawrence, Joaquim de Almeida, J.D. Pardo, Robin Tunney and Brett Cullen. 

Although some critics are going to take the predictable ‘why can’t he tell a straight story’ line, it is actually an involving and well crafted tale with some fine visuals from DP’s¬†Robert Elswit¬†and John Toll.¬†[Key Cities / Cert¬†15]

Hush (Optimum Releasing): A low budget British horror film about a¬†young couple on a motorway journey are drawn into a game of cat and mouse with a truck driver following a near accident. Written and directed by¬†Mark Tonderai.¬†[C’Worlds Enfield, Shaftesbury Ave., Wandsworth & Nationwide / Cert 15]

Alone¬†aka Issiz Adam (Most Production): A¬†Turkish¬†film written and directed by¬†√áańüan Irmak¬†which explores¬†the lives of two people who live in¬†Istanbul¬†who happen to meet each other in a second-hand book shop.¬†[Odeons Greenwich, Holloway Rd, Lee Valley & Panton St. Only / Cert 15]

In The City Of Sylvia (Axiom Films): A 2007 Spanish film – almost¬†entirely devoid of¬†dialogue¬†– which follows a young man (credited only as ‘El’) as he scours suburban¬†Strasbourg¬†in search of Sylvia, a woman he asked for directions in a bar several years before.

Directed by José Luis Guerín and starring Xavier Lafitte and Pilar López de Ayala. [BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho & Key Cities / Cert PG]

Not Quite Hollywood (Optimum Releasing): A new documentary exploring the world of Australian exploitation cinema that began in the early 1970s. 

Directed by Mark Hartley it shows how a new generation of maverick filmmakers capitalised on the relaxing of censorship laws to create wilder films on smaller budgets. [ICA Cinema only / Cert 18]

* Listen to our interview with director Mark Hartley *

Wonderful Town (Soda Pictures):  Set in post-tsunami Thailand, the story deals with an architect (Anchalee Saisoontorn) who moves into a town to develop a construction project and begins an affair with a sensitive local girl (Supphasit Kansen). [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

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> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 9th March)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 6th March 2009

Watchmen and The Young Victoria

NATIONAL RELEASES

Watchmen (Paramount): The long awaited adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons finally reaches cinema screens after 20 years of development hell and legal wranglings.

If you are unfamiliar with the story it explores what happens to a group of superheroes in an alternative 1985 Рa place where Richard Nixon is a 5-term president and the world stands on the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

The plot begins with the vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) investigating the murder of a former hero called the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and he uncovers a wider conspiracy involving his now retired colleagues. 

The good news is that director Zack Snyder has been given unprecedented freedom with the notoriously unfilmable book after the success of 300. 

Visually it is a real treat with some stunning production design and SFX along with some fine performances by Jackie Earle Haley and Billy Crudup.

Warner Bros are releasing it in the US, with Paramount distributing it here in the UK. Both studios can expect a huge opening weekend, but the big question is how it will do after then.

My gut feeling is that fans of the original comic and young males are going to eat this up but it may struggle with female audiences.

It runs to 2 hours and 40 minutes, has a sombre tone, keeps much of the heavy flashback material and – even for an 18/R-rated film – contains quite brutal scenes of violence, rape and even full frontal nudity.

This may limit its word of mouth appeal but with 300 and The Dark Knight doing so well in recent times maybe the current climate is ripe for the dystopian fantasies of Watchmen. [Nationwide / Cert 18]

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The Young Victoria (Momentum): In what is probably the clearest example of counter-programming since Notting Hill took on The Phantom Menace ten years ago, this period piece about the early years of Queen Victoria should appeal to audiences not up for comic book material.

Although on the surface it might seem like just another costume drama about rich people in large houses, it benefits enormously from having some real energy and talent involved.  

In the lead role of Victoria Emily Blunt brings a real sense of passion and feistiness to a character many still think of as a dour widow, whilst as Rupert Friend does an equally impressive job as Prince Albert.

There are also fine supporting performances from Paul Bettany (as Prime Minister Lord Melbourne) and Miranda Richardson as Victoria’s mother,¬†the¬†Duchess of Kent.

Perhaps the key to why the film works is the combination of¬†Graham King,¬†Martin Scorsese¬†and¬†Sarah, Duchess of York¬†as producers (an unlikely trio, to say the least) allied with screenwriter¬†Julian Fellowes¬†(a shrewd observer of England’s social layers) and director¬†Jean-Marc Vall√©e.

All of them have combined to make a much more substantial film than may have been expected which explores part of Victoria’s reign not really seen on screen before, namely the problems of her accession to the throne and her early relationship with Albert.

Momentum can expect solid box office from those audiences who don’t fancy watching Watchmen. [Nationwide / Cert PG]

* Listen to our interview with Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend here *

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

American Teen (Optimum Releasing): A documentary directed by Nanette Burstein set in Warsaw, Indiana that focuses on five graduating high school seniors as they struggle through school and life.

The five students prominently featured in the film fit typical high school archetypes, such as a popular student, a nerd, a jock, and a loner (like The Breakfast Club, which inspired the poster).

It competed in the Documentary Competition at the¬†2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Directing Award for Documentary.¬† [Cineworld Wandsworth, Vue Shepherd’s Bush & Key Cities/ Cert 15]

Flame And Citron¬†(Metrodome): A World War Two film based on¬†the true story¬†of two of the most active¬†resistance fighters¬†in the¬†Holger Danske resistance group¬†during¬†World War II,¬†Bent Faurschou-Hviid¬†(known as¬†Flame) and¬†J√łrgen Haagen Schmith¬†(known as¬†Citron).

The two resistance fighters are portrayed by Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen, and it was directed by Ole Christian Madsen.[Barbican, Cineworld Haymarket, Renoir & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Reverb (Guerilla Films): A horror written and directed by Eitan Arrusi, set in a recording studio where a musician discovers a voice hidden in an old record Рone that sets into motion a series of horrific events. It stars Leo Gregory and Eva Birthistle. [London & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Surveillance (Odeon Sky Filmworks): An independent thriller set in the Santa Fe desert, directed by Jennifer Lynch and starring Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Michael Ironside, and French Stewart. [London & Nationwide / Cert 15]

Wendy & Lucy (Soda Pictures): A drama directed by¬†Kelly Reichardt¬†and¬†adapted from¬†Jonathan Raymond‘s short story¬†Train Choir.¬†It stars¬†Michelle Williams¬†as¬†an alienated woman who sets her sights on moving to Alaska in hopes of a new life with her dog, Lucy.¬†[London & Key Cities / Cert 15]

> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 2nd March)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: March 2009

UK Cinema Releases March 2009

FRIDAY 6th MARCH 2009
  • American Teen (15) Optimum Releasing / C’World Wandsworth, Vue Shepherd’s Bush & Key Cities
  • Flame And Citron (15) Metrodome / Barbican, C’World Haymarket, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Reverb (15) Guerilla Films / London & Key Cities
  • Surveillance (18) Odeon Sky Filmworks / London & Nationwide
  • Watchmen (18) Paramount / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Wendy & Lucy (15) Soda Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • The Young Victoria (PG) Momentum Pictures Odeon West End & Nationwide
WEDNESDAY 11th MARCH 2009
  • Marley And Me (PG) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide
FRIDAY 13th MARCH 2009
  • Alone (Issiz Adam) (15) Most Production / Odeons Greenwich, Holloway Rd, Lee Valley & Panton St. Only
  • Bronson (18) Vertigo Films / C’World Haymarket, Empire Leicester Sq., Odeon Covent Gdn & Nationwide
  • The Burning Plain (15) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Hush (15) Optimum Releasing / C’Worlds Enfield, Shaftesbury Ave., Wandsworth & Nationwide
  • In The City Of Sylvia (PG) Axiom Films / BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Not Quite Hollywood (18) Optimum Releasing ICA Cinema only
  • Wonderful Town (TBC) Soda Pictures / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
FRIDAY 20th MARCH 2009
  • The Age Of Stupid (12A) Dogwoof Indie / Odeon Panton St., Rich Mix, Tricycle & Key Cities
  • Bottle Shock (12A) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Diminished Capacity (15) Paramount
  • Duplicity (12A) (D) Universal / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Flash Of Genius (12A) Optimum Releasing / Nationwide
  • Il Divo (15) Artificial Eye / Curzons Mayfair & Soho, Gate, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Lesbian Vampire Killers (15) Momentum Pictures / C’World Shaftesbury Ave., Odeon Tottenham Ct Rd., Vue West End & N’wide
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG) Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide (Previews from 18 March)
WEDNESDAY 25th MARCH 2009
  • Knowing (15) E1 Films / Nationwide
FRIDAY 27th MARCH 2009
  • AA Dekhen Zara (TBC) Eros / C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, S’bury Ave., Odeon Greenwich, Vue O2 & Key Cities
  • Afghan Star (TBC) Roast Beef Prod / ICA Cinema
  • The Damned United (TBC) Sony Pictures / Nationwide
  • Genova (15) Metrodome / Key Cities
  • The Haunting In Connecticut (TBC) Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Life Before Her Eyes (TBC) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Martyrs (TBC) Optimum Releasing
  • Traitor (12A) Momentum Pictures / Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities
  • Two Lovers (15) Lionsgate UK / Apollo Piccadilly Circus, C’World Haymarket, Curzon Mayfair & Key Cities
  • Tyson (TBC) Revolver Entertainment / Curzon Soho, Ritzy & Selected Key Cities

Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases 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.

> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 27th February 2009

UK Cinema Releases 27-02-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

The International (Sony Pictures): A timely release for this thriller about an Interpol agent (Clive¬†Owen) who tries to¬†expose a high-profile financial institution’s role in an international arms dealing ring.¬†It co-stars Naomi Watts and is directed by Tom Twyker (who made Run Lola Run) and should do reasonable box office despite middling US reviews and box office. ¬†[Cert 15 /¬†Nationwide]

New In Town (Entertainment): A fish-out-of-water comedy about Miami business woman (Renée Zellweger) sent to a remote Minnesota town to oversee the restructuring of a blue collar manufacturing plant. It co-stars Harry Connick Jra and J.K. Simmons and is directed by Jonas Elmer. Entertainment will be hoping female audiences in the UK will be more responsive to this film than their US counterparts were. [Cert 12A / Nationwide]

The Unborn (Universal): A horror written and directed by David S. Goyer which stars Gary Oldman as a spiritual advisor to a young girl (Odette Yustman) who is tormented by a dybbuk. Universal will be hoping horror fans will give it a respectable gross despite the bad reviews and lack of discernible buzz. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

UK Selected Releases 27-02-09

The Class (Artificial Eye): The winner of the Palme D’Or at Cannes earlier this year is¬†based on the¬†2006 novel¬†by¬†Fran√ßois B√©gaudeau, which was a¬†semi-autobiographical¬†account of B√©gaudeau’s experiences as a¬†literature¬†teacher in an¬†inner city¬†middle school in¬†Paris. Directed by¬†Laurent Cantet, it skilfully avoids cliche and is a a refreshingly humane and absorbing drama. Easily one of the best films to be released this year. ¬†[Cert 15 /¬†Curzons Mayfair & Soho, Gate, Renoir & Key Cities)

Franklyn (Contender Films): A fantasy film split between the parallel realities of contemporary London and the futuristic metropolis of ‘Meanwhile City’, it¬†follows the tales of four characters: Jonathan Preest (Ryan Phillippe), a masked vigilante who won’t rest until he finds his nemesis; Emilia (Eva Green), a troubled young art student; Milo (Sam Riley), a heartbroken twentysomething and Peter (Bernard Hill), is a man steeped in religion, searching for his missing son amongst London’s homeless. Directed by¬†Gerald McMorrow¬†and produced by¬†Jeremy Thomas. [Cert 15 / London & Key Cities]

Gun Crazy (bfi Distribution): A reissue for this 1950 film noir starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall in a story about the crime-spree of a gun-toting husband and wife. Directed by Joseph H. Lewis and produced by Frank King and Maurice King. [Cert PG / BFI Southbank & Key Cities]   

Obscene (Revolver Entertainment): A documentary about Barney Rosset,¬†the former owner of the publishing house¬†Grove Press, who¬†led a successful legal battle to publish the uncensored version of¬†D. H. Lawrence‘s novel¬†Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and later was the American publisher of¬†Henry Miller‘s controversial novel¬†Tropic of Cancer.¬† [ICA Cinema]

> UK Cinema Releases for February 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies

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UK Cinema Releases: Friday 20th February 2009

UK Cinema Releases 20-02-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Gran Torino (Warner Bros.): Just 3 months after Changeling opened at UK cinemas Clint Eastwood returns with another film, which he directs and stars in. The story is about a disgruntled Korean War vet (Eastwood) who sets out to reform his neighbour, a young Hmong teenager (Bee Vang), who tried to steal his vintage 1972 Gran Torino car.

Although this project came together quickly, it is a lean and satisfying tale told with Eastwood’s customary efficiency and class. It would be safe to categorise it as a drama, but there are some very funny sequences, mostly involving the culture clash between Eastwood’s gruff character and his immigrant neighbours.

There are times when the film skates on thin ice when dealing with the issue of race, but Eastwood and screenwriter¬†Nick Schenk deserve credit for venturing in territory that most Hollywood execs wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.

It is a pleasingly old fashioned drama of simple pleasures and a fitting swansong for the iconic tough guy persona Eastwood has owned for a generation.

For some reason Warner Bros are doing a platform release in London before going nationwide next week (perhaps they were hoping for Oscar nominations that didn’t materialise?) when it can expect to do decent, if unspectacular business. [Cert 15 /¬†Vue West End – Nationwide from 27 February]

Che Part Two (Optimum Releasing): The second part of Steven Soderbergh’s Che biopic¬†focuses on his futile attempt to bring revolution to¬†Bolivia and eventual ill-fated demise.

When viewed as two films I have to admit a preference for the vibrancy and sweep of Part One, but there is much to recommend in this darker second segment.

Benicio Del Toro is still splendid as the revolutionary icon and the wide-screen lensing of the first part is replaced with a more claustrophobic shooting style Рit was shot on the 1:85 ratio instead of the wider 2:35 format.

Although some critics have found both films a little dry, Soderbergh deserves a great deal of credit for the¬†authenticity and audacity of this project – a testament to the director’s ability to mix his successful Hollywood career with more intriguing work.

For a foreign laguage film, Part One did well early in January (helped by some Film Coucil money enabling a wider release) and Part Two can expect to do similar business.¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†Cineworld Wandsworth, Odeon Covent Garden, Vue Shepherd’s Bush & Nationwide]

Cadillac Records (Sony Pictures): A biopic written and directed by Darnell Martin that explores the musical era from the early 1940s to the late 1960s, chronicling the life of the influential Chicago-based record-company executive Leonard Chess, and the singers who recorded for Chess Records.

The cast includes Adrien Brody as Chess, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Columbus Short as Little Walter, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, and Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James.

Although this has a starry cast and got favourable US reviews, it may struggle to find a sizeable audience in the UK. It may be that a more appreciative audience discovers the film on DVD and TV in the future.¬†[Cert 15 /¬†Odeon Panton St, C’Worlds Enfield, Feltham, Wandsworth & Nationwide]

Confessions Of A Shopaholic (Walt Disney): Disney execs who greenlit this film must have been kicking themselves when Wall Street and modern consumer capitalism started to implode last Autumn.

Why? Well, this is a film based on the chick-lit novel by Sophie Kinsella about young woman (Isla Fisher) who moves to Manhattan in order to nurture her shopping addiction and get involved in the New York magazine world.

Directed by P. J. Hogan, it also stars John Goodman and Joan Cusack as her parents and was probably rushed into production when The Devil Wears Prada became a hit.

This might seem like a bad time to be releasing such a film, but perhaps reverse psychology and a desperate need for escapism might help it to a better than expected gross. [Cert PG / Vue West End & Nationwide]

Push (Icon): This sci-fi thriller about¬†a group of young American ex-pats with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities seems to bear some similarities to last year’s¬†Jumper.

Directed by Paul McGuigan, it stars Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Djimon Hounsou, and Camilla Belle as some of the psychic peoplewho band together to attempt to battle a government agency.

It has already spawned possibly the longest ever ever plot summary on Wikipedia but on a more serious note, the negative US reviews and lack of any real star may hamper its UK box office prospects. [Cert 12A / London & Nationwide]

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IN LIMITED RELEASE

Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (The Works): An offbeat¬†documentary about a 30-year-old Canadian metal band led by two lifelong friends in their 50’s. Directed by¬†Sacha Gervasi it premiered at the¬†Sundance Film Festival in January 2008, and has won Audience Awards at various other festivals since then.¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†Curzon Soho & Key Cities]

20th Century Boys (4Digital Asia): A limited run at the ICA Cinema for this¬†live-action take on Naoki Urasawa’s ace manga series. [Cert¬†15 /¬†ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

> UK Cinema Releases for February 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 16th February)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 13th February 2009

UK Cinema Releases 13-02-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Notorious (Fox): A¬†biopic¬†about the life of hip hop star¬†Biggie Smalls aka The Notorious B.I.G, sees him played played by newcomer¬†Jamal Woolard. It has a supporting ¬†film that includes¬†Angela Bassett¬†as his mother¬†Voletta Wallace,¬†Derek Luke¬†as¬†Sean Combs,¬†Anthony Mackie¬†as Tupac Shakur, Naturi Naughton¬†as¬†Lil’ Kim¬†and¬†Antonique Smith¬†as¬†Faith Evans. Despite mixed reviews in the US, it earned a respectable gross and looks like it will easily earn back its modest budget in foreign and ancillary markets. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

Hotel For Dogs (Paramount): Dogs are big business at the box office these days with Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Marley and Me and Bolt proving to be big hits in the States. The latest dog themed film is this¬†adaptation of the¬†Lois Duncan¬†novel¬†about two orphans who take in stray dogs at an empty house. Directed by¬†Thor Freudenthal, it stars¬†Emma Roberts,¬†Jake T. Austin,¬†Lisa Kudrow,¬†Kevin Dillon,¬†Kyla Pratt¬†and¬†Don Cheadle. Paramount will be hoping that it eats into Bolt’s box office, but that could be a big ask given the lack of stars and buzz.¬†[Cert U / London & Nationwide]

The Pink Panther 2 (Sony Pictures): Soon to be an entry in the dictionary of unnecessary sequels is this follow up to the 2006 reboot of The Pink Panther with Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appears in the female lead as criminology expert, Sonia, whilst John Cleese replaces Kevin Kline as Chief Inspector Dreyfus. Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer reprising their roles as his partner Ponton and his girlfriend Nicole whilst Andy García and Alfred Molina round out the cast as two detectives. Given that the 2006 film netted Sony an inexplicable $158 million worldwide gross, Sony can expect decent box office from undiscerning audiences. [Cert PG / London & Nationwide]

Friday The 13th (Paramount): Another unnecessary remake (a theme this week) of a famous horror film that looks like it was partly green-lit just so distributors could get a kick out of releasing it on [cue scary music] …Friday the 13th. Directed¬†by¬†Marcus Nispel¬†(who remade the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) it is a¬†reboot¬†of the¬†Friday the 13th¬†film series, whose last film was the 2003¬†crossover¬†film¬†Freddy vs. Jason. The film stars Derek Mears as¬†Jason Voorhees, with¬†Jared Padalecki¬†and¬†Amanda Righetti¬†portraying the male and female leads. Apparently this one will use elements from the first four film and will involve similar levels of dismemberment. [Cert 18 /¬†Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED CINEMAS

Billu Barber (Eros): A¬†¬†Bollywoodfilm¬†directed by¬†Priyadarshan, which¬†stars¬†Irrfan Khan¬†and¬†Lara Dutta¬†in the lead roles and¬†Om Puri,¬†Rajpal Yadav¬†and¬†Asrani¬†in supporting roles with guest appearances by actresses¬†Kareena Kapoor,¬†Deepika Padukone¬†and¬†Priyanka Chopra. [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave, Odeon Greenwich & Key Cities]

Under The Sea 3D (Imax Corporation): A 3D IMAX documentary that looks at the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas and the impact of global warming on the oceans. [BFI Imax, Imax Cinemas Greenwich & Wimbledon]

Three Monkeys (New Wave Films): Am acclaimed Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan about a driver and his family who are drawn into a web of lies when his employer offers a large monetary reward, on condition that he takes the blame for a hit-and-run.  [Cert 15 / Apollo Piccadilly Circus, NFT, Renoir & Key Cities]

King Of The Hill (El¬†Rey de la monta√Īa)¬†(Optimum Releasing): A Spanish thriller from¬†director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego¬†about two people trying to avoid snipers in a forest.¬†¬†[Cert 15 /¬†ICA Cinema only]

Fuck (ICA Films):¬†A 2005 documentary on the expletive’s origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use.¬†[ICA Cinema / Key Cities from March]

> UK Cinema Releases for February 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 9th February)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 6th February 2009

UK Cinema Releases 06-02-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (Warner Bros): This high profile big budget adaptation an¬†F. Scott Fitzgerald short story stars¬†Brad Pitt as the title character, a man who is born as an old man and ages backwards throughout his life. Directed¬†by¬†David Fincher, from a script written by¬†Eric Roth and¬†Robin Swicord, it also stars¬†Cate Blanchett,¬†Taraji P. Henson,¬†Julia Ormond,¬†Tilda Swinton and¬†Jason Flemyng. Told in flashback, it is an epic tale of one man’s life during the 20th century, from in 1918 to 2005.

