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Movie Reviews 2013

Movie Reviews 2012

Movie Reviews 2010

Move Reviews 2009

Harry Potter Special

Top 10 Box Office

Top 10 DVDs


Movies 2013


2012


2011

December 2011

The Big Year

Happy Feet Two

Hugo

Puss In Boots

New Years Eve

Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows

Don 2

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Artist


November 2011

In Time

The Rum Diary

Straw Dogs

Tower Heist

Jack Goes Boating

Arthur Christmas

Immortals

The Awakening

Rockstar

Welcome To The Rileys

Moneyball

The Deep Blue Sea

50/50

Desi Boyz

Resistance

My Week with Marilyn

Dream House


October 2011Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Johnny English Reborn

The Three Musketeers

Real Steel

Monte Carlo

Contagion

Paranormal Activity 3

The Adventures Of Tintin

RA. ONE

The Help

The Ides of March

Anonymous


September 2011Fright Night

Jane Eyre

Friends With Benefits

Colombiana

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Change-Up

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Killer Elite

Drive

Abduction

The Debt

Melancholia


August 2011Mr Popper's Penguins

Super 8

Sarah's Key

The Smurfs

The Devil's Double

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Project Nim

Aarakshan

Cowboys and Aliens

The Inbetweeners

Spy Kids 4

The Guard

One Day


July 2011Larry Crowne

The Conspirator

Trust

The Tree of Life

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Cars 2

Beginners

Captain America The First Avenger

Horrid Henry The Movie

Zookeeper


June 2011X-Men First Class

Last Night

Senna

Mother's Day

Always Kabhi Kabhi

The Beaver

Bad Teacher

The Green Lantern

Bridesmaids

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon


May 2011Water For Elephants

Hanna

The Way

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Age of Heroes

Blitz

The Hangover Part II


April 2011Game

Killing Bono

Source Code

Thank You

The Roommate

Red Riding Hood

Winnie The Pooh

Dum Maaro Dum

Thor

Insidious


March 2011The Adjustment Bureau

Fair Game

Ironclad

The Tempest

The Company Men

Hall Pass

The Resident

Battle Los Angeles

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Limitless

Faster

The Lincoln Lawyer

The Eagle


February 2011The Fighter

Sanctum

Brighton Rock

Rabbit Hole

Never Let Me Go

True Grit

Patiala House

Paul

Inside Job

No Strings Attached

Drive Angry

West Is West

The Rite


January 2011The Next Three Days

The King's Speech

No One Killed Jessica

Season Of The Witch

Conviction

The Green Hornet

Morning Glory

The Dilemma

Black Swan

Tangled

How Do You Know

The Mechanic

Hereafter

Barney's Version


Movie Reviews 2010

December 2010

Megamind

Secretariat

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Tourist

No Problem

Tron Legacy

Burlesque

Little Fockers

Tees Maar Khan

The Way Back

Gulliver's Travels


November 2010Due Date

Another Year

Golmaal 3

Harry Potter 7

Guzaarish

Unstoppable

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest

London Boulevard

The American


October 2010Anjaana Anjaani

Made In Dagenham

Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud

The Social Network

Despicable Me

Paranormal Activity 2

Red

Burke & Hare

The Kids Are All Right


September 2010The Switch

We Are Family

Jonal Hex

Devil

Eat Pray Love

World's Greatest Dad

Peepli Live

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


August 2010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Grown Ups

The Last Airbender

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Salt

The Expendables

Marmaduke

Piranha 3D

The Girl WWho Played With Fire

The Runaways


JulyShrek Forever After

Heartbreaker

Knight & Day

Predators

The Twilight Saga: The Eclipse

Inception

The Karate Kid

Tere Bin Laden

Toy Story 3

The A-Team

The Rebound


JuneRaajneeti

Death At A Funeral

The Killer Inside Me

Brooklyn's Finest

Raavan

Killers

Wild Target

Get Him To The Greek


May 2010Four Lions

The Back Up Plan

Nightmare On Elm St

Robin Hood

Kites

Bad Lieutenant

Prince of Persia

Sex & The City 2

Tooth Fairy


April 2010Clash of the Titans

Remember Me

Whip It!

Shelter

The Ghost Writer

Repo Men

The Joneses

Iron Man 2


Alice In Wonderland

Legion

Ondine

Shutter Island

The Blind Side

Green Zone

Hachiko

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Old Dogs

NNanny McPhee & The Big Bang

Kick-Ass


Invictus

Astroboy

My Name Is Khan

A Single Man

Valentine's Day

Crazy Heart

The Last Station

Everybody's Fine

From Paris With Love

Teen Patti

England in 3D


Did You Hear About The Morgans

The Road

Pyaar Impossible

It's Complicated

Up In The Air

Chance Pe Dance

The Boys Are Back

Brothers

Lovely Bones

Edge Of Darkness

The Princess & The Frog


Movie Reviews 2009The Box

Paa

Where The Wild Things Are

Avatar

St Trinian's 2

Nine

Alvin & The Chipmunks - The Squeakquel

Nowhere Boy

Sherlock Holmes


A Christmas Carol

Harry Brown

2012

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Paranormal Activity

Nativity!

Law Abiding Citizen


 
IN COOL DOWN

 

Showbiz

Editor's Note | Showbiz

Showbiz News

RUTube

Literature

Music

Invictus Special

 

 

 

 


Movies

Movie Reviews2011

by Preeti Virdee

THIS is our take on a selection of the movies to hit the silver screen. It's a combination of the synopses from the film studios (in italics) and our opinions on the hits and misses from 2011 (month by month by UK release date). And we've included the trailers for your delight so just click on the poster and you'll be transported to another world...

And just because we can, we've popped up the nominees and winners of the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Oscars, so simply click on the relevant gong below, and you'll find nomination and winning gongs on each review:

Golden Globe Nominations & Winners 2011BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011 September 2011December 2011October 2011November 2011

Movie Reviews 2013 Movie Reviews 2012 Movie Reviews 2010Move Reviews 2009


December 2011

THE BIG YEAR

The Big YearSTEVE Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are at a crossroads -- one is experiencing a mid-life crisis, another a late-life crisis, and the third, a far from ordinary no-life crisis. From David Frankel, the director of The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me, comes a sophisticated comedy about three friendly rivals who, tired of being ruled by obligations and responsibilities, dedicate a year of their lives to following their dreams. Their big year takes them on a cross-country journey of wild and life-changing adventures.

CAST: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest, Jobeth Williams
DIRECTOR: David Frankel
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 14/10/11 Ireland 11/11/11 UK 02 December 2011 Australia 01/03/12 France 19/09/12

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HAPPY FEET 2

Happy Feet TwoTHE sequel to Happy Feet, the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit, HAPPY FEET TWO returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica in superb 3D. Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven—a penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father’s “guts and grit” as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures—from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals—to put things right.

DESPITE the particularly excellent cast, Happy Feet 2 does not even come close to living up to the joy of the original movie. There are simply too many sub plots which make the entire film disjointed and staccato. The youngest children will of course love the film as it is very hard to resist very cute singing and dancing penguins, but for those old enough to understand how a good story works, they will not be fooled. I shouldn’t be rushing out to see this poor relation to what was a brilliant movie.

CAST: Elijah Wood, Elizabeth Daily, Sofía Vergara, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria
DIRECTOR: George Miller
RUNTIME: 104 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: USA 18/11/11 Argentina 24/11/11 Italy 25/11/11 Japan 26/11/11 UK Ireland 02 December 2011 France 07/12/11 Australia New Zealand 26/12/11

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HUGO

HugoTHROUGHOUT his extraordinary career, Academy Award-wining director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films. This holiday season the legendary storyteller invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3-D film, based on Brian Selznick's award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. 

HUGO is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home.

HUGO is one of the most touching, picturesque, stunning, magical and beautiful masterpieces I have seen in oh so long. Another absolute triumph for the cinematic genius that is Martin Scorsese.

Every actor plays his part to a tee, and especially the children who make it all so glorious. Even young Moretz from Atlanta, Georgia managed to perfect an Engliah accent - a feat failed by many an American. The only fault I could find was Sacha Baron Cohen; his ridiculous accent was entirely unnecessary, and acting was about as clever as Borat.

Despite SBC, Hugo will make you smile, make you laugh, bring a tear to your eye, and leave you with that fantastic warm fuzzy feeling of total satisfaction and a couple of hours so perfectly spent. What a wonderful Christmas treat that will undoubtedly endure time well.

CAST: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Frances de la Tour, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Helen McRory, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Michael Stuhlbarg Sacha Baron Cohen
DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
RUNTIME: 126 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: USA 23/11/11 UK 02 December 2011 France 14/12/11 Australia New Zealand 12/01/12 Italy 03/02/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011 Best Director - Motion Picture: Martin Scorsese

 

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersProduction Design: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiav

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersSound: Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

 

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Art Direction

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Cinematography

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Sound Editing

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Sound Mixing

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Visual Effects

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PUSS IN BOOTS

Puss In BootsLONG before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw PUSS IN BOOTS becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend... The Boots.

Simply brilliant. This is just so entertaining, and as good as the first Shrek film for giggle factor. What ever the age, you will not help but fall in love with the latino ‘Poose’ and his fabulous drinking habit, the sexy Kitty, the fantastical Jack and Jill - the animated world’s answer to Bonnie & Clyde perfectly voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. And Humpty Dumpty...Galifianakis was made for this. If there is any film that deserves to become the Christmas special treat, this is it.

CAST: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
DIRECTOR: Chris Miller
RUNTIME: 90 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: USA 28/10/11 France 30/11/11 Argentina 08/12/11 UK Ireland 09 December 2011 Italy 16/12/11 Australia New Zealand 26/12/11

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NEW YEAR'S EVE

New Year's EveDIRECTOR/PRODUCER Garry Marshall is joined by a stellar ensemble cast to ring in the 2011 holiday season with the romantic comedy NEW YEAR’S EVE.

New Year’s Eve celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, with intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.  

The film’s all-star cast includes Academy Award® winner Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, two-time Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank and Sofia Vergara.

Reuniting with Marshall from last year’s hit romantic comedy Valentine’s Day are screenwriter Katherine Fugate and producers Mike Karz and Wayne Rice.

Some amazing actors join some diabolically awful wannabe thespians; the only worry is the claim that this has the same bloody awful screenwriters who wrote the unfathomable Valentine’s Day which had me walking out within 15 minutes of the opening titles.

CAST: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara
DIRECTOR: Garry Marshall
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Australia 08 December 2011 USA 09/12/11 France 21/12/11 Italy Japan 23/12/11

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SHERLOCK HOLMES - A GAME OF SHADOWS

Sherlock Holmes A Game Of ShadowsSHERLOCK HOLMES has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor Moriarty—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade, points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder—a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by one Professor Moriarty. Mixing business with pleasure, Holmes tracks the clues to an underground gentlemen’s club, where he and his brother, Mycroft Holmes are toasting Dr. Watson on his last night of bachelorhood. It is there that Holmes encounters Sim, a Gypsy fortune teller, who sees more than she is telling and whose unwitting involvement in the prince’s murder makes her the killer’s next target. Holmes barely manages to save her life and, in return, she reluctantly agrees to help him. The investigation becomes ever more dangerous as it leads Holmes, Watson and Sim across the continent, from England to France to Germany and finally to Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead as he spins a web of death and destruction—all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.

THE chemistry between Downey Jnr and Law is just magical. Guy Ritchie has again shot this flim with such spectacular imagination that you cannot help but be taken in and whisked away to another age, this time in Paris and the Swiss mountains, which makes you long to get get on the first plane out there.

Jared Harris is evil personified as Moriarty, Noomi Rapace is sublime as Sim, and Stephen Fry is, in all his glory, completely as expected...delightful! And all this extravagance allows you to easily overlook the acting inadequacies of both Kelly Reilly and Rachel McAdams.

This has the scenic magic of the first Sherlock Holmes film, but an improved storyline, and so A Game Of Shadows is definitely worth a trip to the cinema in this festive season. It is exciting, mesmerising, visually breathtaking, very very funny, and simply a treat.

And to see how the Game Of Shadows premiere party panned out, check out our showbiz editor, Zoe Griffin's column:

Sherlock Holmes Premiere | Showbiz News

CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Fry
DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie
RUNTIME: 129 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland Italy USA 16 December 2011 30/12/11 Australia 05/01/12 France 25/01/12

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DON 2

Don 2HAVING conquered the Asian underworld, Don (Khan) now has his sights set on European domination. In his way are the bosses of the existing European underworld and all law enforcement agencies.

The action shifts from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin as Don must avoid assassination or arrest, whichever comes first, in order for his plan to succeed.

WHEN I saw the 2006 remake of Don, I did not even pay it heed as I considered it sacrilege that they had remade such a classic film. Earlier this year I watched it again...it was very very good. And at my last trip to the cinema to see a Bollywood film [incidentally also a Shahrukh Khan film - the brilliant RA. ONE], the trailer was featured for the first time. It looked most excellent. Sadly the soundtrack was not so catchy, but the hope was the script would negate that necessity...

Unfortunately, it simply added to the banality of the film. DON 2 is badly directed, poorly scripted, appallingly styled making everyone look pretty much like 70s rejects with bad hair, make up and wardrobe. The storyline had major potential but lacked any finesse whatsoever, and despite the stellar cast, only the worst was brought out in each player with either over-acting or understatedness to the point of boredom. Even the talent of SRK or Chopra could not turn this action flick into a respectable film that Bollywood can be proud to showcase to the world.

On the bright side, the action sequences and hand to hand combat scenes are brilliantly executed, but Farhan Akhtar has to take responsibility for writing, producing and directing a poorly effected movie that could have been a slick, thrill-a-minute action flick rather than an amateur, over-acted pedestrian yarn. However, it being an SRK film, it will no doubt break box office records and make a fortune for the studio regardless.

CAST: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Kunal Kapoor
DIRECTOR: Farhan Akhtar
RUNTIME: 145 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi/English/German with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 23 December 2011

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL

Mission Impossible: Ghost ProtocolDIRECTOR Brad Bird and Producer J.J. Abrams bring us the action packed, entertainment event of the holiday season with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL.

The new film in the series, which has grossed $2 billion dollars worldwide, will feature a new team: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. 


This is not just another mission. 


The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization’s name. No help, no contact, off the grid. You have never seen a mission grittier and more intense than this.

HOW thoroughly exciting - nothing quite as fun as an all-action movie at Christmas. The trailer looked fabulous, and the film didn't just live up to expectations, but far exceeding them.

By far the best of the Mission Impossible series so far, Ghost Protocol is pure, unadulterated, end to end action, suspense, spectacular stunts and more than one edge of seat breathtaking scenes. Frankly, I'd go as far as to say it's the best action movie of the year.

In case I wasn't clear - if you haven't seen it already, what the devil are you waiting for?! This is what the big screen was invented for.

CAST: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
DIRECTOR: Brad Bird
RUNTIME: 133 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 14/12/11 Australia 15/12/11 Japan 16/12/11 USA 21/12/11 UK Ireland 26 December 2011 Italy 13/01/12

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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

The Girl With The Dragon TattooHOPING to distance himself from the fallout of a libel conviction, journalist Mikael Blomkvist retreats to a remote island in Sweden's far north where the unsolved murder of a young girl still haunts her industrialist uncle forty years later. Ensconced in a cottage on the island where the killer may still roam, Blomkvist's investigation draws him into the secrets and lies of the rich and powerful, and throws him together with one unlikely ally - tattooed, punk hacker, Lisbeth Salander.

THE original Swedish trilogy is spectacular. Once I'd finally got round to watching them all, I could walk into a screening of the first of the English language versions with a clear conscience and an entirely preconceived idea of what it should be, to justifiably make up my mind whether perfection should have been reproduced...

And it's damn hard to call really. Rooney Mara is excellent as Lisbeth, but Fincher did make her too ugly unnecessarily. Daniel Craig played his part admirably, in fact as did every actor in the film. The film is made with typical Fincher panache, but somehow doesn't have quite the vile cringe-factor and edge as the Swedish version.

I think the verdict has to be if you've not seen the original then definitely go see it as the story is excellent, but if you have, there really is no point. There's nothing to fault it at all, but should it have been made again...I'm not convinced.

CAST: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson
DIRECTOR: David Fincher
RUNTIME: 158 mins
COUNTRY: USA/Sweden/UK/Germany
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/12/11 UK Ireland 26 December 2011 Australia 12/01/12 France 18/01/12 Italy Japan 03/02/12

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd WinnersFilm Editing

 

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THE ARTIST

The ArtistHOLLYWOOD 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. THE ARTIST tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

CAST: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle
DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius
RUNTIME: 158 mins
COUNTRY: France/Belgium
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: France 12/10/11 USA 23/11/11 Italy 09/12/11 UK 30 December 2011 Australia 02/02/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Ludovic Bource

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Jean Dujardin

 

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Best Film: Thomas Langman

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Original Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Leading Actor: Jean Dujardin

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Original Music: Ludovic Bource

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Costume Design: Mark Bridges

 

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Jean Dujardin - Actor in a Leading Role

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Costume Design

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Directing

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Original Score

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Best Picture

 

 

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November 2011

IN TIME

In TimeIN a future where time is literally money, and aging stops at 25, the only way to stay alive is to earn, steal, or inherit more time. Will Salas lives life a minute at a time, until a windfall of time gives him access to the world of the wealthy, where he teams up with a beautiful young heiress to destroy the corrupt system.

ANOTHER fascinating futuristic movie that is designed to mess with your head. The premise is intriguing, the trailer hits all the right buttons, the people are beautiful, and Justin Timberlake has yet another opportunity to shine, this time in a terribly di Caprio-esque manner.

It is a somewhat confusing storyline that the writers never really fleshed out with any conviction. Such a shame since Timberlake is wasted; he carries the film as far as he can, but overall it just could have been so much better. The director gave the mediocre script no pizazz, and overall it just fell a little bit flat when it should have been genius.

CAST: Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer
DIRECTOR: Andrew Niccol
RUNTIME: 109 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Australia 27/10/11 USA 28/10/11 UK Ireland 01 November 2011 France 23/11/11 Argentina 01/12/11

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THE RUM DIARY

The Rum DiaryBASED on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson, THE RUM DIARY tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, The San Juan Star, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman. 

Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault, the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson. Sanderson, a businessman involved in shady property development deals, is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favourably about his latest unsavoury scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen’s financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down.

THE trailer looked insane, hilarious and hugely entertaining. Unfortunately, it was made up of all the best bits. Despite the talent of Johnny Depp, the entire film simply plods and meanders through a boring and uninspirational script that really is not engaging or worth wasting 2 hours over. David Edwards of the Daily Mirror summed it pretty succinctly: "It's pretty much Withnail & I in a tropical climate, but far less fun."

CAST: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins, Michael Rispoli, Giovanni Ribisi
DIRECTOR: Bruce Robinson
RUNTIME: 120 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/Spanish
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 28/10/11 UK Ireland 04 November 2011 France 30/11/11

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STRAW DOGS

Straw DogsDAVID and Amy Sumner (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth), a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy’s ex-boyfriend Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård), leading to a violent confrontation. 

A remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Oscar-nominated 1971 psychological thriller, Dustin Hoffman’s mathematician has been transformed into James Marsden’s Hollywood screenwriter, English Susan George has become southern belle Kate Bosworth, and the action has moved from rural Cornwall, England to the Deep South. This film had a huge reputation to live up to...

