by Preeti Virdee
THIS is our take on a selection of the movies to hit the silver screen. It's a combination of the synopses from the film studios (in italics) and our opinions on the hits and misses from 2010 (month by month by UK release date). And we've included the trailers for your delight so just click on the poster and you'll be transported to another world...
And just because we can, we've popped up the nominees and winners of the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Oscars, so simply click on the relevant gong below, and you'll find nomination and winning gongs on each review:
MEGAMIND is the most brilliant super-villain the world has ever known…and the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way - Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as “Metro Man,” until the day Megamind actually defeats him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans. Suddenly, the fate of Metro City is threatened when a new villain arrives and chaos runs rampant, leaving everyone to wonder: Can the world’s biggest “mind” actually be the one to save the day?
In 2010, the superhero movie will never be the same!
Actually it will [be the same] ...look it's cutesy and fun and the kids will enjoy it. But unlike some animated creations like Up which is just joyous and you could watch it again and again, Megamind is not. The grown ups will not get too excited, the mind will wander, and will not look forward to having a copy of the DVD on the shelf when it is released to be repeated endlessly. My advice - send the au pair with the kids, and you take them to see Harry Potter...again!
CAST: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey, David Cross
DIRECTOR: Tom McGrath
RUNTIME: 96 mins
RELEASE DATE: 05/11/10 02/12/10 03 December 2010 15/12/10
BASED on the impossible true story, Secretariat chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery—with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich)—manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.
CAST: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, Scott Glenn, Dylan Baker, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis, Otto Thorwarth, Fred Thompson, AJ Michalka, Kevin Connolly, Eric Lange, James Cromwell
DIRECTOR: Randall Wallace
RUNTIME: 123 mins
RELEASE DATE: 08/10/10 10 December 2010 20/01/11
THE Magic of Narnia returns to the big screen in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader on December 10, 2010!
Return to the magic and wonder of C.S. Lewis’ beloved world – via the fantastic Narnian ship, the Dawn Treader. In this new instalment of the blockbuster “The Chronicles of Narnia” motion picture franchise, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace and their royal friend King Caspian, find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to the Dawn Treader. As they embark on an incredible adventure of destiny and discovery, they confront obstacles beyond imagination.
THOUGH not a patch on the BBC version, Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was a splendid effort from Disney; but following on from the not so impressive Prince Caspian, Disney now had a chance to redeem itself with the final instalment of the Pevensie trilogy by CS Lewis.
I don't really understand what went wrong here. Maybe it's just that we have become so used to the magic of Harry Potter and the fantasy of Captain Jack Sparrow that most other films find it hard to reach that standard of perfection; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would be perfectly adequate and exciting even, had it been made pre-Jerry Bruckheimer.
The story simply meandered at a leisurely pace without building any level of anticipation or excitement, and I felt rather let down by the end. But no doubt children will enjoy the film since they tend not to cast such a critical eye, and possibly don't have such high expectations...so send them off to the movies with the au pair and you put your feet up and enjoy the peace and quiet!
CAST: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter, Laura Brent, Simon Pegg (voice), Liam Neeson (voice), William Moseley, Anna Popplewell
DIRECTOR: Michael Apted
RUNTIME: 115 mins
RELEASE DATE: 08/12/10 09/12/10 10 December 2010 06/01/11 25/02/11
JOHNNY Depp stars as an American tourist whose playful dalliance with a stranger leads to a web of intrigue, romance and danger in The Tourist. During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank (Depp) unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise (Angelina Jolie), an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Paris and Venice, their whirlwind romance quickly evolves as they find themselves unwittingly thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse.
WHAT a mouth-watering prospect this film looked to be. A stellar cast, lashings of delectable eye candy, a screenplay by the award-winning writers of The Usual Suspects, Downton Abbey and Gosford Park, and the romantic backdrops of Paris and Venice, I did hope this movie would live up to its potential!
Unfortunately said screenwriters must have been suffering from writers' block at the time. The story was entirely predictable within the first few minutes, and so panned out exactly as expected but thoroughly uninterestingly.
Angelina Jolie looked spectacular and the scenery was breathtaking...that was all the good stuff. Johnny Depp looked rather odd, Paul Bettany had forgotten how to to act, and though Rufus Sewell appeared his normal delectable self, when he finally spoke one wished he really hadn't bothered.
I really could not care less that director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck won almost every award conceivable for his first German-language movie, The Lives of Other; whoever allowed him the freedom to make a potential blockbuster movie should probably be shot, and definitely should be fired for wasting a whole lot of time, money and talent, as well as 1 hour and 43 minutes of my life. Seriously...it was lousy.
CAST: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell
DIRECTOR: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
RUNTIME: 103 mins
RELEASE DATE: 10 December 2010 15/12/10 17/12/10 27/12/10 11/03/11
YASH and Raj are small time crooks and childhood buddies. Raj wants to lead an honest life, but alas, Yash always manages to do something, that jeopardizes Raj's chances of turning over a new leaf.
Here in Durban, Arjun Singh is a bungling ham-handed cop, married to Kajal, the daughter of the commissioner of the police. Kajal has a split personality - one moment she's a loving wife and mother, who for 10 minutes every day, transforms into a terrifying maniac intent on murdering her husband!
Diamonds worth millions have been stolen from the International Diamond Centre. No witnesses have survived the shooting spree unleashed by the gang lead by Marcos. Arjun is as determined to find these ruthless robbers, as Zandulal is to find the two crooks who robbed his bank.
UNFORTUNATELY I could not make head nor tail of the studio’s synopsis or of the trailer, but since it boasted an excellent cast who are known for their comic timing – including Anil Kapoor of Slumdog Millionaire and 24 fame – this crazy comedy should have tickled the funny bone.
But alas, the film -like the trailer- was one long jumbled mess that really made no sense whatsoever. The stellar cast are entirely wasted on this pointless, plotless caper that raised not a single smile from me, let alone a laugh. If perchance it proves me wrong at the box office, that will be down to the fact that India is a nation with a population in excess of a billion, therefore there are a rather large number of rickshaw-wallas who will no doubt pay repeatedly to see the gratuitous flaunting of caucasian female women gyrating in a most provocative and unecessary manner at every given opportunity in the film.
My suggestion...seriously - don't bother - it's simply awful.
CAST: Akshaye Khanna, Sanjay Dutt, Kangana Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Sushmita Sen, Neetu Chandra, Paresh Rawal, Suniel Shetty
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 10 December 2010
TRON is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn, the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn, looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant, father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.
TRON was a revolutionary movie in 1982, and with where CGI has come in the last three decades, this sequel featuring two of the original main characters should have been an absolute treat for sci-fi fans across the globe.
I have to admit I enjoyed it. Though I'm not convinced that unless you were actually around in the 80s to appreciate how innovative Tron actually was, you might not get this Legacy. The CGI in this film is superb, and the action is exciting, and if you were there first time round you'll definitely appreciate it. But otherwise, apart from great racing sequences, it is a little bit shallow and won't be changing the world any time soon.
CAST: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen
DIRECTOR: Joseph Kosinski
RUNTIME: 127 mins
RELEASE DATE: 16/12/10 17 December 2010 12/01/11 02/02/11
ALI is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theatre that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess, the club's proprietor and headliner. Burlesque's outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingénue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer, finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer, and garners the affection of Jack, a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager and gender-bending host, Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage. Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though not before a charismatic entrepreneur arrives with an enticing proposal...
OK, so the director and writer is the brother of Robin Antin – creator of the world-renowned burlesque troupe the Pussycat Dolls; it’s set in LA at club resembling the Viper Room; it stars two of the biggest performers in world pop/rock, and has a supporting cast boasting the likes of Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci and McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy...how could it possibly go wrong!
Erm....I was in the US when it released there weeks before it came out in London, and all my NY friends said to me don't bother - it's entirely overrated and you will be disappointed...so consequently I didn't rushed to see it ...but now I have.
You can't fault the music, the singing, the choreography or the acting really. But what can you can blame is the shallow storyline and consequent tediously long script that makes for a lousy dialogue that just spoils what could have been an amazing showpiece. It ain't no Chicago...or maybe it is, without thrilling in-depth storyline, the intrigue, the murder, the big numbers and the fabulous choreography.
I wouldn't be rushing off to see it any time soon unless you're really bored!
CAST: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Peter Gallagher, Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci
DIRECTOR: Steven Antin
RUNTIME: 118 mins
RELEASE DATE: 24/11/10 17 December 2010 18/12/10 22/12/10 13/01/11 20/01/11 21/01/11 18/02/11
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
THE test of wills between Jack Byrnes and Greg Focker escalates to new heights of comedy in the third instalment of the blockbuster series—Little Fockers.
It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam and countless hurdles for Greg to finally get “in” with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack. After the cash-strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack’s suspicions about his favourite male nurse come roaring back.
When Greg and Pam’s entire clan—including Pam’s lovelorn ex, Kevin—descends for the twins’ birthday party, Greg must prove to the sceptical Jack that he’s fully capable as the man of the house. But with all the misunderstandings, spying and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack’s final test and become the family’s next patriarch…or will the circle of trust be broken for good?
MEET The Parents was legendarily funny thanks mostly to Robert de Niro; Meet The Fockers wasn’t quite as good, but Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand added an amusing element which still made the film more than passable; a third movie in a comedy series is not always so funny...so the hope was that they didn't just put all the funny scenes into the trailer to lull us into a false sense of security, but is as side-splitting as the first and not just another lame fock-up!
The good news is that the funny bits were not heaped into the trailer...there is nothing funny in the trailer. And now for the main feature...well, Owen Wilson is very entertaining. Oh and the rest? Yes, well, a complete fock-up I'm afraid. The storyline was shallow and disjointed, the laughs were few and far between; though it may have been funny filming Little Fockers, it's quite possible that all the amusement was left on the cutting room floor in the editing suite. And Harvey Keitel...I'm still trying to figure out why he was in the film at all.
Third time exceedingy unlucky...given the option, I'd go see Gulliver's Travels!
CAST: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, Harvey Keitel, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand
DIRECTOR: Paul Weitz
RELEASE DATE: 22 December 2010 27/12/10
ONLY once in a blue moon is such a great criminal born who is fearless as well as shameless! Now is the blue moon and the great criminal is Tees Maar Khan. He steals, cons and cheats all with such alarming audacity that even shame shies away from him! He and his gang comprising of Dollar, Soda and Burger have managed to keep the police, world over, on their toes. Then one fine day international antique smugglers, the Johri Brothers, assign Tees Maar Khan the biggest con job of his life! He must rob antiques worth 500 crore rupees from a heavily guarded moving train! Will Khan and his merry gang, with some unwitting support from his wannabe-actress girlfriend, Anya, and a greedy Bollywood superstar be able to pull off the greatest heist in history?
AKSHAY Kumar does comedy really well...his only problem lately is that the scripts have been sadly diabolical. But director Farah Khan has made Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om - two of my all time favourite movies, so if I can just ignore the beautiful but irritating Katrina and her grating voice for long enough, this should be a frolicking-good yarn for the festive period.
Initial thoughts...leave your brain at home. I am intrigued now to see After The Fox - the original Peter Sellers movie of which this is an official remake, just to see if it is true to form. But overall, this is a very shallow spoof that occasionally made me giggle, and used every comedy cliché you could possibly imagine, and many many politically incorrect characters...or more accurately caricatures.
This is nowhere even remotely close to Farah Khan's usual standard of movies. However, it's a perfectly acceptable "time-pass" film that will no doubt blow box office records globally thanks to fans of both Akshay Kumar & the renowned film maker Farah Khan. Even though they will be disappointed by a vacuous Katrina [though catchy, Sheila ki jawaani is not a patch on Munni's badnaami!] and a very shallow storyline, most will come out smiling. It's still better than anything else Bollywood has churned out lately.
CAST: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshaye Khanna
DIRECTOR: Farah Khan
RUNTIME: 131 mins
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 24 December 2010
UNDER cover of a night time blizzard, seven prisoners caught up in Stalin‘s Reign of Terror escape a Soviet Gulag in 1940. They are now free men and almost certainly, dead men…for their impending trek to safety defies any reasonable chance of success and the landscape they must cross is unforgiving. With little food or equipment, and no certainty of their location or intended direction, they embark on a journey that will present unimaginable hardship and drama. Driven by base animal instincts – survival and fear – while relying on evolved human traits – compassion and trust – the group endures transformative experiences that are profound and abysmal, anguished and ecstatic. All the while, they abide by one unceasing mandate: keep moving, keep moving, keep moving…
Shot in Bulgaria, Morocco and India, the film stars Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell. Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan and Mark Strong co–star. The film is inspired by Slavomir Rawicz‘s acclaimed book The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, as well as first–person accounts and anecdotes gathered by Peter Weir [Black Rain, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World]. and executive producer Keith Clarke.
© 2010 Empire Cinemas Limited
CAST: Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Dragoş Bucur, Gustaf Skarsgård
DIRECTOR: Peter Weir
RUNTIME: 133 mins
RELEASE DATE: 26 December 2010 21/01/11 26/01/11 2/02/11
IN a modern, 3D family comedy take on the classic tale, Jack Black is Lemuel Gulliver, a lowly mailroom clerk at a New York newspaper. After Gulliver bluffs his way into an assignment writing about the Bermuda Triangle, he goes there only to be transported to an undiscovered land, Lilliput. In this fantastical new world, Gulliver is, at last, a bigger-than-life figure -- in size and ego – especially after he starts telling tall tales, taking credit for his world’s greatest inventions, and placing himself at the centre of its most historic events. Gulliver’s position is enhanced even further when he leads his new friends in a daring battle against their long-time enemies. But when Gulliver loses it all and puts the Lilliputians in peril, he must find a way to undo the damage. Ultimately, Gulliver becomes a true giant among men only when he learns that it’s how big you are on the inside that counts.