On first viewing I admired it more as a technical exercise and was puzzled as to why a director like Fincher was attracted to this material. Why did they alter the original story so much? What were the contemporary references all about? And wasn’t it a bit too similar to Forrest Gump? (also scripted by Roth). However, on second viewing I found it to be a much richer experience – it is essentially a fable about love and loss and gains its power from the central concept of living life backwards.

Far from being a gimmick, it actually becomes a profound way of dramatising the ageing process. Forget the Oscar fuelled hype and snarky critical hate surrounding this film and approach it with an open mind. The makeup, visual effects, cinematography, score and performances make it an unusual and affecting big budget rarity.

Because studios don’t like making expensive dramas like this, Paramount have split costs with Warner Bros, with the latter being the UK distributor. The Oscar nominations and star power of Pitt and Blanchett should give it a top 2 finish at least, even though the length (166 mins) will curb its earnings.¬†[Cert¬†12A¬†/ Nationwide]

Doubt (Walt Disney): In 2005, John Patrick Shanley wrote the hit play Doubt: A Parable, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Now Shanley has directed a film version called Doubt which stars Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius, the stern principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx during the 1960s, who comes into conflict with a reforming priest named Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

A strong supporting cast includes Amy Adams and Viola Davis and although at times it is a little too stagey, the strength of the original play shines through and gives the impressive cast a chance to flex their considerable acting muscles. Although some audiences will be left frustrated by the climax, it is worth remembering that it contains the very crux of the play and is also what gives it a rich and lasting power. Disney and Miramax will be hoping that upscale audiences will check this out, but it faces tough competition from Benjamin Button and other awards season fare. [Cert 15 / Nationwide]

Bolt (Walt Disney): The first film from the rejuvenated¬†Walt Disney Animation Studios headed by Pixar supremo¬†John Lasseter tells the story of a dog named Bolt (voiced by¬†John Travolta) who doesn’t realise that the TV show he stars in isn’t actually real. Also featuring the voices of¬†Miley Cyrus,¬†Malcolm McDowell,¬†Susie Essman and¬†Mark Walton, it was directed by¬†Chris Williams and¬†Byron Howard.

The effect of Lasseter overseeing this film has had a marked on effect on the animation and writing, which contains similar levels of wit and emotion apparent in the best Pixar movies. Added to this, is the impressive Dolby 3-D which is less gimicky than recent films like Beowulf, instead featuring a more organic visual approach. Disney can be hopeful that family audiences will power this to the top slot despite it being a very busy weekend at the UK box office. [Cert PG / Vue West End & Nationwide]

* Listen to our interview with John Lasseter about Bolt *

He’s Just Not That Into You (Entertainment): A romantic comedy squarely aimed at female audiences based on the self-help book of the same name by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, which, in turn, was based on a line of dialogue in Sex and the City. The ensemble cast is impressive: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly and Bradley Cooper.

The plot revolves around the romantic misadventures of several individuals in their twenties and thirties and the common thread is that one person in each relationship is more enamored with the other person. Directed by Ken Kwapis it looks likely to ensnare gullible females but the lack of marketing buzz and mixed reviews would appear to be ominous signs for its box office potential. The recent remix of the trailer with the Christian Bale meltdown might actually be funnier than the film. [Cert 12A/ Nationwide]

Punisher War Zone (Sony Pictures): A fairly unnecessary reboot for the Marvel Comics vigilante The Punisher. British actor Ray Stevenson replaces Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and in this story wages a one-man war against a horribly disfigured mob boss known as Jigsaw (no, not the Saw villain) played by Dominic West. Lionsgate tried to ressurect this a superviolent anti-superhero franchise but it failed at the US box office and Sony (who have UK distribution) will have to look to ancillary markets to find any profit. [Cert 18 / Nationwide]

The Secret Of Moonacre (Warner Bros.):¬†An¬†adaptation¬†of the¬†novel¬†The Little White Horse by¬†Elizabeth Goudge, which is set in the 1840’s and follows Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), a 13 year old orphan on her journey to the mysterious Moonacre Manor in the West Country. There she discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and she has only until the next full moon to undo the misdeeds of her ancestors and save the Moonacre estate. Although some talented actors such as Tim Curry, Ioan Gruffudd, and¬†Natascha McElhone feature in the supporting cast, this faces a struggle to capture family audiences with Disney’s Bolt looking to be dominant film for that market this week. [Cert U / Nationwide]

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Optimum Releasing): After making the worst film of his career, Woody Allen returns with his best in years, a witty and sparkling tale of  two American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) who spend a summer in Barcelona and both fall for a local artist (Javier Bardem) who has an angry ex-wife (Penélope Cruz). Not only is it smarter than his recent outings but it contains some truly marvellous performances, especially from Bardem and Cruz. [Cert 12A/ West End venues / Regions from 13th Feb]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

The Good, The Bad and The Weird (Icon): The story of three Korean outlaws in 1930s Manchuria and their dealings with the Japanese army and Chinese and Russian bandits. Directed by Kim Ji-woon, it stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and Jung Woo-sung. [Cert 15 / Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Key Cities]

Who Killed Nancy? (Soda Pictures): A limited release for a documentary exploring the death of¬†Nancy Spungen, an ex-prostitute, sometimes stripper, heroin addict, and girlfriend of Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious.¬†Directed by Alan G Parker.¬†[London venues & Key Cities]

> UK Cinema Releases for February 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 2nd February)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: February 2009

UK Cinema Releases - February 2009

FRIDAY 6th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Bolt (3D) (PG) Walt Disney /¬†Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (12A) Warner Bros. / Nationwide
  • Doubt (15) / Walt Disney
  • The Good, The Bad and The Weird (15) Icon /¬†Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave., & Key Cities
  • He‚Äôs Just Not That Into You (TBC) Entertainment /¬†Nationwide
  • Punisher War Zone (18) / Sony Pictures
  • The Secret Of Moonacre (U) / Warner Bros.
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (12A) Optimum Releasing /¬†West End venues (Regions from 13 Feb)
  • Who Killed Nancy? (TBC) Soda Pictures / London venues & Key Cities

FRIDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Friday The 13th (18)¬†/¬†Paramount
  • Fuck (TBC) ICA Films / ICA Cinema (Key Cities from March)
  • Hotel For Dogs (U) / Paramount
  • Moscow, Belgium (15) Unanimous Pictures / London venues (tbc) & Key Cities
  • Notorious (15)¬†20th Century Fox
  • Pink Panther 2 (PG) /¬†Sony Pictures
  • Three Monkeys (15) / New Wave Films

FRIDAY 20th FEBRUARY 2009

  • 20th Century Boys (15)¬†4Digital Asia / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (12A) The Works / Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Cadillac Records (TBC) /¬†Sony Pictures
  • Che: Part Two (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Confessions Of A Shopaholic (TBC) /¬†Walt Disney
  • Franklyn (15) Contender Films / E1 Films
  • Gran Torino (15) / Warner Bros.
  • Push (12A) / Icon

FRIDAY 27th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Brothers (TBC) / Lionsgate UK
  • The Class (15) /¬†Artificial Eye
  • Dance Flick (TBC) / Paramount
  • Fermat‚Äôs Room (TBC) /¬†Revolver Entertainment
  • Gun Crazy (PG) (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Hamlet 2 (15) /¬†Momentum Pictures
  • The International (15) / Sony Pictures
  • New In Town (12A) / Entertainment
  • The Unborn (15) Universal

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Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases 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.

> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms

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UK Cinema Releases: Friday 30th January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 30-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Revolutionary Road (Paramount): Adapted from the acclaimed 1961 novel by Richard Yates, this stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a young married couple who yearn to break free of their stifling lives in surburban Connecticut. Directed by Sam Mendes from a script by Justin Haythe, it was widely expected to garner critical acclaim and Oscar nominations. 

It hasn’t quite worked out that way because the film, despite having numerous qualities, doesn’t quite add up to more than the sum of its parts.¬†Winslet is excellent as the frustrated housewife yearning for a deeper existence, but DiCaprio feels a little adrift in a more unsympathetic role as her husband. In the supporting cast Michael Shannon and Kathy Bates are interesting but occasionally come across as too one note in how they comment on the central characters, almost as if they are a 1950s-style Greek chorus.

One can’t help avoiding comparisons to Mad Men, a TV series that covers the same period with a richness and originality that a film like this can’t really match.¬†Despite the problems, there is much technical brilliance here to feast on: Roger Deakins continues to dazzle with some marvellous cinematography, whilst¬†regular Mendes colloborator¬†Thomas Newman delivers another affecting score that complements the action superbly (watch out for the dance sequence).

The overall effect of the film is a rather downbeat, a factor which may have reduced its Oscar chances and could limit its box office here in the UK. Although on paper, two big stars in a prestige picture would seem likely to do well, word of mouth might affect its long term theatrical gross when certain audiences (i.e. couples) realise how close to the bone the film cuts in its depiction of an unhappy marriage. [Cert 15 / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]

Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sony Pictures): I’m very reluctant to call this film,¬†based upon the novel by Rachel Cohn and¬†David Levithan, a romantic comedy because that genre has been polluted by mindless garbage appealing to female audiences who should know better. However, it would be an accurate depiction of this charming tale of two people (Michael Cera¬†and¬†Kat Dennings) who fall in love over the course of one night in New York.

In some ways you could call it a genuine romantic comedy because it is both romantic and funny, but it is also smarter than the average movie of this type. The two lead characters are nicely drawn and there is a standout supporting performancefrom¬†Ari Graynor¬†as one of Norah’s best friends. I’m surprised it didn’t do better in the US when it opened there back in October, but perhaps Sony couldn’t find the right marketing hook for it. The impressive soundtrack and feelgood vibe might ensure more success for the film as people discover it on DVD.¬†¬†[Cert¬†12A /¬†London & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Barry Lyndon¬†(PG): The BFI give a limited re-issue for¬†Stanley Kubrick‘s masterful 1975 adaptation of¬†¬†William Makepeace Thackeray‘s novel¬†The Luck of Barry Lyndon¬†about the adventures and misadventures of an 18th century gambler and social climber (Ryan O’Neal). The visuals by cinematographer¬†John Alcott¬†(who won an Oscar for his work) were lit with¬†a specially-adapted¬†Zeiss¬†camera lens originally developed for NASA and are still quite stunning to behold. One re-issue definitely worth catching on a cinema screen, especially as Warner Bros can’t be arsed to give it a decent DVD release. [BFI Southbank]

The Broken (The Works): A contemporary horror thriller written and directed by Sean Ellis and starring Lena Headey as woman who wakes up in the hospital following an encounter with a mysterious doppelganger. Richard Jenkins co-stars, but this is unlikely to make any serious waves at the UK box office. [Cert 15 / London & Key Cities]   

JCVD (Revolver Entertainment): An action film directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as himself (!), a down-and-out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he’s caught in the middle of a post office heist in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium. [A limited release at the Prince Charles Cinema in London]   

Luck By Chance (Adlabs Films): A Bollywood film directed by Zoya Akhtar that stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Farhan Akhtar with Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Juhi Chawla, Hrithik Roshan, Isha Sharvani and Sanjay Kapoor in the supporting cast. Supposedly a satire of the Bollywood film industry, it is about an actor named Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan Akhtar) who arrives in Bombay to make it big as a film star with the help of a TV star friend.  [Cert 12A]

Tokyo Sonata (Eureka Entertainment): A drama directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa about an everyday Japanese family that slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company. [Cert 12A / ICA Cinema & Key Cities] 

> UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 26th January)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 23rd January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 23-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Frost/Nixon (Universal):¬†A historical drama based on the play by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, which dramatises the 1977 televised Frost/Nixon interviews. Directed by Ron Howard, it stars¬†Michael Sheen¬†as¬†David Frost¬†and Frank Langella¬†as¬†Richard Nixon. I was lucky enough to catch the stage version in London in November 2006 and Howard has done a fine job in not imposing too much style to what was already a strong drama. He was also wise enough to retain Sheen and Langella in the lead roles as they are both bring a chemistry and technique that would have been hard to reignite with new actors. Although major studios have tended to shy away from making ‘prestige’ films like this, they deserve credit in green-lighting material such as this. Although there are a couple of missteps – notably a fictional scene towards the end – it is a deeply satisfying and accomplished film of an outstanding play. A high profile publicity campaign and Oscar nominations will give it a boost at the UK box office even if snagging the top spot might be a stretch. ¬†[Cert 15 / Nationwide]

Valkyrie (20th Century Fox): Set in Nazi Germany during World War II this drama/thriller depicts the July 20th, 1944 plot by German army officers to kill Adolf Hitler. Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, it stars Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key figures in the conspiracy. It also features Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. Although the early buzz on this film had been negative due to controversy over Cruise’s casting and other production difficulties, it is a well made and absorbing thriller. Although in the age of a film like Downfall, the English accents occasionally detract from the sense of realism Singer has crafted a believable world even if there is too much of a reliance on British actors. However, Fox will be encouraged by its better-than-expected US gross and a high profile publicity campaign which saw a premiere and Cruise appearing on the first Jonathan Ross Show since the presenter got suspended.¬†[Cert /¬†12A¬†Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]

Milk (Momentum): A biopic¬†of the late American politician Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California in the late 70s. Directed by¬†Gus Van Sant¬†from a script by¬†Dustin Lance Black, it stars¬†Sean Penn¬†as Milk and features¬†Emile Hirsch,¬†James Franco¬†and¬†Josh Brolin¬†in key supporting roles. Penn dominates proceedings with one of the best performances of his career but there is also sterling work from the rest of the cast, especially Brolin as Milk’s eventual assassin, Dan White. It is an interesting story with a suprising number of modern echoes, with Milk’s hope and grass-roots campaigning feeling like Obama’s recent victory and the depiction of¬†Proposition 6¬†feeling eerily like Prop 8. If you see the film this week and also observed¬†the 44th US President get sworn in, note that the politician that¬†announces Milk’s death at the beginning of the film (in archive footage) is¬†Dianne Feinstein¬†– the same woman who was master of ceremonies at the¬†presidential inauguration.¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†Barbican, Cineworld Kings Rd., Curzon Soho, Odeon Camden & Nationwide]

Underworld 3: Rise Of The Lycans (Entertainment): A prequel to the vampire films¬†Underworld¬†and¬†Underworld: Evolution, which covers the origins of some characters.¬†¬†It follows a young Lycan named¬†Lucian¬†(Michael Sheen) who emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against¬†Viktor¬†(Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Viktor’s daughter¬†Sonja¬†(Rhona Mitra), in his struggle for Lycan freedom. Note that Sheen and Nighy are both in rival films out this week. Entertainment will be hoping that their vast army of posters across the UK will help the film crack the top three in a busy week.¬†[Cert¬†18 /¬†Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Rachel Getting Married (Sony): A drama about a¬†young woman named Kym (Anne Hathaway) who returns home from rehab for her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding. Tensions within the family lead to a bittersweet conclusion. It was¬†written by Jenny Lumet, the daughter of director¬†Sidney Lumet¬†and¬†directed by¬†Jonathan Demme¬†in a naturalistic, documentary style. A film with some considerable merits (the camera work and music) and flaws (some flimsy, annoying characters) it is also notable for featuring a scene with a dishwasher that ranks amongst the most bizarre in recent cinematic history.¬†[Cert¬†15 / London & Key Cities]

Faintheart (Vertigo Films): This film about a geeky viking enthusiast (Eddie Marsan) is notable for being a collaboration between Myspace, Vertigo films and Film4. The resulting experiment, MyMovieMashUp, sought to harness the power and talents of the online community by involving them in the film-making process. Alas, the film is the usual British ho-hum loser-comes-good comedy, which makes you wonder why they bothered with the online stuff in the first place. Expect a limited run at cinemas followed by a swift DVD release. [Cert 12A / Key Cities]

Better Things (Soda Pictures): A drama about a group of young people growing up together in a small, rural community in the Cotswolds, directed by Duane Hopkins. [Cert 15 / ICA Cinema, Renoir & Key Cities]

> UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 19th January)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: 2009

UK Cinema Releases Jan-Dec 2009

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Here is the schedule for UK cinema releases for 2009.

The release dates are subject to change but hopefully this will be a useful guide to what’s coming out in the coming months.

The format is the film’s title in bold, followed by the certificate, distributor and then the cinema release it will get.

(As a lot of these haven’t been certified by the BBFC yet, ‘TBC’ denotes that it is To Be Certified).