And Rod Lurie did a more than respectable job. Apart from changing the location, this version follows the original very closely. It is just as disturbing, unnerving, violent, gruesome and shocking. Though it lacks the intensity of Peckinpah's version, this is likely simply because it has all been done before. If you've seen the original, then there really is no new interpretation here to see, but if not, definitely worth a go.

CAST: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård, Dominic Purcell, Laz Alonso, Willa Holland, James Woods
DIRECTOR: Rod Lurie 
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 16/09/11 UK Ireland 04 November 2011 France 09/11/11 Italy 02/12/11

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TOWER HEIST

Tower HeistTOWER HEIST, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them. 

Queens native Josh Kovacs has managed one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City for more than a decade. Under his watchful eye, nothing goes undetected. In the swankiest unit atop Josh’s building, Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw is under house arrest after being caught stealing two billion from his investors. The hardest hit among those he defrauded? The tower staffers whose pensions he was entrusted to manage. 

With only days before Arthur gets away with the perfect crime, Josh’s crew turns to petty crook, Slide  to plan the nearly impossible…to steal what they are sure is hidden in Arthur’s guarded condo. Though amateurs, these rookie thieves know the building better than anyone. Turns out they’ve been casing the place for years, they just didn’t know it. 

I so wanted this to be funny. Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick were all sublimely hilarious in their prime. But other directors have tried to bring former comedians together years later, and have failed miserably. The hope was that the movie would be funnier than the trailer, as I for one didn’t laugh at it. Unfortunately, the stars of Zoolander, Beverly Hills Copand Ferris Bueller's Day Off were completely wasted on this pedestrian affair. Absolutely a wait for DVD film, since the only star that shone was the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

CAST: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Judd Hirsch, Téa Leoni, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe
DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner 
RUNTIME: 104 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK 02 November 2011 Ireland 02/11/11 USA 04/11/11 France 30/11/11

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JACK GOES BOATING

Jack Goes BoatingJACK GOES BOATING is a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace centred around two working-class New York City couples.

Jack and Connie are two single people who on their own might continue to recede into the anonymous background of the city, but in each other begin to find the courage and desire to pursue their budding relationship. In contrast, the couple that introduced them, Clyde and Lucy, are confronting unresolved issues in their marriage.

Jack is a limo driver with vague dreams of landing a job with the MTA and an obsession with reggae that has prompted him to begin a half-hearted attempt at growing dreadlocks. He spends most of his time hanging out with his best friend and fellow driver Clyde and Clyde’s wife Lucy.

The couple set Jack up with Connie, Lucy’s co-worker at a Brooklyn funeral home. Being with Connie inspires Jack to learn to cook, pursue a new career and take swimming lessons from Clyde so he can give Connie the romantic boat ride she dreams of. But as Jack and Connie cautiously circle commitment, Clyde and Lucy’s marriage begins to disintegrate. From there, we watch as each couple comes face to face with the inevitable path of their relationship.

A simple tale adapted from an acclaimed off-Broadway play by Bob Glaudini of normal people and their normal lives. A gentle movie with no high jinks, no car chases, nothing spectacular at all except the acting; if the players were not so skilful, it would fall into the class of utter tedium, but thankfully for the cinema-goer, it is the class of the artists that bring this ensemble piece to fruition in the most satisfactory way. The perfect film for a quite Sunday afternoon.

CAST: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega
DIRECTOR: Philip Seymour Hoffman
RUNTIME: 91 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 23/09/10 France 29/12/10 UK 04 November 2011

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ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

Arthur ChristmasTHE 3D, CG-animated family comedy ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. 

WHAT fantastical fun this looked. From the trailer, it presented like it would be a giggle a minute. I was only baffled that it was being released so early, and honestly, they should have waited another month and properly done it just as the holidays began. But no doubt it all has something to do with commercialism and merchandising which would be ineffective after the big day!

Well, the verdict. It's Hugh Laurie who entirely steals the show as Arthur's big brother, but all the voicing was rather splendid. It wasn't quite constantly funny, but was very cutely entertaining and younger kids will love it. But the elder ones, think they might find it a bit too young...nothing you want to drag young teenagers unless you want long faces.

CAST: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen
DIRECTOR: Sarah Smith
RUNTIME: 97 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 11 November 2011 France Japan USA 23/11/11 Australia New Zealand 24/11/11 Argentina 01/12/11 Italy 23/12/11

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IMMORTALS

ImmortalsIN Immortals, the ruthless King Hyperion (Rourke) leads his bloodthirsty army on a murderous rampage across Greece to find a deadly weapon that will destroy humanity. A mortal chosen by Zeus named Theseus (Cavill) must lead the fight against Hyperion and his evil army with the fate of mankind and the Gods at stake.

WATCHED the trailer...was entirely unexcited by any of it. Watched the film...was even less exciting. Cavill was very pedestrian, and since it is he who is chosen by Zeus to save the world, the world is in trouble. I’m afraid he just doesn’t have the va va voom required; even Brad Pitt was still totally convincing in and as Troy, despite it being a diabolically awful film. But Immortals only computes on an aesthetic level; it is artistically shot, but has no depth, no purpose, no reason to waste 110 minutes of precious life. It is insipid, long, and frankly, watching paint dry would be more interesting.

CAST: Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, John Hurt, Mickey Rourke
DIRECTOR: Tarsem Singh
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland Italy Japan USA 11 November 2011 France 23/11/11 Australia 24/11/11

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THE AWAKENING

The AwakeningREBECCA HALL and Dominic West star in a ghost story set in the aftermath of the first world war. Florence Cathcart (Hall) is an author and paranormal sceptic hired by the headmaster (West) of a boys' boarding school to investigate reports of a haunting.

Set in post-World War I England in 1921, THE AWAKENING follows a sceptical woman who travels to a countryside boarding school to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting. Just when she thinks she has debunked the ghost theory, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all her rational beliefs. Everything she knew in unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.

WELL then, from the trailer this looks perfectly spooky and thoroughly intriguing. The stellar cast will no doubt do the film justice, and I can’t possibly imagine Imelda Staunton picking a bad or shallow film, so here’s hoping for a proper scare-fest.

CAST: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
DIRECTOR: Nick Murphy
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 11 November 2011

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ROCKSTAR

RockstarJANARDHAN JAKHAR lives in his own world, encompassed with music and dreams of mesmerizing the world with his voice. This Delhi boy imbibes a priceless piece of advice from his mentor friend – great music is born from great pain. Janardhan now sets out to find the pain that will make his life and music go beyond the realm of the ordinary.

With every passing day, his relentless pursuit of love and pain translates into words and music, transcending the heart and the soul.


Join Janardhan as he traverses through the path unknown.

RANBIR KAPOOR really has not put a foot wrong in choosing interesting and different scripts that separate him from mainstream Bollywood drivel, and ROCKSTAR is no exception. And if director, Imtiaz Ali’s previous endeavours of Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met are any yardstick, this should have been a super hit film that will blew the box office. Sadly it just didn’t appeal to the rickshaw-wallas in the Sub Continent.

It's not the best film ever made, but it is entertaining, and well put together, and Ranbir is brilliant yet again. Had it been anyone else in the title role, it probably would not have worked. But the icing on the cake, this is the last movie to star Hindi movie royalty, Shammi Kapoor, who was the eldest remaining superstar of the Kapoor dynasty, and Great Uncle to Ranbir, who passed away in August of this year.

CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Shammi Kapoor
DIRECTOR: Imtiaz Ali
RUNTIME: 159 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: English/Hindi
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 11 November 2011

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WELCOME TO THE RILEYS

Welcome To The RileysWELCOME TO THE RILEYS is a powerful drama about finding hope in the most unusual of places. Once a happily married and loving couple, Doug and Lois Riley have grown apart since losing their teenage daughter eight years prior. Leaving his agoraphobic wife behind to go on a business trip to New Orleans, Doug meets a 17-year-old runaway (Kristen Stewart) and the two form a platonic bond. For Lois and Doug, what initially appears to be the final straw that will derail their relationship, turns out to be the inspiration they need to renew their marriage.

TO come from the Scott dynasty, director Jake Scott had a hard act to follow being the son of the Ridley and nephew of Tony. Well may I say he did an admirable job. The story may be utterly preposterous and completely unbelievable, but with actors the calibre of Leo and Gandolfini who fulfil their roles with understated dignity, between all of them, the film comes across as a worthwhile way to spend to spend an unflustered couple of hours. And as for Stewart; had I not known she was in the Twilight travesty, I would come away thinking there’s a young lady with some potential. However, I knew exactly who she was, and forgot about it so quickly, it mattered not even for a nano second, except that she is wasted on such shallow vampire nonsense.

CAST: James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, Kristen Stewart
DIRECTOR: Jake Scott
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/10/10 France 10/11/10 Australia 24/11/11 UK 18 November 2011

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MONEYBALL

MoneyballBASED on a true story, MONEYBALL stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland As and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseballs conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game.

I can’t think of a single time Aaron Sorkin of West Wing and The Social Network fame has ever got it wrong, and again this is a triumph; he wrote the screenplay alongside Steven Zaillian who was responsible for Schindler’s List. The two brought to life this fantastic story from the Michael Lewis’ book of the same name and the cinema going public are all the richer for it.

You need not know anything at all about baseball, and you do not have to live through the tedium of the stop start game to enjoy Moneyball. It is simply an excellent story told in a most straight-forward manner with a superb script, perfect cast, shot with such passion and sensibility. An absolute must see film this winter.

CAST: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
DIRECTOR: Bennett Miller
RUNTIME: 133 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Japan 11/11/11 France 16/11/11 UK 25 November 2011 Italy 27/01/12

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THE DEEP BLUE SEA

The Deep Blue SeaHESTER COLLYER leads a privileged life in 1950s London as the beautiful wife of high court judge Sir William Collyer. To the shock of those around her, she walks out on her marriage to move in with young ex-RAF pilot, Freddie Page, with whom she has fallen passionately in love.

Set in post-war Britain, this deeply moving story is an adaptation of Terence Rattigan's classic play, THE DEEP BLUE SEA, a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, what - or whom - should Hester choose?

A very beautiful work which you need to be in the mood for. Any hint of the winter blues or signs of the black dog, and avoid this film like the plague. The acting is emotive, and it plays out much like it would have done on the stage. However, it belies its 98 minutes of screen time and definitely felt like a very long film.

This is a film for a grey, dull, wet  afternoon when you have something more exciting planned for the evening.

CAST: Rachel Weisz, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston
DIRECTOR: Terence Davies
RUNTIME: 98 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 25 November 2011 Italy 27/01/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

 

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50/50

50/50Inspired by a true story, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humour in unlikely places. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis in this new comedy directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Will Reiser.

50/50 is the story of a guy’s transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health -- drawing its emotional core from Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer and reminding us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers.

A wonderful, amusing, touching, heart-wrenching and laugh-out-loud film that will ultimately have you smiling at the end. There are some real cringe-worthy moments, and frankly, there really is nothing adverse to say about this other than do go see it.

CAST: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 30/09/11 04/11/11 France 16/11/11 UK Ireland 25 November 2011 Japan 01/12/11 Italy 02/12/11 Australia 08/01/12

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DESI BOYZ

Desi BoyzTHE year is 2009. The world has been struck by the financial meltdown. But Nick Mathur and Jerry Patel don't feel a thing in their comfortable pad in London. 

Nick feels smug with his successful investment banking job, the new bonus in his pocket and his beautiful fiancée, Radhika, by his side, while Jerry is so used to scraping the bottom of the barrel and living off his best buddy Nick, that recession feels like home. But life has a way of pulling the rug from under our feet. 
Nick and Jerry stop smiling the day Nick's company decides to downsize and unceremoniously fires him. And Jerry is informed by the Social Services that his nephew Veer, who's local guardian Jerry is will be placed in a foster home unless he gets a steady job.

DESI BOYZ is the story of two men who are forced to do something extremely bizarre which gives them instant gratification but the repercussions tear them apart and its aftermath which tests everything including their friendship.

CAST: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone
DIRECTOR: Rohit Dhawan
RUNTIME: 121 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 25 November 2011

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RESISTANCE

ResistanceIT is 1944 and the D-Day Landings have failed; Germany has invaded and Britain is now under enemy occupation. In the Olchon Valley, a group of Welsh farmers’ wives wake up one morning to find their husbands have vanished. As they await the men’s return the women work together to keep things going, but as the winter sets in a patrol of German soldiers arrives, forcing the women to confront the fine line that lies between resistance and collaboration.

CAST: Michael Sheen, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha, Iwan Rheon, Kimberley Nixon, Stanislav Ianevski
DIRECTOR: Amit Gupta
RUNTIME: 92 mins
COUNTRY: UK/Germany
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: UK 25 November 2011

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MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

My Week with MarilynIN the early summer of 1956, 23 year-old Colin Clark, just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’. The film that famously united Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, who was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller.

Nearly 40 years on, his diary account The Prince, the Showgirl and Me was published, but one week was missing and this was published some years later as My Week with Marilyn – this is the story of that week.  When Arthur Miller leaves England, the coast is clear for Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life; an idyllic week in which he escorted a Monroe desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of work.

WHAT a wonderful way to spend an afternoon (it's that kind of movie). This is a just a sublimely delicious gentle yet beautifully created work of such loveliness, where with the exception of Emma Watson -who continues to prove she is vacuous, pointless and cannot really act at all- every member of the cast is perfect.

The story is touching, and there is definite meandering of emotion whereby you begin the Marilyn journey thinking she is shallow and a diva, but actually end up feeling quite sorry for her. And as for Ken Branagh as Sir Larry, he is as perfect as Stephen Fry playing Oscar Wilde, with his mannerisms and nuances so frighteningly accurate, it is as if the Irishman has morphed into the complete embodiment of arguably England's finest actor.

I could wax lyrical for hours...I shan't. Just see it.

CAST: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson, Julia Ormond, Judi Dench
DIRECTOR: Simon Curtis
RUNTIME: 99 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 23/11/11 UK 25 November 2011 Australia 16/02/12 France 07/03/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Michelle Williams

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DREAM HOUSE

Dream HouseSOME say that all houses have memories. For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts star in Dream House, a suspense thriller about a family that unknowingly moves into a home where several grisly murders were committed…only to find themselves the killer’s next target. 

Successful publisher Will Atenton quit a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby, and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived.


When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson, a neighbour who was close to the family that died. As Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle, they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will’s dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next.

OH. Was that it? Shame. An excellent cast, a director who brought us In The Name Of The Father and My Left Foot, and we have been served up the most two-dimensional drivel I have seen in a long time. The script had absolutely no depth, the characters had much potential but none was brought to fruition, and overall, it is a complete waste of time. Worth waiting for on a B-List TV channel in years to come but nothing more.

CAST: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz
DIRECTOR: Jim Sheridan
RUNTIME: 92 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 30/09/11 France 05/10/11 Argentina 13/10/11 UK Ireland 25 November 2011 Italy 08/06/12

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October 2011

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

BLACKWOOD MANOR has new tenants. While architect Alex Hurst and his new girlfriend Kim  restore their Gothic mansion's period interiors, Alex’s young daughter Sally—neglected by her real mother and brushed aside by the careerist father—can investigate the macabre history and dark corners of the estate. Spurring Sally's investigation are the voices—rasping whispers who call out to her from the basement, who promise her understanding and friendship, who are so very hungry and would like to be set free. When Sally gives in to her curiosity, she opens a gateway into a hellish underworld from which an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number: the homunculi.

Confronted with the horror that now threatens to taker her life and destroy her family, Sally desperately tries to warn the whole house, but there's just one problem: no one believes her. Will she make them understand in time, or will they become another chapter in the centuries-long horror story of Blackwood Manor? 

AESTHETICALLY very good, the atmosphere created is suitably creepy, the opening scene is fantastically unnerving, and the little monsters are perfectly horrid. The house is just as one would expect, Pearce and Holmes play their parts well, and the film has so much going for it from the outset. The kid would have benefitted from being cuter, though she is very good. But the problem - it was entirely predictable. The story was just too shallow to turn it from a watchable movie that would only scare a 5 year old into something that would leave an indelible mark on all of us that quite enjoy having the bejeezus scared out of us.

CAST: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson
DIRECTOR: Troy Nixey
RUNTIME: 99 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina Australia 25/08/11 USA 26/08/11 Ireland 30/09/11 UK 07 October 2011 Italy 04/01/12

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JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN

Johnny English RebornROWAN ATKINSON returns to the role of the improbable secret agent who doesn’t know fear or danger in the comedy spy-thriller JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN. In his latest adventure, the most unlikely intelligence officer in Her Majesty’s Secret Service must stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos.

In the years since MI7’s top spy vanished off the grid, he has been honing his unique skills in a remote region of Asia. But when his agency superiors learn of an attempt against the Chinese premier’s life, they must hunt down the highly unorthodox agent. Now that the world needs him once again, Johnny English is back in action. 


With one shot at redemption, he must employ the latest in hi-tech gadgets to unravel a web of conspiracy that runs throughout the KGB, CIA and even MI7. With mere days until a heads of state conference, one man must use every trick in his playbook to protect us all. For Johnny English, disaster may be an option, but failure never is.

ROWAN Atkinson is a comic genius, so it’s a shame that he is not used to his full potential in this elite spy spoof. There are funny moments - positively laugh out loud ones - but they are few and far between. The film does appear to take itself a little too seriously and therefore fritters away opportunities to make the audience giggle hysterically.

However, the cast is excellent, there’s plenty of eye candy for the boys in Pike & Anderson, and it helps that Gillian Anderson is one of the rare specimens of an American who can pull of the perfect English accent [though living in London as a child definitely gives her a head start!]. Dominic West is the only slight odd choice, and maybe an actor more classically James Bond-esque would have been more suited.

It is amusing, and the nicest thing about the film is that when it does manage to make you laugh, it does not have to rely on crude remarks or expletives for humour. Worth a look, but Atkinson is much funnier than this.

CAST: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike and Daniel Kaluuya
DIRECTOR: Oliver Parker
RUNTIME: 102 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France/UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: Australia 15/09/11 UK Ireland 07 October 2011 France 19/10/11 Italy 28/10/11 USA 28/10/11

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THE THREE MUSKETEERS

The Three MusketeersTHEY are known as Porthos, Athos, and Aramis—three elite warriors who serve the King of France as his best Musketeers. After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the King, the Musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero — D’Artagnan — and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot that not only threatens the Crown, but the future of Europe itself.

THE ’76 version with the inimitable Oliver Reed was brilliant, the ’93 version with an also inimitable Charlie Sheen was very entertaining, so I had high hopes for this one, and the trailer looked suitably swashbuckling and extravagant.

What a monumental let down! The script was as shallow as you like, and the story hiccoughed from one overdressed scene to the next with no flow, no point, no charm, the hair styles were a joke all of their own making, and overall it was a total waste of two hours. I'd rather see the final POTC film again and that wasn't very good! Paul Anderson should stick to his horror movie versions of video games -not that I've ever bothered watching one- and leave the swashbuckling to more accomplished directors. Simply a total waste of money, time and a half decent cast, who I do hope were suitably remunerated since they won't be getting any kudos for appearing in the film!

CAST: Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelson, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz
DIRECTOR: Paul W. S. Anderson
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: Germany/France/UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France Ireland 12 October 2011 Australia New Zealand 13/10/11 Italy 14/10/11 USA 21/10/11 Japan 28/10/11

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REAL STEEL

Real SteelA gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, REAL STEEL stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. 

