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Movie Reviews 2013

Movie Reviews 2011

Movie Reviews 2010

Move Reviews 2009

Top 10 Box Office

Top 10 DVDs


Movies 2013


2012

December 2012Seven Psychopaths

I, Anna

The Man With The Iron Fists

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

Love Crime

Life Of Pi

Jack Reacher

Midnight's Children

Parental Guidance


November 2012

The Master

Argo

The Sapphires

Here Comes The Boom

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Mental

Gambit

Silver Linings Playbook

End Of Watch

Great Expectations

Trouble With The Curve


October 2012

Taken 2

Sinister

Hotel Transylvania

Pusher

Hit and Run

Ruby Sparks

Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted

Student Of The Year

Skyfall


September 2012

Anna Karenina

Dredd

Lawless

The Sweeney

Barfi!

Hope Springs

Hysteria

Killing Them Softly

Heroine

Savages

Looper

OMG Oh My God


August 2012

Ted

The Flowers Of War

360

Brave

The Bourne Legacy

Shadow Dancer

Total Recall SB

The Watch


July 2012

The Amazing SpiderMan

Bol Bachchan

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Chariots of Fire

Cocktail

Ice Age 4 Continental Drift

The Dark Knight Rises


June 2012

Prometheus

Snow White And The Huntsman

LOL

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything

Red Tails

Rock of Ages

Jaws

Cosmopolis

Red Lights

Think Like A Man

Teri Meri Kahaani

Killer Joe


May 2012

Silent House

The Lucky One

All in Good Time

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Dangerous Ishhq

Dark Shadows

Jeff Who Lives at Home

What to Expect When Youre Expecting

Moonrise Kingdom

Men In Black 3


April 2012

Mirror Mirror

Housefull 2

The Cold Light Of Day

This Must Be The Place

Battleship

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Elfie Hopkins

The Samaritan

Lockout

Avengers

Albert Nobbs

Outside Bet


March 2012

Bel Ami

The Decoy Bride

The Raven

Kahaani

Cleanskin

The Devil Inside

We Bought A Zoo

Contraband

Agent Vinod

The Hunger Games

The Pirates In An Adventure With Scientists

Wrath Of The Titans


February 2012

Carnage

The Grey

Man On A Ledge

Jack And Jill

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island

Young Adult

A Dangerous Method

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Woman in Black

Rampart

Safe House

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Black Gold


January 2012

The Iron Lady

Mother and Child

Players

War Horse

The Darkest Hour

Shame

Margin Call

Haywire

Coriolanus

J Edgar

Agneepath

Acts of Godfrey

Intruders

The Descendants


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


2010December 2010Megamind

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


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

Skyfall Review

Harry Potter Special

Invictus Special

 


Movies

Movie Reviews2012

by Preeti Virdee

THIS is our take on a selection of the latest 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 of current offerings and what's to come (month by month by UK release date). So pop over to the left hand side bar for a full list of all we have on offer... 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 nominations & winners of the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Oscars. So simply click on the relevant gong below, and as an when nominations & results come through, you'll find gongs on each review:

Golden Globe Nominations 2013BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

January 2012February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012June 2012July 2012 August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012 December 2012


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


December 2012

SEVEN PYSCHOPATHS

Seven PsychopathsFROM BAFTA and Oscar®-winning Writer and Director Martin McDonagh comes a star studded, blood- drenched, black comedy.

Marty is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, '
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS'. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Billy is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past.

Charlie is the psychopathic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie¹s unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone and anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.

CAST: Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits
DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh
RUNTIME: 110mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English/Vietnamese
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 12/10/12 Australia 08/11/12 Italy 15/11/12 Argentina 29/11/12 UK Ireland 5 December 2012 New Zealand 03/01/13 France 30/01/13

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

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I, ANNA

I, AnnaBERNIE, a police detective dazed by the prospect of divorce, is distracted from his duty at the scene of a brutal murder by a brief encounter with the striking, enigmatic Anna. Going through the motions at work, Bernie focuses on an amorous pursuit of Anna, but when they finally meet, she has no recollection of the night their paths first crossed. As Bernie's professional judgement battles with his desire of intimacy and love, the mystery deep within Anna's mind unravels, revealing a truth too painful to bear.

CAST: Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, Eddie Marsan, Hayley Atwell, Honor Blackman
DIRECTOR: Southcombe Barnaby
RUNTIME: 93mins
COUNTRY: UK/Germany/ France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: New Zealand 29/11/12 UK Ireland 7 December 2012

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THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTSThe Man With The Iron Fists

QUENTIN TARANTINO presents THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA—alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all.

Since his arrival in China’s Jungle Village, the town’s blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans’ brewing war boils over, the stranger channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. As he fights alongside iconic heroes and against soulless villains, one man must harness this power to become saviour of his adopted people.

Blending astonishing martial-arts sequences from some of the masters of this world with the signature vision he brings as the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and as one of hip-hop’s most dominant figures of the past two decades, RZA embarks upon his most ambitious, stylised and thrilling project to date. 

THIS is a terribly written, poorly dialogued, badly edited, authenticity-light, bloody and violent pastiche of a film that should have been entirely awful. However, Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu give it edge and decorum, and though it is completely ludicrous, somehow it manages to be hugely entertaining!

CAST: Russell Crowe, RZA, Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Dave Bautista, Byron Mann, Daniel Wu, Pam Grier
DIRECTOR: RZA
RUNTIME: 95mins
COUNTRY: USA/Hong Kong
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 02/11/12 Australia 06/12/12 UK Ireland 7 December 2012 France 02/01/13 New Zealand 21/02/13 Italy 28/02/13 Argentina 21/03/13

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THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

The Hobbit An Unexpected JourneyFROM Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. 


Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.  Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

DEAR oh dear. If you are a fan of Peter Jackson’s nauseatingly long and tedious self-indulgent epics, then you will go and see this the second you are able. If, like me, you fell asleep three times in the first instalment, and every half hour hoped and prayed the end was nigh, but alas it appeared to continue for half a day, then you will being giving this 3-hour borefest the widest berth.

CAST: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O'Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, Aidan Turner
DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson
RUNTIME: 169mins
COUNTRY: USA/New Zealand
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France New Zealand 12/11/12 UK Ireland Argentina Italy 13 December 2012 Japan USA 14/12/12 Australia 26/12/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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LOVE CRIME

Love CrimeWITHIN the sterile offices of a powerful multinational corporation, two women come to a face-off. Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) is a young executive under the orders of Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas), a powerful woman she absolutely idolizes. Confident of her control over Isabelle, Christine leads her into a confusing, perverse game of seduction and domination. A dangerous game that goes too far – to the point of no return.

CAST: Kristin Scott, Ludivine Sagnier, Thomas, Patrick Mille
DIRECTOR: Alain Corneau
RUNTIME: 106mins
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French/English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 18/08/10 New Zealand 09/12/10 USA 02/09/11 UK 14 December 2012

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LIFE OF PI

Life Of PiDIRECTOR Ang Lee (Sense And Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger.

A most beautiful epic creation showing off Ang Lee’s genius at is best. This stunning work deserves the full 3D experience on the largest screen, sitting the furthest back you can to appreciate the vision of this Oscar-winning director who has translated a moving book into an intriguing and enchanting cinematic narrative.

CAST: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Rafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu
DIRECTOR: Ang Lee
RUNTIME: 127mins
COUNTRY: USA/China
LANGUAGE: English/Tamil/French
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/11/12 France 19/12/12 UK Ireland Italy 20 December 2012 Australia New Zealand 01/01/13 Argentina 10/01/13 Japan 25/01/13

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Academy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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JACK REACHER

Jack ReacherFROM The New York Times bestselling author Lee Child comes one of the most compelling heroes to step from novel to screen - ex-military investigator Jack Reacher.

When a gunman takes five lives with six shots, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: “Get Jack Reacher!” So begins an extraordinary chase for the truth, pitting Jack Reacher against an unexpected enemy, with a skill for violence and a secret to keep.

OH. Was that it then?! Bit of a let down I must say. Knowing the character of Jack Reacher is 6'5" and built like a No.8, the demure Cruise does not manage to suspend disbelief for even 5 minutes. And despite a fantastic cast, the film never actually takes off into an action-packed mystery thriller. Sadly it's all a little bit mediocre and too understated for me to care for it much.

CAST: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, Werner Herzog
DIRECTOR: Christopher McQuarrie
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/12/12 UK France Ireland 26 December 2012 Australia Italy New Zealand 03/01/13 Argentina 10/01/13 Japan 01/02/13

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MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN

Midnight's ChildrenMIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN is an epic film from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie.

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman, and Shiva, the offspring of wealthy Muslims, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.


From the unlikely romance of Saleem’s grandparents to the birth of his own son, Midnight’s Children is a journey at once sweeping in scope and yet intimate in tone. Hopeful, comic and magical – the film conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.

I read Midnight’s Children in the 80s, a while before author, Salman Rushdie was famous for anything other than complicated but quite fascinating prose. It took more than one attempt, but was a most fascinating story. If anyone could translate this magical tale into a visual treat, the award-winning Deepa Mehta is just the woman. And she did.

A beautiful film that has somehow managed to capture the essence of an awfully complex book. Neatly directed, smartly cast and acted, fantastically scored by the supremely talented Nitin Sawney, Rushdie's creation is a visual treat. It's just a shame that the author was allowed to over-narrate in an otherwise enjoyable production that weaves magic into generations, blurring the lines between history and fiction. Frankly, the first thing I wanted to do after seeing it was go dig my decades-old copy of the book.

CAST: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Anita Majumdar, Zaib Shaikh
DIRECTOR: Deepa Mehta
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/12/12 UK France Ireland 26 December 2012 Australia Italy New Zealand 03/01/13 Argentina 10/01/13 Japan 01/02/13

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PARENTAL GUIDANCE

Parental GuidanceOLD school grandfather Artie (Billy Crystal), who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it’s learning to bend – and not holding your ground – that binds a family together.

CAST: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison
DIRECTOR: Andy Fickman
RUNTIME: 104mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: USA 25/12/12 UK Australia Ireland New Zealand 26 December 2012 Argentina 24/01/13 France 13/03/13 Italy 11/07/13

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November 2012

THE MASTER

The MasterA charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a religious organization following World War II. A drifter (Phoenix) becomes his right-hand man but as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the drifter finds himself questioning the belief system and his mentor.

CAST: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson
RUNTIME: 144mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/10/12 UK Ireland 02 November 2012 Australia 08/11/12 France 09/01/13 Argentina Italy 07/02/13

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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ARGO

ArgoBASED on real events, the dramatic thriller ARGO chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played—information that was not declassified until many years after the event. 

On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

AFTER the excellence of Company Men, Ben Affleck, it appears, can do no wrong. The once wooden actor who was painful to watch has now come of age and proving himself to be not just a talented actor, but rather excellent director too. It is a little odd to call this a period piece, but it is straight out of the 70s, and very authentically done too.

As the synopsis claims, Argo is definitely a dramatic thriller, and the suspense is palpable. Affleck has taken a fascinating subject matter and done it real justice, producing an engaging film, no matter the predictability of the ending. There is not truly enough time to understand the complexities of individual characters here other than Taylor and Mendez, but overall, a smartly made thriller that has that feel good factor of America saving the day yet again.

CAST: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks, Taylor Schilling
DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck
RUNTIME: 120mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 12/10/12 Australia New Zealand 25/10/12 Japan 26/10/12 UK France Ireland 07 November 2012 Italy 08/11/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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THE SAPPHIRES

The SapphiresTHE SAPPHIRES is an inspirational tale set in the heady days of the late ‘60s about a quartet of young, talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission.

Gail, Cynthia, Julie and Kay are sexy, black, young & talented - and they've never set foot outside Australia. Until, in the chaos of 1968, they're plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, branded as Australia's answer to The Supremes, and - grasping the chance of a lifetime - dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the American troops

CAST: Chris O'Dowd, Deb Mailman, Jess Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
DIRECTOR: Wayne Blair
RUNTIME: 103mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: France 08/08/12 Australia 09/08/12 New Zealand 04/10/12 UK Ireland 07 November 2012

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HERE COMES THE BOOM

Here Comes The BoomIN the comedy HERE COMES THE BOOM, former collegiate wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler,) Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy – most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek) – but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.

THIS film is well cast and well acted; it has every good intention but sadly, is entirely predictable. James and Hayek are delightful, but the comedy is hopelessly lacking. The most one can comment on this film is that it a “time-pass” movie - more bust than boom.

CAST: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler
DIRECTOR: Frank Coraci
RUNTIME: 105mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 12/10/12 UK Ireland 09 November 2012 Italy 30/11/12 Australia New Zealand 10/01/13 France 30/01/13 Argentina 14/02/13

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JAB TAK HAI JAAN

Jab Tak Hai JaanJAB TAK HAI JAAN is the final directorial flourish of Yash Chopra, arguably India’s greatest romance film maker who made his debut 53 years ago, and sadly passed away before the release of his 22nd and final masterpiece, which translates as “Until I Have Life”. The film pits the King of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan against the stunning Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in a love triangle set in London and Kashmir. Opening on the Indian festival of Diwali, the film will likely be the biggest hit of 2012.

A beautifully shot, typically clichéd, over-sentimental Yash Chopra epic that is laden with flaws that has little originality if you are an avid film buff, especially of mid- 20th century Hollywood films. However, with such a stellar cast, the Khan-Kaif-Sharma triangle works perfectly, and the most excellent supporting actors, the delicate music, the stunning London vistas all come together to make for an most enjoyable 3 hours that will pass in sublime bliss.

CAST: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma
DIRECTOR: Yash Chopra
RUNTIME: 175mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 13 November 2012

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MENTAL

MentalMENTAL reunites writer-director P.J. Hogan with his original leading lady Toni Collette for the first time since Muriel's Wedding.

The film follows the story of the Moochmore girls who are certain they all suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness - because if they're not crazy then they're just unpopular. Their mother Shirley, unable to cope with her demanding teenage daughters and philandering politician husband, Barry, suffers a nervous breakdown. After Barry commits his wife to a mental hospital (telling his constituents that she's "on holiday") he finds himself alone with five teenage girls he barely knows. Desperate, he impulsively picks up a hitchhiker named Shaz  and installs her in his home as nanny to his daughters.

THE trailer may be short but the film looks hugely entertaining. And it is great to see Colette and LaPaglia back in Oz speaking their native tongue!

CAST: Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney, Liev Schreiber, Deborah Mailman, Kerry Fox, Caroline Goodall, Sam Clark
DIRECTOR: PJ Hogan
RUNTIME: 116mins
COUNTRY: Australia/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia 04/10/12 UK Ireland 16 November 2012top

 


GAMBIT

GambitPRIVATE art curator Harry Deane devises a finely-crafted scheme to con England's richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar, into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII.

THE original 1966 Gambit starring Michael Caine, Shirley Maclaine and Herbert Lom was hugely entertaining; this version looks just as screwball but brought into the 21st century. Here’s hoping it is just as good, and with this stellar cast, and the Coen Brothers all over it, it’s right on track!

CAST: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci, Cloris Leachman
DIRECTOR: Michael Hoffman
RUNTIME: 89mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 21 November 2012 Italy 07/03/13

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SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Silver Linings PlaybookLIFE doesn’t always go according to plan.

Pat Solitano has lost everything - his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives. 

TO call this delightful comedy drama a romcom is to do it a massive injustice; Silver Linings Playbook is a clever, witty, insightful glimpse at the human psyche, with all the flaws and glitches and beautiful moments that make life worth it. It will leave you with that fantastic feel-good warmth, without any of that vile syrupy aftertaste of the traditional romcom genre. The frailty of humanity is well illustrated, and frankly, we’re all a little bit crazy, so we can all relate.

The film could not have been better cast; we know the genius of De Niro, the excellence of Cooper, and if you’ve come upon him before, the talent of Kher, but the surprise is Lawrence, who switches from teen flick actress of Hunger Games fame (in which actually she was very good) to fully fledged Oscar nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role, that’s pretty impressive. Sadly I don’t believe Silver Linings will pick up too many of 8 Academy Awards it is nominated for since the industry is far too sycophantic for its own good, but I’d be giving it Lead Actor (Cooper), Actress (Lawrence), Supporting Actor (de Niro) and Writing for Adapted Screenplay.

CAST: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher
DIRECTOR: David O. Russell
RUNTIME: 122mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland USA 21 November 2012 Italy 24/01/13 France 30/01/13 Australia 31/01/13 New Zealand 07/02/13 Argentina 21/02/13

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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END OF WATCH

End Of WatchFROM the writer of Training Day, END OF WATCH is a riveting action thriller that puts audiences at the centre of the chase like never before. Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena star in the action thriller as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala as they patrol the city's meanest streets of south central Los Angeles. The film creates a riveting portrait of the city's most dangerous corners, the cops who risk their lives there every day, and the price they and their families are forced to pay.