JANUARY

UK Cinema Releases January 2009

Thursday 1 January 2009

  • The Spirit (12A) Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 2nd JANUARY 2009

  • Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (18) Park Circus / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Che: Part One (15) Optimum Releasing /¬†Odeons Camden, Covent Gdn, Curzon Soho & N’wide (Previews 1 Jan)
  • The Reader (15) Entertainment /¬†Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants 2 (12A) Warner Bros. /¬†Nationwide

FRIDAY 9th JANUARY 2009

  • Bride Wars (PG) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Defiance (15) Momentum Pictures / Odeons Swiss Cottage, West End, Whiteleys, Vue Islington & N’wide
  • Hannah Takes The Stairs / ICA Films ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Role Models (15)¬†Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Sex Drive (15) E1 Films / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Slumdog Millionaire (15) /¬†Pathe Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Stuck (15) High Fliers Films / Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus, Showcase Bristol & Showcase Manchester

FRIDAY 16th JANUARY 2009

  • A Christmas Tale (15) /¬†New Wave Films Apollo Picc Circus, Cine Lumiere, Odeon Covent Gdn, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua (U) /¬†Walt Disney Odeon Mezzanine & Nationwide
  • Boogie (15)¬†Dogwoof Pictures / Renoir & Key Cities
  • Chandni Chowk To China (12A) /¬†Warner Bros. Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Nationwide
  • Clubbed (18) Route One Rel. Apollo Picc. Circus, Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities
  • Hansel & Gretel (18) Terracotta Distribution / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • My Bloody Valentine 3-D (18) / Lionsgate UK Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Notorious (U) (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Seven Pounds (12A) Sony Pictures / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • The Wrestler (15) Optimum Releasing / Nationwide

FRIDAY 23rd JANUARY 2009

  • Better Things (15) Soda Pictures / ICA Cinema, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Faintheart (12A) Vertigo Films / Key Cities
  • Frost/Nixon (15) Universal Vue West End & Nationwide
  • JCVD (TBC) Revolver¬†Entertainment / Prince Charles Cinema
  • Milk (15) Momentum Pictures /¬†Barbican, C’World Kings Rd., Curzon Soho, Odeon Camden & Nationwide
  • Rachel Getting Married (15) Sony Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • Underworld 3: Rise Of The Lycans (18) Entertainment / Nationwide
  • Valkyrie (12A) 20th Century Fox /¬†Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide

Monday 26 January 2009

  • Paris 36 (TBC) Pathe / Cine Lumiere only

FRIDAY 30th JANUARY 2009

  • Barry Lyndon (PG) (R/I) /¬†BFI Southbank
  • The Broken (15) The Works / London & Key Cities
  • Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (12A) Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide
  • Revolutionary Road (15) Paramount /¬†Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Tokyo Sonata (12A) Eureka Entertainment / ICA Cinema & Key Cities

FEBRUARY

UK Cinema Releases - February 2009

FRIDAY 6th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Bolt (3D) (PG) Walt Disney /¬†Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (12A) Warner Bros. / Nationwide
  • Doubt (15) (D) Walt Disney
  • The Good, The Bad and The Weird (15) Icon /¬†Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave., & Key Cities
  • He’s Just Not That Into You (TBC) Entertainment /¬†Nationwide
  • Punisher War Zone (18) / Sony Pictures
  • The Secret Of Moonacre (U) / Warner Bros.
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (12A) Optimum Releasing /¬†West End venues (Regions from 13 Feb)
  • Who Killed Nancy? (TBC) Soda Pictures / London venues (tbc) & Key Cities

FRIDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Friday The 13th (TBC)¬†/¬†Paramount
  • Fuck (TBC) ICA Films / ICA Cinema (Key Cities from March)
  • Hotel For Dogs (U) / Paramount
  • Moscow, Belgium (15) Unanimous Pictures / London venues (tbc) & Key Cities
  • Notorious (TBC)¬†20th Century Fox
  • Pink Panther 2 (PG) /¬†Sony Pictures
  • Three Monkeys (15) / New Wave Films

FRIDAY 20th FEBRUARY 2009

  • 20th Century Boys (15)¬†4Digital Asia / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (12A) The Works / Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Cadillac Records (TBC) /¬†Sony Pictures
  • Che: Part Two (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Confessions Of A Shopaholic (TBC) /¬†Walt Disney
  • Franklyn (15) Contender Films / E1 Films
  • Gran Torino (15) / Warner Bros.
  • Push (TBC) / Icon

FRIDAY 27th FEBRUARY 2009

  • Brothers (TBC) / Lionsgate UK
  • The Class (15) /¬†Artificial Eye
  • Dance Flick (TBC) / Paramount
  • Fermat’s Room (TBC) /¬†Revolver Entertainment
  • Gun Crazy (PG) (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Hamlet 2 (15) /¬†Momentum Pictures
  • The International (15) / Sony Pictures
  • New In Town (12A) / Entertainment
  • The Unborn (15) Universal

MARCH

UK Cinema Releases March 2009

FRIDAY 6th MARCH 2009
  • American Teen (15) Optimum Releasing / C’World Wandsworth, Vue Shepherd’s Bush & Key Cities
  • Flame And Citron (15) Metrodome / Barbican, C’World Haymarket, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Reverb (15) Guerilla Films / London & Key Cities
  • Surveillance (18) Odeon Sky Filmworks / London & Nationwide
  • Watchmen (18) Paramount / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Wendy & Lucy (15) Soda Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • The Young Victoria (PG) Momentum Pictures Odeon West End & Nationwide
WEDNESDAY 11th MARCH 2009
  • Marley And Me (PG) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide
FRIDAY 13th MARCH 2009
  • Alone (Issiz Adam) (15) Most Production / Odeons Greenwich, Holloway Rd, Lee Valley & Panton St. Only
  • Bronson (18) Vertigo Films / C’World Haymarket, Empire Leicester Sq., Odeon Covent Gdn & Nationwide
  • The Burning Plain (15) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Hush (15) Optimum Releasing / C’Worlds Enfield, Shaftesbury Ave., Wandsworth & Nationwide
  • In The City Of Sylvia (PG) Axiom Films / BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Not Quite Hollywood (18) Optimum Releasing ICA Cinema only
  • Wonderful Town (TBC) Soda Pictures / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
FRIDAY 20th MARCH 2009
  • The Age Of Stupid (12A) Dogwoof Indie / Odeon Panton St., Rich Mix, Tricycle & Key Cities
  • Bottle Shock (12A) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Diminished Capacity (15) Paramount
  • Duplicity (12A) (D) Universal / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Flash Of Genius (12A) Optimum Releasing / Nationwide
  • Il Divo (15) Artificial Eye / Curzons Mayfair & Soho, Gate, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Lesbian Vampire Killers (15) Momentum Pictures / C’World Shaftesbury Ave., Odeon Tottenham Ct Rd., Vue West End & N’wide
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG) Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide (Previews from 18 March)
WEDNESDAY 25th MARCH 2009
  • Knowing (15) E1 Films / Nationwide
FRIDAY 27th MARCH 2009
  • AA Dekhen Zara (TBC) Eros / C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, S’bury Ave., Odeon Greenwich, Vue O2 & Key Cities
  • Afghan Star (TBC) Roast Beef Prod / ICA Cinema
  • The Damned United (TBC) Sony Pictures / Nationwide
  • Genova (15) Metrodome / Key Cities
  • The Haunting In Connecticut (TBC) Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Life Before Her Eyes (TBC) Paramount / Key Cities
  • Martyrs (TBC) Optimum Releasing
  • Traitor (12A) Momentum Pictures / Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities
  • Two Lovers (15) Lionsgate UK / Apollo Piccadilly Circus, C’World Haymarket, Curzon Mayfair & Key Cities
  • Tyson (TBC) Revolver Entertainment / Curzon Soho, Ritzy & Selected Key Cities

APRIL

UK Cinema Releases April 2009

WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL 2009

  • The Boat That Rocked (15) / Universal / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 3rd APRIL 2009

  • Cherry Blossoms / Dogwoof Pictures / ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities
  • I Can’t Think Straight / Enlightenment Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus
  • Modern Life (PG) / Soda Pictures / Gate, Cine Lumiere, Everyman, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Monsters Vs. Aliens (Also 3D) (PG) / Paramount / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 28 & 29 March)
  • Religulous (15) / Momentum Pictures / Odeon Panton Street & selected Key Cities
  • Waveriders (PG) / Element Pictures / London & selected Key Cities
  • The World Unseen / Enlightenment Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus

WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL 2009

  • Dragonball Evolution (PG) / 20th Century Fox / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 10th APRIL 2009

  • 17 Again (12A) / Entertainment / Odeon West End & Nationwide
  • The 400 Blows (PG) / bfi Distribution / Barbican, Curzon Mayfair, Everyman Hampstead, NFT & Key Cities
  • 50 Dead Men Walking (15) / Metrodome / Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Nationwide
  • Fast And Furious (12A) / Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Let The Right One In (15) / Momentum Pictures / C’World Haymarket, Gate, Curzon Soho, Rio, Ritzy & Key Cities
  • Race To Witch Mountain (PG) / Walt Disney / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Tera Mera Ki Rishta / Eros
  • Tony Manero (18) / Network Releasing / ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities

THURSDAY 16th APRIL 2009

  • Crank 2: High Voltage (18) / Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 17th APRIL 2009

  • Before I Forget / Peccadillo Pictures / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Good (15) / Lionsgate UK / Curzon Mayfair & Key Cities
  • I Love You Man (15) / Paramount / London & Nationwide (Previews 15/16 April)
  • In Search Of Beethoven (U) / Seventh Art Productions / All Saints Arts Centre, Barbican, Phoenix & Key Cities
  • In The Loop (15) / Optimum Releasing / Odeons Camden & Kensington, Vue Shepherds Bush & Nationwide
  • Not Easily Broken (PG) / Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide

FRIDAY 24th APRIL 2009

  • City Rats (18) / Revolver Entertainment / Apollo Piccadilly
  • Encounters At The End Of The World (U) / Revolver Entertainment / Odeon Covent Gdn, Phoenix, Renoir & Key Cities
  • FAQ About Time Travel (15) / Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Key Cities
  • From Russia With Love (PG) (R/I) / Park Circus / BFI Southbank & Nationwide
  • The Grocer’s Son / ICA Films / ICA Cinema, Odeon Panton St., & Key Cities
  • Observe And Report (15) / Warner Bros. / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Outlander (15) / Momentum Pictures / Odeons Greenwich, Whiteleys, Vues Islington, West End & Nationwide
  • Shifty (15) / Metrodome / Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Nationwide
  • State Of Play / Universal / Empire Leicester Sq. & Nationwide (Previews 22 & 23 April)
  • The Uninvited (15) / Paramount / Nationwide

WEDNESDAY 29th APRIL 2009

  • X Men Origins: Wolverine (12A) / 20th Century Fox

MAY

UK Cinema Releases May 2009

FRIDAY 1st MAY 2009

  • X Men Origins: Wolverine (12A) / 20th Century Fox
  • Hannah Montana The Movie (U) / Walt Disney / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (12A) / Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Is Anybody There?¬†(12A) / Optimum Releasing / Clapham P’House, Curzon Mayfair, Screen on Baker Street & Nationwide
  • Helen (PG) / New Wave Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus, Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • The End (15) / Kaleidoscope Entertainment / London & Key Cities
  • Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers! (15) / Third Window Films / ICA Cinema
  • Kal Kisne Dekha / Adlabs Films / C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Wandsworth, Wood Green & selected Key Cities

FRIDAY 8th MAY 2009

  • Cheri (15) (D) Warner Bros/Pathe / London & Key Cities
  • Coraline (PG) / Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 2 – 4 May)
  • Blue Eyelids / Axiom Films / NFT & Key Cities
  • Delta (18) / ICA Films / ICA Cinema, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Little Ashes (15) / Kaleidoscope Ent / Apollo Piccadilly Circus & Key Cities
  • Momma’s Man / Diffusion Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • O’Horten (12A) / Artificial Eye / Curzon Soho, Ritzy, Screen On The Green & selected Key Cities
  • Sounds Like Teen Spirit (12A) / Warner Music Ent. Curzon Soho, Ritzy, Screen On The Green & Key Cities
  • Star Trek (12A) / Paramount Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide (Previews 7 May)

FRIDAY 15th MAY 2009

  • Angels and Demons (12A) / Sony Pictures / Nationwide (Previews Thurs 14th May)
  • Fighting (15) / Universal / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide (Previews 13 & 14 May)
  • French Film (15) / Vertigo Films / Apollo West End & Key Cities
  • Synecdoche, New York (15) / Revolver Entertainment / Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn., Barbican & Key Cities
  • Viva / Nouveaux Pictures / ICA Cinema

FRIDAY 22nd MAY 2009

  • Night At The Museum 2 / 20th Century Fox / Nationwide (Previews¬†Wednesday 20 May 2009)
  • Awaydays (18) Optimum Releasing / C’Worlds Fulham, Wandsworth & Nationwide
  • Blind Loves / ICA Films / ICA Cinema & Key Cities (From June)
  • Everlasting Moments / Icon / Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • The Girl Cut In Two / Artificial Eye
  • Mark Of An Angel (12A) / Metrodome
  • Pierrot Le Fou (15) (R/I) / bfi Distribution / London & Key Cities
  • Tormented (15) / Warner Bros/Pathe / Nationwide

WEDNESDAY 27th MAY 2009

  • 12 Rounds (12A) 20th Century Fox
  • Drag Me To Hell / Lionsgate UK

FRIDAY 29th MAY 2009

  • Fermat’s Room / Revolver Entertainment
  • Fireflies In The Garden / The Works
  • Fugitive Pieces / Soda Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • Jonas Bros – The 3D Concert Experience / Walt Disney
  • Kambakt Ishq / Eros
  • Management (15) / Metrodome
  • Obsessed / Sony Pictures
  • Sleep Furiously (U) / New Wave Films / Curzon Soho, Apollo Lower Regent Street & Key Cities

JUNE

UK Cinema Releases June 2009

FRIDAY 5th JUNE 2009

  • Terminator: Salvation (12A) /¬†Sony Pictures (Previews June 3rd)
  • Last Chance Harvey (12A) / Momentum Pictures
  • Sugar (15) / Axiom
  • Anything For Her (15) / Metrodome
  • Accident (12A) /¬†bfi Distribution
  • The Hide (TBC) /¬†ICA Cinema
  • Last Chance Harvey (12A) /¬†Momentum Pictures
  • Max Manus Man Of War (15) / Revolver Entertainment
  • Shadows In The Sun (12A) /¬†Artificial Eye
  • This Sporting Life (12A) / Park Circus

FRIDAY 12th JUNE 2009

  • The Hangover (15) / Warner Bros.
  • The Last House On The Left (18) / Universal
  • Looking For Eric (15) /¬†Icon
  • Blood: The Last Vampire (TBC)¬†Pathe
  • Crimson Wing (TBC) /¬†Walt Disney
  • Just Another Love Story (TBC)¬†Revolver Entertainment
  • Doghouse (TBC) / Vertigo Films
  • The End Of The Line (TBC) / Dogwoof
  • New Town Killers (15) / High Fliers Films
  • Red Cliff (15) / Entertainment
  • Soi Cowboy (TBC) /¬†Network Releasing

FRIDAY 19th JUNE 2009

  • Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (TBC) Paramount
  • 44 Inch Chest (TBC)¬†/ Momentum Pictures
  • Miss March (15) /¬†20th Century Fox
  • The Haunting In Connecticut (TBC) / Entertainment
  • Beyond The Fire (15) / Met Film Distribution
  • The Disappeared (TBC) / ICA Cinema
  • Gigantic (15) The Works Key Cities
  • Katyn (15) /¬†Artificial Eye
  • North By Northwest (PG) /¬†bfi Distribution
  • Telstar (15) /¬†Aspiration/Miracle

FRIDAY 26th JUNE 2009

  • Year One (TBC) / Sony Pictures
  • Tenderness (15) / Lionsgate
  • Blood: The Last Vampire (18) /¬†Warner Bros & Pathe
  • The Blue Tower (TBC) /¬†ICA Cinema
  • Dummy (TBC) /¬†Shoreline Entertainment
  • The Last Thakur (TBC) / Artificial Eye
  • My Sister’s Keeper (12A) / Entertainment
  • Rudo & Cursi¬†(15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Shirin (PG) /¬†bfi Distribution
  • Sunshine Cleaning¬†(15) / Delanic & Anchor Bay

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JULY

UK Cinema Releases July 2009

WEDNESDAY 1st JULY 2009

  • Ice Age 3 (U) / 20th Century Fox
  • Public Enemies (15) / Universal / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 3rd JULY 2009

  • Am I Black Enough For You (12A) / Verve Pictures
  • Kambakkht Ishq / Eros
  • Red Mist (18) / Revolver Entertainment
  • Strawberry And Chocolate (18) / Contemporary Films
  • Embodiment Of Evil (18) / Anchor Bay UK

FRIDAY 10th JULY 2009

  • 35 Shots Of Rum (12A) / New Wave Films
  • Bruno (18) / Universal
  • Cloud 9 (15) / Soda Pictures
  • Echoes Of Home / ICA Films
  • Fired Up (12A) / Sony Pictures
  • Ichi (15) / Manga Entertainment
  • Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters (15) / ICA Cinema/Screenwriters Festival)
  • The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (15) / Icon
  • Soul Power (12A) / Eureka Entertainment (Previews Glastonbury 2009)

WEDNESDAY 15th JULY 2009

  • Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (12A) / Warner Bros.

FRIDAY 17th JULY 2009

  • Burma VJ (12A) / Dogwoof
  • Frozen River (15) / Axiom Films
  • The Informers (15) / Entertainment
  • Kisses (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Moon (15) / Sony Pictures

WEDNESDAY22nd JULY 2009

  • The Proposal (12A) / Walt Disney

FRIDAY 24th JULY 2009

  • Antichrist (18) / Artificial Eye
  • The Blues Brothers (R/I) (15) / Universal
  • Charles Dickens’ England / Guerilla Films (BFI Southbank fm 21 July)
  • Just Another Love Story / Revolver Entertainment
  • Once Upon A Time In The West (R/I) / bfi Distribution
  • Skin / ICA Films

FRIDAY 31st JULY 2009

  • Coco Before Chanel (12A) / Optimum Releasing
  • Crossing Over (TBC) / Entertainment
  • G Force (3D) / Walt Disney
  • The Heavy / Kaleidoscope Entertainment
  • Land Of The Lost (TBC) / Universal
  • Love Aaj Kal / Eros (Previews 30 July)
  • Mad, Sad & Bad / Soda Pictures
  • The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 (15) / Sony Pictures

AUGUST

UK Cinema Releases August 2009

FRIDAY 7th AUGUST 2009

  • Adam (12A) / 20th Century Fox / C’World Haymarket, Curzon Mayfair, Odeon Covent Gdn. & Nationwide
  • Beautiful Losers / Revolver Entertainment / Key Cities
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (12A) / Paramount / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Home (15) / Soda Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • Meerkats (PG) / Momentum Pictures / Vues Greenwich, Finchley Road, Fulham & Key Cities
  • Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (15) / Metrodome Apollo Piccadilly Circus
  • Mesrine: Killer Instinct (15) / Momentum Pictures / C’Worlds Fulham Rd, Haymarket, Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Orphan (15) / Optimum Releasing / Odeon Covent Gdn., Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Ugly Truth (15) / Sony Pictures / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 5 August)
  • The Yes Men Fix The World (12A) / Dogwoof / Screen-On-The-Green, Gate Notting Hill, Greenwich Picturehouse, Ritzy

WEDNESDAY 12th AUGUST 2009

  • Aliens In The Attic (PG) / 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Bandslam (PG) / E1 Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 14th AUGUST 2009

  • A Perfect Getaway (15) / Momentum Pictures / C’Wlds Fulham Rd/Haymarket, Vues Finchley Rd/G’wich & N’wide (Pvws 12 Aug)
  • Imagine That (PG) / Paramount / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (PG) / (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Mid-August Lunch (U) / Artificial Eye Curzons Mayfair, Renoir, Richmond Filmhouse & Key Cities
  • Sin Nombre (15) Revolver Entertainment / Nationwide
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (12A) Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide

WEDNESDAY 19th AUGUST 2009

  • Inglourious Basterds (18) / Universal / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide (Previews 15 & 16 Aug)

FRIDAY 21st AUGUST 2009

  • Afterschool (18) / Network Releasing / Odeon Panton Street & Key Cities
  • Chiko (18) / Vertigo Films / Odeon Panton Street & Key Cities
  • Dance Flick (15) / Paramount / Odeon West End & Nationwide
  • I Love You Beth Cooper (15) / 20th Century Fox / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Shorts (PG) / Warner Bros. / Vue Leicester Square & Nationwide (Previews 15/16 Aug)

SUNDAY 23rd AUGUST 2009

  • Scarface (18) (R/I) (D) Universal Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave. & Nationwide

FRIDAY 28th AUGUST 2009

  • Broken Embraces (15) Warner Bros/Pathe Nationwide
  • The Final Destination (also in 3D) / Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Funny People (15) / Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Hurt Locker (15) / Optimum Releasing / C’world Shaftesbury Ave., Vues Finchley Rd., Islington & Nationwide
  • In The Realms Of The Senses (18) / (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Jetsam / ICA Cinema ICA Cinema
  • Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One (15) / Momentum Pictures / Curzon Soho, Ritzy, Picturehouse Clapham & Key Cities

SEPTEMBER

UK Cinema Releases September 2009

WEDNESDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER

  • 500 Days of Summer (12A) / 20th Century Fox / Odeon West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 4th SEPTEMBER

  • Big River Man (TBC) / Revolver Entertainment / London & Key Cities
  • Bustin‚Äô Down The Door (15) / Metrodome / BFI Imax London
  • Coffin Rock (15) / High Fliers Films / Apollo Piccadilly Circus (Previews Empire Leicester Sq. 30 Aug)
  • District 9 (15) / Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide
  • Passchendaele (15) / High Fliers Films / Odeon Panton Street
  • Red Baron (12A) / Showbox Entertainment / Apollo Piccadilly Circus
  • Tricks (12A) / New Wave Films / Key Cities

WEDNESDAY 9th SEPTEMBER

  • Sorority Row (15) / E1 Entertainment
  • Dorian Gray (15) / Momentum Pictures

FRIDAY 11th SEPTEMBER

  • Adventureland (15) / Walt Disney
  • Fish Tank (15) / Artificial Eye
  • Julie & Julia (12A) / Sony Pictures
  • Miss March (15) / 20th Century Fox
  • Morning Light (Walt Disney)
  • The September Issue (12A) / Momentum Pictures
  • Shank (TBC) / Parasol Pictures / P‚ÄôHouse & selected Key Cities (Previews Bristol 18 July)
  • Whiteout (15) / Optimum Releasing

WEDNESDAY 16th SEPTEMBER

  • Gamer (18) / Entertainment / Nationwide

FRIDAY 18th SEPTEMBER

  • The Agent (TBC) / Pinter And Martin / BFI Southbank, Edinburgh F‚ÄôHouse (Glasgow Film Theatre 27 Sept)
  • Away We Go (15) E1 Entertainment
  • Birdwatchers (15) (D) Artificial Eye / Key Cities
  • Blind Dating (15) / The Works
  • Chevolution / ICA Films / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (PG) / Sony Pictures
  • The Firm (15) / Warner Bros.
  • Je Veux Voir (TBC) / Soda Pictures / Cine Lumiere, Renoir & Key Cities
  • The Spell (15) / Carey Films London & Key Cities (fm 07 October)
  • The Thing (18) / Universal (From Tuesday 15th September)
  • Three Miles North Of Molkom (15) / Metrodome London & selected Key Cities