A fun old-fashioned Disney movie like when we was ickle(!) It is perfectly harmless, will be exciting and entertaining for the younger generation, will remind you of Rocky but with robots instead, and is generally one of those feel good films that most will cope with admirably. I, however, was less than impressed with the kid who did nothing but irritate me. Thankfully, the eye candy of Hugh Jackman made up for it, no doubt Evangeline Lilly will do the same for the gentleman. It beats Johnny English and The Three Musketeers hands down.

CAST: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie
DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy
RUNTIME: 127 mins
COUNTRY: USA/India
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 06/10/11 USA 07/10/11 UK Ireland 14 October 2011 France 19/10/11 Italy 25/11/10 Japan 09/12/11

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MONTE CARLO

Monte CarloTHREE graduates fulfil their dreams of vacationing in Paris. They accidentally find themselves in a lavish world, where they live like royalty and experience romance. But at the end of their journey, they discover the true magic of friendship.

For any young girl who watches the Disney Channel, this will be entertaining since they will recognise and probably know well who Selena Gomez is; I didn’t have a scooby. But I didn’t walk out or heave violently you’ll be glad to know. It’s harmless, cheesy American fun with adolescent girls living the life of princesses in Monte Carlo. It has possibly the Gomez doing worst English accent since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, and the storyline is about as deep as a very shallow puddle, but it’s a mindless adolescent chick-flick with no bad language, and nothing that any parent need be concerned with.

CAST: Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Cory Monteith, Andie Macdowell
DIRECTOR: Tom Bezucha
RUNTIME: 109 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 01/07/11 Italy 22/07/11 France 24/08/11 Ireland 26/08/11 UK 21 October 2011

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CONTAGION

ContagionCONTAGION follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.

FOLLOWING such excellent offerings as Sex, Lies & Videotapes, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and Ocean’s Eleven, Steven Soderbergh brings the world another rather intriguing film. Shot in almost a documentary style, this realistic movie will keep you hooked, but don’t expect dramatics or high jinks; it is just a very good cast with a very good script filmed in a very authentic manner to show how the world could react to a disaster on such a global scale.

And the best bit...Gwyneth Paltrow dies very very early on!

CAST: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: USA/UAE
LANGUAGE: English/Mandarin/Cantonese
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Italy 09/09/11 USA 09/09/11 UK Ireland 21 October 2011 France 09/11/11 Japan 12/11/11 Australia 03/12/11

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

Discover How The Activity Began.

IT'S that time of year again...no official synopsis...not much said pre-release at all...so instead, here’s the trailer...just in time for Halloween!

 

THE verdict...if you liked the others, you will no doubt enjoy this third instalment very much. Though it is number three, this film is in fact a prequel, where Katie & Kristi are young girls in the late 80s living with mum and the new boyfriend, who is conveniently obsessed with filming everything. But you won't find any spoilers here.

It spooks, scares, makes you jump, is clichéd in all the right places, and the genius of the documentary style with no score and protracted silences is perfect. If supernatural movies frighten the bejeezus out of you, rush quickly to your nearest multiplex one evening very soon. Marvellous!

CAST: Katie Featherston
DIRECTOR: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
RUNTIME: 84 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 19/10/11 Australia 20/10/11 UK Ireland USA 21 October 2011 Japan 01/11/11

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THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: SECRET OF THE UNICORN

The Adventures Of TintinPARAMOUNT PICTURES and Columbia Pictures present a 3D Motion Capture Film THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish. Starring Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham. 

Based on the series of books The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé, the film is produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy.

I should probably apologise for the review you are about to get since most critics have raved about this film, and it's already won a Golden Globe, but I really can't understand why. How anyone can presume that this nonsensical, one dimensional borefest that simply droned on with no passion, engagement, and Jamie Bell's monotone vocalisation of Tintin, is superior to Puss In Boots or Cars 2 is beyond me.

No doubt will children will enjoy it, and it will win more awards for its revolutionary style of animation, but the rubbery faces I found very unsettling, and therefore from the onset, it never captured my attention. There are plenty of far superior kids films releasing which the grown ups will enjoy infintiely more than this.

CAST: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
RUNTIME:106 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: UK France Ireland 26 October 2011 Italy 28/10/11 Argentina 10/11/10 Japan 01/12/11 USA 21/12/11

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Animated Feature Film

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RA. ONE

RA ONEA father trying hard to 'fit-in' in his Son's badass world. A son…trying hard to 'dude-up' his dad from 'aiiiyyyo' to 'YO!' And a mother lost in translation between her husband's 'ingeva' and her son's 'Inn'it!'

While Shekhar was trying every trick in the book to woo his son, get 'dude-ified' and 'up his coolness quotient' his son had given up on him.

Just when the father-son duo hit a deadlock- Shekhar strikes gold when he designs one hell of a game...

Finally it all starts falling in place...
...as the family comes together...
...only to find themselves in the middle of a crash...
...not just a hard drive crash but a crash that would drive them to a disaster and make their lives go – KABOOM!!!

… all hell breaks loose when - the game that was meant to be played with… starts playing them…

RA.ONE. The next level.

TO tell you anything about the film would spoil the story - there was more than one surprise and twist, and every one was welcome. As a whole, this was simply excellent. Compared to past offering of Bollywood superhero attempts, Ra.One is light years ahead; compared to Hollywood, it holds up more than respectably.

The casting - Arjun Rampal as Ra.One is sheer genius. Kareena puts on a formidable performance - at last. Armaan Verma who plays the son, Prateek/Lucifer, is very able - though is in desperate need of a haircut! And Shah Rukh Khan is Shah Rukh Khan...and he does it so well. THe direction is commendable, the story is perfectly on target for a super hero movie, and the CGI/special effects are superior to any Hindi movie in history, and are as good as any western cinema production. And finally, Battersea Power Station is put to good use - it was obviously destined to be the site of a video game!

My only question is over Rajnikant - the South Indian superstar who crops up here as some weird sort of super hero. I still haven't figured out if he was supposed to be a robot or human, and he was entirely pointless. Oh and Dalip Tahil as the CEO of Barron Industries - an 'actor' would have suited the part far more than a caricature.

Yes of course Ra.One reminded me of many a Hollywood super hero film including Matrix, Tron, The Terminator, Crouching Tiger, Superman, and even Spiderman. But for once, Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, Red Chillies Entertainment and Anubhav Sinha have got it right. It is a super blockbuster hit that must be seen at your earliest covenience at the biggest screen possible.

But how the Indian Central Board of Film Certification gave it a universal rating I don't understand. The British Board of Film Classification got it right giving it a 12A certificate; if I had a kid under 12, I wouldn't let them see it - tis a tad violent for young kids.

CAST: Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
DIRECTOR: Anubhav Sinha
RUNTIME: 156 mins
COUNTRY: USA/India
LANGUAGE: Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/English with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 26 October 2011

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THE HELP

The HelpTHE #1 New York Times bestseller by Kathryn Stockett comes to vivid life through the powerful performances of a phenomenal ensemble cast. THE HELP is an inspirational, courageous and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960's South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project — one that breaks society’s rules and puts them all at risk. Filled with poignancy, humour and hope The Help is a timeless, universal and triumphant story about the ability to create change.

A beautiful and insightful film with a faultless cast that will draw you in from the start and keep you hooked until the closing credits. Yes it is a little long, but the plentiful laugh out loud moments will keep you going, and the attention to detail in getting the setting perfect for a 60s period drama will lose you in a world beyond most of us, but one we all know existed. Of course you know it will all end in the expected American way...happy ever after, but the film will open your eyes along the way. A journey definitely worth taking.

CAST: Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone
DIRECTOR: Tate Taylor
RUNTIME: 146 mins
COUNTRY: USA/India/UAE
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE:USA10/08/11 Australia 01/09/11 UK France Ireland 26 October 2011 Italy 17/02/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Octavia Spencer

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersSupporting Actress: Octavia Spencer

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Octavia Spencer - Actress in a Supporting Role

 

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THE IDES OF MARCH

The Ides of MarchTHE Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency.

GEORGE Clooney is quite an accomplished director already with a couple of very interesting movies under his belt. This story is tried and tested since it is an adaptation of Beau Willimon’s successful Broadway play, Farragut North. With a stellar cast, it is a clever, not-so-complex plotline with the appropriate intrigue, blackmail, back-stabbing, illicit sex and all the other elements one would expect in a political drama.

It was very reminiscent of the excellent Primary Colors, and is very much a must see film.

CAST: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood
DIRECTOR: George Clooney
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 07/10/11 France 26/10/11 UK Ireland 28 October 2011 Italy 13/01/12

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ANONYMOUS

AnonymousSET in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, ANONYMOUS speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.

HONESTLY I’m really not sure what to make of this. Roland Emmerich’s movies have got progressively more ludicrous and useless the older he gets, but the cast looks fairly impressive. The trailer gives nothing away, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see...

CAST: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower, Derek Jacobi
DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich
RUNTIME: 129 mins
COUNTRY: UK/Germany
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland USA 28 October 2011 France 07/12/11

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September 2011

FRIGHT NIGHT

Fright NightSENIOR Charley Brewster finally has it all—he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed. But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right—and everyone, including Charlie’s mom, doesn’t notice. After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charlie comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighbourhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charlie has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic.

DON’T be fooled by the trailer, which is particularly diabolical. The film is actually quite entertaining, and Colin Farrell makes a pretty decent vampire, and I was pleasantly surprised that Dr Who pitched up as a vampire slayer. The girls are all a bit vague - even Toni Collette a little, but overall not bad at all.

CAST: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette
DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie
RUNTIME: 99 mins
COUNTRY: USA/India
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Australia 18/08/11 USA 19/08/11 Italy 26/08/11 UK Ireland 02 September 2011 France 14/09/11 New Zealand 20/10/11

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JANE EYRE

Jane EyreJANE EYRE is an adaptation of the romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, from acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga. In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. As she reflects upon the people and emotions that have defined her, it is clear that the isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. She must now act decisively to secure her own future and come to terms with the past that haunts her – and the terrible secret that Mr. Rochester is hiding and that she has uncovered…

THE film is beautifully written, cast, acted, visually portrayed and the camerawork is faultless. But I know you can hear the ‘but’...it’s not a biggy, but the two hours did feel like four; it was just drawn out a little too much for my liking, but no doubt will when a stack of awards since it’s that type of movie. Very good, very intense, very cerebrally challenging, but you’ll need to be in the mood for a slow-paced tale. Part of me thinks it would have been better off as a 3 part TV drama from the Beeb instead.

CAST: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Holliday Grainger, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Merchant, Imogen Poots, Judi Dench
DIRECTOR: Cary Fukunaga
RUNTIME: 120 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English/French
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 11/03/11 06/05/11 France 07/09/11 UK Ireland 09 September 2011 

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FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

Friends With BenefitsDylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) think it's going to be easy to add the simple act of sex to their friendship, despite what Hollywood romantic comedies would have them believe. They soon discover however that getting physical really does always lead to complications

WHAT a fun and engaging comedy. Mila Kunis already proved her acting worth in Black Swan, but Justin Timberlake is just going from strength to strength in each acting endeavour he takes on. And the chemistry between the two is sizzling. It is a clever and entertaining yarn that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and actually pokes fun at romcoms in the process.

A definite must see if you fancy a little light-hearted romance with a very modern twist.

CAST: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis
DIRECTOR: Will Gluck
RUNTIME: 109 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/07/11 Australia 18/08/11 France 07/09/11 Argentina 08/09/11 UK Ireland 09 September 2011 Japan 01/10/11 Italy 07/10/11

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COLOMBIANA

ColombianaIN the action film COLOMBIANA, Zoe Saldana plays Cataleya, a young woman who has grown up to be an assassin after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. Turning herself into a professional killer and working for her uncle, she remains focused on her ultimate goal: to hunt down and get revenge on the mobster responsible for her parents’ deaths.

LUC BESSON is so terribly schizophrenic; he’ll write, direct and/or produce action masterpieces such as León, Fifth Element and Taken, and then he’ll suddenly get involved in mediocre productions like From Paris With Love and now Colombiana, which have such potential but just don’t quite step up to the mark. This film is almost like the grown up version of León, with all the action centred on Cataleya [Saldana] once she becomes that fully fledged assassin, but not nearly as clever. Colombiana is entertaining, and definitely worth a watch, but just don’t expect Jean Reno to save the day, or the finesse of a young Natalie Portman; Saldana is competent and engaging to a degree, but like the entire film, you’ll be left wanting.

CAST: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lennie James, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis
DIRECTOR: Olivier Megaton
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France
LANGUAGE: English/Spanish
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 27/07/11 USA 26/08/11 UK Ireland 09 September 2011  

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TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

Tinker Tailor Soldier SpySET in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley, a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and their country, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects - all experienced, urbane, successful agents - but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.

THIS film version is every bit as good John le Carré’s novel and the classic BBC production from 1979. With such a stellar cast, Swedish director, Alfredson marries all the complicated elements of the plot with deftness, and clever navigates the viewer through all the plotlines, culminating in a quietly respectful climax with no unnecessary dramatics, remaining true to the spirit of the original novel.

It is almost impossible to pick out one actor over the rest, but Oldman's understated performance brings him back to the cinematic field with aplomb after the disaster that was Red Riding Hood. This is definitely a film worth seeing.

CAST: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch
DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson
RUNTIME: 127 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 16 September 2011 Australia 27/09/11 USA 09/12/11 Italy 20/01/12 France 01/02/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersOutstanding British Film: Tomas Alfredson, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Adapted Screenplay: Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

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THE CHANGE-UP

The Change-UpGROWING up together, Mitch and Dave  were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they’ve slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an over-worked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-child who has never met a responsibility he liked. To Mitch, Dave has it all: beautiful wife Jamie, kids who adore him and a high-paying job at a prestigious law firm. To Dave, living Mitch’s stress free life without obligation or consequence would be a dream come true.

Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave’s worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other’s bodies and proceed to freak the &*#@ out. 


Despite the freedom from their normal routines and habits, the guys soon discover that each other’s lives are nowhere near as rosy as they once seemed. Further complicating matters are Dave’s sexy legal associate, Sabrina, and Mitch’s estranged father. With time not on their side, Mitch and Dave comically struggle to avoid completely destroying each other’s lives before they can find a way to get their old ones back.

The opening scene was right about where it started to go wrong, and it just continued in this vain...crude, not classy, slightly obscene, bordering on a soft porn movie, and not funny at all. And as for it being from the writers of The Hangover...seriously? Were they on crack at the time?

There have been ample switch movies; the pioneers were hilarious like Big, Freaky Friday and Vice Versa. But they were enough. No matter how much you dress up mutton in fancy clothes, it’s still mutton, quite tough and needs a lot of work. Hollywood needs to understand that cheap remakes are just not de rigeur.

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin
DIRECTOR: David Dobkin
RUNTIME: 112 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 05/08/11 Italy 09/09/11 UK Ireland 16 September 2011 France 21/09/11

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CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE

Crazy, Stupid, LoveAT fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver is living the dream — good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily, has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his “perfect” life quickly unravels.

Worse, in today’s single world, Cal, who hasn’t dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer. In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can’t be found at Supercuts or The Gap. Cal and Emily aren’t the only ones looking for love in what might be all the wrong places: Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie, is crazy about his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica, who harbors a crush on Cal. And despite Cal’s makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can’t be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.

OH give it a go if you have nothing better to do. CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE really is quite entertaining in a very shallow kind of way, and it won’t offend, insult, or harm your psyche in any significant way. The ensemble cast is good, the script not too soppy nor taxing, and it will of course bring a smile to your face.

CAST: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton, Josh Groban, Liza Lapira, Joey King
DIRECTOR: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 28/07/11 USA 29/07/11 France 14/09/11 Italy 16/09/11 UK Ireland 23 September 2011 Japan 19/11/11

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KILLER ELITE

Killer EliteA match-up made in tough-guy heaven -- Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro star in KILLER ELITE. Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite pits two of the world's most elite operatives – Danny, an ex-special ops agent and Hunter, his longtime mentor – against the cunning leader of a secret military society. Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse — where the predators become the prey.

What utter tish and piffle! The ‘true story’ has since been denounced by pretty much everyone related to the book who is still alive, and even author Sir Ranulph Fiennes [yes - the ex-SAS explorer] has all but admitted his book, “The Feather Men” on which this farce is based, is a work of fiction. Not an impressive starting point for an action thriller with such huge claims at the outset.

And then the film itself... click on the movie poster and watch all 2 minutes and 5 seconds of the trailer, and then go do something more interesting instead. The film is about as thrilling as Sponge Bob Square Pants, but doesn’t have quite the depth. It trundles from one convoluted and pointless scenario to the next, with lots of bad 80s dress sense, not so fast cars and mediocre explosions.

Jason Statham - could someone please let me know what the big deal is? He is not good looking, he has no sex appeal, he cannot act, has no charisma or screen presence, and therefore what precisely is the point of his existence exactly? I just hope that the legendary Robert de Niro and hugely talented thespian Clive Owen both got paid a vast amount of money for appearing in this complete waste of anyone’s time, as even actors of that calibre could not help.

CAST: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro
DIRECTOR: Gary McKendry
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: USA/Australia
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland USA 23 September 2011 France 26/10/11

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DRIVE

DriveRYAN GOSLING stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac).

I am at a slight loss. The critics love the film, and it opened well across the board, but I just don’t see the attraction. It is just so overrated, and I keep on thinking it’ll gain cult status for a nano second but then everyone will wake up and realise that it was all just hype and see it for what it really is - a wannabe Michael Mann or Tarantino classic that doesn’t quite make the grade. And worse still, Carey Mulligan is wholly wasted on this too.

Possibly one for DVD.

CAST: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks
DIRECTOR: Nicolas Winding Refn
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 16/09/11 UK Ireland 23 September 2011 Italy 30/09/11 France 05/10/11 Australia 27/10/11

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ABDUCTION

AbductionFOR as long as he can remember, Nathan Harper has had the uneasy feeling that he's living someone else's life. When he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website, all of Nathan's darkest fears come true: he realises his parents are not his own and his life is a lie, carefully fabricated to hide something more mysterious and dangerous than he could have ever imagined. 

Just as he begins to piece together his true identity, Nathan is targeted by a team of trained killers, forcing him on the run with the only person he can trust, his neighbour, Karen. Every second counts as Nathan and Karen race to evade an army of assassins and federal operatives. But as his opponents close in, Nathan realises that the only way he'll survive – and solve the mystery of his elusive biological father – is to stop running and take matters into his own hands.

YES Lautner is highly unattractive and not very talented, the story has more holes than a sieve, and is more far-fetched than anything I’ve seen in recent years, but very oddly I was weirdly entertained. Possibly because everything else professes to be so high brow and superior, yet they all fail miserable.

CAST: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver
DIRECTOR: John Singleton
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 22/09/11 USA 23/09/11 UK France Ireland USA 28 September 2011 Italy 27/10/11

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THE DEBT

The DebtTHE espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Academy Award winner Helen Mirren) and Stephan (two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds of Focus’ “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain [soon to be seen in “The Tree of Life”], Marton Csokas [Universal’s upcoming “Dream House”], and Sam Worthington [“Avatar,” “Clash of the Titans”]) tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen of “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace”) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations.

THE suspense “across two different time periods” is badly explained, very distracting and switches almost inexplicably. The “startling action” is anything but startling, and the “surprising revelations” are fairly pedestrian. And any official synopsis that is so peppered with the previous accolades of the actors has to be a desperate attempt at hiding the fact that there is very little to say about the storyline.