THIS fascinating documentary-style film is awfully engaging, and is terribly well put together, but you will need to be in the mood for the seriousness and raw brutality, with little Hollywood-style action and adventure.

CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick
DIRECTOR: David O. Russell
RUNTIME: 109mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/Spanish
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/09/12 Australia 01/11/12 France 14/11/12 Italy 22/11/12 UK Ireland 23 November 2012 Argentina 06/12/12

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Great ExpectationsORPHAN Pip rises from humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Moving through London’s class-ridden world as a gentleman, Pip uses his new status to pursue Estella, a beautiful, heartless heiress he’s always loved. The shocking truth behind his fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear.

Mike Newell, BAFTA award winning director of Four Weddings and A Funeral and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, directs a high calibre ensemble cast including BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes as the convict Magwitch, Robbie Coltrane as Jaggers and newcomer Jeremy Irvine, fresh from his lead role in Spielberg's War Horse, as Pip.

CAST: Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Jeremy Irvine, Jason Flemyng, Ewen Bremner, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Jessie Cave, David Walliams, Tamzin Outhwaite
DIRECTOR: Mike Newell
RUNTIME: 129mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 30 November 2012 Australia New Zealand 07/03/13

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

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TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

Trouble With The CurveGUS LOBEL has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but, despite his efforts to hide it, age is starting to catch up with him. Nevertheless, Gus—who can tell a pitch just by the crack of the bat—refuses to be benched for what could be the final innings of his career.

He may not have a choice. The front office of the Atlanta Braves is starting to question his judgment, especially with the country’s hottest batting phenom on deck for the draft. The one person who might be able to help is also the one person Gus would never ask: his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), an associate at a high-powered Atlanta law firm whose drive and ambition has put her on the fast track to becoming partner. Mickey has never been close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife. Even now, in the rare moments they share, he is too easily distracted by what Mickey assumes is his first love: the game. 


Against her better judgment, and over Gus’s objections, Mickey joins him on his latest scouting trip to North Carolina, jeopardising her own career to save his. Forced to spend time together for the first time in years, each makes new discoveries—revealing long-held truths about their past and present that could change their future.

IF you are a Clint Eastwood fan, no doubt you will love this film. Here he is, playing himself yet again in a story that plods along with complete predictability. There is no drama or excitement, though Adams, Timberlake, and actually all the support cast do a fine job. Maybe it is just time Eastwood retired gracefully...maybe went off and talked to some more empty chairs since these days, one Eastwood performance is no different to the next. Don’t expect any curve balls - there aren’t any.

CAST: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard, Scott Eastwood, Joe Massingill
DIRECTOR: Robert Lorenz
RUNTIME: 111mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/09/12 France 21/11/12 Argentina 22/11/12  Japan 23/11/12 Italy New Zealand 29/11/12 UK Ireland 30 November 2012 Australia 06/12/12

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October 2012

TAKEN 2

Taken 2LIAM NEESON returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who stopped at nothing to save his abducted daughter in TAKEN. In Istanbul, Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter. When he is targeted by a vengeance-seeking crimelord, Bryan must employ his “particular set of skills” to protect his family against an army out to kill them.

TAKEN was heart-stoppingly brilliant. Taken 2 is just as exciting, thrilling and adrenalin-pumping as the first with just one exception - you will get an overwhelming sense of déjà vu.

Bryan Mills is now in Istanbul not Paris, the protagonist is the the father of the dead kidnapper from the first film, the target is the Mills family in revenge for Krasniqi's son, brilliantly played by Rade Serbedzija. But other than that, nothing has changed at all. You will learn no more of Mills, his character, any back story...there is just pure, unadulterated action.

This is a remake of the first film, which if you enjoyed the ride with no expectations, you will again as long as you expect nothing new. Without Neeson this would be tripe, with him it is fast, engaging, not as menacing as Paris but entirely entertaining. Definitely still worth a trip to the movies to see the former CIA agent blast his way to freedom again, though he should probably refrain from holidaying in Europe from hereon in!

CAST: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Luenell, Luke Grimes, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija
DIRECTOR: Olivier Megaton
RUNTIME: 91mins
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 03/10/12 UK Argentina Australia 04 October 2012 Ireland 05/10/12 USA 05/10/12 Italy New Zealand 11/10/12 SA 12/10/12

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SINISTER

SinisterSINISTER is the terrifying new horror from the producer of Insidious and Paranormal Activity and the writer-director of The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.

Struggling true crime novelist, Ellison (ETHAN HAWKE), becomes too close to his latest gruesome story when he discovers a box of mysterious and brutal home movies in his attic.

SINISTER starts out with bags of promise, and appears to have all the elements of a fantastically spooky chiller. Hawke is good, it's great to see D'Onofrio after such a long break, and the children of the films are rather good. But then it becomes a run-of-the-mill horror flick that is just so predictable and loses all it's 'boo' value. It is better than most sad and dull allegedly scary films, but 'sinister'...not so much.

CAST: Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, James Ransone
DIRECTOR: Scott Derrickson
RUNTIME: 110mins
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 05 October 2012 USA 12 /10/12 Argentina 25/10/12 Australia01/11/12 France 07/11/12

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HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Hotel TransylvaniaWELCOME to HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of his best friends – Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family, and more – to celebrate his beloved daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem – but everything could change for the overprotective dad when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

CAST: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, CeeLo Green, Jon Lovitz
DIRECTOR: Genndy Tartakovsky
RUNTIME: 91mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: Australia 20/09/12 New Zealand 27/09/12 USA 28/09/12 Japan 29/09/12 Argentina 04/10/12 UK Ireland 12 October 2012 Italy 15/11/12 France 13/02/13

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

 

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PUSHER

PusherAS edgy and explosive as Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 cult classic, this English language remake tells the story of a week in the life of Frank, a big time drug pusher in London. Frank’s life is a fun-filled rollercoaster of a ride that soon spins out of control. Friendships start to vanish, there is no longer room for love within his life, and violence takes over. Danger and chaos are all around and he becomes a man trapped in his own world. Eventually Frank is left with no one to turn to and nowhere to go, becoming a man paralysed with the fear of knowing there is no way of preventing his inevitable fate. Fast-paced, visually striking, witty and with some of acting’s finest talents, Pusher will have you gripped from beginning to end.

OK so I can't compare it to the the original 1996 Danish version by Nicolas Winding Refn as I've not seen it. However, as a hard-nosed stylish British gangster flick, it stands up pretty well thanks to the performance of English actor, Richard Coyle. Paul Kay does a good impression of Dennis Pennis on crack, and Zlatko Buric reprises his role from the Danish version but this time as a menacing Turkish and rather disturbed dealer. As for Agness Deyn, the stunning Lancashire supermodel is great on the cover of Vogue & on runways, but maybe a tad too beautiful and unaffected to play the stripper-come-gangster's moll.

Luis Prieto delivers well on his first English-language film, and it is quite hard-hitting and edgy, but somehow I expected more. The elements of the movie are excellent, but the story is a little predictable, and maybe a different ending would have given it that je ne sais quoi. Definitely worth a look though.

CAST: Richard Coyle, Agyness Deyn, Bronson Webb, Paul Kay
DIRECTOR: Luis Prieto
RUNTIME: 89mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION:18
RELEASE DATE: Australia 20/09/12New Zealand 27/09/12 USA 28/09/12 Japan 29/09/12 Argentina 04/10/12 UK Ireland 12 October 2012 Italy 15/11/12 France 13/02/13

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HIT & RUN

Hit & RunHIT AND RUN is a comedy about a young couple (Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard) that risks it all when they leave their small town life and embark on a road trip that may lead them towards the opportunity of a lifetime. Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson jeopardizes his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend get to Los Angeles. Their fast-paced road trip grows awkwardly complicated and hilarious when they are chased by a friend from the past (Bradley Cooper), a federal marshal (Tom Arnold) and a band of misfits.

THIS is a slightly bonkers, terribly whacky, entertainingly fun road trip movie that belies its inappropriate title. I'm not sure what the critics were thinking when they slated this screwball comedy that packs plenty of action, crazy car chases, planned and accidental shoot outs, and some notable performances from a delightful cast, even with Cooper's mad-cap dreds! It's no memorable epic, but will make you giggle and wile away a couple of hours in perfectly good fashion.

CAST: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Tom Arnold, Beau Bridges, Bradley Cooper
DIRECTOR: Dax Shepard, David Palmer
RUNTIME: 99mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION:15
RELEASE DATE: Australia 20/09/12 New Zealand 27/09/12 USA 28/09/12 Japan 29/09/12 Argentina 04/10/12 UK Ireland 12 October 2012 Italy 15/11/12 France 13/02/13

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RUBY SPARKS

Ruby SparksCALVIN (Paul Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing -- as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Zoe Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person.

RUBY SPARKS is a fresh and quirky film that is entirely harmless, completely preposterous and somewhat easily forgettable. Kazan, who plays the lead, is also the author and does a perfectly job of both. It doesn't really feel like a romcom - it's a little cleverer than that, but it is one huge ridiculous fantasy which makes for pleasant viewing. It is utterly delightful to see Bening, Banderas and Coogan in unusual roles. I'd give it a go if you have nothing better to do.

CAST: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan
DIRECTOR: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton
RUNTIME: 104mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/French
CERTIFICATION:15
RELEASE DATE: USA 25/07/12 Argentina Australia New Zealand 20/09/12 Italy 21/09/12 France 03/10/12 UK Ireland 12 October 2012

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MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED

Madagascar 3: Europes Most WantedALEX the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a travelling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style. 

CAST: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer
DIRECTOR: Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath
RUNTIME: 93mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: France 06/06/12 Argentina 07/06/12 USA 08/06/12 Japan 01/08/12 Italy 22/08/12 Australia 13/09/12 New Zealand 20/09/12 UK Ireland 19 October 2012

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STUDENT OF THE YEAR

Student Of The YearSTUDENT OF THE YEAR is set in a school called St. Teresa’s, which is one of India’s premier academic institutions. Every year, the boys and girls of St.T’s compete with each other to win Student of the Year’s trophy. 3 competitions take place and the student with the highest score at the end of all competitions emerges as the winner. Our story begins with two boys Abhi and Rohan, who meet each other in St. Teresa’s in their final year. Soon their gang of their friends extends to Shanaya and her friends. They all become thick friends and it appears that nothing can break them until things turns upside down as Abhi and Shanaya fall for each other and the Student of the Year competition begins. As friendships are tested and passions run high, Student of The Year rushes towards an exciting climax.

HARRY POTTER without the magic? High School Musical? Who knew what would happen...except Karan Johar has had a chance to indulge his fantasy of hot fit young men (obviously he didn’t make it to the Olympic swimming over the summer at London 2012, but he definitely drew on it in the editing suite!). Like any K-Jo film, it came with a bucket load of cheese and over sentimentality, and sadly even the with a host of young unknown potentials to keep us on our toes, it failed to be anything but jolly good fun. This is most definitely Karan Johar's worst attempt at film-making...oh how the mighty have fallen.

CAST: Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Rishi Kapoor, Boman Irani, Farida Jalal
DIRECTOR: Karan Johar
RUNTIME: 146mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 19 October 2012

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SKYFALL

IN SKYFALL, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

EVEN though personally I still had not got my head around Daniel Craig as Bond, and with such an adrenaline-fuelled trailer, how could you just not be thoroughly excited for the next in the 007 series?!

OMFG. THE BEST BOND MOVIE EVER. THAT IS ALL.

OK so that's not quite true...that is not all by any stretch of the imagination. A full and in depth analysis had to be done after I had the privilege of seeing a pre-release screening. Click your way to our Skyfall review...

Skyfall Review

CAST: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw
DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes
RUNTIME: 143mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France Ireland 26 October 2012 Italy 31/10/12 Argentina 01/11/12 USA 09/11/12 Australia New Zealand 22/11/12 30/11/12 Japan 01/12/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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September 2012

ANNA KARENINA

Anna KareninaTHE third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright, following the award-winning box office successes “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement,” is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”). The story powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness and marriage, change comes to all around her.

JOE WRIGHT makes beautiful films. The 1948 Anna Karenina starring Vivian Leigh was beautiful. Mr Wright, Miss Knightley, Mr Law and bright young thing Taylor-Wood have much to live up to...

CAST: Keira Knightley, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Kelly Macdonald, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson
DIRECTOR: Joe Wright
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: UK/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 07 September 2012 USA 16/11/12 Australia 17/01/13 New Zealand 31/01/13 Argentina 14/02/13 Italy 21/02/13 France 13/03/13

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersBAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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DREDD

DreddTHE future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, DREDD is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. 

During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighbourhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture – a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control centre and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.

REALLY?! Another remake of another film for a couple of decades back, which was awful in the first place. Am feeling rather repetitive by saying is there no originality left in Hollywood?

CAST: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
DIRECTOR: Pete Travis
RUNTIME: 95mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA/India
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 07 September 2012 Argentina 20/09/12 USA 21/09/12 New Zealand 04/10/12 Australia 25/10/12

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LAWLESS

LawlessSET in the 1920s prohibition era America LAWLESS is the true story of the Bondurant brothers. Brazen and fearless, these young rural bootleggers became legendary criminals. The youngest brother, Jack, is ambitious and impulsive, the middle brother, Howard, is loyal but reckless and eldest brother, Forrest, leads the family with a silent determination. As the Bondurants’ illicit business and legend grows, so too looms the danger of bigger fish, and it’s not long before the brothers must face the consequences.

A spectacular stellar cast, a most intriguing trailer, an abundance of violence and testosterone and breathtaking cinematography...this should have been one hell of a ride.

The acting was faultless, the violence was mindless, the vision was epic, but that was all. The story was painfully slow, the editing was as far from slick as you can get, and the film just meandered aimlessly. You feel little empathy for any of the characters. This had epic potential but failed to even get close to the dizzy heights of brilliance that a more adept director would have reached. I came away admiring the skill of every cast member, but wondering what the point of making such a dull film was.

CAST: Tom Hardy, Shia LeBoeuf, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Noah Taylor, Dane DeHaan
DIRECTOR: John Hillcoat
RUNTIME: 116mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/08/12 UK Ireland 07 September 2012 France 12/09/12 Australia 11/10/12 Argentina 25/10/12 Italy 12/12 New Zealand 07/02/13

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THE SWEENEY

The SweeneySOMETIMES you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal. Ray Winstone (The Departed) and Ben Drew (aka Plan B) star as part of an elite police unit in explosive action film, THE SWEENEY. Also starring Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger).

THE most ridiculously short official synopsis that tells us nothing. Thankfully, the trailer promises a gritty action thriller with the inimitable Ray Winstone in the lead (though what on earth this Plan B is I have yet to discover!). Regan and Carter are back but in the 21st century...we were hoping it lived up to the hype...

For the first hour it absolutely did not disappoint - the story and editing were slick and very cool. The action was fast and adrenaline charged, and the violence was, well, convincing and brutal, physically making me wince. It was a dirty gritty British film reminiscent of Heat with no limits for the unruly but highly effective flying squad. But then came a turning point where all the edginess dissipated to leave a drifting story that no longer suspended disbelief.

As for the cast, Ben Drew was surprisingly impressive, Atwell, Tointon and Mackintosh were spot on, and without Winstone the film would not have worked on any level. But Damien Lewis' talent was wasted with a wimp of character. There is invariably a red herring i a good thriller, but there were far too many in the second half of the film making it a little pointless. And lastly the cops and robbers action; what was sharp and exciting at the start bordered on comical by the end with the worst shooting skills for trained armed police in history.

And if you get a rush of déjà vu during the final car chase, chances are you watch Top Gear too!

But despite the negatives, it is definitely worth a look to see Ray Winstone doing what he does best - the ultimate British hard man.

CAST: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Hayley Atwell, Damien Lewis, Paul Anderson, Kara Tointon, Steven Mackintosh
DIRECTOR: Nick Love
RUNTIME: 113mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 12 September 2012 Australia New Zealand 24/01/13

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BARFI!

Barfi!WHEN the law is right, take a left! 

He is cute. He's shrewd. The girls love him. The cops hate him. He can't speak but is always talked about. His naughty antics will make you scream, but he will never listen. Cos he can't! Next summer ride a rollercoaster of emotions with Barfi! - the Chalu Chaplin!

Be charming...be loved.....be chalu.....be crazy....be happy....be in love.....BE BARFI!

THREE young people learn that love can neither be defined nor contained by society's norms of normal and abnormal. Two of Bollywood’s greatest talents are joined by Telugu actress making her Bollywood debut in this crazy caper set in the 70s where the actors cannot rely on anything other than their artistic skill since Barfi is deaf and dumb, and Jhilmil is autistic.