GULLIVER’S TRAVELS appeared to be the perfect Christmas movie for all the family to enjoy together. Jack Black, Billy Connolly, Emily Blunt...you couldn’t possibly go wrong!
If you expect some complicated, critical, in-depth representation of Jonathan Swift's 18th century literary classic, do look elsewhere. But if you're after an hour and a half of pure, unadulterated stereotypical Jack Black craziness that your kids will love, and you of course will giggle at, then this is right up your street. All the participants in this wonderful pantomime play their parts to perfection, and it is a triumphant giggle-fest, despite most critics slating this particular incarnation of Gulliver's Travels. What a fun mindless way to end the year!
CAST: Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Chris O’Dowd, T J Miller, James Corden, Catherine Tate
DIRECTOR: Rob Letterman
RUNTIME: 87 mins
RELEASE DATE: 22/12/10 26 December 2010 27/12/10 30/12/10
Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife ís due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter’s last nerve.
THE film starts off quite slowly; one has to hunt for the laughs, and it is terribly difficult to feel anything but contempt and irritation for Ethan. As it proceeds, the film becomes a little more palatable, with the odd wry smile appearing involuntarily. But unfortunately, it's not the funniest film around; you do eventually warm to the characters, and get that warm fuzzy feeling by the end, but so much is predictable. I wouldn't go rushing off to see it in any mad hurry...DVD will suffice in a few months.
CAST: Robert Downey Jnr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, Jamie Foxx
DIRECTOR: Todd Philips
RUNTIME: 100 mins
RELEASE DATE: 04/11/10 05 November 2010 10/11/10
In the Spring, happily married Gerri, a medical counsellor, and Tom, a geologist, tend their allotment. They entertain Gerri's lonely work colleague Mary, who gets very drunk, and bemoans her disastrous love life...
In the Summer, Ken comes down to London to spend a weekend with Gerri and Tom. Ken works in a government employment office in Hull, and is Tom's boyhood friend from their native Derby. He gets very drunk, and bemoans his tragic, lonely life...
In the Autumn, Gerri and Tom return home from the allotment to enjoy a pleasant surprise from Joe. He has hidden his new partner Katie behind a door. Katie is an occupational therapist, and Gerri and Tom like her immediately...
In the Winter, Gerri, Tom and Joe drive up to Derby for the funeral of the wife of Tom’s elder brother, Ronnie. Ronnie’s aggressive, estranged son Carl arrives late at the crematorium. Back at Ronnie’s house, Carl is confrontational with his father, and with Tom and Joe; he causes other mourners to leave suddenly, and then stomps off in a rage. Gerri and Tom bring Ronnie back to London. Whilst they are at the allotment, Mary shows up at the house unannounced, and in a fraught state. She drinks tea and smokes cigarettes with a bemused Ronnie...
MIKE Leigh - cinematic genius; he hasn't made a movie that is less than simply excellent yet, so with this exceptional cast no doubt Another Year will be a masterpiece.
CAST: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley, Karina Fernandez, Martin Savage, Michele Austin, Phil Davis, Stuart McQuarrie, Imelda Staunton
DIRECTOR: Mike Leigh
RUNTIME: 129 mins
RELEASE DATE: 05 November 2010 22/11/10 29/12/10
Gopal (Ajay Devgan) is a young man living in Goa with his mother Geeta and younger brother Laxman. He loves his mother but fumes over petty issues. Gopal keeps trying different business ideas with Laxman (Shreyas Talpade) and their best friend Daboo (Kareena Kapoor), but they never succeed. Daboo is young, good looking and tomboyish, with a pet dog named 'Facebook'. Madhav (Arshad Warsi) stays with his father Pritam and two brothers Lucky and Laxman. An expert in conning people, Madhav earns his livelihood through scamming money from various sources. Lucky (Tushar Kapoor) is the brother of Madhav and Laxman. Only able to express his feelings through sign language, Lucky is an innocent who is loved by all. Join these characters - and many more - on a memorable journey full of madness, love and excitement in Golmaal 3.
I'M afraid I did not see the first instalment, but the second had me giggling stupendously, so if the trend continued, Golmaal 3 should have been a couple of hours of joyous nonsense that has no rhyme nor reason...but you'd come out of the multiplex smiling! Unfortunately, the second movie was obviously the funny one.
Film makers will one day realise it is almost impossible to make three consecutively funny movies...many have tried and most have failed miserably...and now Golmaal can be added to the list.
Don't get me wrong - it wasn't completely awful and unwatchable, but it was very difficult to keep one's concentration for any length of time. The storyline was too obvious, and despite a fun performance from Mithun Chakraborty and flashbacks to the 'infamous' Disco Dancer, the premise was just too simplistic.
CAST: Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Tushar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Arshad Warsi, Mithun Chakraborty, Ratna Pathak, Johhny Lever
DIRECTOR: Rohit Shetty
RELEASE DATE: 05 November 2010
PART 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction—the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart.
Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort’s Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter. The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort…alive.
Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale—the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks.
Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became “the Boy Who Lived.” No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort.
BEING a self-confessed Harry Potter addict, I simply could not wait until this penultimate movie was released. Having watched all six fairly recently (again!), one could only conclude that No. 7 would be darker and even more intriguing following the aftermath of the tragedy in the Half-Blood Prince.
And that's exactly what it was...darker, deeper, scarier and beautifully brought together by the supremely talented director, David Yates. The film takes us through a murky journey of the growth of evil and the fight for all things good. But you do have to have either read the books or seen all the films so far to make any sense out of it all.
The picturisation of the final book was perfect - I felt as if someone had climbed into my head and saw exactly what I had seen when reading it 3 years ago lying on the beach in North Africa. The characters were again brought brilliantly to life, and there really is very little to fault in this gripping production, except one teensie weensie glitch...
Emily Watson - dear oh dear oh dear. I actually was hoping she couldn't possibly get any worse than in her last few outings as Hermione, but my hope was in vain. Diabolical pretty much sums it up; I could not possibly do the disservice to real actresses by using the term to describe her. Simply put, the girl and her eyebrows should leave the acting profession and go find something more useful to do. The one saving grace is that she cannot get any worse in the final film since Parts 1 & 2 were shot back to back.
But let us not dwell on negativity any longer! I was entralled by it all - the tardis tent, the search for the horcruxes, Ron's tantrums, the depth of evilness [is that even a real word?!] of Voldermort & Bellatrix, and Dobbie - my favourite character in the series... You will experience the full gamut of emotions from laughing out loud to shedding a tear as any fulfulling movie should inspire.
The story has been built up with just the correct crescendo to have us all gagging to see the final installment. But the cliff hanger leaves us with bated breath until 15th July 2011...I shall be terribly upset if there are no midnight preview shows in London again! Though in the meantime I'm sure I'll have seen this one a couple more times, along with ALL the others - for the umpteenth time.
CAST: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Imelda Staunton, Jason Isaacs, Warwick Davis, Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson
DIRECTOR: David Yates
RELEASE DATE: 18/11/10 19 November 2010 24/11/10 27/11/10 03/12/10
Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema
THE verdant green landscape, the magnetic blue waters and the warm bright sunshine of beautiful Goa is home to one of the greatest magicians of his time, Ethan Mascarenhas. Presently hosting a Radio Show that spreads magic and hope and laughter through his irrepressible wit and humour to every listener and caller, it is difficult to imagine that this is a man who has been immobilized with a spinal injury for the last fourteen years of his life.
Ethan is aided through every moment of his present life by the epicentre of his world - his Nurse, Sofia D’Souza. Theirs is a love beautiful in its implicit silence, unwavering in its quiet strength and spirited in their constant verbal sparring.
On the fourteenth anniversary of his accident, Ethan decides to seek control over his own life. He makes a petition to the Court that shocks the world and leaves Sofia in an impasse that challenges their relationship and their love.
A confession...I’m not the biggest fan of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for that matter; there is a point at which Bollywood superstars actually think that they are gods, and therefore truly believe they can do no wrong...well they can as overrated film like Black, Saawariya and Kites prove. But Bhansali made Devdas -a masterpiece- so here I was hoping that he’s recaptured whatever it was that he lost during his last two offerings, that Aishwarya could get over her ego long enough to give a performance akin to that in Provoked (it was a LONG time ago!) and Hrithik had stopped taking himself so seriously to give a performance worthy of the guy who was so moving in Fiza and entertaining in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
Well, the verdict...oh dear.
There are some redeeming features; the style and feel of the film is utter opulence and reminded me of the cinematic grandeur of movies like Nine, Chicago and of course Devdas with that larger than life exaggeration of a surreal world. And Hrithik Roshan's performance was almost beyond reproach considering what he had to work with; his performance was subtle, tender and suitably moving. Oh and Shernaz Patel was quite impressive as the friend and lawyer. But that's about all the good I have to say.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali lives in some parallel universe where nurses wear more make up than a wannabe model on ANTM, where in the 21st century odd women dress in victorian costume and are not going to a fancy dress party, where lawyers screech, cry and use soap opera-speak in court with no reference to the law, and where magic is a matter of fact and not an illusion and therefore anything he portrays is reality. Well I'm sorry but I don't buy it.
The storyline would work if -in this context- it had any basis in fact, if the subject matter was handled with some reasoning and depth, and if the entire movie had a script that was both believable and articulate. The dialogue, like the film in its entirety was overly melodramatic, ARB played ARB...again [and she really needs to be taught some grace in how to dance - what happened to that relatively unknown actress Aishwarya Rai who was so elegant in Taal?], the court scenes stretched the imagination into another realm, and the 'loving' mother who hardly pitched up to see her slowly dying quadraplegic son...please!
And the magic, or lack of it...for a movie that was about a former world-class magician, who in his current state agrees to pass on all his wisdom to his protégé, well there simply wasn't any. And what was shown in the intermittent flashbacks was just bad special effects which no self-respecting magician would ever claim as possible.
I'm afraid the final nail in this coffin has to be the unoriginality of the film; why do Bollywood filmakers find it so difficult to make movies that don't plagiarise western cinema? Just three movies in question where scenes are lifted almost verbatim include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Prestige and most notably the Oscar® winning Mar Adentro ["The Sea Inside"].
Well...at least it's only two hours long (!)
CAST: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapoor
DIRECTOR: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
RUNTIME: 130 mins
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 19 November 2010
20th Century Fox presents Tony Scott’s latest action thriller. Tony Scott knows how to make action thrillers; with a history of such films as Top Gun, Days Of Thunder, Enemy Of The State, Man On Fire and the long-running series, Numb3rs, and I'm glad to say that Unstoppable simply continues in the vein that the younger of the two Scott film-makers has traditionally followed, and hasn’t fall into the self-indulgent trap that big brother fell into with his last offering.
The premise of the film is slightly ludicrous, but once you've got over that, this is an action-packed thrill of a ride, the perfect popcorn movie that will offer you no more than 98 minutes in a madcap world where you will be entirely drawn in and wait with bated breath for the next switch in the track, the next explosion and the thrilling end. And to make it even better, it's a film that uses real people and real trains and very little CGI if any...an old- fashioned Hollywood blockbuster which so reminded me of the 70s Japanese film "Bullet Train".
So if you have have time on your hands and would like to expend it without having to engage your mind in any complexity, then Unstoppable is the way to go.
CAST: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Jessy Schram
DIRECTOR: Tony Scott
RUNTIME: 98 mins
RELEASE DATE: 10/11/10 11/11/10 12/11/10 24 November 2010 07/01/11
IN The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest – the final instalment of the “Millennium trilogy” – Lisbeth Salander is fighting for her life in more ways than one. In intensive care and charged with three murders, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.
CAST: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin, Jacob Ericksson, Sofia Ledarp
DIRECTOR: Daniel Alfredson
RUNTIME: 147 mins
LANGUAGE: Swedish with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 28/07/10 29/10/10 26 November 2010
Adapted from the bestselling book by Ken Bruen, London Boulevard is the tale of a South London criminal named Mitchell (Colin Farrell). After release from prison, Mitchell tries to give up his life as a gangster by becoming a handyman for Charlotte (Keira Knightley), a reclusive young actress. Written and directed by William Monahan (screenwriter of 'The Departed'), 'London Boulevard's strong British cast includes familiar faces like Stephen Graham, Anna Friel, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Ben Chaplin, Matt King and Ophelia Lovibond.
The release was very low key of this gangster flick despite it's excellent cast. It's not a bad film, but definitely is not something that will be remembered as a British classic in years to come. The story lacks any real depth and all seems a little pointless...all guns and bloodshed but with no real reason. I'd recommend leaving it until it's out on DVD.
CAST: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin, Eddie Marsan, Anna Friel, David Thewlis
DIRECTOR: William Monahan
RUNTIME: 102 mins
RELEASE DATE: 26 November 2010
THE suspense thriller The American stars Academy Award winner George Clooney in the title role for director Anton Corbijn (Control). The screenplay by Rowan Joffe is adapted from Martin Booth’s 1990 novel A Very Private Gentleman.
As an assassin, Jack is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, Mathilde.
Savouring the peaceful quietude he finds in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack accepts the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues a torrid liaison with a beautiful woman, Clara. Jack and Clara’s time together evolves into a romance, one seemingly free of danger. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.
AN action thriller this is not. The American is a slow-burning rather subdued affair that will not disappoint the art-house movie fans, but though it is about an assassin, you won't break a sweat from the thrills. This is a beautifully filmed work of art, which you will need to be in a mellow mood to savour it. George Clooney reaches for a whole other level of performance, and overall I would say it's a typically well-made European composition.