Yes of course the cast is superlative, and one cannot fault the acting. But the film takes itself far too seriously, is much too drawn out, and frankly, “Abduction” is more exciting.

CAST: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson
DIRECTOR: John Madden
RUNTIME: 113 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/German/Ukranian
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 02/09/10 France 15/06/11 USA 31/08/11 Italy 16/09/11 UK Ireland USA 30 September 2011

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MELANCHOLIA

MelancholiaIN this beautiful movie about the end of the world, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire’s best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth…

MELANCHOLIA is a psychological disaster film from director Lars von Trier.

IN a word, beautiful. This has to be the strangest disaster movie ever made with no mass hysteria, just quiet reflection, severe depression, utter understatedness, the most subtle acting, and visually just delicious. Von Trier is an aesthetic genius, and has brought to us the most thought provoking and oddly moving cinematic experience. Though the world is ending, it is so in such a gentle fashion that one could almost just be lulled into a false sense of security enough to simply fall asleep and never wake up. It is exactly what it says on the tin...melancholia.

CAST: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard, Udo Kier
DIRECTOR: Lars von Trier
RUNTIME: 136 mins
COUNTRY: Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 10/08/11 UK Ireland 30 September 2011 Italy 11/11/11 USA 18/11/11

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August 2011

MR POPPER’S PENGUINS

Mr Popper's PenguinsJIM CARREY is Mr. Popper, in a family comedy about a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life - until he inherits six penguins. While Popper’s penguins turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland – and the rest of his life upside-down -- they teach him valuable lessons about families… human or otherwise. 

When Thomas Popper receives a mysterious crate from Antarctica, it marks the end of his comfortable and well-ordered existence as a New York real estate mogul – and the beginning of his new life as caretaker, landlord and parent figure to six unforgettable penguins, each with a distinct personality.

CAST: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, and Angela Lansbury
DIRECTOR: Mark Waters
RUNTIME: 94 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 17/06/11 Australia 30/06/11 France 20/07/11 Argentina 21/07/11 UK Ireland 05 August 2011 Italy 12/08/11

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SUPER 8

Super 8IN the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth - something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

AN excellent, thrilling, fiery, exciting early Spielberg-esque film which will draw you in and have you intrigued for most of it. The second half of the film does lose its way a little, but all in all it will bring you back to a time when supernatural phenomena made for truly engaging cinema. Well worth a trip to your nearest multiplex.

CAST: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Riley Griffiths and Amanda Michalka
DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams
RUNTIME: 112 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia 09/06/11 USA 10/06/11 Japan 24/06/11 France 03/08/11 Argentina 04/08/11 UK Ireland 05 August 2011 Italy 09/09/11

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SARAH’S KEY

Sarah's KeyJULIA JARMOND, an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers - especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive - the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself.

CAST: Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup
DIRECTOR: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
RUNTIME: 111 mins
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English/French
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 13/10/10 Japan 26/10/10 Australia 23/12/10 New Zealand 14/04/11 UK 05 August 2011

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THE SMURFS

The SmurfsAUDIENCES everywhere are in for a Smurfy good time as the Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen in Columbia Pictures’/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action and animated family comedy, THE SMURFS. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours – in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.

A ‘Smurfy good time’ is not what I experienced; it was more like a complete destruction of everything that was good and wholesome and fun about the Smurfs when I was growing up. They were hilarious and individual, and yes a little sickly sweet but that’s part of the charm and innocence of childhood. Well the first thing wrong was Gargamel... Hank Azaria was wrong on every possible level, starting with the prosthetics which made him look simply scary and deformed and not at all comedic, then the voice was wrong, and then...oh need I go on?! Then there’s Azriel the cat: they use a real cat, but it can’t talk but makes strange noises that are supposed to sound human but are indecipherable; now where is the logic in that when little blue creatures can speak perfect English. Next, Smurfs never entered the human world - here they do - and what a mess the movie made of it.

I can talk about it no longer...it was terrible...it was nauseous...really, don’t bother.

CAST: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara
DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell
RUNTIME: 103 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/07/11 France 03/08/11 Argentina 04/08/11 UK Ireland 10 August 2011 Japan 09/09/11 Australia 15/09/11 Italy 16/09/11

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THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE

The Devil's DoubleBAGHDAD 1987, Latif Yahia is taken to see his former schoolmate Uday, eldest son to Saddam Hussein. Latif is told that a great honour had been bestowed upon him: because of the great likeness between them, he has been chosen to be Uday's ‘fiday’ - his body double. Trapped, tortured and fearful for the safety of his family Latif has no choice but to comply.

A chilling vision of the House of Saddam Hussein comes to life as Latif is forced to become part of Uday’s world, witness to the horror of his insane life of debauchery, excess and brutality. A world entrenched in betrayal and corruption and an experience for which he almost pays with his life on more than one occasion.

THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE is based on true events.

This is a very disturbing but no doubt true depiction of the deranged son of Saddam Hussain. But the purpose of actually making this film has passed me by entirely. Cooper is quite sufficient in the double role, but I am still at a loss as why there was any need to commit to celluloid the psychotic man's escapades. Just pointless.

CAST: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi
DIRECTOR: Lee Tamahori
RUNTIME: 109 mins
COUNTRY: Belgium
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA (Sundance) 22/01/11 UK 10 August 2011 Ireland 12/08/11

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RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Rise Of The Planet Of The ApesA single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other -- and to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. The Oscar-winning visual effects team that brought to life the worlds of Avatar and Lord of the Rings is breaking new ground, creating a CGI ape that delivers a dramatic performance of unprecedented emotion and intelligence, and epic battles on which rest the upended destinies of man and primate.

I had not heard good reports from the few people I knew who had seen this before me. I’m not entirely convinced they saw the same movie I did. It simply exceeded all my expectations. The CGI was excellent, Andy Serkis was incredible as Caesar, Tom Felton in a role other than Draco Malfoy was slightly odd but interesting, John Lithgow was perfect, and overall the story and casting was spot on. Of course there is an exception; I am yet to figure out the western world’s obsession with such an ordinary actress as Freida Pinto who brings nothing to the film whatsoever - her character would have been better portrayed by a CGI monkey. But her aside, a definite must see movie on the big screen.

CAST: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, Andy Serkis
DIRECTOR: Rupert Wyatt
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 05/08/11 France 10/08/11 UK 12 August 2011 Ireland 12/08/11 Italy 23/09/11 Japan 07/10/11

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PROJECT NIM

Project NimFROM the Oscar-winning team behind Man On Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Following Nim's extraordinary journey through human society, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unflinching and unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human. What we learn about his true nature - and indeed our own - is comic, revealing and profoundly unsettling.

FOLLOWING a summer of comedy and science fiction movies involving our most closely related brethren in the animal kingdom, this will no doubt make a refreshing change in documentary format, and I for one hope the release isn’t too limited nationwide.

DIRECTOR: James Marsh
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 08/07/11 UK Ireland 12 August 2011

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AARAKSHAN

AarakshanAARAKSHAN is the story of Prabhakar Anand, the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state’s best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar who will do anything for his Sir. Of Deepak’s love for Prabhakar’s daughter, Poorbi, of his friendship with Sushant. It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future.
                                                                         
Centred on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court’s order on reservations, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand.

AN interesting film that highlights some deep-rooted social issues of positive discrimination that are tearing at the very fabric of society in India today, acted well by an impressive cast in Bachchan, Khan and Bajpayee. However, the film does lose its way about half way through as it begins meandering down some dead end roads, and frankly at least 45 minutes could comfortably be culled. Not your average Bollywood yarn.

CAST: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Deepika Padukone, Prateik
DIRECTOR: Prakash Jha
RUNTIME: 164 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 12 August 2011

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COWBOYS & ALIENS

Cowboys and Aliens1875. New Mexico Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.


Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realises he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveller Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents -- townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors -- all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

I am entirely unconvinced as to why anyone should waste two hours of their precious lives watching this incredibly unexciting alleged blockbuster western meets sci-fi borefest. Christopher of the Daily Mail summed it up to perfection: Why has there never been a film about cowboys beating up extra-terrestrials? This movie will give you a pretty good idea.” I need say no more.

CAST: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/07/11 UK 17 August 2011 Australia 18/08/11 Ireland 19/08/11 France 24/08/11 Italy 14/10/11 Japan 22/10/11

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THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE

The InbetweenersWHAT’S on the mind of the average sixth-form boy? College, jobs, that whole bright and exciting future thing? Or the humpability of anything female in sight? For Will, Simon, Jay and Neil, it’s humpability all the way.

I have been persuaded to watch the three series before watching the movie - both of which up until now I have avoided like the plague. So my opinion will come later, but from each and every friend of mine who has seen the film already, some of them twice in the opening week, it is allegedly legendarily excellent.

CAST: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison
DIRECTOR: Ben Palmer
RUNTIME: 97 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 17 August 2011 Australia 20/10/11 USA 25/11/11

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SPY KIDS 4: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD

Spy Kids 4ON the surface, Marissa Cortez Wilson has it all...married to a famous spy hunting television reporter, a new baby and intelligent twin step kids. But in reality, trying to mother Rebecca and Cecil, who clearly don't want her around, is her toughest challenge yet. Also, her husband, Wilbur, wouldn't know a spy if he lived with one which is exactly the case - Marissa's a retired secret agent.

Marissa's world is turned upside down when the maniacal Timekeeper threatens to take over the planet and she's called back into action by the head of OSS, home of the greatest spies and where the now-defunct Spy Kids division was created. With Armageddon quickly approaching, Rebecca and Cecil are thrust into action when they learn their boring stepmom was once a top agent and now the world's most competitive ten year olds are forced to put their bickering aside and rely on their wits. With a little help from a couple of very familiar Spy Kids, Carmen and Juni Cortez, and some mind-blowing gadgets, they just may be able to save the world and possibly bring their family together while they're at it.

IF you liked the other movies, and enjoyed all the gadgets and slightly nauseating kids, then this is mediocre fun. Jessica Alba looks good in the black rubber, and it’s nice to see the former spy kids back unchanged much except older. What is nauseating is the talking dog - it could not really be any worse - it’s Ricky Gervais, and as unfunny and pathetic and annoying as he is in person. The only saving grace was Ari Gold - lots of Ari Gold, and if you don’t get that, you really must watch Entourage! The kids should stay quiet for a while seeing this in 3D...

CAST: Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale, Rowan Blanchard, Mason Cook, Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
RUNTIME: 89 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland USA 19 August 2011 Australia 15/09/11 Japan 17/09/11

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THE GUARD

The GuardTHE GUARD is a comedic, fish out of water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption, and the two cops who must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang, an unorthodox Irish policeman and a straitlaced FBI agent.

THIS is an irresistible brilliant comedy thriller bordering on a black comedy. To tell you anything about it would just spoil the entire premise, but I find it very hard to fathom how this is McDonagh’s first feature length movie which he both wrote and directed. Brendan Gleeson is divine [but then again, when isn’t he?], and Don Cheadle is so out of place and perfect. There is not an element of the film that doesn’t work, and it will leave you with a wry smile.

Go...watch it...now!

CAST: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan
DIRECTOR: John Michael McDonagh
RUNTIME: 96 mins
COUNTRY: Ireland
LANGUAGE: English/Gaelic
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/07/11 UK 19 August 2011 France 02/11/11

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ONE DAY

One DayTWENTY years…two people. Directed by Lone Scherfig, the motion picture ONE DAY adapted for the screen by David Nicholls from his beloved bestselling novel One Day. After one day together – July 15th, 1988, their college graduation – Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew begin a friendship that will last a lifetime. She is a working-class girl of principle and ambition who dreams of making the world a better place. He is a wealthy charmer who dreams that the world will be his playground. For the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15ths in their lives. Together and apart, we see Dex and Em through their friendship and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. Somewhere along their journey, these two people realize that what they are searching and hoping for has been there for them all along. As the true meaning of that one day back in 1988 is revealed, they come to terms with the nature of love and life itself.

CAST: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Romola Garai, Rafe Spall
DIRECTOR: Lone Scherfig
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 19/08/11 UK France 24 August 2011 Ireland 26/08/11 Italy 21/10/11

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July 2011

LARRY CROWNE

Larry Crowne TrailerOSCAR® winners Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts reunite for a dramatic comedy about how the hard knocks from today’s recession inspire one everyday guy to undergo a personal reinvention: LARRY CROWNE. 

Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he’s worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colourful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves…often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot, who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. 

The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover your reason to live.
 

SAY Julia Roberts, and I’m there like a shot. Tom Hanks, on the other hand, has done nothing for me since Charlie Wilson’s War, so I could take it or leave it. But Nia Vardolos...I have just one thing to say...My Big Fat Greek Wedding. July couldn't come soon enough!

Oh. What a let down. It really did not live up to it's potential on any level. The acting was very competent, and the direction from Mr Hanks was just fine; one could not really fault those elements...but no matter how talented the actors or how proficient the direction, if there is no va va voom in the story, then nothing can save it.

Larry Crowne was so mellow, it would be perfect sofa viewing for the Hallmark Channel on a wet Sunday afternoon, but not on the silver screen. There was no depth to the story, the characters were quite baseless and overall, the film had little point. I would give it a wide berth and wait for the DVD.

CAST: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Nia Vardalos
DIRECTOR: Tom Hanks
RUNTIME: 99 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Australia USA 01 July 2011 France 06/07/11 Argentina 28/07/11 Italy 07/10/11

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THE CONSPIRATOR

The Conspirator TrailerIN the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks.

Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son.


A suspenseful thriller with action throughout,
THE CONSPIRATOR tells the true story of a woman who would do anything to protect her family and the man who risked everything to save her.

A stellar cast as this simply warrants a trip to the movies.

CAST: James McAvoy, Evan Rachel Wood, Robin Wright, Justin Long, Toby Kebbell, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson
DIRECTOR: Robert Redford
RUNTIME: 123 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 15/04/11 UK 01 July 2011

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TRUST

Trust TrailerA suburban family is torn apart when 14-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato) meets her first boyfriend online. After months of communicating via online chat and phone, Annie discovers her friend is not who he originally claimed to be. Shocked into disbelief, her parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) are shattered by their daughter's actions and struggle to support her as she comes to terms with what has happened to her once innocent life. 

A quiet and moving film that is both sympathetic and shocking in its manner of dealing with such a powerful, disturbing and emotive subject.

I had no idea David Schwimmer had the capacity to direct so well, especially after the debacle that was Run Fatboy Run, though no doubt having such an accomplished cast made life far easier, and the young Liberato is notable.

This subject matter is handled in such a fashion that this film can and should be shown to every young teenager to understand the pitfalls. Yes we know it does not happen every day, but it does happen, and forewarned...and all those clichés.

And the end...I shall leave you to draw your own conclusion.

CAST: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Viola Davis, Chris Henry Coffey
DIRECTOR: David Schwimmer
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 01/04/11 UK 08 July 2011

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THE TREE OF LIFE

The Tree Of LifeFROM Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such films as Badlands, Days Of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree Of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as her tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick's signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.

I wish I could give you an honest critique of this film, but when so many trusted friends made the mistake of going to see it, and each and every one of them walked out half way through despite the stellar cast, I took the executive decision that my life (and yours too) is too valuable to waste time and money on. Eventually I succumbed...but it took less than half an hour to realise why they left, and so did I.

CAST: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Dalip Singh, Fiona Shaw
DIRECTOR: Terrence Malick
RUNTIME: 138 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE:France 17/05/11 Italy 18/05/11 Australia 30/06/11 UK USA 08 July 2011 Japan 12/08/11 New Zealand 25/08/11 Argentina 15/12/11

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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT 2

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.

In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort.


It all ends here.

IF you have read my rantings before, chances are you know I’m sadly an obsessive HP junkie, and this date has been in the diary for since the day it was announced a year or so ago.

I had the privilege of seeing a preview the day after the world premiere, and suffice to say I shall be seeing it again...and again...in full 3D. Check out the full review in the HP7 Special over here...

Harry Potter Special

CAST: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman
DIRECTOR: David Yates
RUNTIME: 130 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia France Italy 13/07/11 Argentina New Zealand 14/07/11 UK Ireland Japan USA 15 July 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersSpecial Effects: Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery

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ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA

Zindagi Na Milegi DobaraKABIR has just met Natasha. 6 months later they are engaged.

He wants to go on an extended bachelor party. A 3 week road trip with Imraan and Arjun- his 2 best friends since school. The only problem is Arjun is too tied up with work. After much emotional blackmail and cajoling the boys set off on a journey they were meant to take 4 years ago.

A fantasy holiday they had planned to take after college but never happened. A road trip where each one gets to do the ultimate sport of his choice and the other 2 just have to do it with him. Whether they want to or not!

Kabir Imraan and Arjun meet up in Barcelona and set off on an adventure that will not only make them iron out their differences but also face their fears, alter their perception, unravel their fabric, force them to break out of the box and teach them to seize the day.


In other words a holiday that will change their lives forever.

ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA...you only get this life once.

IMMEDIATELY, like most, I thought the trailer smacked of The Hangover somewhat. I am very happy to say the only similarity is three guys on a bachelor party holiday...and there it ends. ZNMD is an excellent entertainment vehicle driven most eloquently by the three stars who very much were on an equal footing in terms of their acting ability and portrayal of three very different characters. And Katrina Kaif, totally typecast as an NRI, in a role she played perfectly.

Cinematically, the movie was picturised with verve, and in parts captured the essence of Spain, though this could have been taken to another level. But overall, the score, the camaraderie, the story, the poetry...the movie was a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours escaping the summer rain in London. The only weak link really was the woefully clichéd dialogue in the opening scene which thankfully ended quickly, and Kalki Koechlin -the bride to be- who sadly was wooden and ineffectual, but don't let her put you off!

If you've not delved into the world of Hindi cinema, this is a great place to start, since it's not much like most Bollywood movies. Ms Zoya Akhtar...take a bow...it is a triumph.

CAST: Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
DIRECTOR: Zoya Akhtar
RUNTIME: 129 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION:PG
RELEASE DATE: World 15 July 2011top

 


CARS 2

Cars 2STAR racecar Lightning McQueen and the incomparable tow truck Mater take their friendship to exciting new places in CARS 2 when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret spy mission, Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. Adding to the fast-paced fun is a colourful new all-car cast that includes secret agents, menacing villains and international racing competitors.

OH what fun...it’s from Disney Pixar, which has single-handedly turned my irritation of kids’ animated flicks into a quiet admiration, as well as a great excuse to giggle hysterically. And frankly, the trailer alone is enough to have you looking for a child to borrow for the afternoon if you don’t have your own!

And they pull it off again...Cars 2 is as cute as a button! It's great fun figuring out who is the voice of which car, and the story is simply lovely. No long narrative is required here as to how and why it is so good...it just is...so go see it!

CAST: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Joe Mantegna, Cheech Marin, John Turturro, Emily Mortimer
DIRECTOR: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
RUNTIME: 112 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: Italy 22/06/11 Australia 23/06/11 USA 24/06/11 Argentina 07/07/11 UK Ireland 22 July 2011 France 27/07/11 Japan 30/07/11

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BEGINNERS

BeginnersFROM writer/director Mike Mills comes a comedy/drama about how deeply funny and transformative life can be, even at its most serious moments. BEGINNERS imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver.

Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavours to love Anna with all the bravery, humour, and hope that his father taught him.