The talented cast do such a beautiful and touching love story such justice, that there is simply no reason not to see this subtle, moving and delightful production set in the 70s but filmed in the style of 1940s classic cinema. A triumph for all involved, which will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.

CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz
DIRECTOR: Anurag Basu
RUNTIME: 150mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 14 September 2012

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HOPE SPRINGS

Hope SpringsKAY and Arnold are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple’s specialist in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her sceptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.

CAST: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell
DIRECTOR: David Frankel
RUNTIME: 100mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 14/12/11 Italy 24/02/12 USA 18/05/12 Australia 12/07/12 New Zealand 06/09/12 Argentina 13/09/12 UK Ireland 21 September 2012

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

 

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HYSTERIA

HysteriaHYSTERIA, a mischievously inspired romantic comedy set in the late 19th century, is based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world's first electromechanical vibrator in the name of medical science. The film stars Academy Award nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, alongside Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones.

A most fantastically hysterical film (pun entirely intended) from a little known director which masquerades as a fickle rom com but just reminded me of When Harry Met Sally for the most obvious reasons, which also went much further than being a shallow romantic comedy.

Gyllenhaal stole the show with her spectacular English accent and demeanour, the former which spookily had me mistake her for Emma Thompson, until I discovered is exactly on whom she based her diction. But other actors of note are Everett and Jones. In fact, the entire film was perfectly cast, and Dancy could be the long lost much taller twin of the brilliant Tom Hollander.

The Americans didn't get it, as is reflected by the low critic approval, but then again, what do they know about Victorian England & British humour...after all, they no doubt believe 'irony' is a metal spelled incorrectly(!) But really, I urge you to go see this wonderfully entertaining gigglefest.

CAST: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Ashley Jensen, Gemma Jones, Anna Chancellor, Tobias Menzies, Georgie Glen
DIRECTOR: Tanya Wexler
RUNTIME: 99mins
COUNTRY: UK/France/Germany/Luxembourg
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 08/08/12 Australia New Zealand 23/08/12 Argentina 13/09/12 UK 14 September 2012 France 10/10/12 Italy 26/10/12

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KILLING THEM SOFTLY

Killing Them SoftlyADAPTED from George V. Higgins novel and set in New Orleans, KILLING THEM SOFTLY follows professional enforcer, Jackie Cogan (Pitt), who investigates a heist that occurs during a high stakes, mob-protected, poker game. The film also features Scoot McNairy (Monsters), Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom), Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), with James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Max Casella and Sam Shepard among others.

CAST: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins
DIRECTOR: Andrew Dominik
RUNTIME: 97mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 21 September 2012 Australia Italy 11/10/12 Argentina New Zealand 18/10/12 USA 30/11/12 France 05/12/12

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HEROINE

HeroineTHE film revolves around the life of a once successful film actress Mahi Khanna, whose career is on the decline. Though speculated to be based on the lives of yesteryear divas like Madhubala and Marilyn Monroe, Bhandarkar has denied the reports saying that the movie is a “contemporary film which reveals the underbelly of the movie industry and its well-kept secrets.” Bhandarkar said that he considers the movie his magnum opus.

THOUGH her earlier roles were all pretty much type cast playing the spoilt brat, Kareena ‘Bebo’ Kapoor occasionally surprises us with intelligent art; here was her opportunity to shake the attitude reputation and produce a stellar performance. But sadly she was let down by director Madhur Bhandarkar who attempted to remake his own huge successful and ground-breaking film, Fashion, swapping one industry for another, and failed.

Though it wasn’t just the director that missed the mark; I've yet to see Bebo play a role where she is not playing Kareena Kapoor, but loses herself in the character long enough to suspend disbelief. And I’ve since been made aware that the character was alleged to be bi-polar - missed that completely!

The support actors in the film were very good, but at the other end of the spectrum, there was Helen. From the 50s to the 70s, she was the perfect item number girl because she never spoke and just shook her booty. Giving her a speaking role in the 21st century of a noteworthy actress from yesteryear was nothing short of folly - she just cannot act and was too awful for words.

The obligatory item number, ‘Halkat Jawaani‘ based on Katrina as Sheila and Malaika as Munni has missed the mark entirely, looking like a cheap imitation which will appeal only to the rickshaw wallas, but the rest of the film, just too shallow with an appalling script and really not worth the effort.

CAST: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami, Amrita Raichand, Divya Dutta, Lillete Dubey
DIRECTOR: Madhur Bhandarkar
RUNTIME: 150mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 21 September 2012

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SAVAGES

SavagesLAGUNA Beach entrepreneurs Ben, a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon, a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry—raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia. Life is idyllic in their Southern California town…until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them.

When the merciless head of the BC, Elena, and her brutal enforcer, Lado, underestimate the unbreakable bond among these three friends, Ben and Chon—with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent—wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel. And so begins a series of increasingly vicious ploys and manœuvres in a high stakes, savage battle of wills.

VIOLENCE is not something this movie lacks - it truly lives up to its title. And being one of three exceedingly brutal films I saw in the same day, it is possible I became a little immune to throat slitting, ball breaking, gratuitous torture and a lot of blood.

The cast performs admirably, but the premise is a tad unbelievable. Oliver Stone has put together an interesting film of impressive talent, and you must not be of a nervous disposition with the sheer barbarity. The central characters are an odd assortment, and the set up is all a bit weird. This is not Stone's best work, but is about palatable, though with a slightly disappointing ending.

CAST: Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch, Demian Bichir
DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 06/07/12 Argentina New Zealand 13/09/12 UK 21 September 2012 France 26/09/12 Ireland 28/09/12 Australia 18/10/12 Italy 25/10/12

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LOOPER

LooperIN the futuristic action thriller LOOPER, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.

WELL. That was quite odd. Looper is a rather cerebral offering that will require you to concentrate awfully hard for the excellent first hour and rather laborious second that detracts from the anticipation and curiosity of this Inception wannabe and Terminator ode that does not quite click as much as the critics would have you believe. The acting is perfectly fine, but the script lacks the finesse of a cult classic - as it is being hailed. Though Emily Blunt with a filthy mouth - now that was a shock! However, do give it a go, just not when you want to be transported into an alternative reality with little effort.

CAST: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Garret Dillahunt, Jeff Daniels
DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson
RUNTIME: 118mins
COUNTRY: USA/China
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 27/09/12 UK Ireland USA 28 September 2012 Argentina 04/10/12 France 31/10/12 Italy 31/01/13

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OMG OH MY GOD

OMG Oh My GodKANJI MEHTA is an atheist, who runs an antique shop. For him, god and religion are nothing more than a business proposition. He buys old looking god and other religious idols, which he usually sells as ‘antique’ idols at double or triple, and sometimes even 10 times its original price. God is the biggest money spinner for him. His wife, on the other hand, is a completely different story. She is as devout as one comes, in fact so much so, that she goes the extra mile to atone for her husband’s sacrilegious babblings.

The life has gone on for kanji and his family like this, and would have sailed smoothly for him in the future as well, but for that one fine day, when a slight tremor of an earthquake shakes the city. The earthquake itself doesn’t cause any concern to anyone, and would have hardly been of any consequence, but for one small problem… it causes the destruction of only one shop in the entire city… Kanji’s shop! But for just such a situation, he has taken out more than adequate insurance… nothing, not even a freak earthquake can upset his life… 

But as they say, man proposes, god disposes, or in this case, Insurance company disposes… for, the insurance companies possess a holistic shield against all such claims. The insurance company invokes ‘Act Of God’ and promptly rejects the claim saying that ‘earth-quake’ is not a man made phenomenon.


Frustrated, and left with no option, Kanji decides to file a case against God on the premise that if God is responsible for his loss, as has been made amply clear by the Insurance Company, then it is God’s responsibility to compensate him for his losses.

IT might be a ridiculous synopsis written by an inarticulate monkey, but the film is not. What joyous fun this movie is! Of course there has been controversy with the producers who happen to be the lead actors having to get police protection as bigoted religious zealots have objected to the bare-faced voracity of the film. But aside from that, there is every reason to see this charming satire exposing blind followers of religion and those who take financial advantage of people’s insecurities, bad fortune, and general idiocy in being sheep. Highly entertaining!

CAST: Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty, Akshay Kumar
DIRECTOR: Umesh Shukla
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 28 September 2012

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August 2012

TED

TedFAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humour to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of TED.

 In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett, a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…and has refused to leave his side ever since.

A beer-swilling, pot-smoking, foul-mouthed bear of a best friend causes no end of hilarity in this witty, massively entertaining crazy film that runs oh so close to crossing that funny/cringing line, but just stays on the right side. We were genuinely laughing out loud, and all the characters are so perfectly cast, there is simply no way you could sit through this straight-faced...unless you were dead!

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and Seth MacFarlane as Ted
DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane
RUNTIME: 106mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 29/06/12 Australia 05/0712 New Zealand 11/07/12 UK Ireland 01 August 2012 Argentina 04/10/12 Italy 05/10/12 France 10/10/12

Academy Awards Nominations & Winners

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FLOWERS OF WAR

The Flowers Of WarFROM internationally celebrated director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House Of Flying Daggers) comes a story of love and war - and a band of outcasts who emerge as unlikely heroes from the shadows of a city's occupation. At once lyrical and visceral, the film enters the apocalyptic world of Nanjing in 1937 only to find a vibrant human story about the invisible people of the city and a series of unexpected relationships that lead to a resonant act of sacrifice.

It begins when the danger in the streets of Nanjing throws together a group of opposites --a flock of shell-shocked school children, a dozen seductive courtesans, and a renegade American posing as a priest to save his own skin, or so he thinks - all seeking safety behind a walled cathedral. Trapped by marauding soldiers, over the next few days the prejudices and divides between them will fall away as they unite around a last-ditch plan to protect the children from impending catastrophe.

CAST: Christian Bale, Paul Schneider, Shigeo Kobayashi
DIRECTOR: Zhang Yimou
RUNTIME: 146mins
COUNTRY: China/Hong Kong
LANGUAGE: Chinese (Nanjing Dialect)/English/Japanese/Mandarin/Shanghainese
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 20/01/12 UK 03 August 2012

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360

360A sexy dramatic thriller about interconnected romantic life in the 21st century. 360 starts in Vienna, weaving stories set in Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix into a single, mesmerizing narrative. A businessman faced tempted to be unfaithful to his wife sets into motion a series of events which ripple around the globe with dramatic consequences, set against the backdrop of international banking crisis, the domino-effect of the Arab Spring, the threat of global flu pandemics and Euro-Zone instability. From the director of City of God and The Constant Gardener, Fernando Meirelles, and acclaimed writer of Frost/Nixon and The Queen, Peter Morgan.

SOMETIMES you wonder what happens to directors and writers; a bad day I get, but an entire bad movie...how do they not realise before even beginning filming that it's not very clever. 360 is vaguely pleasant, and completely watchable, but does not even whiff of the previous efforts of both Meirelles and Morgan. If the cast hadn't tried so hard and brought their 'A' game to the party, it would have not even reached acceptable standards.

A decidedly mediocre effort, wasting superior talent. I expected so much more.

CAST: Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster
DIRECTOR: Fernando Meirelles
RUNTIME: 111mins
COUNTRY: UK/Austria/France/Brazil
LANGUAGE: English/German/Arabic/French/Portuguese/Russian
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 25/07/12 USA 03/08/12 UK 10 August 2012 Argentina 16/08/12 Australia New Zealand 08/11/12

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BRAVE

BraveMERIDA is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin, surly Lord Macintosh and cantankerous Lord Dingwall. Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.

A most delightful little tale that kids will absolutely love, and even soppy mares like me will shed a tear of happiness at the end. This is a perfectly unadulterated simple magical story that anyone of any age will enjoy, voiced by immediately recognisable actors who just add to the fun.

CAST: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters
DIRECTOR: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
RUNTIME: 100mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 21/06/12 USA 22/06/12 Argentina 12/07/12 Japan 21/07/12 France 01/08/12 UK 13 August 2012 Ireland 17/08/12 Italy 05/09/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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THE BOURNE LEGACY

The Bourne LegacyTHE narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. 

For
THE BOURNE LEGACY, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.

BEFORE its release, I said I wasn't quite sure why this is branded with the Bourne label since Jason Bourne is not even in the film, and that some things should be left well alone when they are done. Well blow me down with a feather! Personally I am absolutely thrilled that Tony Gilroy turned his hand to directing the fourth Bourne instalment, and leaving it just where a whole new franchise can take over.

This film makes sense of the other three, giving Treadstone and Blackbriar more clarity and depth, and sets up a grittier, very fast-paced espionage thriller which had me on the edge of my seat in the second half. The stellar cast did the script such justice, and Jeremy Renner has transformed from supporting actor to star rather admirably.

A few critics have complained it is not as sophisticated as the Matt Damon trilogy...well bully to them. This is an action-packed adrenaline-fuelled most excellent adventure that matches any recent Bond-movie - an excellent popcorn movie primed for a sequel. And every time it may just have slipped your mind that "Bourne" was in the title - bang! And he's back. The perfect ending in a sixth film would be to bring Bourne and Cross together.

CAST: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac
DIRECTOR: Tony Gilroy
RUNTIME: 135mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 10/08/12 UK Ireland 13 August 2012 Australia New Zealand 16/08/12 Argentina 23/08/12 Italy 14/09/12 France 19/09/12 21/09/12 Japan 28/09/12

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SHADOW DANCER

Shadow DancerSINGLE mother Collette McVeigh is a Republican living in Belfast with her mother and hardliner IRA brothers. When she is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA bomb plot in London, an MI5 officer Mac  offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison for 25 years or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. With her son's life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in Mac and return home, but when her brothers' secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself and her family in grave danger.

CAST: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Aiden Gillen
DIRECTOR: James Marsh
RUNTIME: 102mins
COUNTRY: UK/Ireland
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 24 August 2012

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TOTAL RECALL

Total RecallTOTAL RECALL is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.

YET another remake. Can't understand why - there's far too much of this going on...it appears there is no originality left in Hollywood. The original didn't need to be remade, and now I have seen the final result, I do wish they hadn't bothered!

Bill Nighy is utterly wasted here, Beckinsale and Biel are so frivolous and unconvincing, and not even Colin Farrell's rough good looks could mask the dullness of the unexciting caper which could not figure out what it was trying to be; one moment you're in The Matrix, then Blade Runner, hinting to Damon's Bourne, flipping to the Fifth Element, but illustrating no cohesion whatsoever, and hugely lacking in Schwarzenegger's testosterone.

Very good CGI, but on the whole, wise to give it a wide berth. If you need a fix, get the original on DVD.

CAST: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, and Bill Nighy
DIRECTOR: Len Wiseman
RUNTIME: 118mins
COUNTRY: USA/Canada
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 03/08/12 Argentina 09/08/12 Japan 10/08/12 France 15/08/12 UK Ireland 29 August 2012 Australia New Zealand 06/09/12 Italy 28/09/12

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THE WATCH

The WatchFOUR everyday suburban guys come together as an excuse to escape their humdrum lives one night a week. But when they accidentally discover that their town has become overrun with aliens posing as ordinary suburbanites, they have no choice but to save their neighbourhood -- and the world -- from total extermination.

THE trailer made the film look hugely entertaining. There we were hoping it wasn't a compilation of all the funny bits...it was. Good actors doing their best with a generally lousy script. Could've been so good - but wasn't! Oh well...

CAST: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt
DIRECTOR: Akiva Schaffer
RUNTIME: 102mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 27/07/12 Argentina 23/08/12 UK Ireland 29 August 2012 France 12/09/12 Australia New Zealand 13/09/12 Italy 09/11/12

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July 2012

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN

The Amazing SpiderManTHE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is the story of Peter Parker, an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben  and Aunt May. Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

I had no expectations really since the Toby Maguire offerings were fine but not earth-shattering. What struck me most about this version - which is simply fantastic - was how obvious it is that Garfield is a real fan of Spiderman, whilst Maguire did not have a clue in comparison. Garfield has completely embodied the character of Peter Parker, and with a brilliant cast backing him up, this movie will no doubt be a box office smash.

Even more shocking is that this is Marc Webb’s first mainstream feature film. Well here’s to him having a long and successful career, since if this is anything to go by, He will not be a one-hit-wonder!

CAST: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irfan Khan, Martin Sheen, Sally Field
DIRECTOR: Marc Webb                      
RUNTIME: 136mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Japan 29/06/12 UK Ireland USA 03 July 2012 Australia France Italy New Zealand 04/07/12 Argentina 05/07/12 13/07/12

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BOL BACHCHAN

Bol BachchanTHERE’s no official website, and no official synopsis for this comedy caper, but we can tell you it is a most entertaining farce that will have you giggling hysterically at the slapstick humour from start to finish. A super cast - though Desai really could have been any mediocre ineffectual Bollywood chick - pulled off a ridiculous but hilarious premise, and the time just flies by as Abhishek Bachchan produces a performance almost funnier than his wacky camp character in Dostana.