CAST: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacell
DIRECTOR: Anton Corbijn
RUNTIME: 105 mins
RELEASE DATE: 01/09/10 10/09/10 14/10/10 27/10/10 26 November 2010 16/12/10
TWO people can meet ‘Anywhere’... In a cab on a rainy New York afternoon, at the neighbourhood bar, in a queue waiting to use the ATM Machine, on a plane, deep sea diving, in the middle of an earth quake, sitting on that famous bench at the Taj Mahal or standing under the Pyramids in Egypt. You can meet someone in the most mundane of circumstances or in the most exotic ones. Akash and Kiara meet. But they meet in a situation as unusual as no other.
But what if the two people who meet as strangers want to stay that way? They want to end right where they started – as strangers.
This is the story of two strangers on an odyssey of discovery – down a path that is ridden with the exquisite pain and joy of falling in love, only they don’t realize it.
Can you let a stranger change your life…. forever……?
NOW if you've read my reviews in the past, you'll know I'm not the biggest fan of romcoms. But of all of those I've reviewed here, this is definitely the cutest. The lead actors are as per usual exceptional, and though it's not the greatest script on the planet [which is what actually lets the film down quite a lot], and the soundtrack -because you can't have a proper Bollywood movie without a song or six- is not something I've downloaded to my iPod, somehow the film just does come together, though somewhat haphazardly.
There are giggles galore on the stereotypical coast-to-coast road trip from NYC to Vegas. There's a copious amount of eye candy no matter what your preference courtesy of Priyanka and Ranbir. Like so many romcoms you'll probably only want to watch it just the once, but you'll enjoy it nonetheless. So go on...it's the best superstar movie out of Bombay for quite a while!
CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra
DIRECTOR: Siddharth Anand
RUNTIME: 155 mins
RELEASE DATE: 01 October 2010
MADE In Dagenham stars the award winning Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky, It's a Wonderful Afterlife) as Rita O'Grady who is the catalyst for the 1968 Ford Dagenham strike by 187 sewing machinists which led to the advent of the Equal Pay Act. Working in extremely impoverished conditions and for long arduous hours, the women at the Ford Dagenham plant finally lay down their tools when they are reclassified as "unskilled".
CAST: Rosamund Pike, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Mays, Richard Schiff, Jaime Winstone
DIRECTOR: Nigel Cole
RUNTIME: 113 mins
RELEASE DATE: 1 October 2010 19/11/10
BASED on an acclaimed novel, Charlie St. Cloud is a romantic drama starring Zac Efron as a young man who survives an accident that lets him see the world in a unique way. In this emotionally charged story, he begins a romantic journey in which he embraces the dark realities of the past while discovering the transformative power of love.
Accomplished sailor Charlie St. Cloud (Efron) has the adoration of mother Claire (Oscar® winner Kim Basinger) and little brother Sam (newcomer Charlie Tahan), as well as a college scholarship that will lead him far from his sleepy Pacific Northwest hometown. But his bright future is cut short when a tragedy strikes and takes his dreams with it.
After his high-school classmate Tess (Amanda Crew) returns home unexpectedly, Charlie grows torn between honouring a promise he made four years earlier and moving forward with newfound love. And as he finds the courage to let go of the past for good, Charlie discovers the soul most worth saving is his own.
I didn't manage to catch this at the cinema but on the red eye from the States, so watched it slightly jetlagged and suffering from insomnia and found it perfectly inoffensive. Thankfully I've managed to avoid in their entirety all previous movies starring Zac Efron and therefore had no preconceived ideas of his acting talent, but of course have heard every pre-teen girl almost faint at any mention of his name, and I kind of get why...if I was their age.
I note the film has been completely slated by all the critics the world over, and for once I shan't agree. It's no doubt aimed at the High School Musical groupies who will love anything Efron deigns to put his name to, so will appeal to its target audience. The grown ups should be less critical - it's not for you so you really don't have to watch it!
CAST: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Donal Logue, Charlie Tahan, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta
DIRECTOR: Burr Steers
RUNTIME: 99 mins
RELEASE DATE: 30/07/10 23/09/10 8 October 2010 10/11/10
EVERY age has its visionaries who leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world – but rarely without a battle over exactly what happened and who was there at the moment of creation. The Social Network explores the moment at which Facebook, the most revolutionary social phenomenon of the new century, was invented -- through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The result is a drama rife with both creation and destruction; one that purposefully avoids a singular POV, but instead, by tracking duelling narratives, mirrors the clashing truths and constantly morphing social relationships that define our time.
Drawn from multiple sources, the film moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto as it captures the visceral thrill of the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making -- and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart.
Each has his own narrative, his own version of the Facebook story – but they add up to more than the sum of their parts in what becomes a multi-level portrait of 21st Century success – both the youthful fantasy of it and its finite realities as well.
AND how well it is done. Written by Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame, The Social Network is based on the 14-page précis of Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaire. Sorkin investigated the beginnings of Facebook himself to develop the stunning script brought articulately to light by director David Fincher, responsible for such masterpieces as Fight Club, Se7en and Benjamin Button.
The world’s foremost Ivy League school, a teenage genius hacker turned billionaire, friendships made and torn apart, and how Facemash became Facebook...an enthralling and fascinating ride into today’s cyber-phenomenon.
The movie directs you through a fast-paced journey of almost overnight success to the tune of billions, but leaves you entirely to make up your own mind over who was the hero, the anti-hero, the victim and the winner. The good, the bad and the ugly...who fits in which category, you decide.
CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, Joseph Mazzello
DIRECTOR: David Fincher
RUNTIME: 121 mins
RELEASE DATE: 01/10/10 13/10/10 15 October 2010 21/10/10 28/10/10 11/11/10 15/01/11
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Director - Motion Picture: David Fincher
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Aaron Sorkin
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Film Editing: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter
Original Score: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
IN a happy suburban neighbourhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbours, hidden deep beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by an army of tireless, little yellow minions, we discover Gru (Steve Carell), planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon (Yes, the moon!) in Universal’s new 3-D CGI feature, Despicable Me.
Gru delights in all things wicked. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who look at him and see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad.
One of the world’s greatest super-villains has just met his greatest challenge: three little girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes.
FUN! Fun! Fun! A wholesome intelligent and entertaining film that the entire family can enjoy, with engaging characters and excellent animation. Despicable Me will be the perfect stocking filler for all kids under 10 so it's particularly convenient that the DVD will be released just in time for Christmas!
CAST: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews
DIRECTOR: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
RUNTIME: 95 mins
RELEASE DATE: 09/07/10 29/07/10 09/09/10 15/09/10 16/09/10 13/10/10 15 October 2010 29/10/10
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is the follow up to the unnerving 2009 surprise-hit horror movie that had everyone leaving movie houses feeling rather uncomfortable, and probably caused a few cases of insomnia and paranoia for a few nights.
THE marketing for this movie was clever – there wasn’t any until the eleventh hour...no cast, no synopsis, only a short trailer and a whole load of suspense, anticipation and great expectations.
And it did not disappoint. The anticipation was well worth the wait; the result was a film as nerve-wracking as its predecessor, and to some degree even more so. This style of slow-burning suspense and dread is highly appealing to fans of the suspense genre, but if blood, gore and guts are more up your street, then this is probably not your bag. If you find enjoyment in your nerves being stretched to their limits, and the impact of silence as opposed to an overly-dramatic background score keeping you on the edge of your seat -invariable with a voice inside your head screaming "switch the light on!"-then make sure you see Paranormal Activity 2.
And yes, it really does help if you have seen the original.
CAST: Katie Feathorstone, Gabriel Liotta
DIRECTOR: Tod Williams
RUNTIME: 91 mins
RELEASE DATE: 21/10/10 22 October 2010
BASED on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren.
Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.
WATCHING the trailer and looking at the cast, RED looked like it was going to be a great fun movie...and boy did it live up to the hype, unlike some other recent movies I could mention which brought together a bunch of has-been action heroes and failed most miserably!
This is a proper action comedy flick which will have you laughing out loud, as well as being slightly taken aback by the gratuitous violence, which somehow manages to fit and not come across as ludicrous. All the old-time thespians do themselves justice in portraying their respective roles of insanity, and if you don't enjoy Red, it really must be a bad day! Rocket science it isn't, but blatantly obvious, exceedingly funny, and a jolly good couple of hours spent.
CAST: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox, Julian McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss
DIRECTOR: Lisa Cholodenko
RUNTIME: 111 mins
RELEASE DATE: 15/10/10 20/10/10 22 October 2010 29/10/10
BURKE & HARE is a black comedy based on the true story of the body-snatchers William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), directed by Hollywood legend, John Landis. These two Irish entrepreneurs discover that a dead body can fetch a hefty price when the demands of the leading medical professors Dr. Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Dr. Monroe (Tim Curry) reach beyond that of the local supply.
CAST: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson
DIRECTOR: John Landis
RUNTIME: 90 mins
RELEASE DATE: 27 October 2010
THE Kids Are All Right is the heartfelt new comedy from acclaimed director Lisa Cholodenko, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo. Two teenage children (Alice in Wonderlands Mia Wasikowska and Journey to the Center of the Earth's Josh Hutcherson) get the notion to seek out their biological father and introduce him into the family life that their two mothers (Bening and Moore) have built for them. Once the donor (Ruffalo) is found, the household will never be the same, as family ties are defined, re—defined, and re—re—defined. The New York Times raves that its "a generous, nearly note—perfect portrait of a modern family," and Entertainment Weekly calls the movie "funny, smart and sexy!"
I did try, but to be honest I got bored so went off and did something else instead. I'm not really sure who this film will appeal to, and frankly I'm not quite convinced that the film critic at Entertainment Weekly was entirely sober before seeing it...The kids may well have been alright but the mothers really needed help!
CAST: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
DIRECTOR: Robert Schwentke
RUNTIME: 106 mins
RELEASE DATE: 30/07/10 09/09/10 20/10/10 29 October 2010
Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Annette Bening
JENNIFER Aniston and Jason Bateman star in The Switch, an offbeat comedy about Kassie, a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite her slightly neurotic best friend Wally’s objections, decides it’s time to have a baby—even if it means doing it by herself… with a little help from a charming sperm donor (Patrick Wilson). But, unbeknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven years later when Wally finally gets acquainted with Kassie’s precocious—though slightly neurotic—son. From the people behind Little Miss Sunshine and Juno comes The Switch, due in theatres this summer.
OH my favourite genre of movies - the romcom! **dripping with sarcasm**. But in the time-honoured tradition of impartiality and journalistic integrity, I have put myself through the potential agony of a Jennifer Aniston film...and the verdict is that it really wasn't that bad, though entirely predictable. Jason Bateman is entertaining, but then again, I've had a crush on him since the mid-80s; Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum make it all bearable, and thank god, since Jennifer Aniston is as inane and uninteresting as Rachel was.
CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis, Thomas Robinson
DIRECTOR: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
RUNTIME: 101 mins
RELEASE DATE: 20/08/2010 25/08/10 1 September 2010 28/10/10
MAYA (Kajol) is the perfect mother. Her life revolves around her three children, Aleya (Aanchal Munjal), Ankush (Nominath Ginsburg), and Anjali (Diya Sonecha), who think nothing less than the world of her. Despite being divorced from her husband, Aman (Arjun Rampal) Maya has ensured that everything runs smoothly in her house, under her watch, and that they continue to remain a happy family unit. However, when Aman introduces his girlfriend, Shreya (Kareena Kapoor) a career oriented woman, who has a lot to learn about children, to the family, the situation immediately takes an unexpected turn. When an incident changes their lives drastically, bringing the two women under the same roof, they find themselves putting to test an unusual situation; can two mothers make a home?
Forced to make some unorthodox choices for her family, Maya must confront her uneasy equation with Shreya and find a way to bring everyone together, despite their differences, to make them a family once again.
Can they make a happy home and proudly say… WE ARE FAMILY!
I did not see Stepmom when it was released and thought I'd not until I saw We Are Family so my opinion would not be tainted by the original film. So here's the verdict...
We Are Family is an overly sentimental film which theoretically should tug at your heartstrings, but in reality made me cringe throughout. There was just one moment where I actually felt some kind of emotional stirring deep deep down but no - not a tear was shed. However, everyone else I know who's seen it did the whole weeping thing...maybe I'm just devoid of emotion. I could see very little chemistry between Kareena and Arjun, and actually felt a strong dislike for Kajol as the mother; I'm sure that was not the intended response! And it felt long, even though it was just short of 2 hours.
And then I did see Stepmom...if only Dharma Productions had stuck to the original storyline there may have been some hope, but they didn't so it failed. They took the basic premise of the movie, then ripped the heart out of it, did some rejigging, and produced a melodramatic mishmash of ideas that really had no basis in reality and simply pandered to a Bollywood audience...and no doubt they are just lapping it up. But you can count me out!
CAST: Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
DIRECTOR: Siddharth Malhotra
RUNTIME: 115 mins
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 3 September 2010
OUT of the pages of the legendary comics and graphic novels steps Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort. Jonah’s past catches up with him when the U.S. military offers to wipe out the warrants on his head if he hunts and stop dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich).
CAST: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon
DIRECTOR: Jimmy Hayward
RUNTIME: 81 mins
RELEASE DATE: 18/06/10 05/08/10 26/08/10 3 September 2010 01/10/10
Directed by John Erick Dowdle from a screenplay by Brian Nelson and a story by Shymalan, Devil stars Chris Messina (Julie & Julia), Geoffrey Arend (500 Days Of Summer), Logan Marshall-Green (Brooklyn’s Finest), Bojana Novakovic (Drag Me To Hell), Jenny O’Hara (Mystic River), Bokeem Woodbine (The Last Sentinel)) and Jacob Vargas (Death Race).