CAST: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic
DIRECTOR: Mike Mills
RUNTIME: 104 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 03/06/11 France 15/06/11 Argentina 14/07/11 UK 22 July 2011

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersSupporting Actor: Christopher Plummer

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Christopher Plummer - Actor in a Supporting Role

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

Captain America The First AvengerBASED on the Marvel Comics character from World War II. A brave, yet mild-mannered young soldier named Steve Rogers, volunteers to undergo a series of experiments for a US army Super Soldier program. The military succeeds in transforming him into a human weapon, but quickly decide that their Super Soldier is far too expensive a creation to risk in combat. So, they decide to put him to use as an army celebrity and parade him across Europe to boost morale by performing in USO shows for American troops. He is even given a costume that bear the colours of Old Glory for the stage. Then, when a Nazi plot reveals itself Rogers must rise up and become the First Avenger, in order to save his country. Steve Rogers becomes CAPTAIN AMERICA and he earns his way into the hearts and souls of every American, bringing hope and justice to a war-weary nation. Later, during a mission to Germany to stop his archenemy - The Red Skull, from launching rockets at the allies, Captain America sacrifices himself and winds up frozen in ice for almost six decades! Revived, Steve Rogers now must join forces with new heroes and become an Avenger of the modern age.

CAST: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan
DIRECTOR: Joe Johnston
RUNTIME:  124 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/07/11 Italy 27/07/11 Argentina Australia 28/07/11 UK 29 July 2011 France 17/08/11 Japan 15/10/11

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HORRID HENRY: THE MOVIE

Horrid Henry The MovieHORRID HENRY finds himself doing things he never ever thought he'd do, and then some.

DON'T do it! It is in a word - terrible. This has to be the most unengaging kids film ever made where the children are irritating, most of them cannot act a smidgeon, and even the grown-ups come across as amateurs. It looks more like an awful school play gone wrong than a cinema creation. I would suggest the box set of "Just William" as a far superior version of kids of that are a tad naughty and get up to mischief, or geniously funny films like Matilda. Horrid Henry is just horrid.

CAST: Theo Stevenson, Ross Marron, Anjelica Huston, Richard E. Grant, Parminder Nagra, Jo Brand, Noel Fielding, Prunella Scales, Siobhan Hayes, Matthew Horne
DIRECTOR: Nick Moore
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: UK 29 July 2011top

 


ZOOKEEPER

ZookeeperIN Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kind-hearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honoured code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship – animal style. The film also stars Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb and features the voices of Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, and Sylvester Stallone.

DESPITE what the critics say, Zookeeper is a light-hearted entertaining yarn that young children will enjoy immensely with the talking animals and comedic timing of Kevin James which he showed off so eloquently in Hitch. Yes it’s not the deepest narrative under the sun, but it is after all for children, and often simplicity is the best policy when it comes to the little ones. And the voices of the animals keep you guessing for a short while before you fit actor with animal, then no doubt will have a little giggle picturing them in situ.

It’s not rocket science, but the little ones will love it, and you won’t be gagging to get out of the cinema half way through.

CAST: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Ken Jeong, Donnie Wahlberg, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Frank Coraci
RUNTIME: 133 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 08/07/11 UK Ireland 29 July 2011 Italy 05/08/11 France 17/08/11

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June 2011
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

X-Men First ClassX-MEN: FIRST CLASS unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga – and a secret history of the Cold War and our world at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. As the first class discovers, harnesses, and comes to terms with their formidable powers, alliances are formed that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe.

SIMPLY excellent.

This is an absolute must for all X-Men fans. It ably puts the previous X-Men movies into perspective...how they became X-Men...the friendships, the paranoia, the rivalries...all illustrated with such magnificence; the visual depiction is extraordinary, and the calibre of actors is outstanding, perfectly matching the older characters of Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. There really is no point in going on about it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, why not?!

CAST: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Flemyng
DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
RUNTIME: 132 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France 01 June 2011 Argentina Australia 02/06/11 USA 03/06/11 Italy 08/06/11 Japan 10/06/11

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LAST NIGHT

Last NightSET in New York City, LAST NIGHT is the story of a married couple that while apart for one night, is confronted by temptation that may decide the fate of their marriage. Joanna and Michael Reed are 7 years into a successful and happy relationship. They are moving along in their lives together until Joanna meets Laura, the stunningly beautiful work colleague whom Michael never mentioned. 

While Michael is away with Laura on a business trip, Joanna runs into an old but never quite forgotten love, Alex, and agrees to have drinks with him. As the night progresses and temptation increases for the couple, each must confront who they are inside and outside of their relationship. Last Night is ultimately a film about choices – the choice you make to be with someone, to give yourself physically and emotionally, and how to survive all three.

AN interesting and beautifully shot film full of wonder and eye candy and temptation. A thoughtful way to spend a couple of hours at the movies, and frankly, with Mendes and Canet to enjoy, what’s not to like...except possibly the stunning and talented Knightley’s scantily-clad boyish waif figure, and Worthington...now him I don’t get. But despite these minor factors, worth a go.

CAST:  Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet
DIRECTOR: Massy Tadjedin
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Italy 05/10/10 France 16/02/11 USA 06/05/11 UK 03 June 2011

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SENNA

SennaSPANNING his years as a Formula One racing driver from 1984 to his untimely death a decade later, SENNA explores the life and work of the triple world champion, his physical and spiritual achievements on the track, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he has since attained.

Directed by Asif Kapadia (The Warrior, Far North), the film is written by Manish Pandey and produced by James Gay-Rees (Exit Through The Giftshop), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner with Kevin Macdonald (Touching The Void, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Eagle) and Manish Pandey serving as executive producers. 


The film has been made with the full co-operation of the family of Ayrton Senna, who have given permission for this to be the first documentary feature film about his life; Formula One Management, who have provided footage not previously seen theatrically; and the Ayrton Senna Institute, the charitable foundation established after his death which provides educational opportunities to millions of deprived Brazilian children.

EVEN though I’m no Formula 1 junkie, this intrigued me, and I had the pleasure of seeing the extended version which is almost 3 hours long; I was not bored for even one second.

We all know how the story ends, but this is the story of Senna's life...his world, his passions, his family, all expertly told through interviews with a range of people who knew him well, including the not so pleasant Alain Prost.

Simply...this is brilliant. Whether you are a fan of Formula 1 racing or not, whether you followed Ayrton Senna or not, this superb documentary shows the legend, the inimitable sportsman, the tragedy of his passing, and will have you mesmerised throughout.

CAST:  Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams
DIRECTOR: Asif Kapadia
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: UK/France/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Japan 08/10/10 Italy 11/02/11 France 25/05/11 UK   Ireland 03 June 2011 Australia  21/07/11

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersDocumentary: Asif Kapadia

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersEditing: Gregers Sall, Chris King

 

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MOTHER’S DAY

Mother's DayAFTER a bank robbery gone wrong, three brothers head for home... only to discover that their mother lost the house in a foreclosure. 

The new owners and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers' unwitting hostages. Their mother and sister arrive, and it soon becomes obvious that Mother will do absolutely anything to protect her children. In one terrifying evening, Mother brilliantly takes control of the situation and masterminds her sons' escape. Sides will be taken, secrets revealed, and sins punished as the hostages struggle to make it through the night.

I have never seen a Saw movie, and I think I now know why if this is anything to go by. But the memory of de Mornay in The Hand That Rocks That Cradle [my dear was it really almost 20 years ago?!] was enough to entice me to see this.

If pointless slasher horror movies are your thing, this is perfect. And in fact, for some reason I do believe this is probably a more superior specimen of the genre. De Mornay is suitably creepy as the crazed mother from hell, but apart from that, I’m not quite sure what the point was.

CAST:  Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Shawn Ashmore, Briana Evigan, Matt O'Leary
DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman
RUNTIME: 112 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK 10 June 2011

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ALWAYS KABHI KABHI

Always Kabhi KabhiST. MARKS - another school full of bright teenagers having aspirations and looking to make a mark on the world. But this teen-age isn't just about school... it's also about love and the craze of one's first-ever crushes. It's the period where everyone is growing up and moving on to the next level. In this competitive, confusing and sometimes cruel world, we have four characters whose destinies seem to take them on different paths. Somehow, though, they all come together at St. Marks.

ALWAYS KABHI KABHI translates as Always Sometimes Sometimes...yes, sometimes things do get lost in translation. But anyway...the trailer looks fun, the soundtrack is catchy, the cast is unknown to me with the exception of the Brazilian beauty Monteiro, but the most compelling draw is the production house of Red Chillies. That along with the fact that superstar Shahrukh Khan makes a cameo [well, he does own Red Chillies!] is enough to drag me to the movies to have a little look...

CAST:  Ali Fazal, Giselle Monteiro, Zoa Morani, Satyajeet Dubey
DIRECTOR: Roshan Abbas
RUNTIME: 112 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 17 June 2011

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THE BEAVER

The BeaverTWO-TIME Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with two-time Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson in THE BEAVER- an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life.

Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can't seem to get himself back on track...until a beaver hand puppet enters his life.

THE sublimely talented Jodie Foster is more than enough to attract me to a film, and Mel Gibson is always great entertainment value, so obviously this is a must see film. I do hope it lives up to my expectations!

CAST:  Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jennifer Laurence
DIRECTOR: Jodie Foster
RUNTIME: 91 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 06/05/11 Italy 20/05/11 France 25/05/11 Argentina 16/06/11 UK 17 June 2011 Australia 21/07/11 New Zealand 29/09/11

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BAD TEACHER

Bad TeacherSOME teachers just don’t give an F. For example, there's Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). She’s foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can’t wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) – competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague, Amy (Lucy Punch). When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher (Jason Segel), the consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, her co-workers, and even herself an education like no other.

CAMERON Diaz has wonderful comic timing, and Justin Timberlake as a geek with a bad singing voice is amusing, and so the movie had stacks of potential...which unfortunately it failed to live up to. The film is terribly shallow, the characters defy belief, and the whole thing is just so predictable. What a shame, and what a waste of some sparkling talent. Definitely wait for it on DVD [and boys, I'm sure you can YouTube the car wash scenes by now!].

CAST: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake
DIRECTOR: Jake Kasdan
RUNTIME: 92 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 17 June 2011 USA 24/06/11 Argentina 07/07/11 France 27/07/11 Japan 06/08/11 Italy 02/09/11

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GREEN LANTERN

The Green LanternIN a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax...he will become the greatest GREEN LANTERN of all.

THE trailer did not, unfortunately, rouse me to any lively of excitement. And just who are Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively exactly? To top it off, it’s another comic book movie; some are spectacular like Superman, Batman, X-Men and the like. Some, like Green Hornet, however, should never have been made.

Unfortunately, this is a strong contender for the latter category...it was unnecessarily loud with much screaming and gasping and screeching. The plot was exceedingly shallow, and generally I really couldn't wait for it to be over.

I am of the opinion that unless you are a Gossip Girl fan or a 12 year old boy, there's really nothing to get excited about, despite Blake Lively's good looks.

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong
DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
RUNTIME: 113 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: New Zealand 14/06/11 UK USA 17 June 2011 Argentina 30/06/11 Japan 22/07/11 Australia 04/08/11 France 10/08/11 Italy 31/08/11

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BRIDESMAIDS

BridesmaidsPRODUCER Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad) and director Paul Feig (creator of Freaks and Geeks) invite you to experience Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honour whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colourful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.

Annie’s life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian’s maid of honour. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she’ll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you’ll go for someone you love.

INITIAL thoughts on this were "if this is anywhere near as funny as 40 Year Old Virgin, then we will all me falling over in hysterics right the way up the aisle. Do hope it’s not another inane chick flick."

It wasn't as funny as anything funny I've seen recently. But it wasn't an inane chickflick. My problem is I don't know what this film was trying to be...it was not quite a black comedy, or a rom-com, or a chickflick. I didn't laugh until almost the end, I had no idea what Matt Lucas was doing in this bizarre film or what his character or that of his sister [played by an Australian who could not carry off an English accent if you gave her instructions] were supposed to add. It was a bunch quite irritating girls led by Rose Byrne who frankly, I would have not given the time of day to, and a lot of choice and crude language that I really did not have time for.

But despite all of that, I almost enjoyed it. Yes it is a bit too long, but Kristen Wiig is more than a competent actress, Chris O'Dowd as Officer Rhodes is entertaining, and Melissa McCarthy as Megan, the slightly affected sister-in-law to be is just inspired.

It is not brilliant, it is not laugh out loud, but it is not terrible and is mildly entertaining, so give it a go if you have nothing better to do.

CAST: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, John Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Jill Clayburgh, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
RUNTIME:125 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 13/05/11 Australia 16/06/11 UK 22 June 2011 France 10/08/11 Italy 19/08/11

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TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

Transformers: Dark Of The MoonSHIA LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON. When a mysterious event from Earth's past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to Earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us.

THE trailer looks amazing; I’ve never seen a Transformers film [is there more than one?!], but this, I shall be making an effort for.

CAST: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich, Leonard Nimoy (voice), Hugo Weaving (voice), Peter Cullen (voice)
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
RUNTIME: 154 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 29 June 2011 Japan 29/07/11

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May 2011
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

Water For Elephants TrailerLIFE is the most spectacular show on earth.

During the Great Depression, Jacob, a penniless and recently-orphaned veterinary school student, parlays his expertise with animals into a job with a second-rate traveling circus. He falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers, but their romance is complicated by Marlena's husband, the charismatic but unbalanced circus boss.

THIS is a cute Sunday afternoon type movie that would be perfect to watch from the comfort of your sofa, but not a silver screen spectacular that makes you long for those fun days of circuses when we were kids. The problem is chemistry, or rather the lack of it between the lead actors in Witherspoon and Pattinson; she is just lovely, but RPattz really doesn't appear to have much scope for much other than vampire flicks that appeal to 13 year old teenage girls.

It's harmless enough, but won't be setting your soul on fire any time soon.

CAST: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
RUNTIME: 120 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Italy USA 22/04/11 Argentina 28/04/11 UK France 04 May 2011

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HANNA

Hanna TrailerAWARD-winning director Joe Wright creates a boldly original suspense thriller with Hanna, starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan in the title role.

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna’s upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

AFTER an unnerving start, this film is a rollercoaster of thrills and violence and strange emotion that will have you on the edge of your seat. Saoirse Ronan is simply sublime, Cate Blanchett a joy even with the ever-changing accent, and Tom Hollander is uncomfortably sinister in the creepiest of fashions.

There was a distant memory of Luc Besson's Leon with the central character being a young girl and assassin but the violence is more intense simply because she is so involved rather than it happening around her.

Definitely one the best action thrillers out for a while. See it.

CAST: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng
DIRECTOR: Joe Wright
RUNTIME: 111 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 08/04/11 UK 06 May 2011 Italy 13/05/11 France 25/05/11 Argentina 09/06/11

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THE WAY

The Way TrailerMARTIN Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Driven by his profound sadness and desire to understand his son better, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage, leaving his "California bubble life" behind.

Armed with his son's backpack and guidebook, Tom navigates the 800 km pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela in the north west of Spain, but soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey.


While walking The Camino, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, all broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman a Canadian and an Irish writer who is suffering from a bout of "writer's block."


From the hardship experienced along The Way this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again, and discovers the difference between "The life we live and the life we choose". 

A most beautiful and gentle meandering escapade which is filmed in such a breathtaking fashion that at the destinations, one is left speechless. A perfect film for a Sunday afternoon.

CAST: Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick Van Wageningen, James Nesbitt
DIRECTOR: Emilio Estevez
RUNTIME: 129 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK 13 May 2011 USA 30/09/11

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4: ON STRANGER TIDES

Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 On Stranger Tides TrailerPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES captures the fun, adventure and humour that ignited the hit franchise—this time in Disney Digital 3D™. Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed tale of truth, betrayal, youth and demise. When Jack crosses paths with a woman from his past, he’s not sure if it’s love—or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past. 

Another POTC film! Awesome! And this time no pouting Miss Knightley to distract [thought granted she is a very talented actress]. Cap’n Jack is just so entertaining, and Johnny Depp is a genius in bringing the character to life...I was hoping would be as good as the other three.

Sadly, this was one sequel too many. It was not awful by any stretch of the imagination, and Keith Richards was just fab, but the storyline was lacking and thus it was nowhere near the spectacle the others were. However, no doubt kids will still love it.

CAST: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Sam Claflin, Geoffrey Rush
DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall
RUNTIME: 141 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France Italy 18 May 2011 Australia 19/05/11 Japan USA 20/05/11 Argentina 09/06/11

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AGE OF HEROES

Age of Heroes TrailerAGE OF HEROES is an action-packed British thriller based on the real-life events of Ian Fleming's 30 Commando Unit during World War II - the template for the modern SAS. 

Sean Bean and Danny Dyer star in an adrenalin-fuelled, action adventure which takes our heroes from the edge of defeat on the beaches of Dunkirk to the mountains of Norway on a search and destroy mission behind enemy lines that, if successful, would change the course of the war.

The trailer has finally been released so here it is:

 

CAST: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Izabella Miko, James D'Arcy
DIRECTOR: Adrian Vitoria
RUNTIME: 90 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 20 May 2011top

 


BLITZ

Blitz TrailerJASON Statham (The Mechanic, The Expendables) heads the cast of Blitz as the tough, uncompromising and un-PC detective “Brant”, who is teamed with unlikely partner “Sgt Porter Nash” played by Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum) to investigate a series of police murders. BAFTA and Tony Award-nominee Aidan Gillen (HBO’s The Wire) and fellow BAFTA-nominee David Morrissey (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, State of Play, Nowhere Boy) join the cast as a cop-hating serial killer “Weiss” (Gillen) and hack crime reporter “Dunlop” (Morrissey).

CAST: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen, David Morrissey, Lucas Evans
DIRECTOR: Elliott Lester
RUNTIME: 98 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK 20 May 2011

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THE HANGOVER: PART II

The Hangover Part II TrailerIN The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu's wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don't always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can't even be imagined.

THE first movie had me LMFAO as they say. Have watched the trailer for Part II...I was howling with laughter. If the first is anything to go by, this should be the funniest movie of 2011!

So...the verdict...as long as you have the sense of humour to appreciate the first film, you will just so enjoy this. The same craic as The Hangover, it had me in stitches...just not so many.

And the monkey! Bloody marvelous!

CAST: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeon
DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips
RUNTIME: 102 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina Australia USA 26/05/11 UK Italy 27 May 2011 France 08/06/11 Japan 01/07/11

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April 2011
GAME

Game TrailerGAME is a story of 4 strangers (Neil Menon, OP Ramsay, Tisha Khanna and Vikram Kapoor) who have been invited by the reclusive Kabir Malhotra, to his private island of Samos, Greece.

They don’t know each other and they don’t know him… and by the next morning they will wish they had never come.

Game is a whodunnit tale spanning 5 international cities; a slick edge-of-the-seat crime thriller with twists and turns involving love, revenge, retribution and good old-fashioned murder.

Everyone is a Suspect, and Every Suspect has a motive.

It’s not over till its over.

I really don't know what more to say since the official synopsis says it all...it is definitely a "a slick edge-of-the-seat crime thriller with twists and turns". It is simply intriguing and enjoyable and a bit of a rollercoaster, and frankly is a must see in the probably the first movie of its kind in my memory anyway produced by Bollywood. Like Agatha Christie on crack! Damn good show.

CAST: Abhishek Bachchan, Sarah-Jane Dias, Kangana Ranaut, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill
DIRECTOR: Abhinay Deo
RUNTIME: 135 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: World 01 April 2011top

 


KILLING BONO

Killing Bono TrailerKILLING BONO is a rock n' roll comedy about two Irish brothers struggling to forge their path through the 1980's music scene... whilst the meteoric rise to fame of their old school pals U2 only serves to cast them deeper into the shadows.