Like comedy? Watch it.

CAST: Ajay Devgan, Asin, Abhishek Bachchan, Prachi Desai, Archana Puran Singh, Asrani
DIRECTOR: Rohit Shetty                     
RUNTIME: 150mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi/English with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 06 July 2012

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SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldSEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD stars Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell and Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley and is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria. Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity's last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge (Mr. Carell) and Penny (Ms. Knightley) converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks - if not the world's - brighten.

WELL you can't possibly class this as a romcom as there is definitely no happy ending with an impending meteor is about to destroy the planet. But you can enjoy this sweet film of two most unlikely characters falling in love as humanity is about to end rather abruptly. It's not a laugh out loud kind of comedy, but it will make you smile. Not an earth shattering film (pun obviously intended), but it won't hurt.

CAST: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, William Petersen, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller, Patton Oswalt, Bob Stephenson, Mark Moses
DIRECTOR: Lorene Scafaria               
RUNTIME: 101mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 22/06/12 UK Ireland 13 July 2012 France 08/08/12 Italy 17/08/12

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CHARIOTS OF FIRE

Chariots of FireCHARIOTS OF FIRE tells the story of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics: 

Eric Liddell is a devout Christian who believes that his athletic abilities are a gift from God, and that using that gift to its fullest extent - to win the gold medal - will be his way of repaying that gift. 


Harold Abrahams is an English Jew, a student at Cambridge, who dreams of fame and of proving to his anti-Semitic fellow students, and to the world, that Jews are in no respect inferior. 

Their motives are noble. Their commitment is total. Their integrity is unquestionable. They will both make personal sacrifices to achieve their goals. In the process, through all the obstacles and personal issues they conquer, they prove that striving for victory in their own terms is, perhaps, its own reward. 

Based on a true story, CHARIOTS OF FIRE was the winner of four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, in addition to receiving nominations for three more.

WHETHER you care about the Olympics or not, this awesome film is a must see for all fans of the silver screen. It’s iconic music by Vangelis, and now digitally remastered 31 years after its original release in 1981, the stellar cast & spectacular cinematic vision hold up to the test of time. You won’t regret spending 2 hours of your life on this, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the UK or Ireland, you’ll find it every on the big screen.

CAST: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, William Petersen, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller, Patton Oswalt, Bob Stephenson, Mark Moses
DIRECTOR: Lorene Scafaria               
RUNTIME: 124mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English/French
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 13 July 2012

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COCKTAIL

CocktailGAUTAM is the quintessential bachelor enjoying the fruits of being single. He flirts harmlessly with women and stays far away from commitment. His best friend Veronica also lives life by the minute, enjoying it to its fullest. In their lives comes Meera - a coy Indian girl, jilted by her lover, alone in a unknown land, looking for a shelter and friendship The three become friends and start living together. Things become complicated when friendship turns into lust turns into love, and the three find themselves in a cocktail of life and relationships.

THIS sitcom style film could have been so good. It is quirky, has elements of originality, stars Saif Ali Khan, Boman Irani and the iconic and still breathtakingly beautiful Dimple Kapadia. Sadly, it also features Padukone in her usual ineffectual, bland form, who shares precisely zero chemistry with her love interest, and yet another very pretty model-turned-actress, Diana Penty, in her first acting foray, and really, she probably shouldn’t have bothered.

The film is completely watchable...just the once, but is also entirely predictable, letting itself down monumentally in the final scenes. And Khan really should stand much closer to his razor in the mornings; there is fashionable stubble and then there is the unattractive growth on his face which simply looks lazy.

CAST: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia
DIRECTOR: Homi Adajania                
RUNTIME: 145mins
COUNTRY: India/UK
LANGUAGE: Hindi/English with subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 13 July 2012

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ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT

Ice Age 4 Continental DriftSCRAT's nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he’s been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences – a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

I’VE read the mediocre reviews, but also saw the film. The film made me giggle. I only ever saw the first one, then missed 2 & 3. 4 is perfectly acceptable, brought a smile to my face, and I happily regressed to childhood when cartoons were fun and just for kids. Got kids? They’ll love it. Want to read more into it, and debate the virtues of repetitive themes from earlier incarnations? Do get a life...did you never see and get and love Tom & Jerry?!

CAST: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer
DIRECTOR: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
RUNTIME: 94mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: France 27/06/12 Argentina Australia New Zealand 28/06/12 Ireland 29/06/12 UK USA 13 July 2012 Italy 28/09/12

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight RisesIT has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive.  Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good.  For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda.  Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile.  But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

THERE has been such excitement and anticipation at this final film of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Trilogy. The first two were quite brilliant, and the third promised to surpass both, though personally, I did not even watched the trailer!

So did surpass expectations? Absolutely! (Though the DC Comic nerds sitting in front of us were ever so excited to let us know just how inaccurate it was to the original...like I cared!) Bale is sublime, Morgan is delightful, Cotillard breathtaking, Oldman the perfect Commissioner, and even Anne Hathaway (of whom I am no fan) was as good as she good be, despite her bleeding red lips, though Michelle Pfeiffer she could not match.

The Dark Knight rose in glorious fashion, engaging from the outset, a consummate rollercoaster from end to end with thrills, twists, darkness and calm. I cannot begin to imagine how anyone other than Christopher Nolan could have done Batman more justice.

Just in case I wasn't clear - you really should go see this as it has surpassed The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and Prometheus as my blockbuster movie of the year. For anything else this year to steal the best movie mantle, it will have to be pretty spectacular.

CAST: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan         
RUNTIME: 164mins
COUNTRY: USA/UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 19/07/12 UK Ireland USA 20 July 2012 France 25/07/12 Argentina 26/07/12 Japan 27/07/12 Italy 29/08/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

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June 2012

PROMETHEUS

PrometheusRIDLEY SCOTT, director of Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

THE trailer is a masterpiece in itself. The film...well...I cannot imagine why anyone would not rush to see it on the day of release. And that's exactly what I did.

The frighteningly awful Robin Hood can now be buried in history as a terribly glitch. Ridley Scott is back - and with such a bang! Prometheus is as good a movie as any that has been released this year - I'd probably go as far as saying it's even better than Avengers, which so far was my favourite, though different genres do evoke different emotions. If you're a fan of sci fi, then you're a fan of Alien, and Prometheus - though cleverly brought into the 21st century since the original was released 33 years ago(!) - will be perfectly up your street. And unless you are actually old enough to have seen the first at the cinema, then this is even more of a treat when in my case, I saw Alien far too young to understand properly and on a teensie little 20" screen!

But if you've never seen Alien, that's probably even better.

Go see it with no expectations and you will not be disappointed. Rapace is excellent, Theron perfectly gorgeous, Marshall-Green...where has he been until now? As for Idris Elba, he is the height of coolness. And Fassbender - I have never actually liked him in anything up 'til now, and I'm afraid my opinion has not changed, but not everything can be perfect, right?! Despite the latter, the film is great.

CAST: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
RUNTIME: 124mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 30/05/12 UK Ireland 01 June 2012 Argentina Australia New Zealand 07/06/12 USA 08/06/12 Italy 14/09/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Snow White And The HuntsmanIN the epic action-adventure SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, Kristen Stewart plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power.

The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, The Sixth Sense producer, Sam Mercer and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.

THE last fairytale I saw was also based on Snow White - Mirror Mirror - it was appalling. But this looked altogether far superior. Dark, mean, moody, action-packed and terribly grown-up appeared to be the vision of this Snow White - how thoroughly intriguing this could have been! Sadly however, Kristen Stewart with her impossible one-dimensional acting which is only rivalled by the appalling Emma Watson, dragged down an otherwise quite palatable affair.

Theron is her usual enchanting self, and brings a whole new dimension to the Wicked Stepmother, and Hemsworth and the rest of the cast -especially the dwarves- perform as well as can be expected, but the story seems to meander with no real direction. The script is simply mediocre and overall, it is a fairly pointless endeavour.

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Lily Cole, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson
DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders
RUNTIME: 127mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 31/05/12 UK Ireland USA 01 June 2012 France 13/06/12 Japan 15/06/12 Australia New Zealand 21/06/12 Italy 11/07/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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LOL

LOLIn a world connected by YouTube, iTunes and Facebook, Lola (Cyrus) and her friends navigate the peer pressures of high school romance and friendship while dodging their sometimes overbearing and confused parents. When Lola’s mom, Anne (Moore), "accidentally" reads her teenage daughter’s racy journal, she realizes just how wide their communication gap has grown. Through hilarious and heartfelt moments between mother and daughter, LOL is a fresh coming-of-age story for modern times.

WELL, at least I gave it a go. OK if I'm honest, not much of a go. It really is terribly awfully rubbish. That'll be a no then.

CAST: Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, Ashley Greene, Douglas Booth, Adam G. Sevani, Hashley Hinshaw, Thomas Jane, Marlo Thomas, Lina Esco
DIRECTOR: Lisa Azuelos
RUNTIME: 97mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 04/05/12 UK Ireland 01 June 2012 22/06/12 Italy 17/08/12 France 12/09/12 Argentina 13/09/12

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A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING

A Fantastic Fear Of EverythingJACK  is a children’s author turned crime novelist whose detailed research into the lives of Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck, persecuted by an irrational fear of being murdered. When Jack is thrown a life-line by his long-suffering agent, and a mysterious Hollywood executive takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in Jack’s script, what should be his ‘big break’ rapidly turns into his ‘big breakdown’ as Jack is forced to confront his worst fears; among them love, laundry and serial killers.

I’M afraid the trailer is most unengaging, and therefore I shall be waiting for this one to appear on DVD before it gets a review!

CAST: Simon Pegg, Clare Higgins, Amara Karan
DIRECTOR: Crispian Mills
RUNTIME: 100mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 08 June 2012

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RED TAILS

Red Tails1944. To help win the war, the Pentagon brass has no choice but to consider the untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. 

Just as the young Tuskegee men are about to be shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. These intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country – and the fate of the free world.

A most enjoyable film with the mark of George Lucas stamped all over it with the enigmatic aerial battle scenes, reminiscent of Star Wars. There really is not much to say other than see it on the big screen to fully appreciate the scale of the film, and admire the faultless performances from all involved. Just super.

CAST: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ne-Yo, David Oyelowo
DIRECTOR: Anthony Hemingway
RUNTIME: 125mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/Italian/German
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 20/01/12 France 25/05/12 UK Ireland 06 June 2012 Argentina 13/06/12

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ROCK OF AGES

Rock of AgesROCK OF AGES tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock 'n' roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister and more.

The movie musical stars Julianne Hough, with actor/singer Diego Boneta in his feature film debut, Russell Brand, Oscar® nominee Paul Giamatti, Academy Award® winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman  and R&B queen Mary J. Blige, with Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin, and Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx.

NOT even the most excellent rock soundtrack could save the tedium of this monumental borefest full of the worst clichés of musicals, which have translated so badly to the big screen. And faced with one of the unfunniest and untalented British comedic exports (surpassed only by Ricky Gervais), Russell Brand, so early on, I’m afraid I could not wait for Tom Cruise to arrive on the scene and gave up long before. From the outset it felt about as inspiring as Grease 2.

There is far more to life than watching dross like this. Like the music? Then download the soundtrack, or even go see it on stage, but don’t bother with this one.

CAST: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise
DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman
RUNTIME: 123mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 13 June 2012 Australia New Zealand 14/06/12 USA 15/06/12 Italy 20/06/12 France 11/07/12 Argentina 16/08/12 Japan 21/09/12

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JAWS

JawsTHE Original Summer Blockbuster is back in cinemas for a limited time only from June 15, 2012

When the seaside town of Amity finds itself under attack by a gigantic great white shark, the town's police chief and a grizzled shark hunter embark on a mission to destroy the beast before it strikes again! Digitally restored, JAWS is back to terrify audiences this summer.

DO not even ask questions; if it’s on at a big screen near you, go see it! The thrill, the suspense, the action, the edge of seat tension...it was brilliant in 1975. It still is.

CAST: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
RUNTIME: 124mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 15 June 2012

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COSMOPOLIS

CosmopolisNEW YORK CITY, not-too-distant-future: Eric Packer, a 28 year-old finance golden boy dreaming of living in a civilization ahead of this one, watches a dark shadow cast over the firmament of the Wall Street galaxy, of which he is the uncontested king. As he is chauffeured across midtown Manhattan to get a haircut at his father's old barber, his anxious eyes are glued to the yuan's exchange rate: it is mounting against all expectations, destroying Eric's bet against it. Eric Packer is losing his empire with every tick of the clock. Meanwhile, an eruption of wild activity unfolds in the city's streets. Petrified as the threats of the real world infringe upon his cloud of virtual convictions, his paranoia intensifies during the course of his 24-hour cross-town odyssey.

Packer starts to piece together clues that lead him to a most terrifying secret: his imminent assassination.

Cronenberg revisits subjects that fascinate him: how the organic and the psychological are inextricably intertwined, society's anxieties and phobias, and letting repressed impulses and paranoia run wild. COSMOPOLIS is a culmination of his masterpieces that addresses the alarming global financial crisis of today's world.

It is a hauntingly prophetic fable that turns the future into history and suggests that the archaic might be our eerie future.

INTERESTING trailer - doesn’t give much away. But Cronenberg can make good films when he puts his mind to it, and maybe Pattinson will finally prove me wrong in that he nothing but a bland mediocre actor.

CAST: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gordon, Mathieu Amalric, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K’Naan, Emily Hampshire, Paul Giamatti
DIRECTOR: David Cronenberg
RUNTIME: 123mins
COUNTRY: France/Canada/Portugal/Italy
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France Italy 25/05/12 UK Ireland 15 June 2012 Australia 02/08/12 USA 17/08/12 New Zealand 01/11/12 Argentina 07/02/13

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RED LIGHTS

Red LightsVETERAN paranormal researchers Dr. Margaret Matheson and Tom Buckley debunk fraudulent claims of ghost whispering, faith healing and other psychic phenomena by detecting what Matheson calls “red lights,” the subtle tricks behind every staged supernatural occurrence. But when the legendary blind psychic Simon Silver comes out of retirement after 30 years, his once-fearless adversary Matheson warns Buckley to back off, fearing reprisal from the powerful Silver. 

Determined to discredit Silver, Buckley and his star student use every tool at their disposal to uncover the truth behind the charismatic, spoon-bending, mind reader. But Buckley is forced to re-examine his own core beliefs as his quest builds to a mind-blowing conclusion in this taut psychological thriller from award-winning writer and director Rodrigo Cortés.

ROBERT DE NIRO and Sigourney Weaver...what could possibly go wrong... Sadly, the most pointless anti-climactic ending. Every artist played his/her role with excellence, but this intriguing beginning develops into a convoluted mess that has no direction, and is a perfectly good waste of two hours that could well have been spent better elsewhere. Cortés should be kicking himself for creating such a turkey from such revered talent. Don't waste your time.

CAST: Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy
DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Cortés
RUNTIME: 113mins
COUNTRY: Spain/USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 15 June 2012 USA 13/07/12 Argentina 06/09/12

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THINK LIKE A MAN

Think Like A ManBASED on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book, THINK LIKE A MAN follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey’s book and start taking his advice to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book’s insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.

OH what inane tedium. How any person who possesses any modicum of intelligence can enjoy this boring cinematic let down saturated with clichés and entirely predictable ending, is beyond me and I simply feel sorry for them. Yet another summer ‘really don’t bother’ kinda movie.

CAST: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara , Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Jenifer Lewis, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union, Chris Brown
DIRECTOR: Tim Story
RUNTIME: 122mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 20/04/12 UK Ireland 22 June 2012

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TERI MERI KAHAANI

Teri Meri KahaaniCAN we truly love one person throughout our life and hope that fate makes us meet with the same person in every life of ours? 

This story takes us through a journey of eternal love between a couple who have vowed to love each other not only in this life but in every life to follow. Their love is so strong that even destiny wants to bring them together. The story starts in 1960 Bombay with Govind and Ruksar, then moves ahead to present times, 2012 England with Radha and Krish and then goes back in time to Punjab, 1910 with Aradhana and Javed.

Can Javed and Aradhana still be together? Will Ruksar realize that Govind’s feeling for her were genuine?

Will Krish be able to clear the misunderstandings?

Will true love prevail? Or will destiny take its course...

SHAHID and Priyanka are their normal, delightful selves in this cute and simple love story. Kohli makes nice films; this is a nice film. Nothing fancy, nothing clever, no unnecessary melodrama, just a gentle romcom set over a century played out by splendid actors.