FRIDAY 25th SEPTEMBER

  • Born In 68 (TBC) / Peccadillo Pictures
  • Case 39 (15) / Paramount
  • Creation / Icon
  • The Crimson Wing (PG) / Walt Disney
  • Fame (TBC) / Entertainment
  • The Godfather (15) / Park Circus Apollo Picc Circus, BFI Southbank, Odeon Covent Gdn. & Key Cities
  • Heart Of Fire (TBC) / Metrodome
  • The Soloist (12A) / Universal
  • Surrogates (TBC) / Walt Disney
  • White Lightnin (18) / Momentum Pictures

OCTOBER

UK Cinema Releases - October 2009

FRIDAY 2nd OCTOBER

  • Army Of Crime (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • The Beaches Of Agnes (18) / Artificial Eye
  • Beyond A Reasonable Doubt / Entertainment
  • District 13: Ultimatum (15) / Momentum Pictures
  • I P Man (15) / Showbox Entertainment / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • The Invention Of Lying (12A) / Universal
  • Driving Aphrodite (aka My Life In Ruins) (12A) / Warner Bros.
  • Pandorum (15) / Icon
  • Toy Story In 3D (PG) / Walt Disney
  • Vinyan (18) / Revolver Entertainment

WEDNESDAY 7th OCTOBER

  • Zombieland (15) / Sony

FRIDAY 9th OCTOBER

  • Up (in 3D) (U) / Walt Disney
  • Creek / (Entertainment)
  • Died Young Stayed Pretty / ICA Films / ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities (from 23 Oct)
  • Goodbye Solo (15) / Axiom Films Apollo Piccadilly Circus, Curzon Renoir & Key Cities
  • Halloween II (18) / Entertainment
  • Katalin Varga (15) / Artificial Eye
  • Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee (15) / Verve Pictures
  • Love Happens (12A) / E1 Entertainment
  • The Vanishing Of The Bees / Dogwoof

WEDNESDAY 14th OCTOBER

  • Couples Retreat / Universal

FRIDAY 16th OCTOBER

  • The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus (12A) / Lionsgate UK
  • Ong Bak: The Beginning (15) / Revolver Entertainment
  • Pontypool (TBC) / Kaleidoscope Entertainment / Key Cities
  • Thirst (18) / Metrodome
  • Triangle (15) / Icon

FRIDAY 23rd OCTOBER

  • A Thousand Words / Paramount
  • Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant / Universal
  • Coffin Rock / (High Fliers Films)
  • Colin (18) / Kaleidoscope Entertainment / London & Key Cities
  • The Cove (12A) / Vertigo Films
  • Fantastic Mr Fox (PG)/ 20th Century Fox
  • Freestyle / Revolver Entertainment
  • Johnny Mad Dog (15) / Momentum Pictures
  • Made in Jamaica (15) / Network Releasing
  • The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (15) / Warner Bros./Pathe

WEDNESDAY 28th OCTOBER

  • 9 (12A) / Universal
  • Michael Jackson’s This is It (TBC) / Sony Pictures

FRIDAY 30th OCTOBER

  • An Education / E1 Entertainment
  • Animal House (R/I) / Universal
  • Citizen Kane (U) / bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Dead Man Running / Revolver Entertainment
  • Love Exposure / Third Window Films
  • Tales From The Golden Age (12A) / Trinity Filmed Ent

NOVEMBER

UK Cinema Releases November 2009

FRIDAY 6th NOVEMBER

  • 1 Day (15) / Vertigo Films
  • Bright Star (PG) / Warner Bros/Pathe
  • A Christmas Carol (PG) (3D & Imax) / Walt Disney
  • Henri-Georges Clouzot‚Äôs Inferno (15) / Park Circus
  • Taking Woodstock (15) / Universal
  • Welcome (15) / Cinefile

FRIDAY 13th NOVEMBER

  • 2012 (12A) / Sony Pictures
  • Amelia (PG) / 20th Century Fox
  • Cold Souls (12A) / The Works
  • Lala Pipo / Third Window Films
  • The Magic Hour / 104 Films
  • Paper Heart (PG) / Anchor Bay / UK Key Cities
  • The White Ribbon (15) / Artificial Eye
  • We Live In Public (15) / Dogwoof

FRIDAY 20th NOVEMBER

  • A Serious Man (15) / Universal
  • Glorious 39 (12A) / Momentum Pictures
  • The First Day of the Rest of Your Life (15) / Metrodome
  • The Informant! (15) / Warner Bros.
  • The Sea Wall / Axiom Films
  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon / E1 Entertainment

FRIDAY 27th NOVEMBER

  • Bunny And The Bull (15)/ Optimum Releasing
  • Paranormal Activity (15) / Icon
  • Seraphine (PG) / Metrodome
  • Nativity (U) / E1
  • Law Abiding Citizen (18) / Momentum Pictures

DECEMBER

UK Cinema Releases December 2009

FRIDAY 4th DECEMBER

  • The Box (12A)/ Icon
  • Cracks (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Me and Orson Welles (12A) / CinemaNX Distribution
  • The Descent: Part 2 (18) / Warner Bros/Pathe
  • The Girlfriend Experience (15) / Revolver
  • The Merry Gentleman (15) / The Works
  • Planet 51 (U) / Entertainment

FRIDAY 11th DECEMBER

  • Carriers (15) / Paramount
  • The Red Shoes (R/I) / Park Circus / Selected Key Cities
  • The Step Father (15) / Sony Pictures
  • Unmade Beds (15) / Soda Pictures
  • Where The Wild Things Are (PG) / Warner Bros.

FRIDAY 18th DECEMBER

  • Avatar / 20th Century Fox
  • St. Trinians 2 / Entertainment
  • Nine (Entertainment)

MONDAY 21st DECEMBER

  • Alvin And The Chipmunks 2 / Fox

FRIDAY 25th DECEMBER

  • Dogging: A Love Story / Vertigo Films
  • Nowhere Boy / Icon

SATURDAY 26th DECEMBER

  • Sherlock Holmes / Warner Bros.

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 16th January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 16-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Seven Pounds (Sony Pictures): Will Smith stars in this drama about an IRS agent who tries to change the lives of seven people. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, who worked with Smith on The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006, it is a fable-like story that won’t be to everyone’s taste. However, in its way it does work and Smith and Rosario Dawson give good performances in the lead roles. Some of the supporting characters don’t fully click but this is much better than some of the US reviews would have you believe. Although Smith’s status as the biggest movie star in the world still holds, it didn’t help the US gross, which was below par for his usual standards. That said it should expect to do decent business over here, especially as it will have a wider opening than the other national releases.¬†[Cert¬†12A /¬†Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]

The Wrestler (Optimum Releasing): Since making waves and winning awards at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, this proved a glorious comeback for¬†Mickey Rourke. He plays¬†¬†an ageing wrestler – Randy ‚ÄėThe Ram‚Äô Robinson – who struggles to make ends meet doing shows on the weekends in¬†New Jersey.¬†The story follows him as he works in a deli, strikes up a relationship with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and seeks a reconciliation with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood).¬†It marks a departure of sorts for director Darren Aronofsky, with none of the stylistic flourishes of his earlier work. However, it has a refreshing down-to-earth quality and in Rourke contains one of the performances of the year. Rourke won a Golden Globe earlier this week and is a (un)likely Oscar contender. Given the popularity of wrestling here and the buzz over the film this could do excellent business for Optimum.¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†Nationwide]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Walt Disney): The tale of a Chihuahua who gets dognapped in Mexico and has to escape from an evil Doberman did surprisngly brisk business at the US box office and could ensnare family audiences over here. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis and features the voice of Drew Barrymore as the chihuahua. Depressingly decent box office could await. [Cert U / Odeon Mezzanine & Nationwide]

My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Lionsgate UK): A 3-D remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher film of the same name. The lack of big names and awareness might hamper its prospects but horror in January can do well. [Cert 18 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

A Christmas Tale (New Wave Films): The latest film from director Arnaud Desplechin, who made Kings and Queenin 2004,  is a drama about a dysfunctional family who gather together for the first time in years after a tragedy and stars Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric. It got solid reviews when it premiered in Cannes and is likely to do decent arthouse business here. [Cert 15 / Apollo Picc Circus, Cine Lumiere, Odeon Covent Garden, Renoir & Key Cities]

Boogie (Dogwoof Pictures): Three Romanian thirty-somethings relive their college days for one night. Directed by Radu Muntean it stars Dragos Bucur and Anamaria Marinca. [Renoir & Key Cities]

Chandni Chowk To China (Warner Bros.):  A Bollywood action-comedy about a simple cook from Chandni Chowk who is mistaken for the reincarnation of an ancient peasant warrior Liu Shengh by residents of an oppressed Chinese village. Directed by Nikhil Advani it stars Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles. [Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Nationwide]

Clubbed (Route One Rel.): An underworld drama set in the early 1980s, about a lonely factory worker whose life is transformed when he becomes a nightclub doorman. [Cert 18 / Apollo Picc. Circus, Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities]

Hansel & Gretel (Terracotta Distribution):  A South Korean horror film loosely based on the fairytale, which sees a salesman (Chun Jeong-myeong) crash his car and wakes up to find an angelic little girl standing over him. When he goes back to her house in the woods things take a sinister turn.  [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]

Notorious (bfi Distribution): Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic 1946 thriller which stars¬†Cary Grant¬†and¬†Ingrid Bergman¬†as two people whose lives become intimately entangled during an¬†espionage¬†operation.¬†[BFI Southbank & Key Cities]

> UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks (Monday 12th January)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 2nd January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 02-01-09

NATIONAL RELEASES

Che: Part One (Optimum Releasing): In the UK Stephen Soderbergh‘s biopic of¬†Che Guevara¬†(played by¬†Benicio Del Toro) will be released in two parts with some cinemas showing¬†special double-bill screenings.¬†In the first part we see¬†the Cuban Revolution inter-cut with Guevara‚Äôs 1964 trip to the United Nations and refreshingly it eschews the narrative cliches of many historical biopics.

Instead of ponderous meditations on motives or background we are plunged into the raw action of the revolutionary’s life. Soderbergh has always been a gifted technical filmmaker interested in pushing the boundaries of mainstream cinema and here he has crafted one of his most interesting and accomplished films with the help of a revolutionary digital camera (appropriately called the RED One) that has allowed him to make an epic using guerrilla film-making techniques. 

The spiritual core of the film is an outstanding performance from Del Toro, who captures the physical and vocal mannerisms of Che so well that he manages to make you forget about the face that spawned so many t-shirts and posters. UK box office could be good, given positive word of mouth and a wider release than normal for a foreign language film. Che: Part Two is released on February 20th. [Cert 15 / Odeons Camden, Covent Garden, Curzon Soho & Nationwide РPreviews 1 Jan]

The Reader (Entertainment): The adaptation of the 1995 German novel by Bernhard Schlink follows a complicated love affair in the 1950s between a German teenager named Michael Berg (David Kross) and a woman twice his age called Hannah Schmitz (Kate Winslet). Years later as a law student he discovers a terrible secret about his former lover and struggles to deal with the repercussions of her actions in World War II. 

It is directed by Stephen Daldry and Ralph Fiennes plays Berg as an older man struggling to deal with his past. With a script by David Hare (who worked with Daldry on The Hours) this was always going to be an awards season contender, although some mixed reviews in the US and the UK might harm its word of mouth. 

It is a well crafted and involving tale with three very solid performances from Winslet, Fiennes and Kross. Daldry and Hare have managed to preserve the knotty moral questions of the book – something which appears to have really riled critics of the film – and the cinematography from Roger Deakins and Chris Menges is first rate.

Given the popularity of the book, two notable leads and current awards season buzz, UK box office could be good if not spectacular. [Cert 15 / Vue West End & Nationwide]

* Listen to our interview with Stephen Daldry and Ralph Fiennes on The Reader *

The Spirit¬†(Lionsgate UK):¬†Frank Miller‘s adaptation of¬†the¬†newspaper¬†comic strip¬†by¬†Will Eisner¬†is about¬†a murdered cop who is mysteriously reborn as the masked crime fighter called the Spirit. Although it stars a newcomer (Gabriel Macht) in the central role the supporting cast contains such luminaries as¬†Samuel L. Jackson,¬†Scarlett Johansson¬†and¬†Eva Mendes.¬†

The big challenge for the film is the deluge of negative reviews which could harm the box office, however it is the only mainstream action film out this weekend so it could do some decent business this weekend. [Cert 12A / Vue West End & Nationwide]

Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants 2 (Warner Bros): A sequel to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants which sees the original cast and real life friends (America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel and Blake Lively), return to star in the movie, which was directed by Sanaa Hamri. [Cert 12A / Nationwide]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia¬†(Park Circus): A re-release for Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film about an American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend who go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.¬†[Cert¬†18/ BFI Southbank & Key Cities]

> UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
> Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
> Check out our latest DVD picks

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: January 2009

UK Cinema Releases January 2009

FRIDAY 1st JANUARY 2009

  • The Spirit (12A) Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 2nd JANUARY 2009

  • Che: Part One (15) Optimum Releasing / Odeons Camden, Covent Gdn, Curzon Soho & Nationwide¬†(Previews 1 Jan)
  • Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (18) Park Circus / BFI Southbank & Key¬†Cities
  • The Reader (15) Entertainment / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants 2 (12A) Warner Bros / Nationwide

FRIDAY 9th JANUARY 2009

  • Bride Wars (12A) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Defiance (15) Momentum Pictures / Odeons Swiss Cottage, West End, Whiteleys, Vue¬†Islington & Nationwide
  • Hannah Takes The Stairs (TBC) / ICA Films / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Role Models (15) / Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Sex Drive (15) E1 Films / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Slumdog Millionaire (15) Pathe / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Stuck (15) High Fliers Films / Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus, Showcase Bristol &¬†Showcase Manchester

FRIDAY 16th JANUARY 2009

  • A Christmas Tale (15) New Wave Films / Apollo Picc Circus, Cine Lumiere, Odeon Covent Gdn,¬†Renoir & Key Cities
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua (U) Walt Disney / Odeon Mezzanine & Nationwide
  • Boogie (TBC) Dogwoof Pictures / Renoir & Key Cities
  • Chandni Chowk To China (TBC) Warner Bros / Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Nationwide
  • Clubbed (18) Route One Rel. / Apollo Picc. Circus, Empire Leicester Square & Key Cities
  • Hansel & Gretel (TBC) Terracotta Distribution / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • My Bloody Valentine 3-D (18) Lionsgate UK / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • Notorious (U) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Seven Pounds (12A) Sony Pictures / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • The Wrestler (15) Optimum Releasing / Nationwide

FRIDAY 23rd JANUARY 2009

  • Better Things (15) Soda Pictures / ICA Cinema, Renoir & Key Cities
  • Faintheart (TBC) Vertigo Films / Key Cities
  • Frost/Nixon (15) Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • JCVD (TBC) Revolver Entertainment / Prince Charles Cinema
  • Milk (15) Momentum Pictures / Barbican, C’World Kings Rd., Curzon Soho, Odeon Camden &¬†Nationwide
  • Paris 36 (TBC) Pathe / Cine Lumiere only
  • Rachel Getting Married (15) Sony Pictures / London & Key Cities
  • Red Cliff (TBC) Entertainment
  • Underworld 3: Rise Of The Lycans (TBC) Entertainment
  • Valkyrie (12A) 20th Century Fox / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide

FRIDAY 30th JANUARY 2009

  • Barry Lyndon (PG) BFI / BFI Southbank
  • The Broken (15) The Works / London & Key Cities
  • New In Town (12A) / Entertainment
  • Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (12A) Sony Pictures / London & Nationwide
  • Revolutionary Road (15) Paramount / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
  • Tokyo Sonata (12A) Eureka Entertainment / ICA Cinema & Key Cities

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Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases 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.

> Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms

Categories
Cinema Essential Films Lists

The Best Films of 2008

Best films of 2008 mosaic

As in previous years this list of the best films of the year is presented in alphabetical order. (2007 titles which got a UK release during 2008 can be found in last year’s updated list).

THE BEST FILMS OF 2008

che-1Che (Dir. Steven Soderbergh)

This long gestating biopic of Che Guevara from director Steven Soderbergh got a mixed reaction after it premiered at Cannes in May.

Some were put off by the four hour running time and the whole question of whether or not it was actually two films. It would probably be most accurate to describe it as two films merged together as one: The Argentine deals with the Cuban revolution in 1959 whilst Guerrilla explores his final years in Bolivia.

In the UK they will be released as Che: Part One and Che: Part Two, with some special double-bill screenings at certain cinemas. However you see it though, be sure to experience it on a big screen, as this an audacious and thrilling piece of cinema.

In the first part we see¬†the Cuban Revolution inter-cut with Guevara’s 1964 trip to the United Nation and refreshingly¬†Soderbergh eschews the narrative cliches of many historical biopics. Instead of ponderous meditations on his motives or background we are¬†plunged into the raw action of the revolutionary’s life.

Some viewers may find this off putting but as the film progresses the production design, costume, acting and cinematography get ever more hypnotic, drawing us into this world.

Soderbergh has always been a gifted technical filmmaker interested in pushing the boundaries of mainstream cinema and here he has crafted one of his most interesting and accomplished films with the help of a revolutionary digital camera (appropriately called the RED One) that has allowed him to make an epic using guerrilla film-making techniques.

The spiritual core of the film is an outstanding performance from Benicio del Toro, who captures the physical and vocal mannerisms of Che so well that he manages to make you forget about the face that spawned so many t-shirts and posters.

[Che Part One is released in the UK on January 1st and Part Two on February 20th]

 

Frost Nixon UK posterFrost/Nixon (Dir. Ron Howard)

When I first saw Peter Morgan’s stage play about David Frost’s famous interviews with Richard Nixon in 1977, I remember wondering what a film adaptation might look like.¬†

Although the hiring of Ron Howard to direct might have raised some eyebrows, to his credit he not only kept the two lead actors from the production (Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon) but also managed preserve the essential drama at the heart of the story and keep as faithful to it as possible.

For those of you unfamiliar with the background, Peter Morgan (who has become an expert in dramatising modern history scripting¬†The Queen¬†and¬†The Last King of Scotland) created a play which explored the tensions behind Frost pursuing and then conducting Nixon’s first TV interviews since resigning in disgrace over the Watergate scandal.

What makes it so absorbing is the clash of two very different characters who for different reasons had a lot at stake: Frost was desperate to re-establish himself in America, whilst Nixon was keen to rebuild his shattered political reputation.

Technically, both lead performances are superb and after two years on stage together the chemistry between Sheen and Langella is magnetic.

The supporting cast is very solid with Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and Sam Rockwell all making fine contributions in key roles.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the film is how it manages to be both a fascinating slice of history garnished with some fine period design yet also finds a way of commenting on the current concerns about US politics.

It also poses a fascinating question: will President Bush ever come out with the same anguished mea culpa that Nixon delivered in these interviews?

[Frost/Nixon is released in the UK on January 25th]

 

Gomorrah UKGomorrah (Dir. Matteo Garrone)

One of the darkest and most disturbing films of the year was this searing examination of crime in modern Italy. It didn’t just upend many of the traditional tropes of the Mafia in pop culture – it exploded them.

The narrrative was based on true life stories from¬†Roberto Saviano‘s bestselling book about¬†the Comorrah, a criminal organisation centred around southern Italy (especially¬†Naples¬†and¬†Caserta).

There is a 13-year-old boy (Salvatore Abruzzese) who falls in with a criminal gang; a messenger (Gianfelice Imparato) who pays the families of prisoners; a young graduate (Carmine Paternoster) who gets involved in toxic waste management; a tailor (Salvatore Cantalupo) who wants to break free of local suppliers and two wannabe gangsters (Marco Macor and Ciro Petrone) who find a stash of weapons and want to act like Scarface.

Director Matteo Garrone cast the film impeccably and the ensemble acting was terrific but he also created a hellishly believable modern landscape far removed from that of mob movies like The Godfather, Goodfellas or The Sopranos.

This was a world riddled with poverty, tension and despair where crime infects everyone like a rampant virus. It paints a devastating picture not only of regions in modern Italy, but the tentacles of the Comorrah spread out to the wider world.