Neil McCormick always knew he'd be famous. A young Irish songwriter and budding genius, nothing less than a life of rock n' roll stardom will do. But there's only room for one singer in school band The Hype and his friend Paul's already bagged the job. So Neil forms his own band with his brother Ivan, determined to leave The Hype in his wake.

There's only one problem: The Hype have changed their name. To 'U2'. And Paul has turned into 'Bono'. Naturally there's only one option for Neil: become bigger than U2. The brothers head to London in their quest for fame, but they are blighted by the injustices of the music industry, and their every action is dwarfed by the soaring success of their old school rivals. Then, just as they land some success of their own, Ivan discovers the shocking truth behind Neil's rivalry with U2, and it threatens to destroy everything. As his rock n' roll dream crashes and burns, Neil feels like his failure is directly linked to Bono's success. Is he the yin to Bono's yang? Is he forever destined to live in the shadows of superstardom? And what if the answer lies in... killing Bono?

An excellent cast, the perfect soundtrack, and all round a hugely entertaining caper, made even more enjoyable if you remember the 80s. A definite thumbs up for this one.

CAST: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter, Pete Postlethwaite, Peter Serafinowicz, Martin McCann
DIRECTOR: Nick Hamm
RUNTIME: 114 mins
COUNTRY: Ireland
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 01 April 2011 France 27/07/11

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SOURCE CODE

Source Code TrailerWHEN decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.

SOURCE CODE is a bit of Inception, a touch of Quantum Leap, a modicum of Groundhog Day [though infinitely superior], a hint of Momentum with a smattering of The Matrix, all brought together in a very clever and slick thriller brilliantly written by relative newbie Ben Ripley, and sublimely executed by Duncan Jones [son of David Bowie no less] in his first major Hollywood production.

Jake Gyllenhaal...he's no Brad Pitt but he brings a coolness to this film that could so easily have turned it into a farce with the wrong actor. Yes there's a good supporting cast, but frankly, the casting of Gyllenhaal was perfection, and without him it would not have worked so well.

Simply excellent! Waste not another moment and go and see it as soon as you can...you may only have eight minutes...who knows!

CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Russell Peters
DIRECTOR: Duncan Jones
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 01 April 2011 France 20/04/11 Italy 29/04/11

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THANK YOU

Thank You TrailerRAJ, Yogi and Vikram – best friends, business partners, serial womanisers and happily married! Happy, because their lovely wives have no clue that their husbands cheat on them with every pretty young thing they can lay their eyes on. This picture perfect world is rocked when Raj’s wife, Sanjana begins to suspect her husband and hires the suave private detective, Kishan, to tail him. Kishan has built his reputation as a man who saves marriages by getting erring husbands to mend their ways. In this particular case, however, his overwhelming attraction towards Sanjana means he may not be acting in her best interest! What follows is a crazy cat and mouse game, with Kishan trying to catch the husbands with their pants down literally and them attempting to just stay outside his grasp.

This laugh a minute comic caper will have you in splits, continuing with the signature comic style you have come to expect from the maker of No Entry, Welcome and Singh Is Kinng.

PERSONALLY I was hoping this comedy would be far superior to the films listed in the synopsis, which though vaguely amusing, were pretty far-fetched.

The verdict...it was not as bad as Chandni Chowk To China, but then I believe nothing on this planet is. This film is fundamentally pointless, stupid, not funny, is diabolically insulting to women [and I'm no feminist], is shallow, and my life is worth so much more than wasting it on this farce.

The dialogue is the most cringe-worthy ever, the storyline is desultory, Sonam Kapoor has proved beyond doubt that she cannot act, the rest of the cast have proved they will do anything for cold hard cash, and no matter what their pedigree, a lousy film cannot be saved by good actors.

Anees Bazmee should leave the film industry with immediate effect and possibly go join a silent ashram...he wouldn't know funny or class if it bit his backside.

CAST: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Irfan Khan, Suniel Shetty, Celina Jaitly, Rimi Sen
DIRECTOR: Anees Bazmee
RUNTIME: 139 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 08 April 2011

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THE ROOMMATE

The Roommate Trailer2000 Colleges.
8 Million Roommates.
Which one will you get?

A psychological thriller about a deranged college freshman (Leighton Meester) who becomes obsessed with her new roommate (Minka Kelly).

Hmmm...tried watching it...I fell asleep from boredom ...but I'll give it another go and report back... probably!

CAST: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Danneel Harris
DIRECTOR: Christian E. Christiansen
RUNTIME: 92 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 04/02/11 UK 08 April 2011 Italy 29/04/11

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RED RIDING HOOD

Red Riding Hood TrailerIN Red Riding Hood, Valerie, a beautiful young woman is torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter, but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry. Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village.

For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon’s arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them.


As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast—one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect…and bait.

I love a good horror movie...still haven't seen a good one in such a long time.

Julie Christie, Gary Oldman - with actors like that it had to be worth a go. And I had a sneaking suspicion that Max Irons may be related to the brilliant Jeremy...he is the son...and is just as brilliant. He does mean, moody and intense just like daddy darling [and of course his mother is Sinéad Cusack so he was bound to have inherited the acting gene]. But that is where the excellence ended...with a select few names on the cast list.

This was boring, trivial, un-scary by any stretch of the imagination, and completely unengaging. I didn't care who the werewolf was, I didn't care about any of it at all. There was no mystery, no suspense, no romance; it was vacuous and gauche.

I can't even see the fans of the tiresome Twilight liking this waste of time. Seriously...don't bother.

CAST: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen
DIRECTOR: Catherine Hardwicke
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA/Canada
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE:  USA 11/03/11 Australia 07/04/11 UK 15 April 2011 France 20/04/11 Argentina 21/04/11 Italy 22/04/11 Japan 10/06/11

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WINNIE THE POOH

Winnie The Pooh TrailerWALT Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh, the first big-screen Pooh adventure from Disney animation in more than 35 years. With the charm, wit and whimsy of the original Winnie the Pooh featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical "bear of very little brain" and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, Roo—and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. "Well a tail is either there or it isn't there," said Winnie the Pooh. "And yours isn't… there." Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for Pooh bear who simply set out to find some hunny.

Winnie The Pooh - a new one I haven’t seen 50 times over every Easter and/or Christmas! I can’t wait...think it doesn’t really matter how old you are, Pooh Bear has to be a favourite. And from the trailer, it all still looks and sounds exactly as it should...yay!

CAST: John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson, Travis Oates, Bud Luckey, Jack Boulter
DIRECTOR: Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall
RUNTIME: 73 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: France 13/04/11 UK 15 April 2011 Argentina 28/04/11 Australia New Zealand 14/07/11 Japan 03/09/11

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DUM MAARO DUM

Dum Maaro Dum TrailerGOA. Paradise on Earth. But every Paradise has a few snakes. Multiple lives collide brutally one day at Goa Airport... and change forever.

We hurtle into the bylanes, beach shacks and raves of Goa with Lorry as his life spirals out of control, with Joki as he tries to redeem the past and with Kamath as he goes no-holds-barred after the mysterious shadow figure behind it all...

OH the official synopsis was just so long I've taken out all the character explanations - if you have to spell out who's who then what's the point of the film?!

So, have seen it, have not wasted 2 hours of my life unlike other recent Bollywood offerings, but it is not a patch on the excellence of Game also starring Abhishek Bachchan.

Bachchan absolutely steals to limelight from the ensemble cast, and Basu is stunning and convincing in her role. The soundtrack works well, and the film is cleverly shot and edited. And here comes the but...the story really is a bit like a pretty crocheted shawl...it has these huge gaping holes that just don't hold water.

Another missed opportunity in what could have been a huge step in Hindi cinema widening its portfolio by producing a clever, witty Hollywood-style drug-and-gun-fuelled thriller set in the ultimate location - Goa.

It's still worth a viewing at the cinema, but you may feel a little short-changed by the end.

CAST: Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Prateik Babbar, Rana Daggubati, Aditya Pancholi
DIRECTOR: Rohan Sippy
RUNTIME: 120 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: World 22 April 2011

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THOR

Thor TrailerTHE epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical realm of Asgard. At the centre of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As a result, Thor is banished to Earth where he is forced to live among humans. When the most dangerous villain of his world sends its darkest forces to invade Earth, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero.

THIS did not go down so well with the critics, though I'm really a bit confused as to why. I quite enjoyed it. OK so it wasn't Superman or Batman, but there is only so much one can squeeze into a couple of hours, and has perfectly set up the opportunity for a sequel which is already slated for a 2012 release. I, for one, shall see that one too. And frankly, if one compares this to drivel like Green Hornet, it was a masterpiece. A throughly decent yarn.

CAST: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Josh Dallas, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Clark Gregg, Colm Feore
DIRECTOR: Kenneth Brannagh
RUNTIME: 114 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France 27 April 2011 Argentina 28/04/11 Italy 29/04/11 USA 06/05/11 Australia 19/05/11 Japan 01/07/11 09/09/11

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INSIDIOUS

Insidious TrailerWHEN proud parents take possession of an old house, an accident results in one of their sons falling into a coma. The tragedy doesn't stop there when they are beset by vengeful spirits from another realm in this new chiller by the director and writer of Saw and by the producers of Paranormal Activity.

I don't appreciate slasher movies and the like; with the exception of Arachnaphobia [rated PG!] I have never been scared of horror movies...ever; I found The Exorcist to be one of the best horror flicks ever made but at 13 had no urge to go commit suicide just in case; I did think Paranormal Activity was clever.

But Insidious is a whole different ball game! If you are of a nervous disposition, I would suggest giving this a seriously wide berth. But if you enjoy being scared witless, book tickets to see this late one night soon, and be prepared for your heart to try and escape through your chest wall, to have adrenaline coursing through your veins so hard you won't sleep for hours, and overall to be thoroughly entertained in the most terrifying fashion possible.

In an ode to Poltergeist, this is clever, witty, unnerving, spine-chilling and brilliantly visualised for maximum horror impact. An absolute must see film...if it's up your street.

CAST: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Ty Simpkins
DIRECTOR: James Wan
RUNTIME: 103 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 01/04/11 UK 29 April 2011 Australia 12/05/11 France 15/06/11 New Zealand 21/07/11top

 


 March 2011
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

The Adjustment Bureau TrailerDO we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realises he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he’s ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York.

On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris  meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas—a woman like none he’s ever known.  But just as he realises he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. 


David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself—the men of The Adjustment Bureau—who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path…or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.

CONSIDERING the provenance of the film - screenplay and directed by George Nolfi (writer of Ocean’s Twelve, co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum), and based on a short story by Philip K. Dick of Total Recall, Minority Report and Blade Runner fame - this should've be one of the best movies of the year.

It is entertaining; Damon and Blunt are utterly convincing in their passion for each other; the other characters all play their parts well. It's nicely brought together and keeps you engaged.

I know you can hear the 'but' already...the story was just a bit shallow. It all starts very well, but maybe it's the end that let it down...it was a bit lame. But overall it was enjoyable so it's not bad, just not as good as it could have been. I would watch it again.

CAST: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp
DIRECTOR: George Nolfi
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 04 March 2011 France 23/03/11 Italy 27/05/11top

 


FAIR GAME

Fair Game TrailerA suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power, Fair Game is a riveting action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose career was destroyed and marriage strained to its limits when her covert identity was exposed.

As a covert officer in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie leads an investigation into the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Valerie’s husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, is drawn into the investigation to substantiate an alleged sale of enriched uranium from Niger. But when the administration ignores his findings and uses the issue to support the call to war, Joe writes a New York Times editorial outlining his conclusions and ignites a firestorm of controversy. 

SO this film is from the director of the Bourne Trilogy. Oh my...March movies in the UK are coming together rather nicely...the dilemma is which to see first!

If you're in the mood for sharp, clever and entirely engaging film, then see this first. It is rare that you settle down to watch a film and become so enthralled that when the closing titles appear, you really have no idea where the last almost two hours have gone. Fair Game is completely riveting and will have you hooked from the start with both the intrigue of covert ops and the simplicity of family life that is almost ripped apart thanks to an over-zealous job's worth who couldn't possibly be made to look stupid so blows the cover of a senior covert ops operative. And knowing what we know now [and no doubt all suspected in 2003 about WMDs], it makes the point most poignantly.

An excellent cast pulls off a far more than adequate political thriller; Sean Penn as always is perfect, and British-Aussie Watts is yet another foreigner done good in LaLaLand - she's come a very long way since the hapless damsel in distress in King Kong. If this is a genre you have a penchant for, do see this at your earliest convenience.

CAST: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn
DIRECTOR: Doug Liman
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Italy 22/10/10 France 03/11/10 USA 05/11/10 Australia 25/11/10 04/02/11 New Zealand 10/02/11 UK 04 March 2011top

 


IRONCLAD

Ironclad TrailerTHE Middle Ages, and the siege of Rochester Castle - can a small group of warriors hold out against the wrath of the villainous King John?

The year is 1215, and a group of rebel barons have recently forced the cruel and despicable King John of England to sign the Magna Carta, guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of all men. Yet mere months after pledging himself to the historic document, the king has gone back on his word and assembled an army of mercenaries to crush anyone who would oppose him. The only thing standing in his way is Rochester Castle, guarded by a Templar Knight and his ragtag band of soldiers. At stake is the notion of freedom itself, and the idea that men have the right to live without tyranny.

Outnumbered and unprepared, can these few men withstand the rage of a king?

CAST:  James Purefoy, Paul Giamatti, Brian Cox, Jason Flemyng, Kate Mara, Derek Jacobi, Jamie Foreman
DIRECTOR: Jonathan English
RUNTIME: 121 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 04 March 2011top

 


THE TEMPEST

The Tempest TrailerIN her big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's mystical thriller The Tempest, Academy Award®–nominated Julie Taymor (Across the Universe, Frida, Titus) brings an original dynamic to the story by changing the gender of the sorcerer Prospero into the sorceress Prospera, portrayed by Oscar® winner Helen Mirren. Prospera’s journey spirals through vengeance to forgiveness as she reigns over a magical island, cares for her young daughter, Miranda, and unleashes her powers against shipwrecked enemies in this exciting, masterly mix of romance, tragicomedy and the supernatural.

RIGHT then - not entirely convinced one should mess with the Bard's work to such a degree as to change the sex of the central character, and to cast Russell Brand doing Shakespeare?!? But I shall reserve judgement until I’ve seen it...

CAST: Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw, Reeve Carney, Felicity Jones, Tom Conti
DIRECTOR: Julie Taymor
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 10/12/10 Argentina 04/02/11 UK 04 March 2011top

 


THE COMPANY MEN

The Company Men TrailerBOBBY Walker is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward and Gene McClary jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands and fathers.

Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law that does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps -- the realisation that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humour, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells introduces us to the new realities of American life.

A fascinating portrayal of life in today's economic climate. It's likely that everyone can relate at some level. The Company Men is quite clever in that it does not patronise nor is it over-sentimental in that Hollywood vogue. Yes of course it is predictable, but in a gentle undulating fashion that does not offend. The cast is exactly as one would expect from such Hollywood stalwarts, with the exception of Ben Affleck...I have never had time for this alleged thespian thanks to his ability to be flawlessly wooden in most ventures, but something has changed; Ben Affleck is very very good - words I thought I'd never say out loud!

The Company Men has a good handle on reality, is not depressing, and shouldn't make you feel any worse than when you went in, which is really not surprising considering it's the creation of John Wells of ER and The West Wing fame.

CAST: Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Craig T Nelson
DIRECTOR: John Wells
RUNTIME: 104 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/01/11 France 09/02/11 UK 11 March 2011top

 


HALL PASS

Hall Pass TrailerRICK and Fred are best friends who have a lot in common, including the fact that they have each been married for many years. But when the two men begin to show signs of restlessness at home, their wives take a bold approach to revitalizing their individual marriages: granting them a “hall pass,” one week of freedom to do whatever they want…no questions asked.

At first, it sounds like a dream come true for Rick and Fred. But it isn’t long before they discover that their expectations of the single life—and themselves—are completely, and hilariously, out of sync with reality.

CAST: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Richard Jenkins, Christina Applegate, Alexandra Daddario, Stephen Merchant, Nicky Whelan, Larry Joe Campbell, Tyler Hoechlin, Derek Waters, Alyssa Milano, Vanessa Angel, Kristin Carey
DIRECTOR: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 25/02/11 UK 11 March 2011 France 20/03/11top

 


THE RESIDENT

The Resident TrailerEVERY year, several million single women in America move into an apartment. They don’t know who lived in the apartment before them, they don’t know their landlords, and they don’t bother to change the locks.

This is the story of one such woman…


After separating from her adulterous husband, the beautiful Dr. Juliet Devereau moves to Brooklyn, NY and settles into a new life in a stunning loft apartment that seems too good to be true. Soon mysterious occurrences lead her to suspect she is not alone in her home and quickly her fears become all too real.

THE trailer looked fine to me, but for some inexplicable reason we in the UK are the only ones to be getting a full cinema release for this film; the USA is getting a DVD only release a month later, despite much fanfare over the acquisition of the USA rights to the film last year.

And now I've seen it I really don't understand why; it really is not a terrible film, just your average Hollywood horror/psychological thriller. Now it does hail from the house of Hammer, which conjures up no end of great spooky movies and TV series, but don't be fooled, it's not that good despite featuring the inimitable horror don, Sir Christopher Lee. One must factor in that this potentially scary horror flick is directed and co-written by a chap who has never done any more than a music video for performers such as Westlife, Celine Dion and Kelly Rowland.

Really it's a case of there are so few good horror movies around, that this is more than passable, and the acting is fine, but worthy of a Hammer title...I'm not so sure.

CAST: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Christopher Lee
DIRECTOR: Antti J. Jokinen
RUNTIME: 91 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 11 March 2011 USA 29/03/11 [DVD release]top

 


BATTLE: LOS ANGELES

Battle Los Angeles TrailerFOR years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.

I have seen it...but am still trying to figure out what the point was. Independence Day was not so far off from this, but Aaron Eckhart is no Will Smith, and there’s no Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Robert Loggia, Judd Hirsch...need I go on? I’m sure the video game will be fun though...

CAST: Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Cory Hardrict, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, James Hiroyuki Liao, Bridget Moynahan
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Liebesman
RUNTIME: 116 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 10/03/11 UK USA 11 March 2010 France 16/03/11 Australia  17/03/11 Italy 22/03/11

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YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger TrailerWRITTEN and directed by Woody Allen. A little romance, some sex, some treachery, and apart from that, a few laughs. The lives of a group of people, whose passions, ambitions and anxieties force them all into assorted troubles that run the gamut from ludicrous to dangerous.

I would quite like to post the entire official synopsis here as I do with all other movies...but its a thousand words long and probably gives away the whole story so I’m choosing not to. Also, I’m no fan of Woody Allen, but such a great cast, can it really not be good?

Yes it can - an ensemble cast of thespians of such pedigree - and the most pedestrian sad excuse for a story that Allen could have produced. It was like watching an underwhelming soap opera that has lost it's spark. It lacks verve, excitement, hilarity, direction and as for the constant narrative throughout, does Allen really believe we are so incapable of using our imagination that we could not figure out what he was trying to say?

98 minutes of drivel...spend it wisely watching something else.