CAST: Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra
DIRECTOR: Kunal Kohli
RUNTIME: 112mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: World 22 June 2012

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KILLER JOE

Killer JoeWHEN 22-year-old drug dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) has his stash stolen by his mother, he has to come up with six thousand dollars quick or he's dead. Desperate, he turns to "Killer Joe" (Matthew McConaughey) when he finds out that his mother's life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Although Joe usually demands cash up front, he finds himself willing to bend the rules in exchange for Chris' attractive younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple), who will serve as sexual collateral until the money comes in... if it ever does.

FREIDKIN is most well known for creating immense suspense and abject horror in his award-winning most brilliant and terrifying The Exorcist. Here he shows he has not lost his edge, though this time it is an entirely different type of horror in the brutal and base violence of American white trash where the law or life holds little value. Expertly acted by all the players, Killer Joe is disturbing, sadistic, highly sexual in uncompromising fashion, and deserves its 18 rating.

CAST: Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church
DIRECTOR: William Friedkin              
RUNTIME: 103mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 29 June 2012 USA 27/07/12 France 05/09/12

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May 2012

SILENT HOUSE

Silent HouseSILENT HOUSE is a uniquely unsettling horror thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman who finds herself sealed inside her family's secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. Directed by filmmaking duo Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, Silent House uses meticulous camera choreography to take the audience on a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot.

CAST: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens
DIRECTOR: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau
RUNTIME: 85 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 09/03/12 UK Ireland 04 May 2012

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THE LUCKY ONE

The Lucky OneU.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

Unless you are a deluded teenage girl and fan of Zac Efron, then despite his mediocre appearance made all the worse in this film since he never actually gets close enough to a razor blade to have any significant impact, and his hair, well, I’m sure he could afford a stylist, but you will still go and see it, then there is simply no reason to see this overly long, entirely pointless and painfully tedious film. At the half way point, you will feel like you’ve been handcuffed to your seat for at least twice as long, and yet there is still so much more boredom to come. Do yourself a favour, do not waste your time.

CAST: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, Blythe Danner
DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks
RUNTIME: 101 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 19/04/12 USA 20/04/12 Italy 25/04/12 UK Ireland 02 May 2012 Argentina 03/05/12 Japan 16/06/12

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ALL IN GOOD TIME

All in Good TimeCENTRED around a close knit, larger-than-life British Asian family living in present day Bolton, ALL IN GOOD TIME stars Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones) and Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited) as Atul Dutt and his young bride Vina for whom the first taste of married life is proving far from straightforward.

CAST: Reece Ritchi, Amara Karan, Meera Syal, Harish Patel
DIRECTOR: Nigel Cole
RUNTIME: 94 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 11 May 2012

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HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION

How I Spent My Summer VacationTHE story of Driver, a career criminal who is picked up by the Mexican police as he desperately tries to cross the border in a car stuffed full of stolen cash. The police take the cash and dump him in the infamous El Pueblito prison - a hell on earth where the prison gangs run the show. 

Driver has no ID or fingerprints but he still gets a visit from a corrupt American Embassy official who has heard about the money. If Driver doesn't find a way of paying him off while he's inside, then he's going to let the authorities know where Driver is. And it won't be long before the guys he stole the money from find him too. Driver knows it is sink or swim. He hooks up with a young boy who shows him how to survive in the prison, but the kid has a terrible secret. He shares a rare blood type with Javi - the criminal who ruthlessly controls the prison and everyone in it. The kid is Javi's life insurance policy and he has doctors on standby to transplant his liver whenever the time comes. But Driver has other ideas and pretty soon he devises an audacious plan to escape with the kid, the kid’s mother and the money.

MEL GIBSON at his absolute best in this Tarantino-esque, completely non-PC, violent, prison caper with a great storyline unlike anything we've seen before as far as I am aware. Gibson is in his element, and all those around him play their roles admirably, especially 'the kid'. It's pretty gruesome, but will make you laugh. Just very clever and very entertaining - just don't watch it if you have a fragile disposition!

CAST: Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Bob Gunton, Scott Cohen, Patrick Bauchau, Kevin Hernandez, Stephanie Lemelin
DIRECTOR: Adrian Grunberg
RUNTIME: 95 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 11 May 2012 Australia 31/05/12 Italy 01/06/12 Argentina 14/06/12

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DANGEROUS ISHHQ

Dangerous IshhqWHEN supermodel Sanjana decides against flying to Paris at the last minute- for a lucrative modelling assignment, she does so not just because she cannot bear to stay away from her boyfriend Rohan but more importantly because her instincts push her against going.

Rohan, the son of one of the nation’s foremost business tycoons, and Sanjana have been one of the most popular couples in the social circuit. But what her instincts cannot do is stop Rohan from getting kidnapped.


The high profile kidnapping creates chaos in Sanjana’s life. The kidnappers demand INR 50 crores. The Police however believe that even paying the ransom will not bring Rohan back. Time is of utmost essence. Death stares Rohan in the eye. It is in this extreme trauma that Sanjana discovers something extraordinary. She sees visions of them together- sometime in the past- in different eras.


She is confused initially but in her visions lay definitive clues that could lead her to save the love of her life. As she follows clue after clue she gets closer and sometimes further away from the love that has been eluding her through the ages.


An enticing suspense thriller, Dangerous Ishhq is Sanjana’s tryst with Destiny. Would she be able to unravel the past to save her future? Would she be able to rescue her love and expose his true captors?

LOOKED interesting - Bollywood does its best when it sticks to what it knows, and past lives is so intrinsically linked to the Hindustani psyche, this will pull in the punters. And as an added bonus, its Karisma Kapoor’s big comeback movie - and considering she’s more beautiful than her sister, more talented than her sister, and not even remotely irritating like her sister, this could only be a good thing. Oh and in case you didn't know, her sister is Kareena Kapoor.

But oh. A suspense thriller with zero suspense and no thrills to speak of at all. Kapoor's going to wish she had picked something else to make that comeback, because no matter how understated and beautiful Kapoor is in this female-led film, the plot has more holes than a colander, it lacks any depth whatsoever, the direction is simply appalling, the editing even worse, and Duggal -the boyfriend- is about as animated as Ken of Barbie & Ken fame. Oh what a shame...and a waste of my time.

CAST: Karisma Kapoor, Rajneesh Duggal, Divya Dutta, Jimmy Shergill, Ruslaan Mumtaz, Arya Babbar
DIRECTOR: Vikram Bhatt
RUNTIME: 130mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: unrated
RELEASE DATE: World 11 May 2012

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DARK SHADOWS

Dark ShadowsIN the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy...until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard. A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harbouring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman, to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth's ne'er-do-well brother, Roger Collins; her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard; and Roger's precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins. The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, and David's new nanny, Victoria Winterz.

IT’S a Tim Burton movie - of course his wife, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Johnny Depp are in the film. But I have to say, this one looked simply fantabulous from the trailer, and am pleased to say it was a delightfully mischievous children's yarn. The lack of any depth to the story is made up for by the excellent visual depiction, but the disjointedness and the darkness missing from the comedy was a little disappointing. Still, worth a look.

CAST: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
RUNTIME: 113 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 09/05/12 Australia New Zealand 10/05/12 UK Ireland Italy USA 11 May 2012 Japan 19/05/12 Argentina 21/05/12

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JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME

Jeff Who Lives at HomeON his way to the store to buy wood glue, Jeff looks for signs from the universe to determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life... and if he's lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.

ANOTHER quirky little indie movie from the US of A which they do so well. It kind of meanders along a slightly bizarre path, with a delightful cast who are perfectly understated. You'll leave the cinema smiling. Only problem, you probably won't remember it the next day.

CAST: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon
DIRECTOR: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
RUNTIME: 83 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 16/03/12 UK Ireland 11 May 2012

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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING

What to Expect When Youre ExpectingINSPIRED by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.

A kaleidoscopic comedy as universal as it is unpredictable, What To Expect When You’re Expecting finds humour and uplift in all the unexpected trials and triumphs of welcoming a child into the world.

ENSEMBLE cast movies, especially Hollywood ones, have disaster written all over them. However, this is director, Kirk Jones fourth movie, and the other three are Waking Ned, Nanny McPhee, and Everyone’s Fine - all excellent, so I had high hopes for this one!

However, any film that features the talentless Cheryl 'I am a wag with friends in high places but can't sing or dance though do have an exceedingly annoying voice' Tweedy or Cole or whatever her name is today in the first five minutes, and worse still she is playing herself, I'm afraid will not encourage me to waste any of my life on such a pointless and fickle endeavour.

CAST: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Rodrigo Santoro, Ben Falcone, Joe Manganiello
DIRECTOR: Kirk Jones
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 18/05/12 UK Ireland 23 May 2012 Australia New Zealand 31/05/12 France 20/06/12 Italy 22/06/12 Argentina 20/09/12

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MOONRISE KINGDOM

Moonrise KingdomSet on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, MOONRISE KINGDOM tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle.

Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.

WES ANDERSON writes and makes odd movies. And this is just as odd, and just as enjoyable! A quirky, simplistic, marvellous ditty that is the sweetest breath of fresh air amongst all the summer blockbuster sci-fi and action movies on the horizon. Nothing about this delightful and eccentric film can be faulted - each and every element is carefully planned and executed, resulting in a perfect offering which must be seen.

CAST: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward
DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson
RUNTIME: 94 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 16/05/12 UK Ireland USA 25 May 2012 Argentina 07/06/12 New Zealand 30/08/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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MEN IN BLACK 3

Men In Black 3IN MEN IN BLACK™ 3, Agents J and K  are back... in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him -- secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was about seeing this blockbusting Smith-Lee Jones comedic sci-fi caper. And this time, Emma Thompson’s in it too! And it did not disappoint.

Nothing is ever going to be as good as the original film, but No.#3 came a very close second. It was comedic and clever, nostalgic and sentimental, and the attention to detail in 1969 was brilliant. Absolute unadulterated fun, though I'm not convinced the 3D element was really required.

CAST: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Emma Thompson
DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: France Italy 23/05/12 Argentina Australia New Zealand 24/05/12 UK Ireland Japan USA 25 May 2012

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April 2012

MIRROR MIRROR

Mirror MirrorMIRROR MIRROR is a spectacular reimagining of the classic fairy tale. An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright in a spirited adventure comedy filled with jealousy, romance and betrayal that will capture the imagination of audiences the world over.

Visionary director Tarsem Singh rewrites fairy tale history as a wicked enchantress schemes and scrambles for control of a spirited orphan's throne and the attention of a charming prince. When Snow White's beauty wins the heart of the prince that she desperately pursues, the Queen banishes her to the forest, where a ravening man-eating beast hungrily awaits.

Rescued by a band of diminutive highway robbers, Snow White grows into an indomitable young woman determined to take back her realm from the treacherous Queen. With the support of her subjects, she roars into action in an epic battle that blends spectacle, magic and contemporary humour in Singh's signature, jaw-dropping visual style.

DO not even bother! Firstly - you don’t mess with fairytales. So when some jumped up music video director decides he is good enough to make movies, the audience should generally run for the hills...Ridley Scott he is not. Tarsem Singh’s first foray into the silver screen was Immortals - and hopefully you did not waste your time on that one. Well, this is no better. The script is poor, the visualisation is pedestrian, and he has ruined a perfectly good fairytale. As for the stellar cast, oh mon dieu, but no doubt the remuneration was worth it. And the final nail in the coffin - the pathetic attempt at recreating a spectacular Bollywood item number at the end...spectacularly cringe-worthy maybe!

CAST: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean, Nathan Lane
DIRECTOR: Tarsem Singh
RUNTIME: 106 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 29/03/12 USA 30/03/12 UK Ireland 02 April 2012 Italy 04/04/12 Argentina 05/04/12 France 11/04/12

Academy Awards Nominations & Winners

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HOUSEFULL 2

Housefull 2HOUSEFULL 2... The Dirty Dozen is the second super star packed instalment in the HF franchise. A completely new story with new characters and a new star cast. HF2 is bigger than its predecessor in every aspect. It is the story of four fathers, four daughters and four prospective son-in-laws and as the second half of the title suggests, they are the dirty dozen. Each father wants his daughter to marry the richest son-in-law, Each daughter thinks she is marrying the richest son-in-law. Each son-in-law is pretending to be the richest son-in-law. Each character is flawed, unscrupulous and extremely entertaining. The good news for the audience is that none of these people can stand each other and all of them are under one roof, in one house as the first half of the title suggests – HOUSEFULL...2

IT’S cheesy, predictable, as shallow as a not very deep puddle, the storyline is ludicrous, most of the acting entirely over the top, and yet it is the perfect “time-pass” comedic Bollywood slapstick caper that will have you giggling muchly. If you want to leave your brain at home and laugh out loud, then see it.

CAST: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Riteish Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Zarine Khan, Shahzan Padamsee, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Boman Irani
DIRECTOR: Sajid Khan
RUNTIME: 145 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 05 April 2012

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THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY

The Cold Light Of DayWILL SHAW (Henry Cavill) goes to Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family but his whole world turns upside down when the family is kidnapped by intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering a mysterious briefcase and Will suddenly finds himself on the run.

CAST: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Caroline Goodall, Rafi Gavron
DIRECTOR: Mabrouk El Mechri
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English/Spain
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 06 April 2012 France 02/05/12 Italy 18/05/12 Australia 31/05/12 USA 12/09/12

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THIS MUST BE THE PLACE

This Must Be The PlaceCHEYENNE is a former rock star. At 50 he still dresses ‘goth’ and lives in Dublin off his royalties.

The death of his father, with whom he wasn't on speaking terms, brings him back to New York. He discovers his father had an obsession: to seek revenge for a humiliation he had suffered.


Cheyenne decides to pick up where his father left off, and starts a journey, at his own pace, across America.

A gentle meandering yarn which shows both Penn and McDormand off to their best abilities. In parts it did actually feel as detached as a Coen Brothers film, slightly weird, very understated, but overall thoroughly enjoyable. No doubt in time, this will movie will gain cult status.

CAST: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Harry Dean Stanton, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon
DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino
RUNTIME: 118 mins
COUNTRY: Italy/France/Ireland
LANGUAGE: English/Hebrew
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 24/08/11 Italy 14/10/11 Ireland 23/03/12 Australia 05/04/12 UK 06 April 2012 Japan 23/06/12 Argentina 30/08/12

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BATTLESHIP

BattleshipIn 2012, the battle for Earth begins at sea.

OK there is an official synopsis, but it’s just a list of the characters and the actors playing them. Blah...blah...blah. The only thing you need to know from that waste of a lot of words is apart from the real actors, the movie stars Rihanna -and she’s not awful- and “in his professional acting debut, U.S. Army Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, a battalion leader who lost both legs in Iraq in 2007. Gadson plays Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, an Army combat veteran and double amputee who begins his recovery just as the alien attack begins.”

As for the film itself, it is very shallow, the dialogue is unimpressive, the story is completely unimaginative, but despite all of the above, it is simply bloody good fun! The CGI is detailed, the alien ships are just huge so look amazing as they blow up, and overall, if you love shoot ‘em up video games, or have ever played Battleship and enjoyed it, you will like this. The explosions are spectacular, the film is visually startlingly excellent, and I found it to be a fantastic way of mindlessly spending a couple of hours.

CAST: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Asano Tadanobu, Liam Neeson
DIRECTOR: Peter Berg
RUNTIME: 131 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK France Ireland 11 April 2012 Australia New Zealand 12/04/12 Italy Japan 13/04/12 Argentina 10/05/12 USA 18/05/12

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SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN

Salmon Fishing in the YemenLASSE HALLSTRÖM’s charming and witty adaptation of Paul Torday’s bestselling novel stars Ewan McGregor as Fred Jones, a fisheries expert and academic who works for the British government. When he’s approached by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot with a plan to introduce salmon into the waterways of Yemen for the purpose of sport fishing, he laughs off the scheme, claiming it impossible. Harriet acts as the British representative of an amiable and benevolent sheikh, who fulfils his love of fishing on frequent trips to his estate in the ruggedly gorgeous Scottish highlands. The sheik believes that fishing creates a spiritual connection between humans and nature, and feels that bringing the sport to his country would benefit the people.

While Fred ponders the idea, the proposal catches the ear of the British prime minister’s spokesperson, Bridget Maxwell. Desperate to detract attention from some unwanted publicity, Bridget sees Harriet’s idea as the perfect opportunity to promote what will appear to be a heartfelt story of British goodwill in the Middle East. Despite Fred’s protests, he soon finds himself working on a project that seems not only frivolous but absolutely unfeasible in the arid land of Yemen. His scepticism is matched only by the sheikh’s boundless optimism. As the mission begins to succeed, Fred grows closer to Harriet. Despite the many obstacles that stand in the way of their romance, their relationship affords an unexpected and welcome sense of hope for two lonely individuals.