In the film, a group of people is trapped in an elevator, and one of them is the Devil.
BEFORE it's release, I thought this may be the last M Night film I see...each one has got progressively worse so Devil could potentially have been more unbearable than The Last Airbender. However, Mr Shymalan only produced and came up with the story, so it was conceivable that relatively novice director John Erick Dowdle may come up trumps.
Well...it wasn't quite as bad as his last couple of offerings, and it was almost watchable, but only really if you don't have anything better to do, and you've seen everything else at the movies right now. The only interesting thing I can bring myself to say about this is that better the devil you know...
CAST: Chris Messina, Geoffrey Arend, Logan Marshall-Green, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O'Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Vargas
DIRECTOR: John Erick Dowdle
RUNTIME: 80 mins
RELEASE DATE: 17 September 2010
LIZ Gilbert had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of – a husband, a house, a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery.
In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.
Based upon the best-selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.
JULIA Roberts in another female-centric movie to entice the cinema-going audience the world over...fabulous! She is brilliant, most of her films are brilliant, and I had no doubt this would be another Erin Brokovich rather than a Valentine's Day which actually should be erased permanently from history.
Well it started brilliantly - New York was explanatory, sharply filmed, and made sense, and then came Rome... I'm afraid it had quite an impact -positively may I add- in that I simply wanted to jack it all in and move to Italy for at least a few months. The film captured the sheer essence of the country, the people, and Liz Gilbert's frame of mind.
But then she hoiks herself to India -a country I know fairly well- but here it all started to fall a little flat. Somehow there was no magic, no mystique, and I was wholly unconvinced that she would be able to find anything, let alone herself and God. Not to say the sub-continent isn't all of these things, but the film just did not convey it persuasively.
Bali, on the other hand, was breathtaking, and amusing, and touching, and she loves...and what a man to fall for! But unfortunately for me, there was a rather huge element missing between Roberts and Bardem - chemistry. I did think it was just me who missed it, but since speaking to others who have also seen the film, it appears we all came to the same conclusion.
But despite the missing spark, Eat Pray Love was beautifully acted, impressively filmed for the most part, and overall a moving film that had oodles of potential; it's just a shame it didn't quite find all of it.
CAST: Julia Roberts,Javier Bardem, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup
DIRECTOR: Ryan Murphy
RUNTIME: 133 mins
RELEASE DATE: 13/09/10 17/09/10 24 September 2010 07/10/10 29/10/10
A thoughtful but outrageous comedy from Bobcat Goldthwait, World’s Greatest Dad is a story about a man that learns the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy, and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone.
Robin Williams stars as Lance Clayton, a man who has learned to settle. He dreamed of being a rich and famous writer, but has only managed to make it as a high school poetry teacher. His only son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) is an insufferable jackass who won’t give his father the time of day. He is dating Claire (Alexie Gilmore), the school’s adorable art teacher, but she doesn’t want to get serious - or even acknowledge publicly that they are dating.
Then, in the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of, if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got there.
THIUS is one of the strangest offerings I've seen in a while. You will travel through a plethora of emotions including amusement, disgust, irritation, surprise and even guilt, and will come out at the other end wondering...just wondering. World's Greatest Dad is a fascinating take on 15 minutes of fame, but not in any conventional manner. A most curious black comedy which you must stick with through to the end.
CAST: Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara, Geoff Pierson, Henry Simmons, Mitzi McCall
DIRECTOR: Bob Goldthwait
RUNTIME: 99 mins
RELEASE DATE: 13/09/10 17/09/10 24 September 2010 07/10/10 29/10/10
IN a tiny corner of a giant country a poor farmer is about to lose everything. His brother has a plan to win it all back!
Peepli Live is a satire, which revolves around a villager from Central India called Natha, his brother Budhia and their family. The family is about to lose their land because they are unable to repay a loan, when, they hear of a government programme which offers the family of any farmer committing suicide a compensation of rupees 100,000 ($2000). The older brother convinces his sibling into agreeing to commit suicide. This sets in motion a chain of events which finds Natha in the eye of a storm. The local big wigs, the state government, high ranking bureaucrats, federal ministers and the national media all become stakeholders in the mad circus that erupts.
This is the story of India today. Rural society, the bureaucracy, media, politics and life...
FOR a Hindi movie this is short...and clever, and witty, and a real statement on both the world's largest democracy and the media-led existence we live in today. This is a gem of a movie which will have you laughing throughout in amusement and incredulity. And it's great to see a movie that will no doubt do exceedingly well without relying for one second on Bollywood names and hype...a genuine pleasure to watch.
CAST: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Natha, Raghubir Yadav, Budhia, Naseerudin Shah, Malaika Shenoy, Nandita Mallik, Shalini Vatsa, Dhaniya, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rakesh, Farukh Jaffer, Amma, Vishal O Sharma, Kumar Deepak
DIRECTOR: Anusha Rizvi
RUNTIME: 104 mins
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 13/08/10 24 September 2010
Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gordon Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated. Looking to repair his damaged relationship with his daughter, Gekko forms an alliance with her fiancé Jacob (Shia LaBeouf), and Jacob begins to see him as a father figure. But Jacob learns the hard way that Gekko – still a master manipulator and player - is after something very different from redemption.
THE original Wall Street won an Oscar and a Golden Globe and was truly a new era in movies in the raging and indulgent 80s. It reflected the times we lived in...and this promised just the same. I for one couldn't wait to get to the movies to see if this is a sequel to be remembered or hastily forgotten.
Seen it I have, and though hasn't quite the impact of Wall Street, it has grown into the naughties in quite an admirable fashion. Michael Douglas is no shadow of his former self portraying Gekko to perfection two decades on; LaBeouf puts in a passable performance, but it's Carey Mulligan who yet again steals the show as Gekko's estranged daughter, making her a real contender for joining the plethora of talented British beauties slowly taking over Hollywood.
There is much nostalgia in Wall Street 2, and familiar faces and storylines make the passage between the two films quite seamless. It fits perfectly with today's climate, and if you were there last time round, you'll both get it and enjoy it.
CAST: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin
DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone
RUNTIME: 133 mins
RELEASE DATE: 23/09/10 24 September 2010 29/09/10 22/10/10 28/01/11
IN the age-old battle between cats and dogs, one crazed feline has taken things a paw too far. Kitty Galore, formerly an agent for cat spy organization MEOWS, has gone rogue and hatched a diabolical plan to not only bring her canine enemies to heel, but take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Faced with this unprecedented threat, cats and dogs will be forced to join forces for the first time in history in an unlikely alliance to save themselves - and their humans - in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a comedy that blends live action with state-of-the-art puppetry and computer animation. It's time for the fur to fly.
CAST: Chris O’Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen Paul Rodriguez Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler, Nick Nolte, Joe Pantoliano, Katt Williams
DIRECTOR: Brad Peyton
RUNTIME: 82 min
RELEASE DATE: 30/07/10 4 August 2010 18/08/10 19/08/10 21/08/10 16/10/10
GROWN UPS, starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade, is a comedy about five friends and former teammates who reunite years later to honor the passing of their childhood basketball coach. With their wives (Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph) and kids in tow, they spend the Fourth of July holiday weekend together at the lake house where they celebrated their championship years earlier. Picking up where they left off, they discover why growing older doesn’t mean growing up.
I'M sure filming this movie was a hoot - all mates together from comedy gigs of yesteryear - pretty much a Saturday Night Live reunion. Well at least I hope they enjoyed it as someone has to get pleasure from Grown Ups...personally, I was bored rigid. Possibly a wry smile erupted at the occasional smutty remark, but overall, I'm really not quite sure what Adam Sandler and his buddies were playing at. Even die-hard Sandler fans will be disappointed I'm afraid...it appears that all the laughs were left behind along with their youth. I'd give this one a wide berth.
CAST: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph
Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi and Cliff Curtis
DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan
RUNTIME: 102 mins
RELEASE DATE: 24/06/10 25/06/10 01/07/10 6 August 2010 15/10/10
Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series, the live-action feature film The Last Airbender is the opening chapter in Aang’s struggle to survive.
I think it's time to face facts - M. Night Shymalan was never the great moviemaker that we believed him to be - more like a one hit wonder. The Sixth Sense was unique, but everything subsequent has progressively got worse and worse, culminating in this, probably one of the most terrible movies I've seen in years - worthy of plenty of Golden Raspberry Awards. And the responsibility lies solely at the hands of Mr Night who was the producer, director and adapted the screenplay.
It's easier to list point out the good bits - the special effects. Other than that, the film feels very long even though it's not even two hours. The story is very convoluted for a premise that should be so simple. The most awful element is that we as cinema goers are given no credit as to having any level of intelligence, not even that of a child; the story is explained in a narrative which may just appeal to a five year old. Not a single performance is noteworthy, and mostly the acting is wooden and juvenile.
For a fantasy movie there is absolutely no suspension of disbelief, there is not a hint of magic or excitement; I cannot see how anyone could derive enjoyment form this car crash of a movie, no matter what age.
CAST: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi and Cliff Curtis
DIRECTOR: M. Night Shyamalan
RUNTIME: 103 mins
RELEASE DATE: 01/07/10 17/07/10 22/07/10 28/07/10 13 August 2010 16/09/10 24/09/10
BALTHAZAR Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
THE best light to look at this movie in is relative...see this before you even contemplate The Last Airbender! The Sorcerer's Apprentice is no Harry Potter, but it is action-packed and great fun.
We begin in 740 AD with the evil Morgana le Fay deftly disposing of Merlin and setting the scene for the existence of Balthazar and Horvath - Merlin's two apprentices; flashforward to 2000 and 10 year old Dave is established as the Prime Merlinian but inadvertently makes a hash of things and causes some magical chaos under the watchful eye of Balthazar; finally we settle comfortably in present day Manhattan, only for it to be lit up like the biggest 4th July celebrations you've ever seen. What fun!
Nicolas Cage is the perfect slightly crazed good wizard, Alfred Molina is superb as the completely over-the-top evil wizard, and though the other main actors are fairly mediocre, the bells and whistles are worthy of any Jerry Bruckheimer fantasy film extravaganza. There are fabulous supercar chases, humungous flying magical eagles, oodles of sorcery, and even an attempt to make physics cool rather than geeky. Overall, it's an entertaining magical yarn that will more than pass the time.
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci, Toby Kebbell
DIRECTOR: Jon Turteltaub
RUNTIME: 108 min
RELEASE DATE: 14/07/10 22/07/10 11/08/10 13/08/10 13 August 2010 25/08/10 09/09/10
AS a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who Is Salt?"
I would not want to spoil the mystery of this film by talking about it all. Suffice to say, Angelina Jolie is sublime, and there are twists and turns and quite unexpected contortions that will keep you enthralled and quite on the edge of your seat from the gentle beginning to the action-packed end. And there's this whole opportunity which I do hope they cash in on by making a sequel. Simply do not hesitate and make sure you get to the movies to see this spectacle.
CAST: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andre Braugher
DIRECTOR: Phillip Noyce
RUNTIME: 99 min
RELEASE DATE: 23/07/10 31/07/10 12/08/10 20 August 2010 25/08/10 26/08/10 15/10/10
THE Expendables is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is a man with nothing to lose. Fearless and void of emotion, he is the leader, the sage and the strategist of this tight-knit band of men who live on the fringe. His only attachment is to his pickup truck, his seaplane and his team of loyal modern-day warriors. His is a true cynic who describes what he does as removing those hard to get at stains. The team behind him is made up of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), former SAS and a savant with anything that has a blade; Yin Yang (Jet Li), a master at close-quarter combat; Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), who has known Barney for ten years and is a long-barrel weapons specialist; Toll Road (Randy Couture), a skilled demolitions expert and considered the intellect of the group; and Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran and an expert in precision sniping who struggles with his own demons.
When the mysterious Church offers Barney a job no one else would take, Barney and his team embark on what appears to be a routine mission: overthrow General Gaza (David Zayas), the murderous dictator of the small island country of Vilena and end the years of death and destruction inflicted on its people. On a reconnaissance mission to Vilena, Barney and Christmas meet their contact Sandra (Giselle Itie), a local freedom-fighter with a dark secret. They also come to learn who their true enemy is: rogue ex-CIA operative James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchman Paine (Steve Austin). When things go terribly wrong, Barney and Christmas are forced to leave Sandra behind, essentially giving her a death sentence. Haunted by this failure, Barney convinces the team to return to Vilena to rescue the hostage and finish the job he started. And to perhaps save a soul: his own.
No no no no no! What on earth was Stallone thinking? Have all those body-building enhancing drugs taken their toll? Did the surgeon get carried away and remove part of his intelligence when he was busy remodelling the gorgeous action hero into the freak-like caricature he has become?
The Expendables is the worst action movie probably ever made - it was entirely pointless, had no rhyme no reason, there was a severe lack of any story, and it really showed how 'has-been' some of these actors really are; retirement is definitely something a few of them should take under consideration.
I did laugh once - at the most predictable moment in the film involving Stallone and Schwarzenegger - it was classic, but unfortunately that was it. This is certainly a 'really don't bother' movie...go see The A Team again!
CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
DIRECTOR: Sylvester Stallone
RUNTIME: 103 min
RELEASE DATE: 12/08/10 13/08/10 18/08/10 19 August 2010 26/08/10 16/10/10
OWEN Wilson is the voice of Marmaduke, the world's most lovable Great Dane, who leaps from comic strip fame to big screen stardom. The super-sized, ultra-awkward lap dog is living a good life with the Winslow family, including beleaguered dad Phil(Lee Pace),Phil's wife Debbie(Judy Greer),their three children, and feline pal Carlos. But when Phil uproots the clan from Kansas to California, Marmaduke finds his life turned upside-down. He must navigate the volatile Mutts vs. Pedigrees turf wars, woo the purebred of his dreams, and overcome a fall from grace from his new four-legged friends and his much put-upon family.
I'M afraid I have to disagree with most of the critics on this film as I giggled quite a lot. Young kids are going to love this film, though teenagers will likely cringe unless they a passion for dogs. It's cute and funny and quite witty if you like talking animals; Marmaduke won't be winning any awards but it is a fun yarn for kids, and if you have a family dog, the grown ups will be entertained too.
CAST: Owen Wilson, Ron Perlman, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan, Stacy Ferguson, Judy Greer, George Lopez
DIRECTOR: Tom Dey
RUNTIME: 87 min
RELEASE DATE: 27/05/10 04/06/10 13/08/10 19 August 2010
From director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller Piranha. Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break, a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; a new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents. The film stars Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries), Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, and Kelly Brook.
CAST: Elisabeth Shue, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, Jessica Szohr, Dina Meyer, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Steven R. McQueen, Kelly Brook
DIRECTOR: Alexandre Aja
RUNTIME: 88 mins
RELEASE DATE: 20 August 2010 26/08/10 01/09/10
Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. A researcher and a Millennium journalist about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society – but no-one can find her anywhere.
Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding ‘blond giant’ – a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain.
Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander’s past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim – descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.
CAST: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Annika Hallin, Alexandra Eisenstein
DIRECTOR: Daniel Alfredson
RUNTIME: 129 mins
LANGUAGE: Swedish/Italian/French with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 25 September 2009 30 June 2010 9 July 2010 5 August 2010 27 August 2010 11 September 2010
Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star in this music-fuelled story of the ground-breaking, all girl, teenage rock band of the 1970s: The Runaways. The film follows two friends, Joan Jett and Cherie Curie, as they rise from rebellious Southern California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Joan and Cherie fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley, played by Michael Shannon, who turns the group into an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself - and so do its two leads: Joan is the band' s pure rock' n' roll heart, while Cherie, with her Bowie-Bardot looks, is the sex kitten. Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film chronicles Joan and Cherie's tumultuous relationship on and off stage, as the band starts to break out.
CAST: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon
DIRECTOR: Floria Sigismondi
RUNTIME: 106 mins
RELEASE DATE: 19/03/10 22/04/10 18/06/10 15/07/10 27 August 2010 09/09/10 15/09/10
AFTER challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws' kingdom, what's an ogre to do? Well, if you're Shrek, you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What's happened to this ogre's roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre," Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.
IF you're a fan of the Shrek franchise, then don't miss this last instalment. Donkey is still funny, Puss is slightly transformed, in fact pretty much all the old favourites put in an appearance to entertain us, and quite well too.
By the fourth movie one would expect it not to be quite as witty and contemporary as the first, but it still retains a certain amount of charm. It's not going to revolutionise the planet, but it will make you smile, so don't palm the kids off on the nanny, go see it for yourselves!
CAST: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese
DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 21/05/10 17/06/10 30/06/10 02 July 2010 25/08/10 18/12/10
CAST: Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Andrew Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Pascal Chaumeil
RUNTIME: 105 min
RELEASE DATE: 17/03/10 02 July 2010
AN action-comedy centred on a fugitive couple (Cruise and Diaz) on a glamorous and sometimes deadly adventure where nothing and no one – even themselves – are what they seem. Amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, they race across the globe, with their survival ultimately hinging on the battle of truth vs. trust.
I can now see why it was so hard to make a trailer that gave a hint of what Knight And Day is about...the story is a little incoherent and entirely nonsensical. You feel like you've been watching for hours as the action is dragged out, but then realise it's only half way through and you're not really very sure where this story is going.
One American critic summed it up quite succinctly: "Knight And Day is preposterous nonsense. Just think of it as a spoof of one of Cruise's "Mission: Impossible" movies on crack."
The action is so completely over-the-top that you will get drawn in, wanting to know why, how and who really is the traitor. Diaz and Cruise put in respectable performances, and occasionally there even is chemistry between them. Considering some of the poor offerings this season, Knight And Day is a fun summer flick - just remember to leave your brain at home!
CAST: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace, Marc Blucas
DIRECTOR: James Mangold
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 23/06/10 01/07/10 02 July 2010 15/07/10 28/07/10 28/09/10 15/10/10
PREDATORS, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe, by Robert Rodriguez, stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet…as prey. With the notable exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold blooded killers – mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members - human ‘predators’ that are now being systematically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien predators.
CAST: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali
DIRECTOR: Nimród Antal
RUNTIME: 106 min
RELEASE DATE: 08 July 2010 09/07/10 10/07/10 14/07/10
BELLA once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between Edward and Jacob knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.
OH no not more Twilight! But your vampire-obsessed teenagers will be chomping at the bit to get to their nearest big screen, so the grown-ups will have at least 3 hours peace – plenty of time to have some cocktails with friends....
For my sins I actually finally sat through all three films so far. Hmmm...painful! You definitely need to be an hormonal teenager to appreciate Twilight methinks. Interview With A Vampire and Lost Boys they are not; for proper vampire horror, today's teenagers really need to see classics like these alongside Bram Stoker's Dracula, Salem's Lot, From Dusk Til Dawn and The Hunger to appreciate a good blood-sucking horror flick.
Oh and by the way, no doubt you'll be thrilled to know that there's only one more book to go, though it is being split over two films, the first of which you can expect to hit the silver screen in November 2011.
CAST: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Rachelle Lefevre
DIRECTOR: David Slade
RUNTIME: 124 min
RELEASE DATE: 30/06/10 01/07/10 07/07/10 09 July 2010 18/12/10
DOM Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible - inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime.
But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.
INTRIGUING premise alongside an intriguing trailer – I’m not the biggest fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, but I’m hooked. The special effects are clever and mind-bending, and it is after all from the director of The Dark Knight - I'm so chuffed it is as good as it’s potential. Too difficult to explain in any cohesive two-dimensional fashion in black and white, so if you haven't already, I would strongly suggest seeing this clever thriller at your earliest convenience.
CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
RUNTIME: 142 min
RELEASE DATE: 16 July 2010 21/07/10 22/07/10 23/07/10 05/08/10 24/09/10
Cinematography: Wally Pfister
Sound Editing: Richard King
Sound Mixing: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novick
Visual Effects: Chris Corbould, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb
THE Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.
PAT Morita as Mr Miyagi in the original Karate Kid was legendary...replacing him with Jackie Chan was inspired. And just from the trailer, it looked like the young Jaden Smith is ready to follow in his father’s footsteps. As the proverbial Yoda teaches his Jedi against the backdrop of the Great Wall of China, this looks to be an exciting remake.
And I was not disappointed. It does lack the depth of the original – there is no intensity in the storyline, and certain key plotlines are washed over lightly, but the performances are good, and the message that hard work, dedication and persistence will triumph over all is the right one for the youth of today. Jackie Chan does not imitate Morita but brings an understated quietness to the role of the Mr Han. Jaden Smith – that is a young man destined for stardom one day, and not that I understand one word, but his Chinese sounded pretty authentic.
The one major flaw I didn’t get – why call it The Karate Kid? It’s a movie about kung fu. But at the end of the day, it’s a feel good movie that will leave you wanting to punch the air by the last scene so definitely worth seeing if you have kids to take.
CAST: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson
DIRECTOR: Harald Zwart
RUNTIME: 140 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/06/10 08/07/10 15/07/10 16 July 2010 14/08/10 18/08/10 20/08/10
Tere Bin Laden is a tongue-in-cheek comedy about an ambitious young news reporter from Pakistan who is desperate to migrate to the US in pursuit of the American dream. His repeated attempts to immigrate are shot down as his visa is always rejected. But when things couldn’t look worse he comes across an Osama Bin Laden lookalike. Ali then hatches a scheme to produce a fake Osama video and sell it to news channels as a breakthrough scoop! Unfortunately there are serious ramifications as the White House gets involved and dispatches a overzealous secret agent on Ali’s trail.
I do enjoy a good slapstick comedy – and this didn’t fail to have me giggling throughout. The film has a simple storyline which works in every sense, and quite frankly, the only let down was Barry John, renowned acting school proprietor and theatre director, an Englishman in Bombay who plays the American secret service guy – his accent is truly awful and this does detract from the authenticity of the character. But aside from that glitch, you will smile, grin, chuckle, and generally leave the cinema quite satisfied...unless of course if you are in Pakistan; in their bigoted paranoid wisdom they have banned the film.
CAST: Ali Zafar, Pradhuman Singh, Barry John, Chinmay Mandlekar, Chirag Vohra, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Piyush Mishra, Rahul Singh, Seema Bhargava, Sugandha Garg
DIRECTOR: Abhishek Sharma
RUNTIME: 97 min
LANGUAGE: Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 16 July 2010 TBC
WOODY, Buzz and the whole gang are back. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare where untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice. So, it's all for one and one for all as they join Barbie's counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear to plan their great escape.
CAST: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Kristen Schaal, Blake Clark, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, Jodi Benson, Timothy Dalton, Jeff Garlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Bonnie Hunt, R. Lee Ermey
DIRECTOR: Lee Unkrich
RUNTIME: 103 min
RELEASE DATE: 21/05/10 17/06/10 30/06/10 23 July 2010 25/08/10 18/12/10
Best Animated Feature Film Animated Film: Lee Unkrich
Animated Feature Film
THE A-TEAM follows the exciting and daring exploits of Hannibal Smith and his colourful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going “rogue,” they utilize their unique talents – and eccentricities – to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.
DURING the 80s, there were one or two of us who grew up on a weekly staple diet of Hannibal, Face, BA Baracus and Howling Mad Murdock...those are big boots to fill! All those years and all that gun-slinging, mayhem, explosions, hilarity, complete unbelievability, and general chaos...and no one ever died except General Fullbright! It was the best of 80s television.
So now The A-Team’s all ‘grown-up’ and been dragged into the 21st century - and how! It is perfect. The A-Team have gone from Vietnam vets to Iraq vets, so the guns are bigger, the action more powerful, the special effects high on a good CGI scale, the script even funnier, the stunts are even bigger, and the casting for the lead characters – spot on. All very well done – which is not surprising since the original writers were still involved.
And the story – well fundamentally it hasn’t changed one iota – and rightly so. It’s not intricate like the Bourne movies, and is fairly predictable, but it is engaging and amusing and true to its roots. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I will leave you with this - the moment it’s out in your town, go see it...and make sure it’s on the big screen to get the whole effect. Not sure really whether the ladies will love it if they don’t appreciate the series already; it really is an action-packed boys film. So go...enjoy!
CAST: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel
DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan
RUNTIME: 117 min
RELEASE DATE: 10/06/10 11/06/10 16/06/10 18/06/10 24/06/10 30 July 2010 20/08/10
THE REBOUND is a fresh, witty, and sexy comedy about bouncing back.
Sandy’s a beautiful, smart, 40-year-old mother (Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago). When she discovers her husband is cheating, she leaves him and takes her two children to New York to start over.
She employs a male nanny called Aram (Justin Bartha- The Hangover).
He’s 25-years-old. And cute. It’s not long before the chemistry clicks and the two of them fall for each other. But is this just a rebound or could it be the real deal…?
IF you’ve seen SATC2 or know anything about the ‘Jude’ law, you’ll know all about the dangers of leaving the hot nanny with the parent...well from the trailer it looks like we’re about to find out exactly what in this romcom. I would suggest seeing this one with the girls if you are that way inclined while the boys are off watching The A-Team!
The Rebound is cute, it’s harmless, it makes you smile when Catherine Zeta-Jones loses the plot over cheating ex-husband; it’s not going to win any awards, it’s not going to change the world, it is entirely predictable, but there are far worse romantic comedies out there. Given the choice, I’d wait til the DVD is released then get the girls round for takeout, ice cream and plenty of bubbles!
CAST: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Steve Antonucci, Marc Alan Austen
DIRECTOR: Bart Freundlich
RUNTIME: 95 min
RELEASE DATE: 27/11/09 18/03/10 25/03/10 23/07/10 30 July 2010
RAAJNEETI is a story about Indian politics. About Indian democracy. About Indian elections. Above all, it is the story of a few people who control the destiny of millions. It is the story of their unstoppable ambition, and their bitter and violent battle to achieve it. This is the story of people who understand power - and know how to wield it at will.
Raajneeti is about politics. And beyond.
THIS film is by no stretch of the imagination your typical Bollywood masala movie. It’s powerful, poignant, hard-hitting, well scripted [mostly that is – there are a couple of moments of complete madness which let the film down], well cast and well executed. There is no unnecessary dancing round trees or bursting into spontaneous song; most of the movie happens for good reason. And even the inimitable Katrina Kaif [I say that with tongue firmly in cheek] is excellent – but that is because the director was clever and did not allow her to speak too much or dance. And Ranbir Kapoor – the 4th generation of the Hindi film Kapoor dynasty – surpasses himself with his subtlety in playing such a complex character.
There are elements of The Godfather [some would say taken too literally], and the Indian interpretation, Sarkar, but that in itself is not surprising since fundamentally this a story of a powerful feuding family, and the roots of the story can be dated back to the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata written around 2nd or 3rd century BC.