CAST: Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Freida Pinto, Lucy Punch, Naomi Watts, Pauline Collins
DIRECTOR: Woody Allen
RUNTIME: 98 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/09/10 France 06/10/10 Italy 03/12/10 Argentina 27/01/11 UK 18 March 2011top

 


LIMITLESS

Limitless TrailerBRADLEY Cooper and Robert De Niro star in Limitless, a paranoia-fuelled action thriller about an unsuccessful writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret “smart drug” that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this darkly comic and provocative film.

NOT so sure about the 'comic' reference, but blackness withstanding, what a thoroughly entertaining film this is. It's a little predictable, a little unnerving, quite intriguing, with excellent performances all round. Limitless is one of the must-see movies of the moment...what would you trade...

CAST: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel and Robert De Niro
DIRECTOR: Neil Burger
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 18 March 2011top

 


FASTER

Faster TrailerA stint in prison usually has one of two effects on a man – it either breaks him down or makes him stronger. For Driver, a 15-year sentence proved the latter. His strength was not just fuelled by time, but also by a hunger to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his own imprisonment. Untouchable on the ‘inside,’ he made plenty of enemies in prison - men who were counting the days until his release so they could exact their own revenge on the outside. Now, on the day of his release, he is hell-bent on reaping vengeance upon the four men responsible for his brother’s murder. With a list of names and addresses in hand, he sprints out of the prison gates and is immediately on his mission. 

No regard for witnesses. No finesse to the acts. One down. Check. Within hours of Driver eliminating the first name on the list, two men are on his trail – Cop, a veteran police officer just days from retirement, and Killer, a young egocentric hitman with a flair for the art of killing. The hunter is now also the hunted...

I would ignore what the critics are saying...I so enjoyed his action movie. It was very Tarantino-esque with plenty of bloodshed with cool handguns, car chases in cool cars, numerous mood-moments, and overall, highly entertaining. Billy Bob Thornton so works as the cop, The Rock is exactly what one would expect and engaging to watch, and Betty Jackson’s boy, Oliver Jackson-Cohen...he has potential, and though still not quite the polished article, he was more than adequate in this revenge-fuelled killing-fest. If that’s your genre of entertainment like it is mine, get to that cinema pronto!

CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Moon Bloodgood, Maggie Grace, Carla Gugino
DIRECTOR: George Tillman Jr.
RUNTIME: 98 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 04/11/10 USA 24/11/10 Australia 27/01/11 France 02/03/11 UK 25 March 2010 Italy 08/04/11

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THE LINCOLN LAWYER

The Lincoln Lawyer.jpgIN the gripping thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, Matthew McConaughey stars as Michael “Mick” Haller, a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental sedan. Having spent most of his career defending petty, gutter-variety criminals, Mick unexpectedly lands the case of a lifetime: defending a rich Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillippe) who is accused of attempted murder. However, what initially appears to be a straightforward case with a big money pay-off swiftly develops into a deadly match between two masters of manipulation and a crisis of conscience for Haller.

INTERESTING, entertaining, but unfortunately forgettable. I saw this more than a month before writing the review, and I actually don't remember the story. Think it will have to go down on the 'timepass' list...

CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, Laurence Mason, Frances Fisher, John Leguizamo
DIRECTOR: Brad Furman
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 25 March 2010 Australia New Zealand 31/03/11 France 04/05/11

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THE EAGLE

The Eagle TrailerTHE EAGLE is a gripping story of courage, honour and friendship in the dangerous world of Roman Britain...

Newly arrived in Britannia on his first command, young Centurion Marcus Aquila heroically defends his fort against a massive Celtic attack but is so badly wounded that he is discharged from the army. Angry and bitter that his army career is over, Marcus chooses to risk his life on a seemingly impossible journey into the unconquered north to find the Eagle of the Ninth, the legendary golden standard lost fifteen years earlier when his father marched the Ninth Legion into the wilds of Scotland and never came back. As a companion, he takes his slave Esca, a Celt whose life he saved in a gladiatorial contest but who hates all things Roman. Their journey together into the wild north forges the beginnings of a precarious relationship between them. But when they are captured by the Seal People, the most feared of all the Celtic tribes and the guardians of the lost Eagle, Esca claims that he is the master and Marcus his Roman slave – and Marcus has no choice but to entrust himself into the Celt’s hands. Just as Marcus fears Esca’s loyalty is lost and he is to remain a slave for life, the Celt proves true to his friend. Together they manage to retrieve the Eagle from an island temple and, keeping one step ahead of their pursuers in a thrilling chase to the safety of the border, they take a stand in a final, unexpected battle that reveals the secret of the Ninth. 

IT took a while but I got there in the end. So first the good bits...

Scotland looks the most beautiful, magnificent and breathtaking that I have ever seen it portrayed. The cinematography could not have been any better. That is one very good reason to see this film on the big screen.

Unfortunately, that is probably the only reason to see it on the big screen. Yes there are swash-buckling sword fights, and lots of hard men fronting up to each other looking menacing, and it is a bit of boys movie - but I like films like that. This...bored me.

It lacked depth, substance, good dialogue, and a convincing lead actor; Channing Tatum was about as exciting as a plank of wood. Jamie Bell was quite good, but actors the calbre of Donald Sutherland and Mark Strong were entirely wasted. And I never quite got my head round Romans speaking with American accents when all the other elements were so accurate.

A mediocre film at best.

CAST: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Donald Sutherland
DIRECTOR: Brad Furman
RUNTIME: 114 mins
COUNTRY: USA/UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 11/03/11 UK 25 March 2010

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THE FIGHTER

The FighterDICKY Ecklund is a former boxing hero that squandered his talents and threw away his shot at greatness.

Micky Ward, his half brother, is the struggling journeyman boxer who spent his life living in his big brother's shadow.

The Fighter is inspired by the true story of two brothers who, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that will unite their fractured family, redeem their pasts and, at last, give their hard-luck town what it's been waiting for: pride.

Now Micky has the chance of a lifetime as he earns a shot at the World Championship. But when his brother and dysfunctional family re-enter his life, they must all reconcile their pasts and become more than just a family in name.

THIS is a typical American awards movie...but one of the good ones. The story is true, but if you don't know it you can still pretty much figure it out quite quickly. It's very well made with no overly sentimental nonsense; this is a hard family and that's how they live their lives.

The two lead actors need no introduction or explanation; the four main characters - the brothers, the mother and the girlfriend are all excellent but in my opinion, Christian Bale steals the show. You really cannot fault anything about the feature, unless like me you're not a boxing fan, so I did look away during the bouts, but actually, that's not a fault but a preference.

It's a film about a boxing family - yes the sport is important, but more so is the emphasis on the family dynamic. The film is superbly brought to us by David O. Russell of Three Kings fame - another thought-provoking piece of art so definitely a director to watch. The film deserved all the nominations for the Globes and Oscars® too, and landed two apiece.

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
DIRECTOR: David O. Russell
RUNTIME: 115 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 17/12/10 Australia 27/01/11 UK 04 February 2011

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Melissa LeoGolden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale

Academy Awards Nomination 2010

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale Academy Awards Nomination 2010

Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo

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SANCTUM

Sanctum TrailerTHE 3D action-thriller Sanctum, from James Cameron, follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea.

Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific’s Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s team—including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley—are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

METHINKS James Cameron has lost the plot. I tried to watch this film but oh my god it was so boring and tedious and laborious...need I go on? I actually know not a single person who has seen this film, have found no one who has anything good to say about it, and could not concentrate long enough to find out for myself.

There are just some films that aren't worth the effort...

CAST: Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie
DIRECTOR: Alister Grierson
RUNTIME:109 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION:15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 04/11/10 Australia 03/02/11 UK USA 04 February 2011 France 23/02/11top



BRIGHTON ROCK

Brighton Rock  TrailerADAPTED from Graham Greene's iconic 1939 novel, Brighton Rock charts the headlong fall of Pinkie, a razor-wielding disadvantaged teenager hell bent on clawing his way up through the ranks of organized crime. At the heart of the story is the anti-hero Pinkie's relationship with Rose - an apparently innocent young waitress who stumbles on evidence linking Pinkie and his gang to a revenge killing that Pinkie commits. After the murder, Pinkie seduces Rose, first in an effort to find out how much she knows and latterly to ensure she will not talk to the police. A love story between a murderer and a witness; can Pinkie trust Rose or should he kill her before she talks to the police? Can Rose trust Pinkie or is she next in line?

THE original Brighton Rock of 1947 is a cult masterpiece starring a young actor in his breakthrough silver screen role as the psychopathic gangster, Pinky Brown; the young man in question went on to become the legendary Lord Richard Attenborough. Sam Riley has huge boots to fill...

CAST: Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough
DIRECTOR: Rowan Joffe
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 04 February 2011top

 


RABBIT HOLE

Rabbit Hole TrailerRABBIT HOLE is a vivid, hopeful, honest and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what remains possible in the most impossible of all situations. 

Becca and Howie Corbett are returning to their everyday existence in the wake of a shocking, sudden loss. Just eight months ago, they were a happy suburban family with everything they wanted. Now, they are caught in a maze of memory, longing, guilt, recrimination, sarcasm and tightly controlled rage from which they cannot escape. While Becca finds pain in the familiar, Howie finds comfort. 


The shifts come in abrupt, unforeseen moments. Becca hesitantly opens up to her opinionated, loving mother and secretly reaches out to the teenager involved in the accident that changed everything; while Howie lashes out and imagines solace with another woman. Yet, as off track as they are, the couple keeps trying to find their way back to a life that still holds the potential for beauty, laughter and happiness. The resulting journey is an intimate glimpse into two people learning to re-engage with each other and a world that has been tilted off its axis. 

A touching sensitive movie that deals with every parent’s worst nightmare in an authentic manner. All the actors are perfectly cast, and bring out the best in this simple but tragic story. Definitely a film worth seeing but you need to be in the mood for a moving and quiet film.

CAST: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Tenney, Patricia Kalember, Julie Lauren, Sandra Oh
DIRECTOR: John Cameron Mitchell
RUNTIME:  90 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 17/12/10 UK 04 February 2011 Australia 17/02/11 France 13/04/11top

 


NEVER LET ME GO

Never Let Me Go  TrailerIN his highly acclaimed novel Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro created a remarkable story of love, loss and hidden truths. In it he posed the fundamental question: What makes us human? Now director Mark Romanek, writer Alex Garland and DNA Films bring Ishiguro's hauntingly poignant and emotional story to the screen.

Kathy, Tommy and Ruth live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.

I had no expectations other than being a huge fan of BAFTA winner and Academy Award® nominee, Carey Mulligan, who played the lead in the superb An Education in 2009. I haven't quite decided if she's England's next Emma Thompson or Kate Winslet but she's definitely on the right track.

Anyway, back to the masterpiece. I haven't read the book by Kazuo Ishiguro, Booker Prize-winning author of Remains Of The Day, so have not a clue as to how closely it follows the original narrative, but quite frankly, I could not care less. This film blew me away.

Every element had such particular attention to detail, and was obviously painstakingly designed and perfectly brought together; the screenplay, the locations, the ambience, the acting, the score, everything...faultless. The only thing that was not obvious was the film itself; science fiction is an interesting genre to fit it in, but I do suppose that's exactly what it is.

Oh look, I really could wax lyrical about this for a very long while, but I shall save you from lethargy...do go and see this work of art; no doubt you'll leave with as many questions as you started with just by reading the synopsis, but it's well worth the time and effort. My only suggestion would be if you can avoid it, don't even watch the trailer. Just make sure you're not in the mood for an action-packed blockbuster!

But one thing - no award nominations...bonkers!

CAST: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley
DIRECTOR: Mark Romanek
RUNTIME: 103 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 15/09/10 Australia 20/01/11 UK 11 February 2011 Italy 25/02/11 France 02/03/11top

 


TRUE GRIT

True Grit TrailerFOURTEEN-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him - over his objections - to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.

I don't even like westerns, but this cannot be faulted...I really enjoyed this offering from the Coen Brothers, and also think it's their best yet. For once it's not slightly whacky, balancing on that knife-edge between genius and madness as was Fargo.

Hailee Steinfield who plays Mattie is brilliant and so deserves her numerous Best Supporting Actress nominations, and of course Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are perfectly on target as per usual. There's really not much to say apart from go and see it!

CAST: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper
DIRECTOR: Joel & Ethan Coen
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/12/10 Australia 20/01/11 UK 11 February 2011 Italy 18/02/11 France 23/02/11

BAFTA 2011 NominationsCinematography

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PATIALA HOUSE

Patiala House TrailerAT Patiala House lives the Kahlon family ruled by Bauji.

They follow his diktats as he tries to hold onto his “Indian values” in the land of the “goras”.

The younger generation at the Patiala House wants to assert themselves and follow their dreams but are held back by their respect and love for Bauji and the shining example of Bauji’s eldest son, Parghat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu. Gattu gave up his dream at the altar of Bauji’s biases.

His reward: For the last 17 years he has been working in a corner store. 

Will Bauji loosen his hold and let the youngsters find their own dreams instead of following his?

Will Gattu get a second chance to live his life?

What’s more important: family or dreams?

And why must we choose one or the other?

A Hindi movie set in London about cricket, about a Punjabi family, starring the inimitable Akshay Kumar, the very talented Anushka Sharma, and the legendary coupling of Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia...a recipe for success...I was so excited!

And I'm glad to say I was not disappointed. No one actor stole the show here; every character was excellently cast, every element of the film was beautifully brought together, the soundtrack was spot on once picturised, modern day London looked great, 1970s Southall was recreated to perfection, and overall director Nikhil Advani did a damn good job...which could have gone either way since he is responsible for one of my all time favourite movies, Kal Ho Na Ho, and also one of the worst films in recent Bollywood history, Chandni Chowk To China.

The trailer is slightly misleading...this is not another comedy vehicle for Akshay Kumar, though simply 'funny' is not enough to sum up the comedic lines; I was crying with laughter at some of the dialogue it was so good. This film is an emotional rollercoaster which moves from the 70s to present day, has a stellar cast whether in a lead or support role, and touches on deep-rooted subjects such as racism, patriotism and loyalty. It has great cameos from Nasir Hussain, Graham Gooch and David Gower to name but a few for cricket fans, and I'm glad to say Hindi cinema is currently busy churning out some rather good films amongst the average dross.

This is a must see movie so get down to your nearest multiplex...it definitely is cricket!

CAST: Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia , Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma
DIRECTOR: Nikhil Advani
RUNTIME: 146 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 11 February 2011top

 


PAUL

Paul TrailerSIMON Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever.

For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. For reasons unknown, the space-travelling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town—a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy and Clive Collings. 


Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes.

SHAWN of the Dead was hilarious...Hot Fuzz side-splittingly brilliant...Run Fat Boy Run...not so good. Was hoping this is as stupidly funny as the first two!

Well, I laughed out loud on a few occasions, giggled repeatedly at the juvenile humour, and generally enjoyed it quite a lot. It isn't as ridiculously funny as Hot Fuzz, but that had me in tears with laughter which doesn't happen very often at all. However, it is silly, childish, slapstick humour, which may lose it's way a tad, and meanders a little aimlessly intermittently, but overall is a jolly good British yarn, akin to ET on magic mushrooms with tourettes. Go...see it...have a giggle!

CAST: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig
DIRECTOR:Greg Mottola
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 18 February 2011 France 02/03/11 USA 18/03/11top

 


INSIDE JOB

Inside Job TrailerFROM Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes Inside Job, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia. 

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, Inside Job was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China. 

NARRATOR: Matt Damon
DIRECTOR:Charles Ferguson
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 17/11/10 USA 14/01/11 UK 18 February 2011

Academy Awards Nomination 2010Documentary [Feature]top

 


NO STRINGS ATTACHED

No Strings Attached TrailerIN this comedy, Emma  and Adam are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex one morning. In order to protect their friendship, they make a pact to keep their relationship strictly “no strings attached.” "No strings" means no jealousy, no expectations, no fighting, no flowers, no baby voices. It means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever public place they want, as long as they don't fall in love. The questions become – Can you have sex without love getting in the way? And can their friendship survive?

I have only seen Ashton Kutcher in one film ever - Killers - I think it may have been one of the worst films ever; he was irrelevant, vacuous and not even good looking. I cannot begin to imagine why actors the calibre of Natalie Portman and Kevin Kline would do this...I was hoping that it is an amazing film with an incredible script and Kutcher has learned to act.

It was not as bad as Killers, but I'm not entirely convinced anything really could be. Ashton Kutcher was vacuous and unattractive and still can't act but is somewhat improved. Natalie Portman, Kevin Kline and the supporting cast were all fine. It was the storyline that lacked any purpose. It's another chick flick -with intermittent smatterings of unsexy sex scenes- and not a terribly engaging one at that. But there has been worse, and there has been better... the target audience was 17 to 24 and I'm sure that teenagers will find it entertaining. I shall waste no more time on it and resign myself to the fact that I have lost another 108 minutes of my life to another pointless film. Oh well...

CAST: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Olivia Thirlby, Mindy Kaling, Chris Bridges, Cary Elwes
DIRECTOR:Ivan Reitman
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/01/11 France 16/02/11 UK 25 February 2011 Italy 15/03/11 top

 


DRIVE ANGRY

Drive Angry TrailerIN the newest 3D action-adventure Drive Angry stars Nicolas Cage as Milton, a hardened felon who has broken out of hell for one last chance at redemption. Intent on stopping a vicious cult who murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them before they sacrifice her baby beneath a full moon. 

He's joined by Piper – a young, sexy waitress who liberates her ex-boyfriend's cherry-red muscle car in order to help Milton. Now, the two of them are hot on the trail of the deadly leader of the cult, Jonah King, who believes it is his destiny to use the baby to unleash hell on earth. 


But the bloodthirsty cult is the least of Milton's problems. The police are after him too. And worse, an enigmatic killer known only as "The Accountant" – who has been sent by the Devil to retrieve Milton and deliver him back to hell. With wicked cunning and hypnotic savagery, the Accountant will relentlessly pursue Milton at high speed across the country until his mission is accomplished. 

Fuelled by high octane and pure rage, Milton must use his anger to go beyond all human limits to avenge his daughter’s murder, before his last chance at redemption is revoked.

"GRINDHOUSE" films from the 70s are traditionally hugely violent, slightly bizarre with gratuitous sex thrown in for good measure, and is a genre that has all but disappeared in the 21st century. This could be viewed as an homage to such films, and if you approach it as such, you might just enjoy this quite peculiar caper.

It is very Tarantino-esque in it's style but without the wit and not so slick. It's not quite as bad as Nicholas Cage's more recent offerings, and the entire film is hijacked by the sheer brilliance of William Fichtner, but overall I'd label it a 'time-pass' movie. So if you have nothing better to do and would like to disengage your brain for a while, then give it a go.

CAST: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke
DIRECTOR: Patrick Lussier
RUNTIME: 104 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 25 February 2011 France 23/03/11 top

 


WEST IS WEST

West Is West TrailerMANCHESTER, North of England, 1975. The now much diminished, but still claustrophobic and dysfunctional, Khan family continues to struggle for survival. Sajid, the youngest Khan, the runt of the litter, is deep in pubescent crisis under heavy assault both from his father's tyrannical insistence on Pakistani tradition, and from the fierce bullies in the schoolyard. So, in a last, desperate attempt to ‘sort him out’, his father decides to pack him off to Mrs Khan No 1 and family in the Punjab, the wife and daughters he had abandoned 35 years earlier. It is not long before Ella Khan (Mrs Khan No 2), with a small entourage from Salford, England, swiftly follows to sort out the mess, past and present.