IT'S kind of cute, and kind of quirky, and Blunt and Scott Thomas are quite lovely. But there is something missing here. The film is a little too quaint, and tries too hard to be quintessentially English, thus mixing up which genre this is supposed to be part of. It will bring a wry smile, and is quite beautifully shot, but McGregor's exaggerated Scottish accent may eventually get on your nerves as much as it did mine. A Sunday afternoon TV movie at best...

CAST: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked
DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallström
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 09/03/12 Australia 05/04/12 UK Ireland 20 April 2012 New Zealand 17/05/12 Italy 18/05/12 France 06/06/12 Argentina 07/06/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

 

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ELFIE HOPKINS

Elfie HopkinsELFIE HOPKINS tells the story of twenty-two year old slacker and “wanna-be” detective, set in a sleepy hunting village . She is a stoner and an animal lover, and haunted by the death of her mother and surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan, by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, the Gammons.

The Gammons weave tales of adventure and seduce the villagers with offers of exotic hunting holidays around the world. It is not long before the villagers are flying off to the four corners of the world. Elfie, despite her best efforts, is not free to the Gammons charms, but soon smells a rat. Elfie and Dylan begin investigating the Gammons' life. Bloody violence and pandemonium soon starts to rage in the village and it’s no longer just the blood of animals. Elfie discovers the villagers are not making those flights and when she finally uncovers the truth, its darker then she could have ever imagined.

EXCEPT for the gore and violence, this Brit flick actually looks like it was made for bad children's television in the 70s, cheap, wooden, shallow and with no depth. Jaime Winstone, on the merit of this performance alone, is no chip off the old block. Whether it was supposed to be a black comedy, a horror film, or a suspense thriller, it missed on every count.

CAST: Jaime Winstone, Ray Winstone, Rupert Evans, Kate Magowan, Aneurin Barnard, Kimberley Nixon, Will Payne, Gwyneth Keyworth
DIRECTOR: Ryan Andrews
RUNTIME: 89 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 20 April 2012

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THE SAMARITAN aka FURY

The SamaritanAFTER twenty five years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. Prison and a lifetime in the game have stripped him of friends, family and a reason to get up in the morning, but when he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real.

Yet his past is proving to be a stubborn companion: Ethan, the son of his former partner, wants to learn the game – and who better to learn from than the closest thing he has to a father? And he has the perfect mark – Ethan's boss Xavier a brutal man admired in the straight world for his business savvy, and feared in the underworld for his ruthlessness, is coming to town, and there's an easy $8 million to be had if you know how to play smart.

The play is an old classic con – The Samaritan – the inside man, the outside man, the catch and the mark. It's a dangerous and high risk setup requiring nerves of steel, precision timing and a bit of finesse to make it convincing. Foley could do it in his sleep – if he wanted to. But he doesn't and he won't. That is until Ethan raises the stakes and plays some cards that Foley never knew were in the deck. He's trapped and the con is on.

Foley finds himself caught up in a nightmare situation and for the first time, with something personal to lose. The mark proves more formidable than Foley anticipated and every unexpected turn could blow the whole thing up, leaving Foley vulnerable, exposed and hopelessly watching everything that matters to him slip through his fingers.

In a good con nothing is as it seems, and Foley finds out, too late, that the player has been played.

The only way out is to play the game to the end, and hope they make it out alive.

IF it wasn’t for Samuel L Jackson, this film would be a tedious unoriginal borefest. However, we have Jackson, and therefore we have sublime acting that carries the film...and everyone else -with the exception of Tom Wilkinson- are just irrelevant passengers along for the ride. If you like Jackson, see it. That is all.

CAST: Samuel L. Jackson, Luke Kirby, Ruth Negga, Tom Wilkinson
DIRECTOR: David Weaver
RUNTIME: 90 mins
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
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LOCKOUT

LockoutSTARRING Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace and set in the near future, LOCKOUT follows a falsely convicted ex- government agent, whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President’s daughter from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.

Another attempt by the Luc Besson movie machine that just misses the mark...by a country mile. Guy Pearce is a good actor, but he alone cannot save this film. Grace’s character is so limp, and overall there’s really not much depth to any part of the film. The film critic from The Observer summed it up quite well... The most interesting feature of Besson's film is that the outer-space jailbirds are led by a Scot with a striking resemblance to George Galloway.” Accept Vincent Regan is better looking(!)

CAST: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace
DIRECTOR: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
RUNTIME: 95 mins
COUNTRY: USA/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 13/04/12 France 18/04/12 UK Ireland 20 April 2012 Australia 12/07/12

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MARVEL’S AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

AvengersMARVEL STUDIOS presents Marvel's THE AVENGERS - the team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

AN absolutely thrilling ride from beginning to end that just has to be seen on the biggest screen you can possibly get to. There is not much I have to say against this spectacle, that makes you gasp at the visuals, giggle hysterically at the corny quips, and just marvel (excuse the pun!) at the picturisation and excellent story full of explosions, passion, and wall to wall magnificent superheroes!

The only downside is Gwyneth Paltrow, who is really quite pointless fluff, and Scarlett Johansson is a very odd-looking woman which detracts a little from her character, and therefore I remain unconvinced by that casting decision.

But despite the weird chicks, you don’t need to be a comic book geek or have seen any of the previous films to make sense of it all. Simply compelling...and I defy you not to see it twice, even though I still can't get my head round Thor being Kym from Home & Away(!)

CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson
DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon
RUNTIME: 142 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand France Italy 25/04/12 UK Ireland Argentina 26 April 2012 USA 04/05/12 Japan 17/08/12

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 WinnersAcademy Awards Nominations & Winners

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ALBERT NOBBS

Albert NobbsAWARD-WINNING actress Glenn Close plays ALBERT NOBBS, a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men's clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making. Mia Wasikowska (Helen), Aaron Johnson (Joe) and Brendan Gleeson (Dr. Holloran) join a prestigious, international cast that includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker and Pauline Collins.

Rodrigo Garcia directs from a script that Glenn Close, along with Man Booker prize-winning novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop, adapted from a short story by Irish author George Moore.

A most beautiful, touching and intricate period drama that yet again defies all logic as to why such a superlative actress as Glenn Close has never won an Oscar or BAFTA. Close first played Nobbs on stage in 1982, and it has taken her 20 years to bring it to the silver screen, and with such aplomb. This film is a descriptive narrative of 19th century Ireland, and the stellar cast do the story and period justice. Absolutely a film worth seeing.

CAST: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins
DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Garcia
RUNTIME: 113 mins
COUNTRY: UK/Ireland
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Australia New Zealand 26/12/11 USA 27/01/12 Italy 10/02/12 France 22/02/12 UK Ireland 27 April 2012 Argentina 14/06/12

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OUTSIDE BET

Outside BetDURING the turbulent mid '80s, while money, privatisation, unions and dramatic media evolution start to swirl, a group of life-long friends find themselves at the bad end of a redundancy pay-out and invest their savings into a racehorse -- hoping that one final race can turn their fortunes around. When his father  is diagnosed with cancer, young South London print-worker Mark Baxter decides to make his old man's dream a reality: buy their very own racehorse and take it to Sandown for a run at prize. With the help of Dad's best friend 'Smudger' and their loyal friends and families, he leaves the local pub in Camberwell to go on an adventure with a horse named The Mumper, staking everything they own on an Outside Bet...

THOUGH set in the 80s, it feels more of a 60s pastiche which fails hopelessly. The film meanders along with few laughs, little depth and wasted talent. More words would be futile other than really, don't bother. It will no doubt turn up on a wet Sunday afternoon on terrestrial TV to put you to sleep.

CAST: Bob Hoskins, Jenny Agutter, Philip Davis, Adam Deacon
DIRECTOR: Sacha Bennett
RUNTIME: 101 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK 27 April 2012

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March 2012

BEL AMI

Bel AmiBEL AMI unites an incredible cast of actors for a scandalous tale of high society 19th Century France.

Based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami is an erotically charged tale of ambition, power and seduction, chronicling the rise of penniless ex-soldier Georges Duroy through the echelons of the 1890s Parisian elite.

CAST: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci
DIRECTOR: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
RUNTIME: 102 mins
COUNTRY: UK/France/Italy
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 09 March 2012 Italy 13/04/12 Australia 24/05/12 France 27/06/12 Argentina 18/10/12

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THE DECOY BRIDE

The Decoy BrideWHEN the wedding of internationally famous film star Lara Tyler to tweedy English author James Arber is sabotaged by a paparazzo, they decide to relocate the event to the one place where the world’s press won’t find them: the sleepy Island of Hegg, as featured in James’ bestselling novel The Ornithologists Wife.

But to the shock of Lara’s P.A Steve Korbitz, the reality of the island is different from the romanticised picture James has created (without ever visiting), and he has to transform this fantasy world before the superstar arrives.

However, dilapidated buildings and greedy islanders are the least of the problems that the wedding party and their Hollywood entourage have to deal with, as Marco the ingenious paparazzo tracks them down in his mission to photograph the celebrity wedding of the year.

Steve and his assistant Emma must find a decoy bride and think that local girl Katie will be an ideal replacement. But when Katie meets James, sparks fly, dresses get ruined and love gets complicated. 

Will Katie be able to fool the awaiting media and live up to being a stand-in for the world’s most famous movie star? Can an ordinary girl fill the most famous Manolos on the planet? And whatever will happen to her pledge never, under any circumstances, to fall in love again?

IT’S a romcom; it didn’t make me want to vomit violently. Tennant is cute and has definitely shaken off the mantle of Dr Who (sadly), Eve (daughter of thespian Trevor Eve of Waking The Dead and Kidnap And Ransom fame) is surprisingly good as an American, but it’s Macdonald who steals the show in her inimitable Scottish fashion; she’s a little bit Bridget Jones but without the clichés and the progressive urge to hurl objects at the screen. In fact, the only cliché is the pointless and unconvincing double act of the PR ‘fluffies’ who are just annoying but can be happily overlooked. Tis worth a bash.

CAST: David Tennant, Alice Eve, Michael Urie, Federico Castelluccio, Sally Phillips, Kelly MacDonald
DIRECTOR: Sheree Folkson
RUNTIME: 89 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English/Gaelic
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: Italy 16/09/11 UK USA 09 March 2012

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THE RAVEN

The RavenIN this gritty thriller, Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders.

When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper—part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story. 

Realising a serial killer is on the loose using Poe's writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author's help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer's next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it's too late.

THE RAVEN is far too convoluted to create a coherent production of this fictional account of Poe. Cusack tries his best to be macabre, and the supporting cast are admirable, but the flow of the story is stilted and hiccoughs from one premise to another, not resulting in any satisfactory conclusion. Wait for it to pop up on Flim4 some time soon.

CAST: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
DIRECTOR: James McTeigue
RUNTIME: 111 mins
COUNTRY: USA/Hungary/Spain
LANGUAGE: English/Gaelic
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 09 March 2012 Argentina 26/04/12 USA 27/04/12 France 20/06/12

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KAHAANI

KahaaniVIDYA BAGCHI arrives in Kolkata from London to find her missing husband. Seven months pregnant and alone in a festive city, she begins a relentless search for her husband. With nothing to rely on except fragments from her memories about him, all clues seem to reach a dead end when everyone tries to convince Vidya that her husband does not exist. She slowly realises that nothing is what it seems. In a city soaked in lies, Vidya is determined to unravel the truth about her husband- for herself and her unborn child - even at the cost of her own life.

VIDYA BALAN is perfectly excellent in this exciting thriller with interesting -though predictable- twists and turns throughout. And the supporting cast are just as erudite as the lead actor, further enhancing the credibility of this alternative and grown-up style Hindi movie, with no hint of Bollywood attached. There are no dance numbers, there is no pointless bursting into song, Calcutta is portrayed with reality and verve; it is simply a clever thriller told in a very western fashion, without falling into the obvious trap of art house cinema. An absolute must see for the discerning Hindi cinema viewer.

CAST: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
DIRECTOR: Sujoy Ghosh
RUNTIME: 124 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: World 09 March 2012

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CLEANSKIN

CleanskinSOPHISTICATED British action thriller CLEANSKIN explodes onto cinema screens with an exciting cast lead by Sean Bean, who plays Ewan, a Secret Service Agent working undercover in the criminal underbelly of London. His mission is to pose as the body guard of a small time arms dealer and discover who he is selling the Semtex to.

However, when they are brazenly ambushed by a masked gunman in a West End hotel lobby, Ewan is shot and wounded and the dealer assassinated. The Semtex is stolen.

Days later, a suicide bomber detonates himself inside a busy London restaurant and the Secret Services worse fears are confirmed -- the stolen Semtex was used in the bombing. There is a terrorist cell operating in London, hell bent on bringing death and destruction to the nation's capital. Briefed by his operators, Ewan is tasked with finding the cell and executing them. His orders are to terminate with extreme prejudice. Operating off grid, no one will know what his mission is; and if he is caught, they will deny all knowledge.

Unknown to Ewan, the mastermind behind these bombings is Ash, an idealistic embittered young man, who was 'turned' whilst at University. Ash is utterly devoted to the cause but with no criminal history, he is every agent's worst nightmare. He is a 'cleanskin': a terrorist with no previous convictions and unknown to the national security services. Can Ewan take him out before the unthinkable occurs?

WHAT a shame. This had the potential of being an exciting thriller, with an excellent cast brought together in an age of looming terrorism on our streets. But somehow the film is just a fraction off-pace.

Though the likes of Spooks and 24 were incredible in their veracity, the suspension of disbelief was hugely successful to produce engaging and addictive drama. The same cannot be said of Cleanskin which had all the ingredients, but none of the sophistication nor editorial smarts to pull off the premise with conviction. It's watchable, but not brilliant.

CAST: Sean Bean, Charlotte Rampling, James Fox, Abhin Galyea
DIRECTOR: Hadi Hajaig
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 09 March 2012

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THE DEVIL INSIDE

The Devil InsideIn 1989, emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi confessing that she had brutally killed three people. 20 years later, her daughter Isabella seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. She travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy where her mother has been locked away to determine if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. When she recruits two young exorcists to cure her mom using unconventional methods combining both science and religion, they come face-to-face with pure evil in the form of four powerful demons possessing Maria.

Many have been possessed by one; only one has been possessed by many.

Two weeks have passed between seeing this film and writing this review, and I'm afraid all I can remember is that I wish I had not ever bothered. I cannot recall any storyline, performances, or even the point to this film, even after re-reading the synopsis, which frankly just illustrates how truly awful it must have been. That'll be a no then.

CAST: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth
DIRECTOR: William Brent Bell
RUNTIME: 83 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 06/01/12 France 22/02/12 Argentina 23/02/12 Australia New Zealand 01/03/12 UK Ireland Italy 16 March 2012

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 WE BOUGHT A ZOO

We Bought A ZooACCLAIMED filmmaker Cameron Crowe directs an amazing and true story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to return the dilapidated zoo to its former wonder and glory.

THIS is a most delightful film that is perfect for the whole family. It’s not quite as clever and moving as Crowe’s earlier and best known effort, Jerry Maguire, but it is cute and touching, a tad soppy, with some lovely performances from Damon and Johansson. And the fact that the story is true makes it all the more endearing.

CAST: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins
DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe
RUNTIME: 119 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 23/12/11 Australia 26/12/11 Argentina 29/12/11 UK Ireland 16 March 2012 France 18/04/12 Italy 08/06/12

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CONTRABAND

ContrabandMARK WAHLBERG leads the cast of CONTRABAND, a fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he'll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling—full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs—where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away. 

Chris Farraday long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy, botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs, Chris is forced back into doing what he does best—running contraband—to settle Andy's debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian, to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills.

Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate, and sons become their target.

IT'S sadly a little predictable, a little run of the mill, a little ordinary. The acting lives up to the potential, but the story is light, you can see the twists coming at 20 paces. A not particularly enthralling thriller which is thoroughly forgettable.

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, Caleb Landry Jones, Diego Luna, J.K. Simmons
DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormákur
RUNTIME: 110 mins
COUNTRY: USA/UK/France
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 13/01/12 Australia New Zealand 23/02/12 UK Ireland 16 March 2012 Argentina 19/04/12 France 16/05/12 Italy 18/05/12

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AGENT VINOD

Agent VinodTHE story begins with a series of seemingly unconnected events, all over the globe. In Uzbekistan, an Ex-KCG officer is tortured murdered. In Cape Town, a group of international business tycoons discuss a rumour that the dead KCB officer had a nuclear suitcase Bomb hidden away. In Moscow, an Indian secret agent is exposed. The agent is shot dead while trying to send a code red message to India. In India, the head of RAW sees the incomplete message. All it contains is a number 242. Enter AGENT VINOD.