Though it is a long film, there is an interval, but the story is so completely engrossing that you won’t notice. If you’re in the mood for a meaningful, surprising and long political thriller, I’d recommend Raajneeti.
CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai, Sarah Thompson, Naseeruddin Shah
DIRECTOR: Prakash Jha
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 04 June 2010
Death at a Funeral is a hilarious day in the life of an American family come together to put a beloved husband and father to rest. As mourners gather at the family home, shocking revelations, festering resentments, ugly threats, blackmail and a misdirected corpse unleash lethal and riotous mayhem.
CAST: Loretta Devine, Peter Dinklage, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, Zoë Saldaña, Columbus Short, Luke Wilson
DIRECTOR: Neil LaBute
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 16/04/10 04 June 2010 14/07/10 19/08/10
BASED on the novel by legendary pulp writer Jim Thompson, Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me tells the story of handsome, charming, unassuming small town sheriff's deputy Lou Ford.
Lou has a bunch of problems. Woman problems. Law enforcement problems. An ever-growing pile of murder victims in his West Texas jurisdiction. And the fact he's a sadist, a psychopath, a killer. Suspicion begins to fall on Lou, and it's only a matter of time before he runs out of alibis. But in Thompson’s savage, bleak, blacker than noir universe nothing is ever what it seems, and it turns out that the investigators pursuing him might have a secret of their own.
OH boy! An iron constitution is required to watch this film in it's entirety. It is an excellent film, but the violence precludes one from being able to enjoy Winterbottom's work without wanting to wretch. The acting is so convincing that I don't think I even got half way through the movie before looking away from the screen was no longer an option and I had to stop watching altogether.
I'm not entirely convinced that one could be of sane mind if you managed to sit through it all. Maybe I'll give it another go in the future, now I know what to expect. What I did see, 'shocking' sums it up quite aptly.
CAST: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Simon Baker, Bill Pullman
DIRECTOR: Michael Winterbottom
RUNTIME: 109 min
RELEASE DATE: 08 June 2010 18/06/10 11/08/10 25/08/10
Burned out veteran Eddie Dugan (Golden Globe®-winner Richard Gere) is just one week away from his pension and a fishing cabin in Connecticut. Narcotics officer Sal Procida (Oscar® nominee Ethan Hawke) has discovered there’s no line he won’t cross to provide a better life for his long-suffering wife and seven children. And Clarence “Tango” Butler (Oscar® nominee Don Cheadle) has been undercover so long his loyalties have started to shift from his fellow police officers to his prison buddy Caz (Wesley Snipes), one of Brooklyn’s most infamous drug dealers. With personal and work pressures bearing down on them, each man faces daily tests of judgment and honour in one of the world’s most difficult jobs.
When NYPD’s Operation Clean Up targets the notoriously drug-ridden BK housing project, all three officers find themselves swept away by the violence and corruption of Brooklyn’s gritty 65th Precinct and its most treacherous criminals. During seven fateful days, Eddie, Sal and Tango find themselves hurtling inextricably toward the same fatal crime scene and a shattering collision with destiny.
THE atmosphere is dark and intense, Gere, Hawke, Cheadle and even Snipes cannot be faulted - the acting is almost flawless, direction from Antoine Fuqua is spot on. The movie is gritty, sultry and violent. Unfortunately, no one checked the script though; the plot is as intricate and deep as a very shallow puddle, and quite frankly, we’ve seen it all before. An effort wasted in my opinion, but still worth a look if there’s really nothing else on.
CAST: Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin
DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua
RUNTIME: 132 min
RELEASE DATE: 05/03/10 05/05/10 20/05/10 09 June 2010
Dev falls in love with Ragini, a spunky classical dancer who is as unconventional as him. They get married and he takes up his new post in Lal Maati, a small town in northern India.
A town were the world of law is not the police but Beera, a tribal who has, over the years, shifted the power equation of the place from the ruling to the have-nots of the area. Dev knows that the key to bringing order to any place is to vanquish the big fist; in this case- Beera. In one stroke Dev manages to rip open Beera`s world, and set in motion a chain of events which will claim lives, change fortunes, Beera, injured but enraged hits back starting a battle that draws. Dev, Beera and Ragini into the jungle. The jungle which is dense, confusing, scary. And in this journey they must confront their own truth. A journey which will test their beliefs, convictions and emotions. Emotions which are as scary and confusing as the forest. The forest becomes the battleground. The battle between good and evil, between Dev and Beera, between Ram and Raavan. But when the lines dividing good and evil are blurring fast whose side will you take. When hate turns to love and the good starts looking evil which side will you battle for? Love is a battle that nobody wins but everyone must fight. Even this Raavan.
I was repeatedly told the film was boring...a waste of time...repetitive...blah-di-blah. But Mani Ratnam makes good movies so I didn't take their word for it. His previous Hindi movies, Roja, Bombay, Dil Se etc are superb; Guru was also good though a little slow - even Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was bearable! So I gave this one a go.
Not quite sure what people are talking about...despite Mrs Rai Bachchan screeching repeatedly like a banshee which is rather annoying, all other elements of the film are good...not perfect, but make for good cinema. Abhishek Bachchan is becoming more accomplished in every film he appears in; Tamil actors Vikram and Priyamani debut superbly in their first Hindi ventures, and Govinda - well we see this comedian in a whole new light.
The music works, the action is powerful, art direction is striking, and though a few of the repetitive slow-motion scenes could easily be cut, I would suggest it is a movie worth seeing...just take some earplugs for the screeching.
CAST: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Govinda, Priyamani
DIRECTOR: Mani Ratnam
RUNTIME: 135 min
LANGUAGE: Hindi with English subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 18 June 2010
TRYING to recover from a sudden break-up, Jen Kornfeldt (Katherine Heigl) believes she’ll never fall in love again. But when she reluctantly joins her parents on a trip to the French Riviera, Jen happens to meet the man of her dreams, the dashing, handsome Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Three years later, her seemingly impossible wish has come true: she and Spencer are newlyweds living the ideal suburban life – that is, until the morning after Spencer’s 30th birthday when bullets start flying. Literally.
It turns out Spencer never bothered to tell Jen he’s also an international super-spy, and now her perfect world has been turned upside down. Faced with the fact that her husband is a hit man, Jen is determined to discover what other secrets Spencer might be keeping – all the while trying to dodge bullets, keep up neighbourly appearances, manage the in-laws…and work out some major trust issues.
And you thought suburban life was easy.
NOT being much of a girly girl, I’ve never been the greatest fan of romcoms, and this film pretty much sums up why. For starters, the official synopsis is completely misleading – Mr Demi-I-can’t-act-to-save-my-life-so-it’s-a-good-thing-I-have-a-great-body-Moore is an assassin but no more resembles a ‘super-spy’ than Mr Bean. Oh yes – and he did tell her he killed people for a living – wasn’t his fault she was asleep at the time. Katherine Heigl is quite harmless, but her numerous hairstyles deserve billing all of their own. Sadly Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara are entirely wasted.
The story is shallow, and at least to me it felt like it was either too dragged out or too rushed throughout the entire movie. Many have compared it to the highly entertaining Mr & Mrs Smith, but apart from car chases and gun slinging, the two movies aren’t even in the same league. My verdict – rent Mr & Mrs Smith for the guns or The Holiday for the romantic comedy, and just forget this was ever made.
CAST: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Thomas Selleck, Catherine O'Hara, Rob Riggle, Martin Mull, Casey Wilson, Letoya Luckett, Katheryn Winnick, Sharan Masfield
DIRECTOR: Robert Luketic
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 04/06/10 16 June 2010 23/06/10 24/06/10
WILD TARGET is a comedy about uptight Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy), a middle-aged, solitary assassin, who lives to please his formidable mother Louisa (Eileen Atkins), despite his own peerless reputation for lethal efficiency. His professional routine is interrupted when he finds himself drawn to one of his intended victims, Rose (Emily Blunt).
He spares her life, unexpectedly acquiring a young apprentice in the process, Tony (Rupert Grint). Believing Victor to be a private detective, his two new companions tag along, while he attempts to thwart the murderous attentions of his unhappy client (Rupert Everett).
OK - finally got round to seeing this one. A fabulous cast is the only saving grace of this quite terrible remake of a French farce. The script just didn't gel, the direction was hopeless at best, the action was farcical but not in a good way and overall it was poor. However, Nighy, Blunt and Grint somehow managed to hold it together long enough for the odd smirk, the occasional giggle and even some laughing out loud. There are hints of Ealing Comedy, and Wild Target did have so much potential but it was never found.
It is not diabolical, and is even watchable, but it just could have been so much better.
CAST: Rupert Grint, Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Everett, Eileen Atkins, Martin Freeman, Gregor Fisher
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Lynn
RUNTIME: 98 min
RELEASE DATE: 18 June 2010 07/07/10 08/10/10
Get Him to the Greek reunites Jonah Hill and Russell Brand with Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller in the story of a record company executive with three days to drag an uncooperative rock legend to Hollywood for a comeback concert. The comedy is the latest film from producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People).
Aaron Green (Hill) gets things done. The ambitious 24-year-old has been given a career-making assignment. His mission: Fly to London and escort a rock god to L.A.’s world famous Greek Theatre for the first-stop on a huge comeback tour. His record mogul boss, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs), gives him one warning: “The artist is the worst person on Earth. Turn your back on him at your own peril.”
British rocker Aldous Snow (Brand) is a brilliant musician, but due to a bad break up and nose-diving career, has fallen off the wagon and is now a drunken disaster. Weary of “yes men” and scared he’s entered the “greatest hits” moment in his career, Snow’s in the midst of a nihilistic downward spiral. When he learns his true love, model/pop star Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), is in Los Angeles, Aldous makes it his quest to win her back…right before kick-starting his world domination.
As the countdown to the concert begins, one innocent young man must navigate a minefield of London drug smugglers, New York City brawls and Vegas lap dances to deliver his charge safe and, sort of, sound… all while trying to remain faithful to his med student girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss). He may have to coax, lie to, enable and party with Aldous, but Aaron will get him to the Greek.
I have to apologise - I can't bring myself to watch this. As far as I am concerned Russell Brand is a stupidity blot on the landscape. I've never seen him be funny, and there are just so many more good films to see. So this I shall leave to your discretion, and may possibly put up someone else's review if any of my acquaintances are inclined to see it.
CAST: Jonah Hil, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Sean Combs, Elisabeth Moss, Colm Meaney
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Stoller
RUNTIME: 109 min
RELEASE DATE: 04/06/10 17/06/10 25 June 2010 18/08/10 09/09/10
FOUR Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that-while terrorism is about ideology-it can also be about idiots
In a British city, four men have a secret plan. Omar is disillusioned about the treatment of Muslims around the world and is determined to become a soldier. This is the most exciting idea Waj has ever heard. Better still it's a no brainer because Omar does his thinking for him. Opposed to Omar and everyone else on earth is the white Islamic convert Barry. He'd realize he joined the cell to channel his nihilism - If he had half the self knowledge of a duck. Faisal is the odd man out. He can make a bomb - but he can't blow himself up just now coz his sick dad has "started eating newspaper". Instead he's training crows to fly bombs through windows. This is what Omar has to deal with. They must strike a decisive blow on their own turf but can any of them strike a match without punching himself in the face?
An intriguing and highly amusing caper which will have you hooked from the start. There will be more than one time when you'll be wondering if you really should be laughing at that...yes you should...it's a farce; yes of course there's a political statement but hell it's funny!
CAST: Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Darren Boyd, Kevin Eldon
DIRECTOR: Chris Morris
RUNTIME: 101 min
RELEASE DATE: 07 May 2010
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Chris Morris (Director/Writer)
AFTER years of dating, Zoe has decided waiting for the right one is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, she commits to a plan, makes an appointment and decides to go it alone. On the day of her artificial insemination, Zoe meets Stan a man with real possibilities.
Trying to nurture a budding relationship and hide the early signs of pregnancy becomes a comedy of errors for Zoe and creates confusing signals for Stan. When Zoe nervously reveals the reason for her unpredictable behaviour, Stan commits fully and says he’s in.
Never before has love seen a courtship where a wild night of sex involves three in a bed Stan, Zoe and the ever-present massive pregnancy pillow. Or, where date night consists of being the focal point at a near-strangers water birth which does for kiddie pools what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean. The real pregnancy test comes when both of them realize they really don’t know each other outside of hormonal chaos and birth preparations. With the nine month clocking ticking, both begin to experience cold feet. Anyone can fall in love, get married and have a baby but doing it backwards in hyper-drive could be proof positive that they were made for each other.
I'VE always secretly enjoyed J-Lo romcoms, so another one wouldn’t do any harm right? Dear oh dear how wrong can you be? This movie started off really cheesily and ended up as some putrid mess that should never even have crossed anyone’s mind, never mind be scripted, cast and made into a movie!
On a positive note, at least we made it through the entire movie, unlike Gigli which if I remember rightly got no more of 15 minutes of my attention.
The synopsis provided by the production company is the entire film summed up in as many words as it should be...and of course the ending is entirely predictable. So there you go – no need to waste your life! And one afternoon this film will be on Hallmark and you’ll have nothing better to do...but hopefully that won’t be for another 10 years.
CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Danneel Harris, Tom Bosley
DIRECTOR: Alan Poul
RUNTIME: 106 min
RELEASE DATE: 23/04/10 07 May 2010 14/05/10 19/05/10 20/05/10 29/07/10
Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) returns in A Nightmare on Elm Street, a contemporary re-imagining of the horror classic. A group of suburban teenagers share one common bond: they are all being stalked by Freddy Krueger, a horribly disfigured killer who hunts them in their dreams. As long as they stay awake, they can protect one another...but when they sleep, there is no escape.