The film scooped the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, where it deservedly screened to critical acclaim.

Although at times it was an uncomfortable and brutal film to watch, it remains one of the most powerful and haunting crime films of the last decade.

* Listen to our interview with Matteo Garrone about Gomorrah *

[Gomorrah is available on DVD on February 9th)

 

Hunger UK posterHunger (Dir. Steve McQueen)

Every year there are a handful of films that know will end up in your ‘best of the year’ list as the credits roll and this¬†stunning drama about¬†the¬†1981 IRA hunger strike¬†was just such a film.

A stark and harrowing look at one of the key episodes of The Troubles was about a group of IRA prisoners in the Maze led by Bobby Sands (a mesmerising performance from Michael Fassbender) went on a protracted hunger strike.

Their aim was to apply pressure against the British government, so that they could be classed as political prisoners and it marked a significant escalation in the conflict.

What the film managed to capture so well was the bitter brutality of life inside the prison Рa world in which inmates refused to wear clothes, smeared excrement over their walls and were savagely beaten.

But at the same time this was no apologist for the IRA and perhaps the most shocking scene in the film explored the constant danger the prison guards lived under, where reprisals could lurk anywhere and at any time.

This is not a film that ‚Äėtakes sides‚Äô, but rather it explores the full human horror of The Troubles through the lens of the hunger strike – the physical brutality and sheer squalor point to the entrenched hatreds that ensnared all of those caught up in it. Echoes of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are never far away.

The sounds and visuals were breathtaking with McQueen and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt showing a remarkable attention to detail whether it was a snowflake landing on the bloodied fist of a guard or urine gradually seeping out from beneath the cell doors before being gradually swept back in. 

One lengthy sequence involving Fassbender and Liam Cunningham (who played Sands’ priest) was perhaps one of the most riveting and daring pieces of cinema I’ve seen in years.

This was an astonishing directorial debut for Steve McQueen, who has been best known until now as an acclaimed visual artist, but this holds the promise of a hugely successful career in feature films.

* Listen to our interview with Liam Cunningham about Hunger *

[Hunger is out on DVD on February 23rd]

 

In Bruges UK posterIn Bruges (Dir. Martin McDonagh)

Perhaps the funniest film of the year was the directorial debut of the playwright Martin McDonagh, a brilliantly executed tale of two Irish hit men (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who have been sent to lie low in the Belgian city of Bruges.

Not only does it contain several memorable sequences, but it contained the sort of ballsy, politically incorrect humour absent from a lot of mainstream comedy movies.

It also features some excellent performances, most notably from the two leads. Gleeson is his usual dependable self whilst Farrell shows what a good actor he can be when released from the constraints of big budget Hollywood productions.

Ralph Fiennes also made a startling impression in a menacing supporting role that owes more to his turn in Schindler’s List than some of his more recent performances.

If you are familiar with the sensibility of McDonagh’s plays, such as The Lieutenant of Inishmore, you will find much to feast on here Рit feels like Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter remade by Quentin Tarantino.

Despite a warm critical reaction, it didn’t really get the attention it deserved, which may have been down to bad marketing (the US one sheet poster was horrible and the UK one not much better) or the fact that the title confused people.

One sequence in a hotel room involving drugs, a hooker and a dwarf was one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year and is worth the price of admission. ¬†¬†

[In Bruges is out now on DVD]

 

I've Loved You So LongI’ve Loved You So Long (Dir. Philippe Claudel)

An intelligent and beautifully crafted portrayal of family love which revolved around two sisters named Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lea (Elsa Zylberstein), who reconnected with one another after a prolonged absence. 

To say too much about the plot would spoil the cleverly constructed narrative which gradually reveals their past and the reasons as to why they have been separated for so long. 

Writer and director Philippe Claudel was better known as a novelist in his native France and this also shares many of the pleasures of well written fiction: nuanced characters, slow burning emotions and a real sense of the complexities of human relationships. 

This is a film in which a lot of characters spend a lot of time in rooms talking about themselves, but at the same time manages to burrow deeply into the tangled emotions of it’s protagonist. 

Much of the power comes from two marvellous central performances and Scott Thomas proved what a captivating screen presence in what is arguably the performance of her career so far.

Her work on stage Рnotably in Chekhov productions like Three Sisters and The Seagull Рdemonstrated that she had much more range and ability than some of her screen performances suggested, so it was gratifying to see her grapple with such a juicy part and take it to another level. 

Credit must also go to Claudel for the way in which he has captured the small but subtle details that gradually reveal her character: the silence as she sits alone in a cafe, the wetness of her hair or even the way she smokes a cigarette. 

Since screening at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals a few weeks ago, this film has had a good deal of awards buzz and deserves recognition for the sheer excellence of the writing and acting.

[I’ve Loved You So Long is released on DVD on February 9th]

 

Man on Wire DVD coverMan on Wire (Dir. James Marsh)

British director James Marsh crafted a superb documentary about Frenchman Philippe Petit, who on August 7th 1974 gave an incredible high-wire performance by walking between between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center eight times in one hour.

The act itself almost defies belief but what the film does brilliantly is capture the tension, beauty and brilliance of Petit’s highly illegal operation. 

Born out of a dream and an idea, Petit and his team of accomplices spent eight months planning the execution of their ‚Äėcoup‚Äô down to the most intricate detail.

Like a team of bank robbers planning their most ambitious heist, the tasks they faced seemed virtually impossible: they would have to bypass the WTC‚Äôs security; smuggle the wire and rigging equipment into the towers; suspend the wire between the towers; secure the wire at the correct tension to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings; to rig it secretly by night ‚Äď all without being caught.

The film is also an emotional experience Рalthough it never mentions or shows footage from the 9/11 attacks, the Twin Towers are a haunting presence in the stock photos and footage from the time.   

But the ultimate message of the film is a positive one as it reminds us that the joy and magic Petit created on the Twin Towers is still there, even though the actual building is not. 

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

[Man on Wire is out now on DVD] 

 

Milk posterMilk (Dir. Gus Van Sant)

Sean Penn is often regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation and his portrayal of Harvey Milk in this biopic was one of his very best.

Milk was a gay rights activist who in the 1970s became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The film opens with opens with archive footage of police raiding gay bars during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by the announcement in November, 1978 that Milk and Mayor George Moscone have been assassinated.

What follows is an inspiring and moving tale of political courage and hope with many fine performances across the board from Emile Hirsch, James Franco and Josh Brolin. 

Directed by Gus Van Sant¬†from a script by¬†Dustin Lance Black, it skilfully juxtaposed the drama of Milk’s political battles against the inner conflicts of his private life.

It was also a nice change to see Penn play a warm and inspirational protagonist, an added dimension to the film which gave it an extra lift.

Watching the film unfold just a couple of weeks after the election of Barack Obama it was hard not to see the parallels: both were political outsiders who thrived on changing the status quo through a combination of hope and grass roots activism.

Sadly, Milk’s legacy was not enough to prevent the passing of Prop 8 – a¬†California ballot proposition¬†that changed the laws of the state to ban same sex marriage.

But this film will almost certainly become a lasting testament to his political and moral courage.   

[Milk is out at UK cinemas on Friday 23rd January]

 

Slumdog Millionaire US posterSlumdog Millionaire (Dir. Danny Boyle)

In the spring of 2007 director Danny Boyle told me that his next film would be set in Mumbai and was the story of a young man on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

But it was only afterwards that I started to wonder. Would the film be made in English? Would it be a Bollywood film? Comedy? Drama?

It is a testament to the final film that Slumdog Millionaire is so many different things – a vibrant and rich journey through modern India through the lens of a Dickensian tale of love and redemption.

Adapted by Simon Beaufoy from the novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, it deservedly received a lot of buzz and acclaim at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals.

What’s interesting is that the narrative plays a little like The Usual Suspects, as we learn how the central character Jamal (Dev Patel) came to be on the game show.

It then flashes back to periods of his life growing up as a kid from the slums (or ’slumdog’ as some less than charitable characters in the film put it) and his desire to find the true love of his life (Frieda Pinto).

Boyle and his cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle don’t shy away from the poverty of the slums in the film but also capture the live wire energy of Mumbai with some inventive use of digital cameras and a cracking soundtrack.

Whilst some audiences might be a bit taken aback by some of the darker sequences, they are necesssary counterweights for others aspects of the story to really work.

A huge amount of credit must go to Beaufoy who has constructed a jigsaw puzzle narrative that somehow manages to hold everything together in a way that is exciting, clever and moving.   

Another clever touch is the realistic portrayal of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire show, complete with the right music and graphics which are expertly woven into the film and play a key part in how the story unfolds.

The cheesy tension of the TV show somehow has a new life here, with added meaning on the tense pauses and multiple choice questions. 

It is currently regarded as the front runner for Best Picture at the Oscars and deservedly so as it mixes serious social commentary with a classical tale of lost love into something truly special. 

[Slumdog Millionaire is out at UK cinemas on Friday 9th January]

 

Synechdoche New YorkSynecdoche, New York (Dir. Charlie Kaufman)

In the last decade Charlie Kaufman has become one of those rare screenwriters whose work has even overshadowed the directors he has worked with.

This is quite a feat given that he has collaborated with Spike Jonze (on Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) and Michel Gondry (Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). 

However, it is fair to say that all those films bear certain recognisable tropes: ingenious narratives, surreal images and a tragi-comic view of human affairs.

It would have also been a reasonable assumption to think his directorial debut would be similar, but¬†Synecdoche, New York¬†(pronounced ‚ÄúSyn-ECK-duh-kee‚ÄĚ) does not just bear token similarities to his previous scripts.¬†

In fact it is so Kaufman-esque that it takes his ideas to another level of strangeness, which is quite something if you bear in mind what has come before.

The story centres around a theatre director named Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who starts to re-evaluate life after his health and marriage start to break down. 

He receives a grant to do something artistically adventurous and decides to stage an enormously ambitious production inside a giant warehouse.

What follows is a strange and often baffling movie, complete with the kind of motifs that are peppered throughout Kaufman’s scripts: someone lives in a house oblivious to the fact that it is permanently on fire; a theatrical venue the size of several aircraft hangars is casually described as a place where Shakespeare is performed; and visitors to an art gallery view microscopic paintings with special goggles. 

But despite the oddities and the Chinese-box narrative, this is a film overflowing with invention and ideas. 

It explores the big issues of life and death but also examines the nature of art and performance Рa lot of the film, once it goes inside the warehouse, is a mind-boggling meditation on our lives as a performance. 

Imagine¬†The Truman Show¬†rewritten by¬†Samuel Beckett¬†and directed by¬†Luis Bu√Īuel¬†and you‚Äôll get some idea of what Kaufman is aiming for here.¬†

I found a lot of the humour very funny, but the comic sensibility behind the jokes is dry and something of an acquired taste.

Much of the film hinges on Seymour Hoffman’s outstanding central performance in which he conveys the vulnerability and determination of a man obsessed with doing something worthwhile before he dies. 

The makeup for the characters supervised by Mike Marino is also first rate, creating a believable ageing process whilst the sets are also excellent, even if some of the CGI isn’t always 100% convincing. 

The supporting cast was also impressive: Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton, Emily Watson, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan and Dianne Weist all contribute fine performances and fit nicely into the overall tone of the piece. 

Although the world Kaufman creates will alienate some viewers, it slowly becomes a haunting meditation on how humans age and die.

As the film moves towards resolution it becomes surprisingly moving with some of the deeper themes slowly, but powerfully, rising to the surface.

This means that although it will have it’s admirers (of which I certainly include myself) it is likely to prove too esoteric for mass consumption as it has a downbeat tone despite the comic touches.

Having seen it only once, this is a film I instantly wanted to revisit, so dense are the layers and concepts contained within it.

On first viewing it became a bit too rich at times for it‚Äôs own good but on reflection I don’t think I’ve seen a more ambitious or challenging film this year.

[Synechdoche, New York is out at UK cinemas on Friday 15th May]

 

The Class posterThe Class (Dir. Laurent Cantet)

The surprise winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival was this deceptively simple tale of a French teacher (François Bégaudeau) at a state school in Paris.

The actual French title is ‘Entre Les Murs’ – which translates as ‚ÄėBetween the walls‚Äô – which is apt as the film never (apart from one shot at the beginning) strays outside the confines of the school.

Adapted from the 2006 novel of the same name by Bégaudeau, which in turn was based on his own real life experiences teaching in a Paris school, it is a rich and deeply satisfying film.

Not only did it scrupulously avoid the cliches that can plaue films set inside schools, but also managed to offer a plausible snapshot of modern French society by focusing tightly on a class of pupils and their teachers.

Although it is shot in the widescreen aspect ratio of 2:35, the camera hangs tight on each character and never really gives us a look at the French city landscape.

This might sound claustrophobic, but makes the lessons and world inside of the school (the staff room, the corridors, the playground) all come alive in an unexpectedly thrilling way.

Performances Рespecially from Bégaudeau and a very special cast of non-professional teenagers Рwere outstanding but the film also had a tremendous sense of humanity to it without ever slipping into cheap sentiment.

An example of a rare film that touches the heart whilst engaging the brain, The Class is a gem that I would urge anyone to go and see when it gets released in the UK in February.

[The Class is out at UK cinemas on Friday 27th February]

 

The Dark Knight posterThe Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan)

The most commercially successful film of the year (globally at least) was also one of the best, as this Batman sequel transcended its comic book origins to become one of the most ambitious blockbusters in years.

When Batman Begins came out in 2005, it was an impressive reinvention of the DC Comics character but I wasn’t as blown away as some were. But props to the suits at Burbank for recruiting a director like Christopher Nolan who had already made his mark with Memento in 2000.

The realistic approach to the Bruce Wayne character and Gotham City worked well and reaped dividends with this sequel, which built on the first film but also made for a richer experience.

Managing to transcend the usual limitations of the comic book genre, its ambitious approach owes more to crime epics like Heat and The Godfather than the usual summer comic book adaptation.

The story, set in a Gotham City soaked in crime, violence and corruption, revolved around three central characters: Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), a billionaire vigilante dishing out justice at night time; Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the District Attorney boldly taking on organised crime; and The Joker (Heath Ledger), a mysterious psychopathic criminal wreaking havoc on the city.

Nolan and co-screenwriter Jonathan Nolan (with story credit by David S Goyer) crafted a spectacularly ambitious summer blockbuster with the different narrative strands developed in engrossing and genuinely surprising ways Рat times it was so layered that key sequences often had parallel consequences.

As for the action, it follows the script in being similarly dense, and some of the big set pieces Рespecially two key sequences Рhave an unpredictable and chaotic quality to them, which is refreshing for this kind of genre.

The performances too were a revelation for a genre movie: Bale continues his solid work from the first film but Ledger and Eckhart brought much more to their roles than some might have expected.

As The Joker, Ledger managed to completely reinvent an iconic character as a wildly unpredictable psychopath who brings Gotham to it’s knees. Although Рdue to his tragically early death Рthere was always going to be added interest in his performance, he really was outstanding in creating a villain who is scary, funny and unpredictable.

Overall the technical contributions were outstanding Рof particular note were Wally Pfister’s cinematography, Nathan Crowley’s production design and Lee Smith’s editing.

Special mention must also go to the diverting score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, which thankfully will be up for Oscar consideration after initially being barred due to a technicality.

Many aspects of the film raised interesting questions and parallels. Can we see Batman Рa sophisticated force for good caught up in a moral dilemma Рas a metaphor for the US military? Could The Joker Рa psychopathic enigma wreaking terror on society Рbe a twisted version of Osama Bin Laden?

The fact that a comic book adaptation subtly provoked these points was daring and clever but also true to the darker comic books¬†–¬†especially¬†The Killing Joke¬†– that influenced on the film.

Although Ledger is almost a forgone conclusion for Best Supporting Actor – for both valid and sentimental reasons – the film itself might find more nominations in the major categories, which when you think about it speaks volumes to its quality.

[The Dark Knight is out now on DVD] 

 

The Visitor posterThe Visitor (Dir. Thomas McCarthy)

Tom McCarthy made one of the best films of 2003 with The Station Agent and his second film was just as good.

The story involved a college professor (Richard Jenkins) who finds a young immigrant couple living in his New York apartment and then follows the characters as they connect with one another in unexpected ways.

Like his previous work, it is thoughtful, beautifully observed and features rounded characters who feel like people you might actually meet in real life.

Jenkins is a character actor you might recognise Рhe’s probably best known for his fine work as Nathaniel Fisher in Six Feet Under or as the FBI agent in Flirting with Disaster.

Here he is finally given a lead role that allows him demonstrate his considerable acting skills and there is fine support too from Haaz Sleiman, Danai Jekesai Gurira and Hiam Abbass.

But what really made this stand out is the way it managed to tackle some really big themes with intelligence and grace: immigration, loss and love are just a few of the issues dealt with here but the approach was never stodgy or patronising.

Instead, it managed to take us deep into the hearts and minds of people caught up in the chilly climate of a post-9/11 world.

A rare film that manages to engage both the heart and brain, but does so with the subtle skill of a gifted director.

* Listen to our interviews with Richard Jenkins and Tom McCarthy about The Visitor * 

[The Visitor is released on DVD in the UK on February 9th]

 

The WrestlerThe Wrestler (Dir. Darren Aronofsky)

When I first heard about Mickey Rourke playing a has-been wrestler in a film directed by Darren Aronofsky I was intrigued. 

Would it be similar to the director’s previous films like¬†ŌĬ†and¬†Requiem for a Dream? And what would Mickey Rourke be like in his first proper leading role for many years?

For Aronofksy it is a major – but welcome – departure in that it eschews many of the stylistic devices of his earlier work in favour of a raw, stripped down approach.

For Rourke it is nothing less than a triumphant comeback: a dream role that proves not only what a fine screen actor he can be, but also atones for the chaos of his professional career over the last 20 years.

The film itself is the story of a big time wrestler from the 1980s called¬†Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, who has fallen on hard times and¬†wrestles on the weekends in independent and semi-pro matches for extra money.

Health problems force him to re-evaluate his life which includes working in a deli, a possible relationship with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and an attempted reconciliation with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood).

The parallels between Rourke’s own career and that of his character are there for anyone to see but there is more to the film than just brave casting: it paints a moving yet unsentimental view of outsiders struggling to make it in modern America.

The world of semi-pro wrestling is also brought to life with remarkable authenticity. Although the theatricality and hype of the WWF dominates the public perception of wrestlers, the realism on display in this story creates a much more authentic and poignant world.

A lot of the film’s charm rests on Rourke and Tomei, who play two contrasting characters who actually have much in common: both are performers who use their bodies and have problems reconciling their double lives.¬†

Rourke is already being talked of as one of the frontrunners for the Best Actor Oscar and there is no doubt that he deserves recognition for what is one of the most memorable screen performances of the year.  

[The Wrestler is out at UK cinemas on Friday 16th January]

 

WALL-E posterWALL-E (Dir. Andrew Stanton)

Pixar continued their incredible run of form this year with yet another landmark animated film.

Set in a dystopian future circa 2815, it was about a waste disposal robot named WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) who meets another robot named EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) and gets involved in an unlikely romance, as well as the future of the human race.

Directed by Andrew Stanton, it is probably the most visually impressive work Pixar have yet committed to film (and that is saying a lot) but it also resonated as a surprisingly moving love story.

Robots haven’t been this endearing since Silent Running and the two central characters are joy to watch Рthe boxy old school charm of WALL-E contrasting beautifully with the cool, sleek beauty of EVE.

Although I would never thought I would ever compare a Pixar movie to There Will Be Blood Рboth have startling opening sequences with little or no dialogue.

One of the clever aspects of the film is the casting of sound designer Ben Burtt as the central character Рfor those unfamilar with his work he was the pioneering sound editor on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films.

Along with the animators, Burtt has helped create a character who is extremely expressive without using conventional language.

The same is true for EVE, so it is even more impressive that the filmmakers have managed to craft a compelling relationship between them.

The landcaspes were equally impressive, full of rich detail and nods to other sci-fi films.

* Listen to our interview with Angus MacLane, the directing animator of WALL-E *

[WALL-E is out now on DVD]

 

Waltz With Bashir posterWaltz With Bashir (Dir. Ari Folman)

One of the most daring and original films was this astonoshing animated film about the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre and the memory of the Israeli soldiers involved in the invasion of Lebanon at the time. 

Directed by Ari Folman, it examines his own experiences on that mission and the struggle to remember what happened when he interviews various army colleagues from the time.