Vinod is the kind of agent who first kicks the door open and then finds out what’s behind it. His unconventional approach puts him in dangerous situations, but he manages to get the crucial leads. Vinod is sent to Moscow to investigate why his colleague killed. Vinod finds out that a Russian money launderer Abu Nazar has sent $58 million to a contact in Morocco, for an operation against India. Vinod leaves for Morocco, where he meets an elderly Mafidsi Kazan and the beautiful but mysterious or ruby. A series of twists and turns take Vinod across the globe from Marrakesh to Riga, Karachi to Delhi and finally London. Where he discovers the ultimate conspiracy. Agent Vinod, you may not agree with his methods, but you sure are glad he’s on our side. Agent Vinod your passport to action adventure.

SAIF ALI KHAN can act when he puts his mind to it. His fiancée, Kareena Kapoor can too if she gets a decent director and is not being her egotistical pompous self. This film could potentially have been as explosively brilliant as the Bourne films, as long as it is not peppered in an irrelevant fashion with Bollywood clichés and pointless musical interjections. Unfortunately, the trailer indicated this could possibly be the case, and all the above was true. Sadly it is far more Johnny English than James Bond...I wouldn't waste your time.

CAST: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Ravi Kishan, Adil Hussain, Ram Kapoor, Prem Chopra
DIRECTOR: Sriram Raghavan
RUNTIME: 157mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 23 March 2012

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THE HUNGER GAMES

The Hunger GamesEVERY year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

ANOTHER teenage best-selling novel series turned into a block-busting movie...but this is not abhorrently irritating as was Twilight. This is quite clever, and has a point, and tries to instill values into those pesky adolescents.

Many comparisons have been made of course to Blade Runner, and frankly this is the teenage version of it, and is rather engaging. The acting is terribly good, the story has depth, and it is quite an ironic look at the future of war and reality TV all gone a bit insane. Definitely worth a look.

CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
DIRECTOR: Gary Ross
RUNTIME: 142 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 21/03/12 Australia New Zealand 22/03/12 UK Argentina Ireland USA 23 March 2012 13/04/12 Italy 01/05/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

 

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THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS

The Pirates In An Adventure With ScientistsIn THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen  and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist, but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

OH what super fun this animation looked from the trailer, and it did not disappoint! If you want to take the kids to the movies and keep them occupied for a couple of hours, and not get bored yourself, this is the one to pick. The children will simply love it, and with the stellar cast no doubt you will be chuckling throughout too. Good, wholesome, old-fashioned children's entertainment.

CAST: Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton Martin Freeman, Jeremy Piven
DIRECTOR: Peter Lord
RUNTIME: 88 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: U
RELEASE DATE: UK France Ireland 28 March 2012 Italy 04/04/12 Australia New Zealand 05/04/12 USA 24/04/12

Academy Awards Nominations & Winners

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WRATH OF THE TITANS

Wrath Of The TitansA decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus—the demigod son of Zeus—is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius.

Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son, Ares, switch loyalty and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth. Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromed, Poseidon's demigod son, Argenor, and fallen god Hephaestus, Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.

TWO years down the line and the Titans saga continues, still with the most annoying Sam Worthington, but this time with a new director. But Liebesman’s history includes Battle Los Angeles, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Beginning, and the particularly awful Darkness Falls. We were hoping it would be an improvement on the first, but I was not holding my breath, and I'm terribly glad I didn't.

The first film was so less than ordinary, the bar was set pretty low for expectations for the sequel, and therefore when it failed to impress on any level, one was not too disappointed. There are definitely better ways to waste your life.

You can check out our review of the first film here...

Clash of the Titans

CAST: Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Edgar Ramirez, Bill Nighy, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Liebesman
RUNTIME: 99 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 28/03/12 Argentina Australia New Zealand 29/03/12 UK Ireland Italy USA 30 March 2012

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February 2012

CARNAGE

CarnageSET in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, CARNAGE centres on two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos.

And just what chaos ensues....

A wonderfully entertaining gigglefest which illustrates the true nature of prissy and proper parents who transform into real people when aided with the right tools to lubricate the situation. Much like her play ‘Art’, this film adaptation of Reza’s critically acclaimed West End and Broadway play, ‘God of Carnage’ does not fail to hit the funny bone perfectly, and with the added helping of Polanski and a magnificent  cast, it is just a shame the UK and Australia are the last to see it across the globe.

There is no question, if you appreciate a good comedy, get yourself to that cinema the moment it lands at a multiplex close to you.

CAST: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly
DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski
RUNTIME: 80 mins
COUNTRY: France/Germany/Poland/Spain
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Italy 16/09/11 France 07/12/11 USA 16/12/11 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 Japan 18/02/12 Australia 01/03/12

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THE GREY

The GreyIN THE GREY, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out.

IF it was not for Liam Neeson, this film would be a pretentious, overindulgent, testosterone-fuelled borefest. Neeson makes it palatable, even quite watchable, but it is still a bit long, and far-fetched, and very very grey, and thus the title is terribly apt.

I was not particularly enamoured, but I’m sure plenty of you red-blooded hunter-gatherer chaps will be. It is rather Neanderthal.

CAST: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo
DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan
RUNTIME: 117 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 26/01/12 USA 27/01/12 Australia 02/02/12 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 Italy 10/02/12 France 15/02/12 New Zealand 03/05/12

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MAN ON A LEDGE

Man On A LedgeIN the heart-pounding thriller MAN ON A LEDGE, Nick Cassidy makes a desperate and life-threatening move to prove his innocence after he is framed for the theft of a rare, prized diamond. Recently escaped from prison and with nowhere else to go, Nick climbs onto the ledge of a towering skyscraper, inviting the eyes of New York City to anxiously watch as one wrong step could mean plunging to his death.

But as one police negotiator soon learns, Nick’s daredevil stunt, captivating the eyes of the public and media, masks a dangerous ploy to reveal the truth about his tarnished name. With the help of his brother and with time running out, Nick’s intricate plan must work perfectly, but when you’re on the 25th floor ledge of a building, going down takes on an entirely more hair-raising meaning. 


With unpredictable twists and electrifying turns,
Man On A Ledge features an amazing ensemble cast including Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedwick, and Ed Harris.

THIS film is totally preposterous, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The premise is bonkers, the action is engaging, and the 21st floor views down to the street will not be good for vertigo sufferers. But it is a thriller, and there are definitely thrills, along with a most ridiculous American accent from the pedestrian Sam Worthington who sounds far more like Aussie Russell Crowe than a New York cop.

There’s far worse out there on the big screen right now, so I’d give it a go.

CAST: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Burns, Titus Welliver, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Harris
DIRECTOR: Asger Leth
RUNTIME: 102 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: Argentina 26/01/12 USA 27/01/12 Australia 02/02/12 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 Italy 10/02/12 France 15/02/12 New Zealand 03/05/12

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JACK AND JILL

Jack And JillJACK AND JILL is a comedy focusing on Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler), a successful advertising executive in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and kids, who dreads one event each year: the Thanksgiving visit of his identical twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler). Jill’s neediness and passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Jack, turning his normally tranquil life upside down. Katie Holmes plays Erin, Jack’s wife. 

DENNIS DUGAN has made a lot of films, some of them were quite good in the 70s and 80s. He also made National Security, Problem Child, Beverly Hill Ninja, and 2010’s worst movie, Grown Ups, which was such a spectacular waste of time. Going on recent form, I have decided my life is far too precious to squander 91 minutes on. Not even a cameo of Al Pacino - who no doubt is spectacular - can change my mind. And with a 3% approval rating on the world’s most notable review site, I think everyone pretty much agrees.

CAST: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes
DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan
RUNTIME: 91 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: USA 11/11/11 Australia 01/12/11 Japan 21/01/12 France 25/01/12 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 Argentina 16/02/12 Italy 17/02/12 New Zealand 23/02/12

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JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

Journey 2 The Mysterious IslandIN this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit Journey to the Center of the Earth, the new 3D family adventure JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND begins when young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first film) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It’s a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.

A colourful movie with giant animals, magnificent ancient ruins, a little banter between The Rock and Michael Caine, a pretty girl, a funny man, and an irrelevant chap called Hutcherson, but honestly, if you’re not 13 or under, it is very shallow, totally unbelievable with a poor script which doesn’t bind the great vistas. Kids will love it...definitely one to send them off with the au pair, and stay home and partake in a small libation yourself.

CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristin Davis
DIRECTOR: Brad Peyton
RUNTIME: 94 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: PG
RELEASE DATE: Australia 19/01/12 Argentina 02/02/12 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 USA 1/02/12 France 15/02/12 Italy 23/02/12 Japan 31/03/12

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YOUNG ADULT

Young AdultACADEMY AWARD® winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.

WELL what a strange little yarn this is. I have not yet figured if it was supposed to be a drama with moments of guilt-ridden sniggering, or a black comedy, but either way it is very good. Theron, unsurprisingly, steals the show completely as she portrays this stunning yet sad and shallow character, and no doubt Reitman has yet another entertaining and thoughtful film in the making following Juno and Up In The Air.

A definite ‘must see’ movie, especially if you’re over 30.

CAST: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser
DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman
RUNTIME: 94 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 16/12/11 Australia 19/01/12 UK Ireland 03 February 2012 Japan 25/02/12 Italy 09/03/12 France 28/03/12 Argentina 29/03/12

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A DANGEROUS METHOD

A Dangerous MethodON the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, A DANGEROUS METHOD takes a glimpse into the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Into the mix comes Otto Gross, a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries.

In this exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit set the scene for the pivotal moment when Jung, Freud and Sabina come together and split apart, forever changing the face of modern thought.

A quite fascinating insight into arguably two of the greatest scientific minds in the field of psychology. And a most demure and straightforward cinematic subject matter & production for director, David Cronenberg, who is famed for such insane but brilliant works as Scanners and Dead Ringers. Fassbender, Mortensen and Cassel are superb in their roles, and even Knightley is more than adept, though her accent I yet have to decipher with regard to origin.

Absolutely worth a venture to the cinema, provided you are in the frame of mind in which to ponder.

CAST: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel
DIRECTOR: David Cronenberg
RUNTIME: 100mins
COUNTRY: UK/Germany/Canada/Switzerland
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Italy 30/09/11 USA 23/11/11 France 21/12/11 UK Ireland 10 February 2012 Australia 08/03/12

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EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE

Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseBASED on the acclaimed novel of the same name, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE tells the story of one young boy’s journey from heartbreaking loss to self-discovery, set against the backdrop of the tragic events of September 11. Eleven-year-old Oskar Schell is an exceptional child: amateur inventor, Francophile, pacifist. And after finding a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, he embarks on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. As Oskar roams the city, he encounters a variety of individuals, all survivors in their own way. Ultimately, Oskar’s journey ends where it began, but with the solace of that most human experience: community.

TOM HANKS is excellent, Sandra Bullock her typical accomplished self; Davis, von Sydow, Gandolfini, all the cast in fact are faultless. But the translation by Stephen Daldry of young Thomas Horn’s neuroticisms were just a little too much for my liking, and the story dragged a good half an hour too long. This film had all the right intentions, but somehow translated poorly from an excellent novel into a mediocre screenplay, which fundamentally missed the point of the original narration, in some part over-simplifying the characterisations of the book, and in others turning it into a pointless, convoluted mess.

Go see The Woman In Black instead.

CAST: Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, James Gandolfini, Zoe Caldwell, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright
DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry
RUNTIME: 129 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 20/01/12 UK Ireland 17 February 2012 Japan 18/02/12 Argentina Australia New Zealand 23/02/12 France 29/02/12 Italy 13/04/12

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THE WOMAN IN BLACK

The Woman in BlackBASED on the classic ghost story, THE WOMAN IN BLACK tells the tale of Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.

Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover the town’s tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he discovers that local children have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances. When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.

A proper, old-fashioned, spooky horror film from the House of Hammer. They definitely have their mojo back.

It would be a shame to spoil it by giving anything away, so other than it took only a few minutes to forget that Kipps was once Harry Potter, and if you are of nervous disposition, avoid it like the plague, I will say just go see it. It was excellent.

CAST: Daniel Radcliffe
DIRECTOR: James Watkins
RUNTIME: 95 mins
COUNTRY: UK/Canada/Sweden
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 03/02/12 Argentina 09/02/12 UK 10 February 2012 Italy 02/03/12 France 14/03/12

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RAMPART

RampartLOS ANGELES, 1999. Officer Dave Brown is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing "the people's dirty work" and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate. Brown internalises his fear, anguish and paranoia as his world, complete with two ex-wives who are sisters, two daughters, an aging mentor dispensing bad advice, investigators galore, and a series of seemingly random women, starts making less and less sense. In the end, what is left is a human being stripped of all his pretence, machismo, chauvinism, arrogance, sexism, homophobia, racism, aggression, misanthropy; but is it enough to redeem him as a man?

I would go as far to say this is Harrelson’s best work to date. From the moment he appears on the screen, his portrayal of this controlling and not-at-all likeable character is eerily menacing. And yet somehow the film is so cleverly brought together, that you do actually care what happens to him, despite all his quite uncomfortable faults.

If I may go off on a tangent momentarily, another fascinating element is Cynthia Nixon of Sex & The City fame. Renowned for her role as Miranda in the hit TV series as the strong-willed no-nonsense lawyer, Nixon has shaken off the shackles of SATC to produce an exceptional performance and more than holds her own playing off Anne Heche. And yet SATC’s Charlotte, Kristin Davis appears in Journey 2 also on release, yet she proves as shallow as her previous character and frankly, quite pointless. But to the cast in hand here, one cannot fault a single member.

Whether you’re an American who knows well what happened in Rampart, LA coming up to the turn of century, or it was just another fleeting news TV item elsewhere on the planet, Moverman has deftly directed this slightly disturbing yet well-worth watching movie.

CAST: Woody Harrelson stars with Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster, Ice Cube, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon
DIRECTOR: Oren Moverman
RUNTIME: 108 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 10/02/12 UK Ireland 24 February 2012

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SAFE HOUSE

Safe HouseDENZEL WASHINGTON plays the CIA’s most dangerous traitor, who stuns the intelligence community when he surfaces in South Africa. When the safe house to which he’s remanded is attacked by brutal mercenaries, a rookie is forced to help him escape. As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protégé, the young operative finds his morality tested and idealism shaken. Now, they must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead.

Legendary spy Tobin Frost has eluded capture for almost a decade. One of the best ops men that the CIA’s ever trained, the brilliant ex-intelligence officer has betrayed assets and sold military codes to enemies of the state since he turned. From aiding splinter cells to trading incendiary secrets to the highest bidder, the damage he’s done to the U.S. is immeasurable. Now, Frost is back on the grid with the most explosive intel he’s ever gotten his hands on. 

For the past year, Matt Weston has been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town. A “housekeeper” who aspires to be a full-fledged case officer, the loyal company man has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. When the first and only occupant he’s had proves to be the most dangerous operative he will ever cross, Weston readies for duty.

As soon as Frost is brought in for debriefing, mercenaries in brutal pursuit of Frost come and level Weston’s safe house. Barely escaping, the veteran spy and untested captor must discover whether their attackers were sent by terrorists or by someone on the inside. With only hours left to get Frost to the next safe house, Weston must figure out who he can trust before he and the world’s most skilful assassin are both eliminated. 

NO idea why the synopsis is so long from the studio - it really is not required. Swedish-born Daniel Espinosa does a smashing job (excuse the pun) with his Hollywood feature film directorial debut, and Denzel Washington brings the required gravitas to the lead role to paper over the cracks in the imperfect script.

The film is fast-paced, much of the cast is excellent in its endeavour, and it is just a shame that Ryan Reynolds is somewhat out of his depth, and far better suited to pointless movies such as The Green Lantern. Oh and I figured who the bad guy was the moment he appeared on the screen, therefore slightly predictable too.

However, despite Reynolds play-acting and Guggenheim’s not so clever script, it is a most enjoyable film.

CAST: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Fares Fares, Robert Patrick, Nora Arnezeder, Liam Cunningham, Joel Kinnaman, Ruben Blades
DIRECTOR: Daniel Espinosa
RUNTIME: 115 mins
COUNTRY: USA/South Africa
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: Australia NZ 0902/12 USA 10/02/12 France 22/02/12 UK Ireland 24 February 2012 Italy 02/03/12 Argentina 22/03/12

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THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

The Best Exotic Marigold HotelTHE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL follows a group of British retirees who decide to "outsource" their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.

THIS screams perfectly of utter Englishness in the Cowardesque fashion, and I for one simply could not wait to see this delectable ensemble cast cause absolute carnage in the former colonial nation. And they so do! But it is not just a frivolous romp in the land of the British Raj; it has depth and purpose, a moral to impart, and is a most delightful way to chuckle your way through two hours. A must see...

CAST: Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Liza Tarbuck
DIRECTOR: John Madden
RUNTIME: 124 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 24 February 2012 Australia New Zealand 22/03/12 France 28/03/12 Italy 30/03/12 USA 04/05/12 Argentina 24/05/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011Golden Globe Nominations 2011

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

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BLACK GOLD

Black GoldARABIA- early 20th Century.