FOLLOWING the onslaught of the progressively more unbelievable Krueger movies from the 80s and 90s, here's hoping that this remake is worthy of Wes Craven's original and not a pointless slasher remake like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
CAST: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Kellan Lutz, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Connie Britton
DIRECTOR: Samuel Bayer
RUNTIME: 102 min
RELEASE DATE: 30/04/10 07 May 2010 12/05/10 20/05/10 26/06/10
OSCAR® winner Russell Crowe stars as the legendary figure known by generations as “Robin Hood,” whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness. In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an eternal symbol of freedom for his people.
Robin Hood chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard’s army against the French. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Oscar® winner Cate Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.
With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.
WITH a raft of cult and classic movies behind him like Alien and Gladiator, as well as hit TV series from The Gathering Storm to The Good Wife, Sir Ridley Scott knows how to make an epic movie. Robin Hood featuring the inimitable Russell Crowe should have been another exhilerating way to spend almost 3 hours in front of the silver screen.
But methinks Sir Ridley hath lost his touch! Robin Hood is long, boring, pointless, inaccurate compared to the legend, and overall just a tad tedious...what a shame! For starters, since when has Robin Hood been from Ireland or Scotland?! I couldn't quite tell which since Russell Crowe's accent kept on swinging between the two Celtic nations in quite a pronounced fashion. Nottingham's really not very close to either country, in fact it really is middle-England so any vaguely English accent would have sufficed.
The story is vague, the film overall is far too dark and serious, there's not a hint of swashbuckling, a general lack of drama, and Robin Hood is so dour he must have manic depression. What a waste of a wonderful caste and a whole heap of money no doubt.
CAST: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins and Max von Sydow
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
RUNTIME: 148 min
RELEASE DATE: 12/05/10 13/05/10 14 May 2010
IN the harsh terrain of the Mexican desert, a mortally wounded man is left for dead in the heat of the desert sun. This is J. Once a street smart, carefree young guy. Now, a wanted man.
As death looms, the only thing that keeps him alive is the quest to find the love of his life, Natasha. A woman, betrothed to another man, surely destined for J. A woman who comes into his life like a bolt of lightning and changes his life forever.
Love is a moment. The moment J and Natasha saw each other, words were not necessary. In that moment, they knew instantly that they belonged together. But, something went wrong. The ensuing flight of the two lovers results in a deadly chase. J battles death but nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.
Kites is a story of love that goes beyond barriers, boundaries and cultures. It is a story of passion that defies every rule, of a relationship which takes two lovers on a journey that is filled with violence and death, of precious moments that are unforgettable. Finally it is a story of betrayal that is beyond comprehension.
THIS film was so hyped that I think we all heard about a year before it came out...and then it arrived. Unfortunately it did not measure up. Two sexy beautiful people - Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood ground-breaking superstar [he played the 1st ever Indian superhero], and the exotic Bárbara Mori, a stunning Japanese-Urugyuan-Mexican model-cum-soap-cum-film actress in South America, brought together by the ‘king-maker’, filmmaker and father Rakesh Roshan. Just that is enough to make it all sound like some big soap opera. Well that’s really what it was.
The film had a tedious storyline that started half way through, then bounced back to the beginning, then carried on until the end. Is this all coming across as slightly convoluted? Welcome to Kites! Like so many Hindi movies, it had potential, “could’ve been a contender” as someone once said. But instead it just happened; the music was bearable, the dancing was oh so over-the-top, the lead acting was mediocre and supporting cast was pretty appalling. Even the hugely talented Kangana Ranaut was terrible; she was spectacular in both Fashion and Woh Lamhe. That can only lead me to one conclusion – the director didn’t have a clue. And what is it with Indian actors thinking they can sing when they clearly cannot?! It all started with the Big B [Amitabh Bachchan] being told he should a couple of decades ago, and he’s been cracking glass ever since. Most of them realise that there is a whole parallel industry of playback singers in India for precisely the reason that actors cannot sing; but Hrithik has his ego boosted and he yodelled his way through some track...I’m starting to believe Britain has got talent!
Only the action scenes and stunts were the saving grace for the film, which were fun, energetic and well choreographed. The critics globally made excuses for it as it was a new venture – the first Bollywood movie to be shot in three languages and then to be re-edited by Brett Ratner of Rush Hour and X-Men fame to suit a western audience. I saw the uncut version – the other one was probably better since the songs were cut amongst other things.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but Bollywood does churn out in excess of 800 movies a year – I do wish they would economise, and opt for quality over quantity. Just in case I haven’t been clear, I’d wait for this one to come out on DVD, but only rent it as chances are you won’t want to see it a second time.
CAST: Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kangana Ranaut, Kabir Bedi
DIRECTOR: Anurag Basu
RUNTIME: 130 min
RELEASE DATE: 21 May 2010
IN Werner Herzog’s new film Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is at scoring drugs -- while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). Together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience. The result is a singular masterpiece of filmmaking: equally sad and manically humorous.
I'M still trying to figure out if Messrs. Cage, Kilmer, Mendes and Balk were all high or comatose when they agreed to ‘star’ in this film. It possibly has to be the worst work of utter nonsense I think I have seen for years. Utterly pointless, no story, no purpose, gratuitous sex and bad language, so completely and totally unbelievable, and not a hint of acting from anyone.
Just in case you hadn’t figured, don’t waste your valuable time and pick something worth seeing – there’s plenty out there!
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk
DIRECTOR: Werner Herzog
RUNTIME: 122 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/09/09 20/11/09 27/02/10 04/03/10 17/03/10 21 May 2010
FROM the team that brought the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy to the big screen, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, an epic action-adventure set in the mystical lands of Persia. A rogue prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious princess (Gemma Arterton) and together, they race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time—a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.
ONLY in putting together the facts did I realise that this was from the makers of Pirates and directed by Mike Newell – what went wrong? Having recently seen Prince of Persia, and being such a Harry Potter fan, I really would not have known. This doesn’t have the substance and depth, sheer fun and that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes the grownups love the Pirates Trilogy as much as the kids [though Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley do help].
Prince Of Persia is light-hearted enough for kids to love it, and the teenagers no doubt will find joy in the comparison with the video games. There’s a lovely element of nostalgia when I think back to movies like Sinbad & The Eye Of The Tiger and other Arabian Nights movies; but this just did not have the flair and glamour of those films.
The sets are grand, the action relatively exciting, the costumes entertaining, but the casting – why would you cast Jake Gyllenhaal with a haircut from the 70s rather than ancient Persia, then give him a dodgy though nondescript accent that I think possibly was supposed to be English; and everyone else spoke quite strangely too. Gemma Arterton is too much of an English rose and simply couldn’t carry off the role of a Middle Eastern princess with much conviction. Ben Kingsley was a fabulous pantomime villain – had he actually been in panto.
But enough already! This movie is clearly for the children and they will be thrilled to bits to see, then get the obligatory matching merchandise, the Wii game, the PSP version etc.etc.
CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina
DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 21/05/10 17/06/10 30/06/10 02 July 2010 25/08/10 18/12/10
THE fun, the fashion, the friendship: Sex and the City 2 brings it all back and more as Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) take another bite out of The Big Apple--and beyond--carrying on with their busy lives and loves in a sequel that truly sparkles.
What happens after you say "I do"? Life is everything the ladies ever wished it to be, but it wouldn't be "Sex and the City" if life didn't hold a few more surprises...this time in the form of a glamorous, sun-drenched adventure that whisks the women away from New York to one of the most luxurious, exotic and vivid places on earth, where the party never ends and there's something mysterious around every corner. It's an escape that comes exactly at the right moment for the four friends, who are finding themselves in--and fighting against--the traditional roles of marriage, motherhood and more.
After all, sometimes you just have to get away with the girls.
THE opening song “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keyes is perfection. The transformation from the 80s to the noughties is great fun, the wedding is spectacular; the cameos from Liza Minnelli, Art Malik and Omid Djalili are such a giggle. Big, Aiden, Smith, the Danish guy, the Italian brother and most of the other men are all so hot! Phew!
Then they go and spoil it all by going to the Middle East and making such fools of themselves! The first mistake was in the bar...on the plane...in first class obviously, when Miranda proudly announces she’s learning Arabic and says “hanji” is yes...well it is, in Hindi, and Punjabi, and numerous other languages from the sub-continent, but NOT in Arabic! Purleeze get your facts straight! OK, now I’ve that off my chest, to the rest...
Oh my god I have to backtrack – who told SJP her hair looked good when she was dressed as a penguin? Rather more like a sad 80s dropout than a fashion icon. And the screaming children – I would have walked out had I not had to review the film. The nanny...so clichéd. And they’ve all aged, and not well either...you’d think with the money they have they wouldn’t have a problem with a nip, tuck and/or lift. Though I must say, Kim Cattrall does look fabulous for her age, and is delightful in the film to a point. But then it just all gets a little too OTT and ridiculous. The “I Am Woman” scene – maybe I’m not old enough or American enough but I’ve never heard of it and therefore really could not relate.
I was a huge fan of SATC the series, but somehow for me it’s dated badly; reruns just aren’t funny – Frasier it is not. So these movies, well, to me they are just extended episodes. Personally I preferred the first to the second; it’s all just become mundane, though maybe that was the point and I it passed me by.
All I can say is, if you haven’t already, grab your best girls and GBFs and take a bottle of bubbly [each] and the time will fly by with a small libation or three. But don’t try and drag your heterosexual male counterparts because they won’t enjoy it and there’s no eye candy for them either.
CAST: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jason Lewis, John Corbett
DIRECTOR: Michael Patrick King
RUNTIME: 146 min
RELEASE DATE: 27/05/10 28 May 2010 02/06/10 03/06/10 04/06/10
Dwayne Johnson stars as Derek Thompson, one of the toughest hockey players around -- until he's sentenced to one week's hard labour as the world's most unlikely tooth fairy! Even though he must sport frilly wings and learn the magical tricks of the trade from his silver-winged superiors (Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal), Derek's determined to do the job HIS way and prove he's got what it takes!
IT'S a kids movie – there’s no way of dressing this up with platitudes or frivolities – but that’s not to say it’s a bad film; quite the contrary. It’s cute, and it’s fun, and little ones will giggle with glee, and balk in horror at the mere suggestion that there might not be a tooth fairy. It’s delightful to see “The Rock” going from a stroppy, bad tempered, hardcore ice hockey jock to a fairy with huge wings and a pale blue satin tutu [who is still stroppy and bad-tempered]! And there’s the gorgeously lovely Julie Andrews as the fairy queen, the wonderfully comedic Billy Crystal as the fairy world’s answer to ‘Q’. But much of the show is stolen by Stephen Merchant – the wannabe-fairy case worker.
Pack up the kids and their friends and hustle them all to the movies, load them up with popcorn and fizzy drinks, then sit back and enjoy as chaos ensues.
CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler
DIRECTOR: Michael Lembeck
RUNTIME: 101 min
RELEASE DATE: 14/01/10 22/01/10 04/02/10 28 May 2010 09/06/10 11/06/10
IN Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus is helpless to save his family from Hades, vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus and unleash hell on earth. Leading a daring band of warriors, Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, he will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny.
FIRST the good comments: it's an action-packed entertaining yarn that will tickle the fancy of anyone who liked Troy, Alexander and Kingdom of Heaven; in fact it's better than all of them in many respects. The monsters are excellent, even though the Kraken looks like an over-sized version of the alien from Alien. The overall visuals are impressive, but in this day and age of CGI, they should be. Bond girl Gemma Arterton looked ethereal in her portrayal of Io.
However, where do I start on the not so good stuff...firstly, don't even begin to compare it to the 1981 Olivier version of the movie; that at least paid homage to Greek mythology, whilst this fundamentally rewrites it. The dialogue is far too simplistic for the complexity of mythology, and the variance of accents from Australian, to Scandinavian, to regional English to name but a few makes it hard to concentrate. There is nothing particularly celestial about the gods of Olympus, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades simply reminded me of Voldemort from Harry Potter throughout the film. The script lacks depth, and basically the film stutters from one action scene to the next almost devoid of explanation.
Despite all of this, the 2010 version of Clash Of The Titans is a classic popcorn movie that kids will enjoy over the easter break. And revel in the joy of knowing that director Louis Leterrier is threatening not to stop here but is planning a trilogy...
CAST: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelsen, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng, Pete Postlethwaite
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
RUNTIME: 105 min
RELEASE DATE: 01/04/10 02 April 2010 07/04/10 23/04/10
IN the romantic drama Remember Me, Robert Pattinson plays Tyler, a rebellious young man in New York City who has a strained relationship with his father (Pierce Brosnan) ever since tragedy separated their family. Tyler didn’t think anyone could possibly understand what he was going through until the day he met Ally (Emilie de Ravin) through an unusual twist of fate. Love was the last thing on his mind, but as her spirit unexpectedly heals and inspires him, he begins to fall for her. Through their love, he begins to find happiness and meaning in his life. Soon, hidden secrets are revealed, tragedy lingers in the air, as the circumstances that brought them together threaten to tear them apart. Set in the summer of 2001, Remember Me is an unforgettable story about the power of love, the strength of family, and the importance of living passionately and treasuring every day of one’s life.
FROM the synopsis from Summit Entertainment, this could have been a touching film; unfortunately for them they utterly missed the point...if there ever was one. The story is entirely forgettable, despite the protestations of the film makers.
Robert Pattinson [or R-Pattz as he is now sadly but widely known] is palatable; Pierce Brosnan and the sublimely talented Chris Cooper are entirely wasted on this terribly long and winding narrative that drones on for an exhausting and prosaic two hours.