EAST Is East was ground-breaking entertaining award-winning cinema, the trailer for West Is West does not capture the same essence and hilarity.  And I am very pleased to report it’s not a shallow commercially-driven sequel that lacks any depth or comedy!

There a lovely moments of hilarity, and I do think you will have a greater appreciation of the premise if you have more than a passing acquaintance with the subcontinent which make the witticism all the more poignant, and the bad language from the dad gut-wrenchingly funny.

But there is a serious side to this which more profound than East Is East. Definitely worth a watch, maybe more than once.

CAST: Om Puri, Jimi Mistry, Lesley Nichol, Emil Marwa, Aquib Khan
DIRECTOR: Andy De Emmony
RUNTIME: 103 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 25 February 2011top

 


THE RITE

The Rite TrailerTHE RITE is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the Devil’s reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth.

Inspired by true events, the film follows seminary student Michael Kovak, who is sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts about the controversial practice and even his own faith.  Wearing his deep scepticism like armour, Michael challenges his superiors to  look to psychiatry, rather than demons, in treating the possessed.

Only when he’s sent to apprentice with the unorthodox Father Lucas—a legendary priest who has performed thousands of exorcisms—does Michael’s armour begin to fall.  As he is drawn into a troubling case that seems to transcend even Father Lucas’s skill, he begins to glimpse a phenomenon science can’t explain or control…and an evil so violent and terrifying that it forces him to question everything he believes.

NO ONE does evil as well as Anthony Hopkins, and yet again he was quite formidable as Father Lucas. But unfortunately he was the only element of this laborious film that was worth watching. The rest...well...a feather-weight script, not the most enthralling dialogue, no spinning heads or pea soup, and just a long, dreary, mediocre horror yarn that lacks any intensity or depth. It was best summed up by an Australian movie critic: "an exorcism movie in which all the scary bits have been exorcised."

CAST: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds, Rutger Hauer
DIRECTOR: Mikael Håfström
RUNTIME: 113 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 28/01/11 UK 25 February 2011 France 09/03/11top

 


THE NEXT THREE DAYS

The Next Three Days TrailerLIFE seems perfect for John Brennan until his wife, Lara, is arrested for a murder she says she didn't commit. Three years into her sentence, John is struggling to hold his family together, raising their son and teaching at college while he pursues every means available to prove her innocence. With the rejection of their final appeal, Lara becomes suicidal and John decides there is only one possible, bearable solution: to break his wife out of prison. Refusing to be deterred by impossible odds or his own inexperience, John devises an elaborate escape plot and plunges into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, ultimately risking everything for the woman he loves.

DESPITE Robin Hood, I’m still a big fan of Russell Crowe, so decided this was a must see movie, although in NY I was advised not to bother. But I’m not quite sure if I’m now happy having done so...this was a strange film that though it does ultimate draw you in completely, it starts with a very confused premise that is a little scattered and highly unbelievable.

Once you get over the fact that this movie won't be suspending disbelief any time soon, you can then look upon it in a fantastical sense and enjoy the crazed ride.

CAST: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy, RZA, Moran Atias, Lennie James, Allan Steele, Ty Simpkins
DIRECTOR: Paul Haggis
RUNTIME: 122 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 19/11/10 France 08/12/10 UK 05 January 2011 Australia 26/01/11top



THE KING'S SPEECH

The King's Speech TrailerAFTER the death of his father King George V and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England.

With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue. After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill, the King will overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.

Based on the true story of King George VI, The King's Speech follows the Royal Monarch's quest to find his voice.

IF there is nothing else you see this month [or next..or the one after], make sure you see The King's Speech. It's enchanting, engaging, emotional, sublimely acted, humorous, expertly visualised and beautifully filmed. It will move you in every fashion; you will laugh, you may shed a tear, you'll feel contempt for those who deserve it, and admiration for others...you will feel the essence of what Tom Hooper wanted you to experience.

Colin Firth has produced his best work yet, Helena Bonham Carter has personified the Queen Mother, Geoffrey Rush could not have been improved upon, and the supporting cast...simply perfection. There is not a single element of this multi award-winning masterpiece that I could possible fault.

Enough already! Just go and see it!

CAST: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Andrews
DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: UK/Australia
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 10/12/10 Australia New Zealand 26/12/10 UK 07 January 2011 Italy 28/01/11 France 02/02/11

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Colin Firth

BAFTA 2011 Nominations

Best FilmBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Outstanding British FilmBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Original ScreenplayBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Leading Actor: Colin FirthBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Supporting Actor: Geoffrey RushBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham CarterBAFTA 2011 Nominations

Original Music

Academy Awards Nomination 2010

Actor in a Leading Role: Colin FirthAcademy Awards Nomination 2010

Directing: Tom Hooper Academy Awards Nomination 2010

Best Picture Academy Awards Nomination 2010

Original Screenplay: David Seidlertop

 


NO ONE KILLED JESSICA

No One Killed Jessica TrailerNEW DELHI, 1999. The guns at Kargil are still blazing when another one goes off, this time in the nation’s capital. Jessica, a young attractive model trying her hand at bartending, is shot dead at a celebrity party. Her crime - refusing to serve a drink after closing hours! The culprit Manish, son of a prominent politician, inebriated by a deadly cocktail of alcohol and a sense of entitlement, pulls the trigger in a fit of rage. With 300 of Delhi’s swish set present at the party, many of whom are witnesses to the murder, Manish looks all set to go to the gallows. Except, that it doesn’t quite turn out that way! Now two women, Jessica’s sister, Sabrina and the feisty TV reporter, Meera will have to drum up every resource at their disposal to outwit Manish at his own game, if the truth is to have any chance of prevailing over money and political clout.

BASED on the true story of the murder of Jessica Lall on 29th April, 1999, if the real Sabrina Lall is happy with the authenticity of the film -considering it was about her- then any critic who says otherwise is either delusional or an egomaniac.

It's not packed with Bollywood glitterati, just Vidya Balan playing an absolute blinder as Sabrina, proving yet again what a superlative actress she is, and Rani Mukherjee in probably one of her most diverse roles as the gobby, hard-nosed TV news journalist, and an entirely believable supporting cast [with the exception of the killer's mother who was useless].

It's a pretty straightforward story, and it makes no odds whether you know it or not. This film is well scripted, shot, scored and edited to give a realistic portrayal of India's corrupt and feeble justice system, and illustrates Delhi and its inhabitants to perfection, from the cut-throat news media business to the unscrupulous police department and beyond. Of course there is a little artistic licence as there is with every retelling of a true story, and just a hint of melodrama has to be added to spice up the film for the sub continental audience, but in no way has this detracted from the excellence of the movie. No One Killed Jessica is simply a must see.

CAST: Rani Mukherjee, Vidya Balan
DIRECTOR: Raj Kumar Gupta
RUNTIME: 166 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 07 January 2011 top

 


SEASON OF THE WITCH

Season Of The Witch TrailerOSCAR® winner Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his closest friend who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Plague. The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.

DEARY me - methinks it is time either Nicolas Cage finds a new agent and gets rid of the 'yes men' around him, or he should start to read scripts more carefully before agreeing to make just any movie. And this 95 minutes of nothingness from the director of the supremely exciting Gone In 60 Seconds...did Dominic Sena have a serious knock to the head to dim is capabilities?

The story, the dialogue, the pace, the cinematography, pretty much everything in this sad is excuse for mediæval action adventure is nothing short of dismally disappointing. The CGI at the end isn't bad though...if you make it that far!

CAST: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Robert Sheehan, Claire Foy, Ulrich Thomsen, Stephen Graham, Christopher Lee
DIRECTOR: Dominic Sena
RUNTIME: 95 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 07 January 2011 France 12/01/11 Australia New Zealand 24/02/11top

 


CONVICTION

Conviction TrailerCONVICTION is the inspirational true story of a sister's unwavering devotion to her brother. When Betty Anne Waters' (two-time Academy® Award winner Hilary Swank) older brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty Anne, a Massachusetts wife and mother of two, dedicates her life to overturning the murder conviction. Convinced that her brother is innocent, Betty Anne puts herself through high school, college and, finally, law school in an 18 year quest to free Kenny. With the help of best friend Abra Rice (Academy® Award nominee Minnie Driver), Betty Anne pours through suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop Nancy Taylor (Academy® Award nominee Melissa Leo), meticulously retracing the steps that led to Kenny's arrest. Belief in her brother - and her quest for the truth - pushes Betty Anne and her team to uncover the facts and utilise DNA evidence with the hope of exonerating Kenny. 

AWARD nominations are sometimes completely beyond my comprehension... how Conviction has not one single Golden Globe or Academy Award nomination has dumbfounded me! Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Juliette Lewis are simply excellent in this moving true story which simply has to be seen. If Erin Brockovich rocked your boat, this will no doubt capsize it [in a good way]. Once in a while a soul-stirring movie comes out of Hollywood which is not over-sentimental -though of course there is an element of artistic licence- and just tells a story...and this is done here with such conviction...

CAST: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher
DIRECTOR: Tony Goldwyn
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 15/10/10 UK 14 January 2011top

 


THE GREEN HORNET

The Green Hornet TrailerIN the Green Hornet, Britt Reid is the son of LA's most prominent and respected media magnate and perfectly happy to maintain a directionless existence on the party scene - until his father mysteriously dies, leaving Britt his vast media empire. Striking an unlikely friendship with one of his father's more industrious and inventive employees, Kato (Jay Chou), they see their chance to do something meaningful for the first time in their lives: fight crime. To get close to the criminals, they come up with the perfect cover: they'll pose as criminals themselves.

IT'S a shame this film has turned out to be such a bore. Superhero movies are supposed to be engaging and exciting...not juvenile and a little pointless. The stand out feature in this lacklustre "action comedy" is the number of times Britt Reid can say "s**t" - it is very tedious and adds nothing to the very ordinary dialogue.

There is a lot of action, not much comedy, but I'd rather see Gulliver's Travels again!

CAST: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos, Tom Wilkinson, Edward Furlong
DIRECTOR: Michael Gondry
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 12/01/11 UK USA 14 January 2011 New Zealand 20/01/11 Japan 22/01/11top

 


MORNING GLORY

Morning Glory TrailerWHEN hard-working TV producer Becky Fuller is fired from a local news program, her career begins to look as bleak as her hapless love life. Stumbling into a job at "Daybreak" (the last-place national morning news show), Becky decides to revitalize the show by bringing on legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Ford). Unfortunately, Pomeroy refuses to cover morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts – let alone work with his new co-host, Colleen Peck, a former beauty queen and longtime morning show personality who is more than happy covering morning "news." As Mike and Colleen clash, first behind the scenes and then on the air, Becky's blossoming love affair with fellow producer, Adam Bennett begins to unravel – and soon Becky is struggling to save her.

SO terribly tedious I'm afraid. It's quite difficult to believe that this is from the director of Notting Hill, but not so surprising when you realise that it's written by the same Aline Brosh McKenna who penned 27 Dresses - another mediocre 'time-pass' movie.

The premise is interesting -if you like morning TV-, but it never quite takes off from the launch pad. There's really nothing wrong with the acting, but there is no spark in the romantic element of the story, the allegedly funny moments are few and far between, and the narrative itself is really quite shallow. Unfortunately this is really no reason to go rushing off to the movies...unless you really like schmaltzy American romcoms!

CAST: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Ty Burrell, Jeff Goldblum
DIRECTOR: Roger Michell
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 10/11/10 Australia 06/01/11 UK 21 January 2011 New Zealand 06/02/11 Japan 25/02/11 Italy 11/03/11top

 


THE DILEMMA

The Dilemma TrailerVINCE Vaughn and Kevin James headline an all-star comedy from director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer about a man who finds out that what you don’t say to a friend is just as important as what you do. Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah join them in The Dilemma, a story of how far you can bend a brotherly bond before it snaps.

Since college, confirmed bachelor Ronny (Vaughn) and happily married Nick (James) have been through thick and thin. Now partners in an auto design firm, the two pals are vying to land a dream project that would launch their company. With Ronny’s girlfriend, Beth (Connelly), and Nick’s wife, Geneva (Ryder), by their sides, they’re unbeatable.

But Ronny’s world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees Geneva out with another man and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that Nick has a few secrets of his own. Now, with the clock ticking and pressure mounting on the biggest presentation of their careers, Ronny must decide how and when he will reveal the truth to his best friend.

A dilemma it is too...one can empathise with the characters, understand the frustrations of all involved whilst laughing at the humour and enjoying the camaraderie. This is an entertaining couple of hours [almost] which will tickle your funny bone -queue crazy Queen Latifah- as well as make you wonder what on earth Winona Ryder is up to in what looks a lot like the Palm House at Kew Gardens, how do they make an electric car sound so sexy, and why didn't Ron Howard cut out a few frivolous scenes that drag out the film that tiny bit too much.

Ron Howard has come a long, long way since Richie Cunningham and Happy Days, and he does good cinema...this is not his best but is enjoyable. It ain't gonna set the world alight, but it is better than all these dreadful chick-flicks Hollywood can't help but churn out, and if you like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, you'll be amused.

CAST: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah
DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
RUNTIME: 111 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: New Zealand 13/01/11 Japan USA 14/01/11 UK 21 January 2011 Italy18/03/11 France 11/05/11top

 


BLACK SWAN

Black Swan TrailerA psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a featured dancer who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company (Mila Kunis). Black Swan takes a thrilling and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.

A breathtakingly beautiful and poetic piece of art. Black Swan had me entirely captivated and enthralled from the opening title to the final sequence. The acting is perfection, the music –though mostly recognisable- is enchanting. The story is both touching and disturbing, and it is a damn good horror thriller that deserves a gong or three.

As long as you don’t have a nervous disposition [it is quite shocking at times], do see this at your first opportunity.

CAST: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
DIRECTOR: Darren Aronovsky
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 03/12/10 Australia 13/01/11 Ireland UK 21 January 2011 France09/02/11 Italy 11/03/11

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

BAFTA 10-11 NominationsLeading Actress: Natalie Portman

Academy Awards Nomination 2010 Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman top

 


TANGLED

Tangled TrailerWALT Disney Pictures presents Tangled, one of the most hilarious, hair-raising tales ever told. When the kingdom's most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of ZACHARY LEVI) hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of MANDY MOORE), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair.

Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. In theatres in Disney Digital 3D™, Tangled is a story of adventure, heart, humour and hair—lots of hair.

CAST: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
DIRECTOR: Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 24/11/10 Italy 26/11/10 France 01/12/10 Argentina Australia New Zealand 06/01/11 UK 28 January 2011 Japan 11/03/11top

 


HOW DO YOU KNOW

How Do You Know TrailerLISA is a woman whose athletic ability is the defining passion of her life, having been her focus since early childhood. When she is cut from her team, everything she has ever known is suddenly taken from her. Not knowing what to do, she stumbles toward regular life. In this mode, she begins a fling with Matty, a major league baseball pitcher, a self-centred ladies man – a narcissist with a code of honour.

George Madison is a straight-arrow businessman whose complicated relationship with his father, Charles, takes a turn when George is accused of a financial crime, even though he’s done nothing wrong. Though he may be headed to jail, George’s honesty, integrity, and unceasing optimism may be his only path to keeping his sanity. 

Before Lisa’s relationship with Matty takes root, she meets George for a first date on the worst evening of each of their lives: she has just been cut, and he has just been served. When everything else seems to be falling apart, they will discover what it means to have something wonderful happen.

A vaguely entertaining romcom...ish. The actors cannot be faulted and the chemistry between Witherspoon and Wilson is spot on...it's just a crying shame that the characters are so tedious and shallow, one feels not even the tiniest hint of empathy since the entire premise is so far-fetched.

Words shouldn't really be wasted...wait for it to show up on Hallmark or the like in the next few years...it's nothing to write home about.

CAST: Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson
DIRECTOR: James L. Brooks
RUNTIME: 120 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 17/12/10 France 26/01/11 UK 28 January 2011 Italy 28/02/11 Australia 10/02/11 Japan 11/02/11 Argentina 24/03/11top

 


THE MECHANIC

The Mechanic TrailerARTHUR Bishop (Jason Statham) is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed - he wants those responsible dead. His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade. Bishop has always acted alone but he can't turn his back on Harry's son. A methodical hit man takes an impulsive student deep into his world and a deadly partnership is born. But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves.

WELL now, if you're a fan of Jason Statham, definitely go see the film. I must admit to not understanding the attraction, but the film moves a quite a pace, there is plenty of action, and Ben Foster is very good; in fact, he is what kept me watching.

The Mechanic is not an intellectual challenge, but if you're in the mood for a bit of a raw shoot-em-up movie which is about as subtle as a brick in the head, then give it a go. Personally, I'd wait for the DVD.

CAST: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland
DIRECTOR: Simon West
RUNTIME: 92 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK USA 28 January 2011top

 


HEREAFTER

Hereafter TrailerOSCAR® winner Matt Damon  stars in Hereafter, directed by Academy Award® winner Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by two time Oscar® nominee Peter Morgan. 

Hereafter tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter.

I can't quite figure out what was lacking in this film; the screenplay could not have been written by a more accomplished talent -Peter Morgan of The Queen and Frost/Nixon fame- Matt Damon is excellent, Cécile de France very convincing, it was shot well, but somehow I had a sense of dissatisfaction. Possibly the protagonists are the McLaren twins - their performance was very amateur, and I can't begin to understand why Eastwood would pick two completely inexperienced boys rather than actors for such pivotal roles. Overall, it dragged a little, lacked depth and left a real sense of inadequacy by the end. Not one of Eastwood's better efforts.

I wouldn't say don't see it, but possibly wait for the DVD release.

CAST: Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard, Derek Jacobi, Marthe Keller, Frankie McLaren, George McLaren, Jay Mohr, Thierry Neuvic
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood
RUNTIME: 128 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/10/10 Italy 05/01/11 France 19/01/11 UK 28 January 2011 Japan 19/02/11top

 


BARNEY'S VERSION

Barney's Version TrailerBASED on Mordecai Richler's prize-winning comic novel--his last and, arguably, best – Barney's Version is the warm, wise, and witty story of Barney Panofsky, a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. A candid confessional, told from Barney‘s point of view, the film spans four decades and two continents, taking us through the different acts of his unusual history. There is his first wife, Clara, a flame-haired, flagrantly unfaithful free sprit with whom Barney briefly lives la vie de Boheme in Rome. The Second Mrs. P. is a wealthy Jewish Princess who shops and talks incessantly, barely noticing that Barney is not listening. And it is at their lavish wedding that Barney meets, and starts pursuing, Miriam, his third wife, the mother of his two children, and his true love. With his father, Izzy as his sidekick, Barney takes us through the many highs, and a few too many lows, of his long and colourful life. Not only does Barney turn out to be a true romantic, he is also capable of all kinds of sneaky acts of gallantry, generosity, and goodness when we – and he – least expect it. His is a gloriously full life, played out on a grand scale. And, at its centre stands an unlikely hero – the unforgettable Barney Panofsky.

WHAT a delightful little movie this is! There is not one reason I can think of to not see it...the laughs alone are enough to keep you hooked, but there is so much more to it. Every performance is noteworthy, and though a tad longet than your average film, actually you won't notice as you will just want ot know what happens next. Barney...what a star.

CAST: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman, Bruce Greenwood, Macha Grenon
DIRECTOR: Richard J. Lewis
RUNTIME: 133 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 14/01/11 UK 28 January 2011

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Paul Giamatti

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