Under the unforgiving desert sky, two warring leaders come face to face. The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to his rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib will adopt Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee that neither man can invade the other. Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination.

Nesib imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt. 

The stage is now set for an epic showdown for control of the Yellow Belt, for control of the two kingdoms, for control of the future.

I did try to watch it - but fell asleep with boredom. That is all.

CAST: Antonio Banderas, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed, Liya Kebede
DIRECTOR: Jean-Jacques Annaud
RUNTIME: 130 mins
COUNTRY: France/Italy/Qatar
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: France 23/11/11 Italy 23/12/11 UK Ireland 24 February 2012 Argentina 22/04/12

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January 2012

THE IRON LADY

The Iron LadyTHE IRON LADY is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world.

THE trailer definitely did justice to the lady who was not for turning; sadly the film did not live up to the expectation.

First the good bits - yes Meryl Streep steeped herself in attempting to perfect the embodiment of one of the most formidable ladies of the 20th century who changed the world we lived in, and she almost managed it except for a deranged glint in her eye in Mrs T's strongest periods of her life which in reality did not exist. That is it.

The film should never have been made. Whether you admire her or not, it is gross simplification of a woman who made history in most of our lifetimes, which skates over her most significant achievements and concentrates on the dementia of an old and frail lady which has little basis in fact. The writer, Abi Morgan, has created what appears to be an almost fictional story, and the director, Phyllida Lloyd - responsible for the worst ever and most overrated British musical, Mamma Mia - has made a mockery of British history, concentrating on recreating a caricature of Mrs Thatcher and paying absolutely no directorial heed to all the other players in the cast.

Biopics of great statesmen need two elements to make them successful - the story needs to be based in fact, and the historic figure in question needs to have passed away. The Iron Lady achieves neither. All Lloyd and Morgan have succeeded in is insulting the memory of an eminent lady who is still very much alive, and yes she has dementia, but those I know personally who have encountered Mrs T in recent years have a wholly different reality of the lady.

As for the other actors, there is little to differentiate one politician from the next in the depiction of the Tories, and the Thatcher family - the characters are barely even caricatures of the actual people. The portrayal of the bloody-minded and fiesty Carol Thatcher is laughable [and her very distinct speech pattern was entirely overlooked], and Jim Broadbent bore little resemblance to the robust, millionaire businessman who was an unobtrusive but hugely supportive First Gentleman.

The over-exaggerated dementia-riddled Margaret Thatcher bore more resemblance to Dicken's Scrooge than any reality.

Love or hate the former Prime Minister, this film does no justice to the woman, to history, to Great Britain. In her acceptance speech for her Golden Globe Best Actress award, Streep nonchalantly said "I’ve got to thank everybody in England that let me come and trample all over their, you know, history." That is exactly what she, Lloyd and Morgan did. Had it not been Meryl Streep as the lynchpin, The Iron Lady would have been ridiculed into oblivion, mostly unnoticed.

Had I not had to provide a review, I would not have watched this film at all. There is good cinematic art out there - this is not it.

To see who turned out for The Iron Lady premiere, check out our showbiz editor, Zoe Griffin's column:

Sherlock Holmes Premiere | Showbiz News

CAST: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant
DIRECTOR: Phyllida Lloyd
RUNTIME: 105 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: New Zealand 26/12/11 UK Ireland 06 January 2012 USA 13/01/12 15/02/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Meryl Streep

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners Best Actress: Meryl Streep

BAFTA 2011 Nominations & 2010 Winners

Hair & Make Up: Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland, Marese Langan

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Meryl Streep - Actress in a Leading Role

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners

Makeup

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MOTHER AND CHILD

Mother and ChildTHREE women's lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) had a baby at 14, gave her up at birth, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) is just embarking with her husband on the adoption odyssey, looking for a baby to become their own.

A beautiful moving ensemble piece played out with subtlety. There is not much sweetness and light in the main characters who are simply real women behaving as we do in the real world, a little broken, a little prickly, and the acting from each and every player is exceptional. Expect the unexpected, and just sit back, relax and revel in sublime performances of this rather lovely work from Rodrigo Garcia.

CAST: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson
DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Garcia
RUNTIME: 126 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 2009 Australia 17/06/10 France 17/11/10 Japan 15/01/11 Argentina 27/01/11 UK Ireland 06 January 2012

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PLAYERS

PlayersIT'S time to steady yourselves for the biggest action extravaganza that Bollywood has to offer! The dynamic director duo Abbas-Mustan are back to enthral the audiences one again with the lean and mean heist flick PLAYERS. The movie is the official remake of the 2003 Hollywood blockbuster, The Italian Job and promises to be just as much of a thrilling ride!

With a stellar cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bipasha Basu, Bobby Deol, Sikander Kher and Omi Vaidya, this remake promises to pack one heck of a punch. Players is scheduled to set the screen ablaze in January, 2012.

With high speed chase sequences and state-of-the-art special effects set against the backdrop of gorgeous locales in New Zealand and Goa, Players will redefine Bollywood action movies as we know them.

And hang on to your seats, because this ride has just begun.

OR don't. This has to be the worst, most clichéd, pointless waste of almost 3 hours of my life that I can never get back.

Now, where shall we begin...the script and dialogue is appalling and amateur, the soundtrack is unimaginative and not the slightest bit interesting or memorable, the score is unnecessarily melodramatic, the choreography is laughable, uncoordinated, and about as modern as a 70s Hindi film, the acting from the likes of Sonam Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh is so overdramatic, the Eastern European extras are in such bad taste bordering on softly pornographic, the foreign accents are risible, and even Abhishek Bachchan cannot save the film. The 'Director Duo' should hang their heads in shame and never attempt to make another movie in my lifetime at least.

Oh and as for the remake of The Italian Job - an episode of Noddy would be more convincing.

CAST: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sikander Kher, Omi Vaidya, Bipasha Basu
DIRECTOR: Abbas - Mustan
RUNTIME: 167 mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: World 06 January 2012

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WAR HORSE

War HorseDREAMWORKS Pictures' WAR HORSE, director Steven Spielberg's epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. "War Horse" begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land. 

WAR HORSE is a proper old-fashioned yarn that harks back to the golden age of Hollywood, when movies like National Velvet, Casablanca, Little Women and It's A Wonderful Life toyed with our emotions, and left us with that warm fuzzy feeling. It is a most beautiful story that yanks at the heart strings with such force that I turned into a blubbering wreck on more than one occasion, and so far, all the gentleman I know who have seen it had the same experience, though probably to a lesser degree(!)

Spielberg has yet again pulled off a magnificent feat by giving cinemagoers such a visual and emotional treat, perfectly cast, majestically scored, and it cannot possibly avoid winning more than a few gongs over the coming weeks.

This is a family movie in every sense to which you can take your children, your parents, your great great parents even with the total assurance that not a telling eyebrow will be raised throughout the performance. And the star of the film, of course it is Joey the horse [well OK, all 14 of them used to portray Joey throughout the film].

Yes it is very sentimental, but you would have to possess a heart of stone not to be caught up in this moving tale. Definitely a film to see and be appreciated on the big screen.

To see who turned out for the War Horse Royal Premiere check out our showbiz editor, Zoe Griffin's column:

Sherlock Holmes Premiere | Showbiz News

CAST: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Jeremy Irvine
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
RUNTIME: 146 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 25/12/11 Australia 26/12/11 UK 13 January 2012 Italy 20/01/12 France 22/02/12 Japan 03/12

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THE DARKEST HOUR

The Darkest HourTHE DARKEST HOUR is the story of five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D feature film combines mind-blowing special effects from filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, with the vision of director Chris Gorak.

THE most ridiculous premise, but if it was done well, it could have been quite the alien thriller. And since there’s both a Minghella and one of Charlie’s Angels, it could have been fun.

Unfortunately, coulda, shoulda, woulda blah. Do not, I repeat, do NOT waste a moment of your precious precious life on this stupid, inept heap of nothingness...literally! Even the aliens are invisible. So pointless. No enough...just don't...seriously.

CAST: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor
DIRECTOR: Chris Gorak
RUNTIME: 89 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 12A
RELEASE DATE: USA 25/12/11 France 11/01/12 UK Ireland 13 January 2012 Australia 19/01/12 Italy 20/01/12

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SHAME

ShameBRANDON (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon's insular life spirals out of control.

THIS film can be seen in two ways - firstly that it is an artistic yet unsettling creation portraying a difficult subject played out by talented actors; secondly, that it is a porn movie made acceptable and mainstream by using Oscar nominated actors. I thought it was the latter.

CAST: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie
DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen
RUNTIME: 101 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 18
RELEASE DATE: USA 02/12/11 France 07/12/11 UK Ireland 13 January 2012 Italy 02/12 Australia 09/02/12

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MARGIN CALL

Margin CallSET in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, MARGIN CALL is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster.

I cannot quite fathom how this can be JC Chandor's first feature film. It is excellent. Engaging, intriguing, authentic and a damn good story, Chandor has picked his players with eloquence, and delivered frankly, quite a masterpiece for a premier work. You will need to pay attention, it does go into some detail as to the workings of the financial world, but you will come out the wiser. The economic situation will not have changed as you leave the multiplex, but it will all somehow make a bit more sense.

CAST: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci
DIRECTOR: J C Chandor
RUNTIME: 107 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 21/10/11 UK Ireland 13 January 2012 France 04/04/12

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HAYWIRE

HaywireMALLORY KANE is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.

Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious—and dangerous—trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realises she’ll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.

THE film is really quite engaging, an intriguing and thrilling ride that is not to be missed. Carano is not particularly much of an actress, but Soderbergh has used his talent to mask this with fast action that is unadulterated with special effects bells and whistles. And the supporting cast do it apt justice to make this a thriller that is worth a trip to the movies.

CAST: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
RUNTIME: 93 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 18 January 2012 Ireland USA 20/01/12 Italy 24/02/12 France 18/04/12

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CORIOLANUS

CoriolanusCAIUS MARTIUS ‘CORIOLANUS’, a revered and feared Roman General is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’s anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius to take his revenge on the city.

Mixing the classical and the contemporary, Coriolanus retains Shakespeare’s language, but boldy combines it with modern technology and a contemporary environment, to enhance the visceral quality of the original story.

SHAKESPEARE purists will not like this distilled version of the Bard's intense tragedy. However, if one could get over oneself long enough, it is an interesting modernisation of a lesser known play, with a stand out performance from Gerard Butler. Fiennes plays Fiennes, as he does in many a cinematic venture, and you'd expect no less from Redgrave and Nesbitt and Cox.

If you enjoy Shakespeare's creations and language, this is very definitely worth a look.

CAST: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, James Nesbitt, Jessica Chastain
DIRECTOR: Ralph Fiennes
RUNTIME: 123 mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK Ireland 20 January 2012 Australia 23/02/12 Japan 25/02/12

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J EDGAR

J EdgarAS the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

Under the direction of Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role of
J. EDGAR, a drama that explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.

SADLY, one of Eastwood's more tedious attempts that lacked any finesse. This biopic judders along across many decades with DiCaprio's make up moving from the sublime as the young Hoover [though looking decidely more like the actor rather than the character] to the ridiculous with so much prosthetic work that it must have used up all the off-cuts after Madonna's cosmetic surgery. This, however, is not enough of a distraction to make one ignore the lack of fluidity, the awkwardness of the script, the fact that far too much was crammed into too short a film, even though it ran over two hours long.

DiCaprio carries out his part in a perfectly respectable fashion, but the fact that he did not win Best Actor at the Golden Globes is testament to the fact that it is a quite ordinary interpretation of a bizarre and not terribly nice man. Now, had Oliver Stone had a go, it probably would have hit the mark.

It is not the worst film of the moment, but definitely wait for the DVD...at least that way you can pause and take a break!

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer, Josh Lucas, Damon Herriman, Ken Howard, Jeffrey Donovan, Ed Westwick, Stephen Root
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood
RUNTIME: 137 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 11/11/11 Italy 04/01/12 France 11/01/12 UK Ireland 20 January 2012 Argentina Australia 26/02/12 Japan 28/01/12

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AGNEEPATH

AgneepathIN a small Indian village Mandwa, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan is taught by his principled father about the path of fire - AGNEEPATH. His life is completely shattered when the evil drug dealer Kancha hangs his father to death. Vijay leaves for Bombay with his pregnant mother and has only one mission in life- to come back to Mandwa and bring back the glory of his father's name.

In Bombay, 12-yr-old Vijay is taken under the wings of the city gang lord Rauf Lala. From then on it is a journey of revenge where he makes and breaks many relationships only to get closer to his aim. Vijay finds support only in his best friend Kaali, who stands by him at every moment in his life. Fifteen years later his hatred for Kancha takes him back to Mandwa where life comes full circle.

IN 1990, Yash Johar produced a movie called Agneepath. It took its name from the poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, the father of Amitabh, the Hindi cinema superstar who was the spectacular lead in the film. The film was based on the Pacino classic, Scarface. In 2012, Johar’s son, Karan has produced a modern version of the film with just as stellar cast, and it looked from the outset as ground-breaking and impressive as the original.

Do not be lulled into any false sense of security or horror; this film is not a remake but an ode to the original film, and created with style, panache, raw grit and excellence. Malhotra has produced an original masterpiece with a most excellent cast that does not let down any aspect of the new script. Absolutely a must-see film.

CAST: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor
DIRECTOR: Karan Malhotra
RUNTIME:174mins
COUNTRY: India
LANGUAGE: Hindi/English
CERTIFICATION:  15
RELEASE DATE: World 26 January 2012

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ACTS OF GODFREY

Acts of GodfreyWHEN God (AKA Godfrey) decides to improve the flagging prospects of Vic, he pairs him up with the unprincipled and sexually predatory Mary. But even with Godfrey’s divine powers, the path of true love is beset with the twists and turns of fate. A sexual wonder drug, an unscrupulous conman, two psychotic gangsters, a long-dead twin and a terrible case of mistaken identity, all combine to create ACTS OF GODFREY.

STARRING Simon Callow and written throughout in rhyming verse, Acts of Godfrey is a unique and characteristically original debut from Johnny Daukes as a feature-film writer/director. From the trailer, it appears to be as brilliant as Shakespeare at his comedic best but set in modern times. Sadly the reality was a little different...

The problem is the script. The dialogue just drones on, and the setting of a bland hotel in a bland town populated with bland residents attending a bland conference...I fell asleep, and then gave up.

Oh dear - stellar cast, wasted on a bland film.

CAST: Simon Callow, Harry Enfield, Celia Imrie, Iain Robertson, Myfanwy Waring, Doon MacKichan, Michael Wildman, Shobu Kapoor, Ian Burfield, Jay Simpson, Demetri Goritsas, Max Digby
DIRECTOR: Johnny Daukes
RUNTIME: 85mins
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: UK 27 January 2012

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INTRUDERS

IntrudersTHE film tells parallel stories of two families whose lives are disrupted by menacing apparitions: in Spain, a mother tries to protect her son from a faceless stranger, while in Britain, a young girl has terrifying dreams of a demon who becomes a real danger to her and her family.

A most enjoyable and perfectly unsettling spook-fest with very much a nod to Stephen King at his best. As a huge fan of horror suspense films but one who has only ever been terrified of Arachnophobia, this played on a whole other level of your mind and even I had a paralysing nightmare. Would recommend not watching it before going to sleep!

CAST: Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Bruhl, Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Kerry Fox
DIRECTOR: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
RUNTIME: 100 mins
COUNTRY: UK/USA/Spain
LANGUAGE: English/Spanish
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: France 11/01/12 UK Ireland 27 January 2012

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THE DESCENDANTS

The DescendantsFROM Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King  an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

GEORGE Clooney - well he doesn’t pick dud scripts on the whole, and since this is from the makers of the most excellent Sideways and About Schmidt, it was bound to be a good bet.

The film is entertaining, and moving without being melodramatic. It is thought-provoking, will make you laugh, will make you angry in parts, and produce a raft of emotions that will make you glad you bothered to go out and see it.

Clooney is perfect...but then Clooney is always perfect(!), and his Golden Globe for Best Actor is definitely well deserved. It is a shame that the brilliant performance by Shailene Woodley was not rewarded, but then it went to just as worthy a nominee from The Help, which matched the accomplishment of The Descendants at very turn.

Shan't spoil it - it is beautifully written and directed and shot, so waste no time and see it. What a pleasant start to the new year.

CAST: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel, Patricia Hastie
DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne
RUNTIME: 115 mins
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
CERTIFICATION: 15
RELEASE DATE: USA 16/11/11 Australia 12/01/12 Ireland 20/01/12 UK 27 January 2012 France 01/12 Italy 24/02/12

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Golden Globe Nominations 2011

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: George Clooney

83rd Academy Awards ominations & 82nd Winners Adapted Screenplay

 

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