The strange title is taken from a scene with one of Folman‚Äôs interviewees, who remembers taking a machine gun and dancing an ‚Äėinsane waltz‚Äô amid enemy fire, with posters of¬†Bashir Gemayel¬†lining the walls behind him. (Gemayel¬†was the Lebanese president who whose¬†assassination¬†helped trigger the massacre.)

Animation isn’t normally associated with historical and political films, but here it worked brilliantly creating some haunting and indelible images.¬†

A hugely ambitious project, it took four years to complete and is and international co-production between Israel, Germany and France.

Another aspect which makes this story so intrguing is that the Israeli troops were not guilty of the massacre itself but of standing by and letting Lebanese miltia murder Palestinian refugees. 

It is the memory of, or rather the inability to remember, this event that lies at the core of the story. Has Folman unconsciously blocked out the memory? Does guilt cloud any rational perspective? 

The raw power of the source material is enhanced by some extraordinary imagery, with a remarkable and inventive use of colour for certain sections, especially those involving the sea.

Added to this is Folman’s narration which has an almost hypnotic effect when set alongside the visuals, almost as if the audience is experiencing a dream whilst watching the film itself. 

Back in May it premiered to huge acclaim at Cannes and was one of the front runners to win the Palme d’Or. The film also won 6 Israeli Film Academy awards (including Best Picture) and looks likely to be a strong contender for the Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

Much of that praise is richly deserved because this is an arresting and highly original film that deserves special credit for taking a highly politicised and contentious event and yet somehow makes a wider point about the futility of war.

The recent events in the Gaza strip only reinforce what a timely film this is but the central message about the horrors and futility of war has a relevance not just confined to the cauldron of the Middle East.

* Listen to our interview with Ari Folman about Waltz with Bashir *

[Waltz with Bashir is out on DVD in the UK on March 30th]

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HONOURABLE MENTIONS

[Rec] (Dir.  Jaume Balagueró)

Appaloosa (Dir. Ed Harris)

Battle For Haditha (Dir. Nick Broomfield)

Blindness (Dir. Fernando Meirelles)

Burn After Reading (Dir. The Coen Brothers)

Changeling (Dir. Clint Eastwood)

Flight Of The Red Balloon (Dir. Hsiao-hsien Hou)

Funny Games US (Dir. Michael Haneke)

Gran Torino (Dir. Clint Eastwood)

Happy-Go-Lucky (Dir. Mike Leigh)

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (Dir. Guillermo Del Toro)

Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Dir.¬†Peter Sollett)

Religulous (Dir. Larry Charles)

Revolutionary Road (Dir. Sam Mendes)

Sugar (Dir. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Dir. David Fincher)

The Reader (Dir. Stephen Daldry)

W. (Dir. Oliver Stone)

N.B. Have a look at my list of the best films from 2007 which has now been updated to include those that got a UK release in 2008. (They were Gone Baby Gone, Persepolis, The Orphanage, In Search Of A Midnight Kiss, Joy Division, My Winnipeg, Savage Grace, Shotgun Stories, Son Of Rambow, The Band’s Visit and The Mist).

What about you? Leave your favourites from this year in the comments below.

> Find out more about the films of 2008 at Wikipedia
> Check out more end of year lists at Metacritic
> Have a look at the Movie City News end of year critics chart
> Check out our best DVDs of 2008

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 26th December 2008

National UK Cinema Releases 26-12-08

NATIONAL RELEASES

Australia (Fox): An epic story set in northern Australia before World War II, about an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a ranch and teams up with a stock-man (Hugh Jackman) in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, it is an ambitious project taking a variety of subjects including race, war and Australian history. However, despite the occasionally impressive sequence the film is a major disappointment that veers wildly between different styles. Although Luhrmann is an energetic and talented director here his manic style is counterproductive and deflates the serious aspects of the story.

The A-list Aussie cast (including David Wenham, Bryan Brown and David Gulpilil) are largely wasted in one dimensional roles and many of the impressive landscape set-pieces are undermined by excessive use of green screen. After landing with a thud at the US box office, Fox will do very well to squeeze foreign revenues out of this costly film, which had an estimated production budget of $130 million. Here in the UK, it could appeal audiences who enjoy period films but mixed reviews and lack of expected awards buzz will probably reduce its box office. [Cert 12A]   

Yes Man (Warner Bros): Loosely based on the memoir by British writer Danny Wallace, this comedy stars Jim Carrey as a man who decides to say ‘yes’ to everything in his life after attending a self help seminar. Directed by Peyton Reed, it also stars¬†Terrence Stamp, Zooey Deschanel¬†and Bradley Cooper. Although many details have been changed the essential concept of the book is intact and it is an engaging and amusing comedy. Deschanel is a good romantic foil and there are some good set pieces carved out from the ‘say yes’ premise.¬†It isn’t in the same league as Carrey’s best work (like¬†The Truman Show,¬†Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) but it has an excellent chance of taking the top slot on one of the biggest days in the UK box office calendar. ¬†[Cert 12A]

* Listen to our interview with Danny Wallace about Yes Man *

Bedtime Stories (Disney): A family themed comedy with Adam Sandler as a hotel handyman whose life is changed when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to come true. Although the central premise has potential director Adam Shankman and screenwriters Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy never really bring it to life. Instead it is a fairly run of the mill Sandler vehicle tailored for family audiences with heavy dollops of sentimentality and B-grade CGI. Despite the lack of quality, it is the only film out today that is directly aimed at family audiences so could do much better than it deserves to. [Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Far North (Soda Pictures): Set during an unspecified time in the late-20th century, it tells of woman (Michelle Yeoh) and her adopted daughter (Michelle Krusiec), living in the¬†arctic tundra¬†who’s lives are affected by the unexpected arrival of a soldier (Sean Bean).¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†London venues & Key Cities]

Gardens In Autumn (Artificial Eye): Director¬†Otar Iosseliani’s film is about a French government minister (S√©verin Blanchet) who is forced to resign and thebegins to live a simpler life outside the bourgeois mainstream.¬†[Cert¬†15 /¬†Renoir & Key Cities]

Mum and Dad (Revolver): Low budget British horror film about an unusual family starring Perry Benson, Dido Miles, Olga Fedori and Ainsley Howard.   [Cert 15 / Curzon Soho, Ritzy, Screen on the Green & Key Cities]

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> Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week and our best DVDs of the year

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 19th December 2008

UK Cinema Releases 19-12-08

NATIONAL RELEASES

Twilight (E1 Films): The film adaptation of the novel by Stephenie Meyer has already triumphed at the US box office and looks set to do the same here. The book is an international bestseller which has been translated into over 20 languages worldwide and there are currently four novels: Twilight (2005), New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007) and Breaking Dawn (2008). They have a combined sale of over 25 million copies and this film is the start of a lucrative franchise for Summit Entertainment. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke it stars Kristen Stewart as Bella, a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire, played by Robert Pattinson. The target audience for this movie is teenage girls and they are going to turn out in droves to see it, almost certainly making it the number 1 film in the UK this weekend. For those Рlike me Рoutside the fanbase it may come across as a slightly pedestrian tale of forbidden love, but the two leads are engaging and Hardwicke has kept faithful to the book. New UK distributor E1 Films will be delighted at acquiring such a lucrative film (and franchise) that was turned down by the major studios. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

* Listen to our interview with Robert Pattinson about Twilight *

The Tale Of Despereaux (Universal): An animated tale¬†based on¬†the¬†fantasy book by Kate DiCamillo, this is¬†the¬†tale of a misfit mouse (Matthew Broderick), an unhappy rat (Dustin Hoffman), a bumbling servant girl (Tracey Ullman) and a princess (Emma Watson). Although some of the animation looks good, the narrative is a little confused and – unlike the best Pixar or DreamWorks films – there isn’t a great deal here for adult audiences. Whilst it may do well with family audiences hungry for animated fare over the Christmas period, it probably won’t do the kind of business Universal were hoping. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert U]

A Bunch Of Amateurs¬†(Entertainment): A British film about a¬†Hollywood agent who tricks one of his clients, a faded action star (Burt Reynolds) into playing King Lear in an amateur charity production in London.This is one of those British films that appears to have little media recognition – apart from the odd trailer and articles about the Royal Variety Film Performance – but suddenly appears in your local multiplex. Given that it is one of those British productions that has been filmed in the Isle of Man, presuambly for cost purposes, I wouldn’t expect this to do any serious business and it’s best hopes lie on people discovering the DVD a few months from now. [Empire Leicester Square, Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave & Nationwide / Cert TBC]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson¬†(Optimum): The best of this week’s releases is this documentary about journalist and author Hunter S Thompson, who is most famous for writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, writing articles for Rolling Stone magazine and pioneering ‘gonzo’ journalism. Directed by¬†Alex Gibney¬†(who made the outstanding¬†Taxi to the Darkside), it is a well researched and highly watchable documentary about an intriguing cultural figure.¬†[Cineworld Haymarket, Odeons Camden & Covent Garden / Cert 15]

Bicycle Thieves (Park Circus): A re-release of the classic Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It is the story of a poor man searching the streets of Rome for his stolen bicycle, which he needs to be able to work. [Barbican, Renoir, Filmhouse Edinburgh & Key Cities / Cert U] 

La Boheme (Axiom Films): Modern version of the famous opera from Austrian director Robert Dornhelm, starring Rolando Villazòn as Rudolfo the struggling poet and Anna Netrebko as Mimi, the young woman for whom he falls in love. [Apollo West End, Barbican and Key Cities / Cert PG]

Stone Of Destiny (Odeon Sky Filmworks): The story of Ian Hamilton, a dedicated nationalist who reignited Scottish national pride in the 1950s with his daring raid on the heart of England to bring the Stone of Scone back to Scotland. [Cert PG]

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> Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (Releases from Monday 15th December 2008)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 12th December 2008

National UK Cinema Releases 12-12-08

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Fox): A remake of the 1951 sci-fi film about an alien named Klaatu (here played by¬†Keanu Reeves) who comes to Earth to assess whether humanity can prevent the damage they have inflicted on their own planet. A team of scientists (played by¬†Jennifer Connelly,¬†Jon Hamm¬†and¬†John Cleese) try to convince him that humans are worth saving before it’s too late. Directed by¬†Scott Derrickson, it has some reasonable visual effects but is mostly a drab affair which wastes the talents of the actors involved. That said, the marketing for this film has been savvy and it has a good chance of a respectable gross this weekend before a busy Christmas period. It opens here on the same day as the US and will have to make it’s mark this week before negative word of mouth and bad reviews impact the box office.¬†[Cert 12A]

Dean Spanley¬†(Icon):¬†A charming and unusual comedy based on the novella by Irish author Lord Dunsany which tells the story of an old man (Peter O’Toole) and his son (Jeremy Northam) who strike up an unlikely friendship with a local clergyman named Dean Spanley (Sam Neill). A quirky¬†but rewarding film, which sees an impressive cast in good form and marks Toa Fraser out as a director to watch.¬†Decent box office will depend on word of mouth, which could be very good, even if it is likely to be a film more people discover on DVD.¬†[Cert¬†U]

Inkheart (Entertainment): A long delayed¬†fantasy film¬†based on the German¬†novel of the same name¬†by¬†Cornelia Funke. The story is about a¬†young girl (Eliza Bennett) who discovers her father (Brendan Fraser) has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook’s hero. Despite a highly impressive supporting cast (including¬†Paul Bettany,¬†Andy Serkis,¬†Jim Broadbent¬†and¬†Helen Mirren) awareness of this film doesn’t appear to be what it should. Entertainment will be hoping family audiences who haven’t seen the new Madagascar film might want some Christmas fantasy fare but it will do well to make serious money.¬†[Cert¬†PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Selected Cinema Releases 12-12-08

Lemon Tree (Unanimous Pictures): A drama based on the true story of a Palestinian widow (Hiam Abbass) who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down. [Showing at Curzon Soho, Odeon Swiss Cottage & Key Cities / Cert PG]

The Man From London (Artificial Eye): A drama from Hugarian director Béla Tarr based on the French-language novel by Belgian writer Georges Simenon. It stars Tilda Swinton opposite Czech actor Miroslav Krobot. The international ensemble cast also features British actress Leah Williams, and Hungarian actors Janos Derzsi and Istvan Lenart. [Showing at Renoir & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Trade (Lionsgate UK): Drama about two girls who are kidnapped in order to be sold in to the international sex trade. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, it stars Kevin Kline, Kate del Castillo and Cesar Ramos. [Showing at Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus & The Ritzy, Brixton in London / Cert 15]

North Face (Metrodome): Set in 1936, centers around four mountain climbers who attempt to climb the north face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland and the tragic events that follow. [Shwoing in London & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (bfi Distribution):¬†Robert Louis Stevenson’s celebrated horror novel, first published in 1886, has inspired countless screen adaptations, but this 1931 adaptation by director Rouben Mamoulian remains the best and gets a reissue at by the BFI.¬†[Showing at¬†BFI Southbank / Cert 12A]

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> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 8th December 2008)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 5th December 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Paramount): The sequel to the enormously popular 2005 film from DreamWorks Animation sees¬†Ben Stiller,¬†Chris Rock,¬†Jada Pinkett Smith,¬†David Schwimmer,¬†Sacha Baron Cohen¬†reprise their voice roles as a bunch of New York zoo animals stuck in Africa. The plot this time sees Alex The Lion and his gang return to his original lion colony and like the first film it has a good quota of laughs and funny characters. Paramount will be expecting very healthy business, particularly after the huge success of the paid previews last weekend which saw the film take a massive¬†¬£2.4m on Saturday and Sunday from 513 cinemas. Although it isn’t quite in the same class as the best Pixar films the original film really clicked with audiences, especially on DVD where it was a huge seller in 2005. This film looks likely to repeat that success and it will be a major shock if it doesn’t take the number 1 slot. [Cert PG]

Lakeview Terrace (Sony Pictures): This contemporary drama about an LAPD officer (Samuel L. Jackson) who gets into a dispute with his new neighbours (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) explores issues of class and racial tension in a striking way for most of its running time. Directed by Neil LaBute (a past master of exploring uncomfortable issues) it is an unusually thoughtful film from the Screen Gems division of Sony (better known for horror and more commercial genre films). Despite going off the rails in the final reel it might do well amongst adult audiences curious for more challenging fare but will need good word of mouth in a crowded week of releases. [Cert 15]

Transporter 3 (Icon): The third film in the Transporter franchise sees Jason Statham return as¬†Frank Martin¬†– a man who wears a suit, drives around in a car and beats the crap out of people. The plot here involves him transporting¬†a mysterious woman (Natalya Rudakova) from Marseilles to Odessa under the guidance of a shady character named Johnson (Robert Knepper). Although these films aren’t exactly critical darlings, they do fairly solid business worldwide with the mindless action appealing to undemanding audiences. This one could do reasonable business as it is fairly obvious what you are going to get.¬†[Cert 15]

The Express (Universal): A US sports movie¬†based on the life of Syracuse University¬†football¬†player¬†Ernie Davis¬†(played by¬†Rob Brown), the first¬†African American¬†to win the¬†Heisman Trophy.¬†The major challenge any film like this has is that there is a distinct lack of appetite on these shores for films about American sports. Directed by Gary Fleder, it didn’t exactly set the US box office alight back in October, so may struggle to do any real business here. [Cert PG]

The Secret Life Of Bees (Fox): Adapted from¬†the novel of the same name, set¬†in 1964 and tells the story of a 14 year-old girl (Dakota Fanning) who flees with Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother’s past.¬†Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, it has a solid cast that includes¬†Queen Latifah,¬†Sophie Okonedo¬†and¬†Alicia Keys, but it may find life hard at the UK box office with so many releases out this week. Fox will be hoping to attract discerning female audiences but the expected awards season buzz hasn’t really materialised so this will be relying on word of mouth.¬†[Cert 15]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

The Children (Vertigo Films): A British horror film directed by Tom Shankland about a relaxing Christmas hoiliday that goes wrong when children begin to turn on their parents. [Showing at selected cinemas in London & Nationwide / Cert 15]

The Girl In The Park (Unanimous Pictures): A drama about a New York woman (Sigourney Weaver) traumatized by the disappearance of her young daughter many years before, who meets a troubled young woman (Kate Bosworth) with a checkered past, triggering off old wounds. [Showing at the Apollo West End in London & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Julia (Chelsea Films): Drama starring Tilda Swinton as an alcoholic woman who ends up in a kidnap plot after meeting a mother (Kate del Castillo) at an AA meeting. Unusually, this is being released simultaneously released at selected cinemas and a TV platform, Sky Movies. [Showing at Chelsea Cinema, Curzons in Mayfair & Soho, Key Cities & Sky Box Office / Cert 15]

The Lost City (Lionsgate UK): This 2005 film directed by Andy Garcia¬†explores a family in Havana, Cuba during the¬†late 1950’s¬†as the¬†Batista¬†regime gave way to the¬†Marxist government of Fidel Castro.¬†[Apollo West End only]

Patti Smith Dream Of Life (Verve Pictures): A documentary exploring the singer Patti Smith, directed by Steven Sebring. [Odeon Panton Street, Ritzy & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Rivals (Optimum Releasing): French film about¬†two rival brothers, one a pimp and the other a cop, and how the former manages to be the family favorite.¬†[Showing at¬†Coronet, P’Houses Clapham & Greenwich, Odeon Swiss Cottge & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Summer (Vertigo Films): Low budget British film about two friends inseparable in childhood but have to face up to loss and disillusionment in middle age. Directed by Kenneth Glenaan, it stars Robert Carlyle, Rachael Blake and Steve Evets. [Showing at selected cinemas in London & Key Cities / Cert 15]

Trouble The Water (ICA Films): A documentary exploring an aspiring rap artist and her husband who filmed their struggle to survive when they were trapped in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. [ICA & Selected Key Cities / Cert 15]

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> Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 1st December 2008)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: December 2008

UK Cinema Releases / December 2008

FRIDAY 5th DECEMBER 2008

The Children (15) Vertigo Films / London & Nationwide
The Express (PG) Universal / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
The Girl In The Park (15) Unanimous Pictures / Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus & Key Cities
Julia (15) Chelsea Films / Chelsea Cinema, Curzons Mayfair & Soho & Key Cities
Lakeview Terrace (15) Sony Pictures / Nationwide
The Lost City (TBC) Lionsgate UK / Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus only
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG) Paramount / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide (Previews 29 & 30 November)
Patti Smith Dream Of Life (15) Verve Pictures / Odeon Panton Street, Ritzy & Key Cities
Rivals (15) Optimum Releasing /¬†Coronet, P’Houses Clapham & Greenwich, Odeon Swiss Cttge & Key Cities
The Secret Life Of Bees (12A) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End, Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave. & Nationwide
Summer (15) Vertigo Films / London & Key Cities
Transporter 3 (15) (D) Icon / Vue West End & Nationwide
Trouble The Water (15) ICA Films / ICA & Selected Key Cities

FRIDAY 12th DECEMBER 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still (12A) 20th Century Fox / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews fm 10 Dec 08)
Dean Spanley (U) Icon / Curzon Mayfair & Nationwide
Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (12A) (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank
Inkheart (PG) Entertainment / Nationwide
Lemon Tree (PG) Unanimous Pictures / Curzon Soho, Odeon Swiss Cottage & Key Cities
Love And Honour (12A) ICA Films / ICA & Selected Key Cities
The Man From London (12A) Artificial Eye / Renoir & Key Cities
North Face (12A) (D) Metrodome / London sites (tbc) & Key Cities
Trade (15) Lionsgate UK / Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus & The Ritzy, Brixton
White Christmas (U) (R/I) Park Circus / Curzon Mayfair & Nationwide

FRIDAY 19th DECEMBER 2008

Bicycle Thieves (U) (R/I) Park Circus / Barbican, Renoir, Filmhouse Edinburgh & Key Cities
Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (15) Optimum Releasing / Cineworld Haymarket, Odeons Camden & Covent Garden
La Boheme (PG) Axiom Films / Apollo West End, Barbican and Key Cities
Stone Of Destiny (PG) Odeon Sky Filmworks / To be advised
The Tale Of Despereaux (U) Universal / Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 13 & 14 December)
Twilight (12A) Contender Films / Vue West End & Nationwide

FRIDAY 26th DECEMBER 2008

Australia (12A) 20th Century Fox / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide
Bedtime Stories (PG) Walt Disney / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide
Far North (TBC) Soda Pictures / London venues tbc & Key Cities
Gardens In Autumn (Jardines En Automne) (PG) Artificial Eye / Renoir & Key Cities
Mum and Dad (18) Revolver Entertainment / Curzon Soho, Ritzy, Screen on the Green & Key Cities
Yes Man (12A) Warner Bros. / Vue West End & Nationwide

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We’ll also 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.

> 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 5th December)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 28th November 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Changeling (Universal): Based on a series of incredible real life events in Los Angeles during the late 1920s this drama sees Angelina Jolie play a woman whose son is kidnapped. When the LAPD find him several months later she struggles to accept that it is her real son and a battle ensues that uncovers dark secrets at the heart of the city.

Directed by¬†Clint Eastwood, this is a film almost designed for the awards season with the period setting, serious tone and big central performance almost screaming for Oscar recognition. However, like the young boy presented by the LAPD, something doesn’t feel quite right at the heart of the film. Although Jolie can really click in the right role (like last year’s A Mighty Heart) she feels too much like a movie star in period dress to fully convince here.

As for the supporting actors they range from the excellent (John Malkovich, Jason Butler Harner and Geoff Pierson) to the downright weird (Jeffrey Donovan). That said the story is very absorbing Рmainly down to the fact that it is almost unbelievable Рand although the film does start to drag at the 2 hour mark (the running time is 141 mins) you do want to keep watching. Period detail and technical aspects are all fine and Eastwood directs with his customary taste, tact and intelligence.

Interestingly, this is the first film made by Clint for a studio other than¬†Warner Bros¬†since¬†Absolute Power¬†in 1997 and is his first directed for Universal since¬†The Eiger Sanction¬†in 1975. Universal will hope the Jolie factor will attract female audiences and that discerning males will be intrigued by the Eastwood’s recent track record. [Cert 15]

What Just Happened? (Pathe):¬†Robert De Niro¬†stars as a movie producer in this satirical comedy-drama based on Art¬†Linson‘s book of the same name that details his experiences in Hollywood. Directed by¬†Barry Levinson¬†it stars¬†Robert De Niro¬†as a fading¬†Hollywood¬†producer trying to deal with awkward stars, ruthless studio execs, test screenings and a second divorce.

If you haven’t read the book then I would highly recommend it, as Linson is a perceptive and frequently hilarious guide to the often nightmarish world of producing inside the studio system. In particular, the chapters on The Edge (a 1997 movie with Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin and a bear) are laugh out loud hilarious and provide some of the inspiration and source material for this film.

There are some good set pieces (Bruce Willis¬†and¬†Sean Penn¬†have fun playing themselves)¬†but overall the film isn’t in the same league as classier digs at film making like The Player or Living In Oblivion. Pathe will be hoping that the De Niro factor can still work some box office magic, but given how badly his once legendary status has been tarnished in the last decade, that might be wishful thinking. [Cert 15]

Four Christmases¬†(Entertainment):¬†¬†Vince Vaughn¬†and¬†Reese Witherspoon¬†as a¬†couple pressured into visiting all four of their divorced parents’ homes on Christmas Day and the supporting cast includes¬†Sissy Spacek,¬†Mary Steenburgen,¬†Kristin Chenoweth,¬†Jon Voight,¬†Jon Favreau¬†and¬†Robert Duvall. For the second year in a row Vaughn is taking the Christmas movie shilling (after last year’s Fred Claus).¬†

Although Christmas themed films don’t always equal great initial box office they have tremedous repeat value every December for TV schedulers hungry for yuletide pap, which means healthy residual cheques for all concerned.¬†I’m sure actors have other reasons for doing these kinds of movies, but you get the general idea.¬†This one has two decent name stars and a very respectable supporting cast but may struggle to make an impact at the box office unless the quality is good.

So far critical reaction has been mixed, to say the least.¬†The Hollywood Reporter¬†has called it “one of the most joyless Christmas movies ever” whilst¬†Variety¬†thinks it an “oddly misanthropic, occasionally amusing but thoroughly cheerless holiday attraction that is in no way a family film”, whilst the¬†Associated Press¬†say the film “began with some promise” then segued into “noisy joylessness [that] sets the tone for the whole movie”. Entertainment wll be hoping that this won’t put off audiences eager for some Christmas fare. [Cert 12A]

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SELECTED RELEASES

A√Īo U√Īa¬†(Unanimous Pictures): An interesting¬†film directed by¬†Jon√°s Cuar√≥n¬†about¬†a Mexican teenager and an older American woman who meet one summer.¬†Unusually, it was edited entirely from photographic stills and was made without a script or set.¬†[Showing at¬†Curzon, Renoir, Ritzy & Selected Key Cities / Cert 15]

* Listen to our recent interview with Jonás and Alfonso Cuarón *

Flawless (Metrodome): A crime/drama set in 1960 London, where a soon to retire janitor (Michael Caine) convinces a glass-ceiling constrained American executive (Demi Moore) to help him steal a handful of diamonds from their employer, the London Diamond Corporation. [Apollo West End & Key Cities]

The Silence Of Lorna (New Wave Films): The latest film from Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and it deals with a young Albanian woman living in Belgium who becomes an accomplice to a local mobster’s plan. [Showing in Key Cities / Cert 15]

To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die (Trinity Filmed Entertainment): A drama abut a young man who runs away from a loveless marriage in a rural city to a big city where he gets involved with organised crime and falls in love with a beautiful woman. Unfortunately she is married to one of the mafiosi for whom Kamal works. Written and directed by Jamshed Usmonov. [Showing at the ICA Cinema in London and Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham & Sheffield from 12th December]

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> Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> The rest of the UK cinema releases for November 2008
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 24th November 2008)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 21st November 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Body Of Lies (Warner Bros):¬†A thriller exploring the war on terror through the eyes of a CIA operative (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the Middle East and his boss (Russell Crowe) who come up with a scheme to uncover an elusive terrorist leader behind a wave of attacks in Europe. Directed by¬†Ridley Scott, with his usual visual flair, it bears some similarities to his earlier film Black Hawk Down but has a darker and more cynical attitude towards US foreign policy. Although there are a few concessions to mainstream audiences, it is an absorbing examination of cultural and practical problems in dealing with extremism in the Middle East. Warner Bros are still reeling from the costly failure of this film at the US box office last month and generally¬†tepid¬†reviews won’t help matters here. Despite that, it is a smart actioner with two big stars that could generate positive word of mouth across the weekend. If the Bond effect starts to wane, then this might provide some superior action for audiences unimpressed with 007’s latest outing. [Cert 15]

Blindness (Pathe):¬†A dystopian drama from Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles set in a modern (but unnamed) city where people start to go blind for no apparent reason. The film focuses on a group of people, which includes a doctor (Mark Ruffalo) and his wife (Julianne Moore) as they try to survive in a makeshift prison set up by the government as a quarantine area. Although parts of the film are unrelentingly dark there is a good deal to admire here in the performances and directing. It got a mixed reaction when it opened the Cannes film festival earlier this year and isn’t in the same class as¬†Meirelles’ previous work like¬†Cidade de Deus¬†or¬†The Constant Gardener, but still remains a challenging and admirable film. Pathe will be hoping for discerning arthouse audiences but in a crowded week the downbeat vibe might put them off. [Cert 15]

Choke (Fox): A¬†black comedy¬†directed by¬†Clark Gregg¬†and adapted from the¬†novel¬†by¬†Chuck Palahniuk. It stars¬†Sam Rockwell¬†as¬†a sex-addicted med-school dropout, who keeps his strange mother (Anjelica Huston) in an expensive private hospital by working days as a historical re-enactor at a theme park and scamming rich customers in¬†upscale restaurants. This might attract fans curious of the author (this is the first adaptation since Fight Club in 1999) but given the mixed critical reaction in the US and the tepid awareness factor, this will do very well to make it’s mark in a crowded weekend. [Cert 18]

Quarantine (Sony): Another genre horror from Sony’s Screen Gems label comes to the UK on the back of an impressive opening in the US last month. This is a remake of the excellent Spanish horror film¬†[REC], which only came out last year, and is directed by¬†John Erick Dowdle. It stars¬†Jennifer Carpenter¬†as a TV reporter following a fire crew on a night-shift as they are called to an apartment building beset by some serious problems. Given the seemingly insatiable appetite for horror at the moment, this could appeal to mainstream audiences but the ad campaign hasn’t been the strongest so a lack of awareness might be an issue, especially with so much else out this week. [Cert 18] ¬†¬†

My Best Friend’s Girl (Lionsgate): Another vehicle for US comedian Dane Cook as a man who is¬†put to the test when his best friend (Jason Biggs) hires him to take his ex-girlfriend (Kate Hudson) on a lousy date just to show her how great he is. This might appeal to undemanding female audiences but given the fact that it is probably best known for Cook’s infamous MySpace rant about the film’s marketing and some poor US reviews, it could struggle to do any solid business. [Cert 15]¬†

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Waltz With Bashir (Artificial Eye): A remarkable animated film in which director Ari Folman explores his memories of the 1982 Lebanon War, which culminated in the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Although dealing with a highly charged historical event, the innovative visual style makes for compelling viewing and manages to say a great deal about the futility and pain of war. Although the subject matter makes it a hard sell, rave reviews and the unique look might power it towards a very healthy arthouse gross. Artificial Eye are giving it an impressively wide release for a film of this type and you can check the UK cinemas screening it here. One of the must-see films of the year. [Cert 18]

* Listen to our interview with Ari Folman about Waltz With Bashir *

Tis Autumn – The Search For Jackie Paris¬†(Verve Pictures):¬†An exploration into the mysterious life of the late jazz vocalist Jackie Paris, which examines the question of how much we need to know about an artist’s life to appreciate their art.¬†[Showing at¬†Apollo West End & Key Cities /¬†Cert 15]

Conversations With My Gardener (Cinefile): A French film about a successful artist (Daniel Auteuil), weary of Parisian life, who returns to the country to live in his childhood house. He needs someone to make a real vegetable garden and finds out the gardener (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) happens to be a former school friend. [Showing in Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Special People (Guerilla Films): Director Justin Edgar directs this tale of a struggling film director (Dominic Coleman) who takes a job teaching a group of disabled teenagers. [Showing at Genesis Mile End Rd, Phoenix Finchley, Birmingham & Sheffield / Cert 12A]

Yuvvraaj (Eros): Bollywood film¬†starring¬†Anil Kapoor,¬†Salman Khan,¬†Mithun Chakraborty¬†and¬†Katrina Kaif. Directed by¬†Subhash Ghai¬†it is the tale of¬†three brothers who fight and play games with each other in order to inherit their father’s wealth.¬†[Showing at¬†Cineworld Cinemas in Feltham, Shaftesbury Ave, Vue O2, Odeon Greenwich & in Key Cities]

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> Get local showtimes for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> The rest of the UK cinema releases for November 2008
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 17th November 2008)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 7th November 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

W. (Lionsgate): Oliver Stone’s quickly assembled biopic of George W Bush is a much more accomplished and thoughtful film than some UK reviews would have you believe. Starring Josh Brolin as Bush, it explores his life in flashback through the lens of the Iraq War in 2002-2004. An impressive cast includes¬†Elizabeth Banks¬†(Laura Bush),¬†James Cromwell¬†(George H. W. Bush),¬†Ellen Burstyn¬†(Barbara Bush),¬†Richard Dreyfuss¬†(Dick Cheney),¬†Thandie Newton¬†(Condoleezza Rice) and¬†Toby Jones¬†(Karl Rove) and the performances are generally very good, especially Brolin in what is a very tough role. The script by Stanley Weiser and Stone does a fine job at compressing Bush’s life through the lens of it’s defining episode. Stone deserves credit for attempting to get inside the head of the maligned president and not just indulging in a blunt hatchet job. However, the nuances of the film may be lost amongst liberals who hate him and the conservatives who still champion him and those in the middle trying to forget him. The plan for the film (independently financed with Chinese, German and Australian money) was for a timely release around the recent election. However, the election race itself has been more exciting than any script writer could have imagined whilst Bush has effectively been a ghost president for the last year. That will probably mean reduced box office here in the UK, especially with Quantum of Solace dominating the multiplexes, which is a shame as this is a brave attempt to chronicle the life and times¬†of the 43rd president. [Cert 15]

Pride and Glory (Entertainment): A contemporary police drama about¬†a multi-generational police family in New York whose morals are tested when one of two sons (Edward Norton) investigates a case involving his older brother (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law (Colin Farrell). Directed by Gavin Connor (who made Tumbleweeds and Miracle), it is a decent and commendably gritty look at modern urban policing and the tensions that ensue when families are added to the mix. For some reason New Line Cinema (before they were absorbed into Warner Bros) decided to sit on the film for several months and some – including Farrell -speculated that the failure of The Golden Compass left them without any real money to market it. However, although it isn’t a masterpiece it is an absorbing 70’s style cop drama with a commendably down and dirty tone. The decent cast and word of mouth might propel it towards some reasonable box office business but given the lack of heavy marketing and the Bond factor, it will do well to crack the top 5 at the UK box office. ¬†

Easy Virtue (Pathe): A¬†social comedy based on¬†Noel Coward‘s play of the same name which was itself ¬†made into a silent movie¬†by¬†Alfred Hitchcock¬†in 1928. This version has been reshaped by director by¬†Stephan Elliott¬†as a much frothier concoction. It stars¬†Jessica Biel¬†as an American socialite who marries a young Englishman¬†(Ben Barnes)¬†in the South of France before going to England to meet his stiff, uppercrust parents (Colin Firth, and¬†Kristin Scott Thomas). Whilst the setup might sound very familiar, the end result is actually a much more energetic affair with more laughs than you might expect. Biel in particular, impresses in her most substantial role to date and Elliott wisely doesn’t take things too seriously but at the same time also gets in some nice digs at the joyless nature of the British upper classes.¬†

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Scar 3-D (The Works): Yet another horror film unleashed at the multiplexes around Halloween, this would appear to be a Saw rip-off, only with added bonus of being in 3D. The plot follows a woman (Angela Bettis) as she is tormented by a serial killer who had previously kidnapped and tortured her. [Cert 18]  

The Warlords (Metrodome): An Asian martial arts epic directed by Peter Chan and starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro as three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. Set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion in the late Qing Dynasty in China it is the tale of how the brothers who are forced to turn against one another in harsh times. [Cert 15] 

Let’s Talk About The Rain (Artificial Eye): A French comedy from director¬†Agn√®s Jaoui, who also stars as a¬†writer with an eye to a political career. When she returns to the south of France to deal with the death of her mother she meets two film-makers (Jean-Pierre Bacri and Jamel Debbouze) who persuade her to be the subject of a documentary. [Cert 12A]

OSS 117: Cairo – Nest Of Spies (ICA Films): A run at the ICA in London for this spy spoof,¬†a French spin on their own secret agent franchise, based on the numerous OSS 117 novels of Jean Bruce, which actually pre-dated Fleming‚Äôs novels. Directed by¬†Michel Hazanavicius¬†it starts comedian¬†Jean Dujardin¬†as an agent who‚Äôs sent out to revolutionary Egypt in 1955 on a mission to ‚Äėmake the Middle East safe.‚Äô [Cert 12A]

EK Vivaah…. Aisa Bhi¬†(Eros): A Bollywood movie from director¬†Sooraj R. Barjatya¬†that features Sonu Sood and Eesha Koppikar as two lovers who are just about to get married before destiny has different plans for them.¬†

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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 for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> The rest of the UK cinema releases for November 2008
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 3rd November 2008)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: November 2008

FRIDAY 7th NOVEMBER 2008

Easy Virtue (PG) Pathe [Odeon West End & Nationwide]
EK Vivaah…. Aisa Bhi Eros¬†[Cineworlds Feltham, Ilford & Key Cities]
Let’s Talk About The Rain (12A) Artificial Eye¬†[Curzons Mayfair & Soho, Renoir, Screens on the Green & Hill, Key Cities]
OSS 117: Cairo РNest Of Spies (12A) ICA Films [ICA Cinema & selected Key Cities]
Pride And Glory (15) Entertainment [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]
Scar 3-D (18) The Works¬†[C’World Shaftesbury Ave, Vue West End & Nationwide]
W. (15) Lionsgate UK [Nationwide]
The Warlords (15) Metrodome¬†[C’World S’bury Ave, Odeon Covent Gdn, Vue Shepherd’s Bush & Key Cities]
Hänsel und Gretel (TBC) More2Screen [Empire Leics Sq., Genesis Mile End, Odeons Covent Gdn & Wimbledon & Key Cities]

FRIDAY 14th NOVEMBER 2008

The Baader-Meinhof Complex (15) Momentum Pictures [Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn, Vue West End & Key Cities]
Choking Man (TBC) Soda Pictures [BFI Southbank]
Fine, Totally Fine (TBC) Third Window Films [ICA Cinema]
Iousa (TBC) Mercury Media [Key Cities]
Max Payne (15) 20th Century Fox [Vue West End & Nationwide]
A Street Car Named Desire (TBC) bfi Distribution [BFI Southbank]
Zack And Miri Make A Porno (TBC) Entertainment [Vue West End & Nationwide]

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FRIDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2008

‘Tis Autumn – The Search For Jackie Paris (15) Verve Pictures¬†[Apollo West End & Key Cities]
Belle Toujours (TBC) ICA Films [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]
Blindness (18) Pathe [Empire Leicester Square & Apollo West End & Key Cities]
Body Of Lies (15) Warner Bros [Vue West End & Nationwide]
Choke (18) 20th Century Fox [Cineworld Haymarket & Nationwide]
Conversations With My Gardener (12A) Cinefile [Selected Key Cities]
My Best Friends Girl (TBC) Lionsgate UK [Vue West End & Nationwide]
Quarantine (18) Sony Pictures [Nationwide]
Special People (12A) Guerilla Films [Genesis Mile End Rd, Phoenix Finchley, Birmingham & Sheffield]
Stone Of Destiny (PG) Odeon Sky Filmworks (England/Wales venues tbc / Scotland from Oct 10th]
Waltz With Bashir (18) Artificial Eye [London, West End & Key Cities]
Yuvvraaj¬†(TBC)¬†Eros¬†[C’Worlds, Feltham, Shaftesbury Ave, Vue O2, Odeon G’wich & Key Cities]
Four Christmases (TBC) Entertaiment [Opens Weds 26th Novmeber) 

FRIDAY 28th NOVEMBER 2008

Ano Una (15) Unanimous Pictures [Curzon,Renoir, Ritzy & Selected Key Cities]
Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai (TBC) Adlabs Films
Changeling (15) Universal [Nationwide]
Flawless (TBC) Metrodome [Key Cities]
The Silence Of Lorna (15) New Wave Films [Key Cities]
To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die (15) Trinity Filmed Ent. [ICA Cinema and Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham & Sheffield from 12 December]
What Just Happened? (15) Pathe [Empire Leicester Sq., Apollo West End & Nationwide]

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We’ll also 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.

> 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 31st October)

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Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 31st October 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

Quantum of Solace (Sony): The latets Bond film arrives at UK cinemas on a huge wave of expectation and hype, not least because it’s predecessor Casino Royale was the highest grossing Bond movie ever, but because Daniel Craig helped re-establish the character for a new generation. The plot takes off just minutes after the last film and sees 007 investigate the mysterious Quantum¬†organisation, led by the enigmatic Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Along the way he hooks up with a vengeful woman named¬†Camille¬†(Olga Kurylenko) and regularly incurs the displeasure of his boss M (Judi Dench) by aggressively pursuing those responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd (his lover from the last film). Whilst Craig still impresses as a leaner and meaner spy, the problem here appears to be the choice of¬†Marc Forster¬†as director. Best known for character based films like Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland, he handles the quieter scenes well but doesn’t have a grip on the multiple action sequences which have none of the adrenaline rush of the recent Bourne or Batman films. It has already received mixed reviews but this is going to absolutely kill at the UK box office this weekend – the only question will be if it can surpass the amazing gross of the last film. [Cert 12A]

Hunger (Pathe): The feature debut of Turner prize winning artist Steve McQueen is¬†a riveting look at the¬†1981 Irish hunger strike. The story explores a key episode of the Troubles, when IRA prisoners in the Maze led by¬†Bobby Sands¬†(Michael Fassbender), went on a protracted hunger strike in order to apply pressure against the British government, so that they could be classed as political prisoners. This isn’t a polemic for any side but does take the viewer inside the raw and brutal world of the Maze prison, as well as depicting the terror and violence outside. In the role of Sands, Fassbender gives an incredible performance, but there is also some fine work too by Liam Cunningham as the prison chaplain – one mesmerising sequence between them is shot in a 17 minute unbroken take. The widescreen lensing by Sean Bobbit and the radical direction by McQueen make for a brutal but astonishing film. Although this is one of the best films of the year, I think Pathe are taking a huge risk in opening the same week as Bond. Whilst counter-programming an art-house release against a blockbuster can be a canny move, Bond is one of those franchises with an enormously wide appeal across every demographic. It could be that Hunger just gets lost amidst all the 007 hype, which would be a shame because it has had some really good press and marks the arrival of a major new directing talent. [Cert 18]

* Listen to our interview with Liam Cunningham about Hunger *

The Midnight Meat Train (Lionsgate): Although Lionsgate haven’t exactly busted their marketing budget for this horror film they’ll be hoping horror fans will be checking it out this Halloween. Based¬†on¬†Clive Barker‘s 1984 short story of the same name, about¬†a photographer who tries to track down a¬†serial killer¬†(played by¬†Vinnie Jones) dubbed the ‘Subway Butcher’. It had an interesting release in the US with fans reportedly upset that Lionsgate were effectively dumping the film¬†before a quick DVD release. It is¬†directed by¬†Ryuhei Kitamura¬†and for this kind of material has an OK cast which includes¬†Bradley Cooper,¬†Leslie Bibb,¬†Vinnie Jones¬†and¬†Brooke Shields. Given the lack of awareness it would be surprising if this did any serious box office, but could become some kind of cult favourite. [Cert 18]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Of Time And The City¬†(BFI): A documentary by Terence Davies which recalls¬†his life growing up in¬†Liverpool¬†during the 1950’s and 1960’s, using archive¬†newsreel¬†and¬†documentary¬†footage along with his own voiceover. It premiered at Cannes back in May to very warm reviews and was the first film by Davies since¬†The House of Mirth, his¬†Edith Wharton adaptation,¬†in 2000. The BFI are giving it a limited release in key cities but with the strong reviews, it could do some healthy art-house business. [Cert 12A]

Golmaal Returns (Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision): A Bollywood release directed by Rohit Shetty. It is a sequel to the 2006 film, Golmaal with Ajay Devgan, Tusshar Kapoor and Arshad Warsi reprising their roles and Shreyas Talpade reprising the role originally played by Sharman Joshi. Kareena Kapoor, Anjana Sukhani, Amrita Arora and Celina Jaitley are new additions to the cast. 

Vaaranam Aayiram (Ayngaran International): A Tamil film directed by Gautham Menon, with Surya Sivakumar acting in dual lead roles, whilst Sameera Reddy, Divya Spandana and Simran Bagga co-star. 

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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 for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Check out our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 27th October 2008)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 24th October 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Disney): The third part of the Disney TV movie behemoth is all set to storm the UK. If you are over the age of 15 you might not know that this musical is probably the biggest kids phenomenon since, well, the last thing that was really popular.¬†The first two High School Musicals were huge hits on The Disney Channel and became such a phenomenon that they have released this one in cinemas. The plot for all three films revolves around¬†about two¬†high school¬†kids¬†‚Äď Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), captain of the¬†basketball¬†team, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a shy student who is good at maths and science. When they¬†try out for the lead parts in their high school¬†musical, it all kicks off. This one involves their final or ‘senior’ year (obviously).¬†The Mouse House have made so much money from this franchise already (with lucrative tours and album sales keeping the accountants happy) that a cinema release is a slam dunk. [Cert U]

* Listen to an interview I did with Zac Efron last year for the Hairspray movie * 

Saw V (Lionsgate): In some ways the Saw films are to horror fans what HSM is to younger kids – an emormously profitable franchise that has defied expectations. Only instead of cute people singing in a high school school, these films involve people getting tortured to death in ever more fiendish traps set by the diabolical Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). Although, this wasn’t press screened (as per usual since the second film) my sources inform me that the opening death is ‘a belter’ and that this is more of the same, prompting one to consider the fact that Lionsgate will just keep making these films until audiences get sick of them. Which could be quite some time. Expect this to do solid business. [Cert 18]

* Listen to an interview I did with Tobin Bell about the Saw films in 2006 *

Ghost Town (Paramount): The first proper leading man role for Ricky Gervais in a mainstream¬†Hollywood movie is a smartly written comedy about a grumpy English dentist in New York who starts seeing ghosts after an operation goes wrong. Written and directed by David Koepp (who made the overlooked ghost story Stir of Echoes in 1999, as well as penning blockbusters like Spider-Man and Jurassic Park), it has a neat comic setup, solid supporting performances from Greg Kinnear and Tia Leoni and some surprisingly touching moments. It has picked a tough week to come out though with the kids seeing HSM3 and the lads gearing up for Saw V, so it will be an interesting test of Ricky Gervais’ ability to open a movie like this. The fact that his persona in the film is very similar to the one in The Office and Extras may or may not be a hindrance. Good but not great box office could await. [Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Incendiary (Optimum): An adulterous English mother (Michelle Williams) has her life torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a football stadium. Ewan MacGregor co-stars as a journalist, Matthew Macfadyen plays a dectective and it is directed by Sharon Maguire. [Selected cinemas nationwide / Cert 15]

Blessed¬†(Independent Distribution): This low budget drama stars¬†James Nesbitt, Natascha McElhone and Gary Lewis in a tale of a¬†city trader who’s life changes when he moves to a remote island. [Independently distributed at the Clapham Picutrehouse and the Rex Berkhamstead / Cert U]¬†

A Bloody Aria (ICA Films): A 2006 Korean film about opera student (Cha Ye-ryeon), who is riding in the passenger seat of a new car of a powerful older man (Lee Byeong-sun). After a serious altercation they find themselves in a remote location surrounded by hostile locals. [ICA Cinema & Key Cities / Cert TBC]

Chocolate (Showbox Entertainment): A drama¬†An autistic woman with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.¬†[ICA Cinema / Cert¬†18]

Heroes (Eros): A Bollywood film directed by¬†Samir Karnik¬†and starring¬†Salman Khan. [C’Worlds Feltham, Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave, Vue O2, Odeon G’wich & Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Outlanders (Miracle Comms): A low budget drama about a young Pole joins his brother in London, only to be sucked in to covering up a crime. [Apollo West End / Cert 15]

Quiet Chaos (New Wave Films): A look at the strange bereavement behavior of an Italian executive, based on a novel by Sandro Veronesi and starring Nanni Moretti and Valeria Golino. [Apollo West End, Curzon Mayfair, Gate, Everyman & Key Cities / Cert TBC]

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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 for a cinema near you via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
> Check our latest DVD picks for this week (From Monday 20th October 2008)

Categories
Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 10th October 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

City Of Ember: With the half term holidays upon us this fantasy movie is being positioned as the family film to go and see. Adapted from a 2003 novel by Jeanne Duprau, it is the story of two children (Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadaway) battling to save the underground city they live in. Directed by Gil Kenan, it was also produced by Tom Hanks. Entertainment will be hoping a stellar supporting cast, which includes Bill Murray, Toby Jones and Tim Robbins, plus the family appeal at half-term will propel this to the Number 1 slot. [Nationwide / Cert PG]

The House Bunny: This comedy starring¬†Anna Faris¬†as a Playboy bunny girl¬†who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion did fairly good business in the US but might have more limited appeal here. Despite Faris having an engaging presence the absence of laughs and the US-centric setting of university life (does anyone in UK know what¬†sorority girls¬†are? Directed by¬†Fred Wolf¬†and written by¬†Legally Blonde¬†screenwriters¬†Kirsten Smith¬†and¬†Karen McCullah Lutz¬†it may have more of a shelf life on DVD.¬†Sony will be hoping for teen girls and ‘curious’ males, plus the light appeal of this film to get it into the top three. [West End & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

Mirrors:¬†This horror film about¬†a night watchman (Kiefer Sutherland) who is haunted by erm…, mirrors co stars¬†Paula Patton¬†and is directed by¬†Alexandre Aja, the Frenchman behind Switchblade Romance and the recent The Hills Have Eyes remake. Fox will hope that horror fans will turn out for this despite a critical mauling in the US, the absence of any big stars and a general aura of fatigue surrounding US remakes of Asian horror movies. Most of the profits look certain to come from foreign and ancillary markets.¬†[Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert 15]

Nights In Rodanthe:¬†Richard Gere¬†and¬†Diane Lane¬†team up again for this adaptation of the novel by¬†Nicholas Sparks¬†about a¬†doctor stops at an inn in North Carolina and has a ‘life-changing romance’ with an unhappily married woman. Heavily marketed to appeal to the female viewers who lapped up previous Sparks adaptations like¬†The Notebook¬†and¬†Message in a Bottle, this¬†could surpass expectations at the box office despite some poor US reviews. [Nationwide / Cert PG]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

Gomorrah:¬†Unqustionably the best film of the week – if not the year so far – is this stunning adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book about the criminal organisation in southern Italy known as¬†the Comorrah. Directed by Matteo Garrone, it interweaves fives stories (based on true life tales) of people affected by the crime, corruption and poverty around¬†Naples. Shot in a docu-drama style there isn’t a false note in the film and it forms a welcome counterblast to the glamorous depictions of the mafia on the big screen. It has got rave reviews since it premiered at Cannes earlier this year and Optimum will be hoping for solid art-house business around the country.¬†[Barbican, Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn, Renoir & Nationwide / Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with director Matteo Garrone about Gomorrah *

Bigga Than Ben: Low budget tale of¬†two self-confessed ‘pieces of Moscow scum’ who come to London to rip it off.¬†¬†[Apollo West End, Tricycle Kilburn, Dublin, Edinburgh & Manchester / Cert 15]

Gunnin For That #1 Spot: Documentary by founding Beastie Boy Adam Yauch about eight of the U.S.’s top high school basketball players competing in the first “Elite 24” tournament at Rucker Park.¬†[Diffusion Pictures [The Ritzy / Cert¬†12A]

Mutant Chronicles: A sci-fi action movie about 23rd century soldier Major Mitch Hunter (Thomas Jane) leads a fight against an army of underworld NecroMutants. [Nationwide/ Cert 18]

Tu£sday: British film about 3 groups of people who decide to rob the same bank on the same day. [Vue Shepherds Bush & Bury only / Cert 15]

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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)
> Check our latest DVD picks and the other releases this week (From Monday 6th October 2008)

Categories
Cinema cinema releases

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 3rd October 2008

NATIONAL RELEASES

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People: Paramount will be expecting this adaptation of Toby Young‘s bestselling memoir about his time at Vanity Fair magazine in the 90s to bag the top spot. On the surface it has many things going for it: an impressive cast (Simon Pegg,¬†Kirsten Dunst,¬†Jeff Bridges,¬†Danny Huston, and¬†Megan Fox); a timely appeal (although inspired by the craziness of 90s celebrity culture, things have actually got worse);a director from a great TV show (Robert B. Weide¬†of¬†Curb Your Enthusiasm¬†fame) and it will appeal to male and female audiences. The problem it faces is that given all the elements in it’s favour, the finished film is not as funny or clever as it should have been, so word of mouth and critical buzz won’t be that good. Despite that, the appeal of Simon Pegg is a major plus point – if he can help a comedy like Run Fat Boy Run top the UK charts for a month then he might very well have a similar effect on this film. Added to that the rise of Megan Fox should give a similar bump to its US prospects. Anything outside the box office top two would have to be considered a major disappointment. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert 15]

* Listen to our interview with Simon Pegg and Robert B Weide * 

Brideshead Revisited: Aimed squarely at lovers of period costume drama, this adaptation of¬†Evelyn Waugh‚Äôs¬†classic 1945¬†novel of the same name.¬†It faces a number of challenges, most notably in the looming ghost of the famous 1981 TV adaptation (screened on ITV, believe it or not). The other problem is one of costume fatigue, as this is just three weeks after Kiera Knightley swanned around country houses in The Duchess. Plus, Walt Disney will be concerned about it’s underwhelming performance at the US summer box office which practically killed it’s awards buzz and have dampened expectations here. But despite all this, it is actually rather good. By compressing the story of a young Englishman (Matthew Goode) who becomes involved with an aristocratic family, it not only covers all of the novel’s themes (the decline of the English aristocracy; faith and atheism; love and duty) but gives them a renewed power and urgency. The performances are all fine (especially Emma Thompson as the domineering matriarch) and the feel of the film is surprisingly contemporary despite the period setting. [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide / Cert 12A]

* Listen to our interview with Matthew Goode and Hayley Atwell * 

88 Minutes: Back in Cannes 2007 (that’s nearly 18 months ago) I walked past a poster for this Al Pacino thriller which said it would be opening there that week. So why, you may ask, is this film opening here just one 7 days after his misguided team up with fellow icon Robert De Niro (the lumbering cop thriller¬†Righteous Kill). Well, the answer is that this is an another film produced by Avi Lerner – an expert (it seems) at getting big stars to sign up for genre films that are then sold off to gullible distributors around the world. This is just such a project, a hacky thriller about a¬†forensic psychiatrist (Pacino) who gets a phone call informing him he has 88 minutes to live. Directed by Jon Avnet (who also made Righteous Kill) it represents a new low for Pacino with it’s laughable dialogue, terrible plotting and bizarre Cique-du-Soleil-esque climax.¬†Warner Bros are the UK distributors will presumably be hoping that either undemanding thriller aficionados or unsuspecting Al Pacino fans will be the ones to witness this dreck. [Apollo West End & Nationwide / Cert 15]

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IN SELECTED RELEASE

The Fall: This remarkable visual feast from director Tarsem Singh originally screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 and finally makes it to the UK a full two years later. It is the story of a stuntman (Lee Pace) in the early days of Hollywood and the stories he tells to a little girl, which are then shown in fantasy sequences. Funded by Tarsem’s own work in commercials and a lot of favours from former colleagues, the locations for the film span the globe and although the story doesn’t always work, it really is worth seeing for the extraordinary images. Momentum will be hoping curious cineastes and more discerning audiences check it out on a cinema screen, which is where any true film fan should see it. [Curzon Soho, Ritzy, P’House Greenwich & selected Key Cities / Cert 15]

Fear(s) Of The Dark: Metrodome will be hoping for some art house action from this patchwork of tales using different black-and-white animation techniques tell several scary stories. They include: a story of a teenage boy who meets the wrong girl; a small community where people disappear and are never seen again; a little Japanese girl who suffers from horrible nightmares.  [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities / Cert 12A]

Fly Me To The Moon 3D: Aside from The Fall, Momentum will also be releasing this 3D family movie about three young houseflies stow away aboard the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. The synposis alone should tell you this isn’t going to be 2001: A Space Odyssey.¬† [Vue West End & Key Cities / Cert U]

Good Dick: The title of this one could mean all manner of things but is actually a comedy drama about a lonely introverted girl and a young video store clerk vying for her attention. The Works are releasing this in selected cinemas nationwide but the cinema run looks more like a dummy run for the DVD sales. [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities РDublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow / Cert 15 ]

Heavy Load: A documentary charting a year in the life of the punk band, Heavy Load, whose members include some musicians with learning disabilities. Met Film/Miracle give it a limited run at the ICA in London [ICA Cinema РPreviews 1st Oct / Cert 12A]

Import/Export: A grim but critically acclaimed drama about a nurse from the Ukraine who is searching for a better life in the West, while an unemployed security guard from Austria heads East for the same reason. Trinity Filmed Entertainment will be hoing for respectable for niche arthouse business. [ICA Cinema, Barbican Cinema & Select Key Cities / Cert 15]

Drona: An Indian film who’s central character¬†is inspired by the character of Dronacharya from epic Mahabharata of Hindu mythology. Dronacharya is the guru or mentor of Kauravas and the Pandavas in the epic, and is well-known for his skill in advanced military.¬†Eros release it in key cities. [C’worlds Shaftesbury Ave & Feltham, Odeon Greenwich & Key Cities]

How Ohio Pulled It Off: Mercury Media release this timely documentary chronicling elections from 2004 to 2006 in the bellwether state of Ohio.¬†[P’Houses Clapham & Greenwich, Ritzy, Screen On Green & Nationwide]

Kidnap: Studio 18 release this film starring Sanjay Dutt as a father whose daughter is kidnapped and the story follows his struggle to get her back. [Nationwide / Cert 12A]

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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)
> Check our latest DVD picks and the other releases this week (From Monday 29th September 2008)

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: October 2008

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

FRIDAY 3rd OCTOBER 2008

88 Minutes (15) Warner Bros. [Apollo West End & Nationwide]
Brideshead Revisited (12A) Walt Disney [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]
The Fall (15) Momentum Pictures [Curzon Soho, Ritzy, P’House Greenwich & selected Key Cities]
Fear(s) Of The Dark (12A) Metrodome [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities]
Fly Me To The Moon 3D (U) Momentum Pictures [Vue West End & Key Cities]
Good Dick (15) The Works [Odeon Panton St, Ritzy & selected Key Cities – Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow]
Heavy Load (12A) Met Film/Miracle [ICA Cinema – Previews 1st Oct]
How To Lose Friends And Alienate People (15) Paramount [Vue West End & Nationwide]
Import/Export (18) Trinity Filmed Entertainment [ICA Cinema, Barbican Cinema & Select Key Cities]
Drona (TBC) Eros [C’worlds Shaftesbury Ave & Feltham, Odeon Greenwich & Key Cities]
Kidnap (12A) Studio 18 [Nationwide]
How Ohio Pulled It Off (TBC) Mercury Media [P’Houses Clapham & Greenwich, Ritzy, Screen On Green & Nationwide]

FRIDAY 10th OCTOBER 2008

Bigga Than Ben (TBC) Swipe Films/Bigga Than Ben [Apollo West End, Tricycle Kilburn, Dublin, Edinburgh & Manchester]
City Of Ember (TBC) Entertainment [Nationwide]
Gomorrah (15) Optimum Releasing [Barbican, Curzon Soho, Odeon Covent Gdn, Renoir & Nationwide]
Gunnin For That #1 Spot (12A) Diffusion Pictures [The Ritzy]
The House Bunny (12A) Sony Pictures [West End & Nationwide]
Mirrors (15) 20th Century Fox [Vue West End & Nationwide]
Mutant Chronicles (18) Entertainment [Nationwide]
Nights In Rodanthe (PG) Warner Bros. [Nationwide]
Tu£sday (15) Japan Film Ltd [Vue Shepherds Bush & Bury only]

FRIDAY 17th OCTOBER 2008

Afro Saxons (15) Chocolate Films [Peckham M/Plex, S/Case Wood Green, Ritzy & Tricycle (Previews 10 Oct – Ritzy)]
Burn After Reading (15) Universal [C’World Haymarket, Curzon Soho, Empire Leicester Sq. & Nationwide]
Eagle Eye (12A) Paramount [Vue West End & Nationwide]
Free Jimmy (15) Break Thru Films [Showcase Newham & Selected Key Cities]
Igor (PG) Momentum Pictures [Vue West End & Nationwide (Scotland from 10th October)]
Karzzz (TBC) Adlabs Films [C’Worlds Ilford, Staples Corner, Wandsworth, Wood Green & Nationwide]
La Zona (TBC) Soda Pictures [Key Cities]
The Rocker (12A) 20th Century Fox [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]
Sisterhood (15) Sisterhood Film/Blue Dolphin [Odeon Panton Street & Nationwide]
Young @ Heart (TBC) Yume Pictures [Curzon Soho, Greenwich P/House & Key Cities (Scotland 24 October)]

FRIDAY 24th OCTOBER 2008

A Bloody Aria (TBC) ICA Films [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]
Chocolate (18) Showbox Entertainment [ICA Cinema]
Ghost Town (12A) Paramount [Vue West End & Nationwide]
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (TBC) Walt Disney [Vue West End & Nationwide (Previews 22 October)]
Incendiary (15) Optimum Releasing [Nationwide – Previews 3rd October]
Outlanders (TBC) Miracle Comms [Apollo West End]
Quiet Chaos (TBC) New Wave Films [Apollo West End, Curzon Mayfair, Gate, Everyman & Key Cities]

FRIDAY 31st OCTOBER 2008

Golmaal Returns (TBC) Studio 18
Hunger (18) Pathe [Odeon Covent Garden & Key Cities]
Of Time And The City (12A) bfi Distribution [BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho, The Gate, Renoir & Key Cities]
Quantum Of Solace (12A) Sony Pictures [Nationwide]

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We’ll also 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.

> 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 26th September)