The love story may possibly appeal to the Twilight fans - but only due to the presence of Pattinson. Overall there is very little to keep one interested. Even Clash Of The Titans would be a far more entertaining way of spending time at the movies.
CAST: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Pierce Brosnan
DIRECTOR: Allen Coulter
RUNTIME: 113 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/03/10 12/03/10 19/03/10 26/03/10 02 April 2010 07/04/10
THE directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, stars Ellen Page as Bliss, a rebellious Texas teen who throws in her small town beauty pageant crown for the rowdy world of roller derby. Marcia Gay Harden plays Bliss’ disapproving mother, while Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis play roller-derby stars.
Also starring Eve, Jimmy Fallon, and Daniel Stern.
OH dear - I wanted to dislike this film so much after watching the trailer...I mean 'roller derby' - what's that all about?! The American-invented 'sport' has these girls going round and round in circles in two teams on a tiny oval track trying to overtake each other; hmmmm...but I so was wrong to judge a book by it's cover.
Drew Barrymore should be very proud of her directorial debut, and sensibly only took on a minor role so as to have the time to direct. Her style appears to be get all your girlfriends together and let's have some fun - and in her case this translates into let's make a movie. Now whether there is an ounce of truth in that statement is neither here nor there - that's the impression you come away with and it's works for me.
Whip It! is fun, cutesy, uncomplicated, and yet there is intellectual weight to the simplicity. The underlying theory is that girls just have to try harder, whether that pressure and expectation comes from your parents, school, peers, teammates or the audience, and quite frankly, we do, and we're quite good at it. Don't get me wrong - I still can't see the point in roller derby, but the film I liked.
So girls, go see it with your girlfriends, sisters, daughters, mothers...the male of the species might get a bit bored, but teenage boys will no doubt love the outfits filled with nubile fit pretty chicks!
CAST: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern
DIRECTOR: Drew Barrymore
RUNTIME: 111 min
RELEASE DATE: 02/10/09 08/10/09 06/01/10 07 April 2010 26/06/10
DR. Cara Jessup (Julianne Moore) has made a career out of defying the notion of multiple personality disorders. In the courtroom, her views and testimonies as an expert witness against multiple personality disorders have resulted in the death sentence of more than half a dozen murderers. Cara is devoted to science, but even her husband's horrific murder did not cause Cara to lose her faith in God. Not so for her young daughter Samantha, a committed unbeliever.
After a particularly troubling court case, Cara's father Dr. Harding introduces her to his new patient – Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). The more she unearths about Adam, the more her life and those closest to her are endangered. As she explores Adam's past, Cara's world begins to fall apart and she is forced to question her strong beliefs in science and in God. Racing against the clock to solve the mystery surrounding Adam, Cara must not lose faith or it could have grave consequences for her and her family.
CAST: Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
DIRECTOR: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
RUNTIME: 112 min
RELEASE DATE: 27/03/10 09 April 2010
WHEN a successful British ghost writer, The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, his agent assures him it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project seems doomed from the start—not least because his predecessor on the project, Lang’s long-term aide, died in an unfortunate accident.
The Ghost flies out to work on the project, in the middle of winter, to an oceanfront house on an island off the U.S. Eastern seaboard. But the day after he arrives, a former British cabinet minister accuses Lang of authorising the illegal seizure of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture by the CIA—a war crime. The controversy brings reporters and protesters swarming to the island mansion where Lang is staying with his wife, Ruth, and his personal assistant (and mistress), Amelia. As The Ghost works, he begins to uncover clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA—and that somehow this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. Was Lang in the service of the American intelligence agency while he was prime minister? And was The Ghost’s predecessor murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?
Resonating with topical themes, this atmospheric and suspenseful political thriller is a story of deceit and betrayal on every level— sexual, political and literary. In a world in which nothing, and no one, is as it seems, The Ghost quickly discovers that the past can be deadly—and that history is decided by whoever stays alive to write it.
HAVING finally got round to seeing this, The Ghost Writer was well worth the wait. The parallels between Adam Lang and Tony Blair are uncanny - but of course that was the whole point. The movie as a whole is thoroughly intriguing and keeps you hooked right from the outset. Polanski has yet again used his directorial skill to bring out the best from his players - with one exception; Kim Cattrall is a very dubious aide to the former prime minister with the worst English accent I've heard in a while, and becomes all the more pronounced when compared to Tom Wilkinson's perfect American accent. It's a shame that in my eyes at least she hasn't quite shaken the ghost of Samantha from SATC.
But despite the one shortcoming, the film is a must see. Polanski's foray into Hitchcockian cinema is a sure-fire success, and you will be drawn in by the nameless ghostwriter and the prison-like fortress masquerading as luxury island getaway that he is trapped on, so much so that Robert Harris' "The Ghost" is now next on my reading list.
CAST: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Eli Wallach
DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski
RUNTIME: 128 min
RELEASE DATE: 03/03/10 19/03/10 16 April 2010
IN the futuristic action-thriller Repo Men, humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don’t pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its property…with no concern for your comfort or survival.
Jude Law plays Remy, one of the best organ repo men in the business. But when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company’s top-of-the-line heart-replacement…as well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his heart’s no longer in the job. When he can’t make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy’s former partner Jake (Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker), to track him down.
Now that the hunter has become the hunted, Remy joins Beth (Alice Braga), another debtor who teaches him how to vanish from the system. And as he and Jake embark on a chase across a landscape populated by maniacal friends and foes, one man will become a reluctant champion for thousands on the run.
THE narrative provided by the Studio does make Repo Men sound quite intriguing; the trailer further enhances the illusion, but then you get to see the full two hours...unfortunately this is yet another more than respectable cast wasted on an entirely futile film. The story is very light, and becomes progressively more unbelievable, even for science fiction; the blood, gore and guts are completely over the top, and by no stretch of the imagination could one take this movie seriously as a credit to the silver screen.
I shan't waste your valuable time with any more inane descriptives...simply don't bother unless a pointless gore-fest with no story is right up your street.
CAST: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, RZA, Alice Braga, Carice van Houten
DIRECTOR: Miguel Sapochnik
RUNTIME: 118 min
RELEASE DATE: 19/03/10 23 April 2010 14/07/10
DEMI Moore and David Duchovny star as a seemingly perfect couple who, along with their equally perfect teenagers —— Amber Heard ("Zombieland", "Pineapple Express") and Ben Hollingsworth ("The Beautiful Life") —— move into an upscale gated community.
The Joneses have better goods and game than any other family in town. The only problem is they’re not a family – they are employees of a stealth marketing organization, and they know how to make everyone else want what they’ve got.
WHAT a strange but interesting film; an ironic parody on the sadly commercially-driven world we live in today illustrating the lengths big business will go to to influence seemingly innocuous daily decisions the average family will make. A satire worth watching and aptly played out by Messrs. Duchovny and Moore...it's just a shame that the studio no doubt dictated the ending.
CAST: Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard, Gary Cole, Ben Hollingsworth, Glenne Headly
DIRECTOR: Derrick Borte
RUNTIME: 96 min
RELEASE DATE: 16/04/10 23 April 2010
THE world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored superhero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts and James "Rhodey” Rhodes at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.
EVENTUALLY saw it - couldn't make head nor tail of it really. It was simply a mish mash of super hero ideals that probably made a lot more sense if you've seen the first installment.
CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Samuel L Jackson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
RUNTIME: 117 min
RELEASE DATE: 28/04/10 29/04/10 30 April 2010 07/05/10 11/06/10
FROM Walt Disney Pictures and visionary director Tim Burton comes an epic 3D fantasy adventure Alice In Wonderland, a magical and imaginative twist on some of the most beloved stories of all time. Johnny Depp stars as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror. The all-star cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover.
Capturing the wonder of Lewis Carroll’s beloved “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) and “Through the Looking-Glass” (1871) with stunning, avant-garde visuals and the most charismatic characters in literary history, Alice In Wonderland comes to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™.
I'M always a little wary of Tim Burton movies as they can be rather formulaic - when you've seen one there's no hurry to get out and see another so similar; but Alice In Wonderland - what a delight! Not at all what I expected - it was a much brighter affair than his offerings of late.
Don't be fooled into thinking you're off to see the traditional Lewis Carroll "Alice In Wonderland"...there's more than a little artistic licence taken, and the rather deceptive name does skip across both the Alice books, not just the "Adventures Of". The movie is a little dark, but Burton does pay hommage to the traditionalists; Johnny Depp is suitable insane as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham-Carter could not have been better cast. In fact, all the casting is to perfection, and overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable film.
CAST: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Marton Csokas, Tim Pigott-Smith, Lindsay Duncan, Geraldine James
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
RUNTIME: 100 min
RELEASE DATE: 04/03/10 5 March 2010 07/04/10 17/04/10
Make Up & Hair: Valli O’Reilly, Paul Gooch
Art Direction: Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara
WHEN god loses faith in mankind, he sends his Legion of angels to bring on the apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany).
IT'S not complicated...this is a fairly simple story that's not very well explained...there seems no rhyme nor reason for god getting a little cheesed off with mankind, and then sending down the angels to destroy the naughty peeps who aren't towing the godly line anymore, but the Archangel Michael is having none of it, and makes it his mission to save this unborn child who is going to save mankind. Yes we've heard this apocalyptic narrative before.
But why and how is this child going to save mankind? Why has the SUV driver got this elaborate handgun? What has the sluttily dressed daughter done to force her family to move? Why has the short-order cook got a prosthetic claw rather than a hand? Why is Jeep such a woos [and what were his parents thinking naming him after an army vehicle?!] When did it become so easy to kill zombies? And quite frankly, why were seasoned and talented actors like Paul Bettany [Master & Commander], Dennis Quaid [Far From Heaven], Kate Walsh [Private Practice] and Charles S Dutton [A Time To Kill] thinking when they read the script and still said yes to the movie? The questions remain unanswered.
However, surprisingly it's not a painful film to watch. The CGI effects are good - though the director is a special effects chap; the acting is not terrible despite the lack of depth in the script, the archangels are suitably-if ironically-menacing, and the possessed granny is just excellent.
If you have a penchant for B-grade horror movies, you'll be entertained. And if you can refrain from asking why, it's not such a bad way to spend and hour and a half.
CAST: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton, Willa Holland
DIRECTOR: Scott Stewart
RUNTIME: 100 min
RELEASE DATE: 21/01/10 5 March 2010 12/03/10 17/03/10
ONDINE is the enchanting story of Syracuse (Farrell), a lonely fisherman who one day pulls a beautiful woman named Ondine (Bachleda) out of the sea in his nets. His young daughter Annie is convinced that she is a “selkie” —a creature from Irish folklore much like a mermaid. Syracuse has his doubts, but as Ondine brings some luck and joy to his otherwise downcast life, he starts to come around as well.
Ondine deftly blends romance and fantasy with the realism of modern life in an Irish seaside town.
THE PR was absolutely spot on - Ondine is enchanting, romantic, fantastic, real and simply a delight to watch. A perfect Sunday afternoon film to either get out of the rain or escape from the heat. I shan't harp on...just do watch it.
CAST: Colin Farrell, Stephen Rea, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan
DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan
RUNTIME: 111 min
RELEASE DATE: 18/02/10 5 March 2010
FROM Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, and based on the best-selling thriller by Dennis Lehane, comes Shutter Island, a tale of haunting mystery and psychological suspense that unfolds entirely on a fortress-like island housing a hospital for the criminally insane.
The year is 1954, at the height of the Cold War, when U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are summoned to Shutter Island to investigate the implausible disappearance of a brilliant multiple murderess from a locked room within the impenetrable Ashecliffe Hospital. Surrounded by probing psychiatrists and dangerously psychopathic patients on the remote, windswept isle, they arrive into an eerie, volatile atmosphere that suggests nothing is quite what it seems.
I'M torn...Scorcese to me you can split into masterpieces like Goodfellas, Casino and Raging Bull, the near misses like Cape Fear, and the downright tedious and pointless like Gangs of New York. But Shutter Island sits uncomfortable between the masterpiece and the near miss; the premise is superb - Lehane is known for his note-worthy and best-selling thrillers. But I'm not sure I understand Scorcese's obsession with DiCaprio; he was very good in The Aviator and Catch Me If You Can, but other than that I'm entirely unconvinced. There was an element of depth of emotion that was missing from US Marshall Daniels whereas Lehane's character is complex and intriguing, as is the storyline. The supporting cast including Von Sydow and Mortimer are excellent; Kingsley is wonderfully sinister, and the overall impression created is of an intriguing thriller that is disturbing and suitably creepy - this is a movie not for the faint-hearted.
You need to know what's going on here and therefore stick with it even though it's a little on the long side; the twists and turns-as you would expect from any thriller-come very late in the equation. The atmospheric location and creative art direction help keep you interested, and the slipping in and out of reality is surreal and cleverly captured.
Do see this one at the cinema. The movie is good, you won't be overly disappointed, but you may, like me, feel it just could have been superb instead.
CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Max Von Sydow
DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
RUNTIME: 138 min
RELEASE DATE: 18/02/10 19/02/10 24/02/10 25/02/10 05/02/10 12 March 2010 09/04/10
MICHAEL Oher knows little about family. Less about football. What the homeless teen knows are the streets and projects of Memphis. Well-to-do Leigh Anne Tuohy knows little about his world. Yet when she and Michael meet, he’s found a home. And the Tuohys have found something just as life-changing: a beloved new son and brother. This real-life story of family and of Michael’s growth into a blue-chip football star will have you cheering with its mix of gridiron action and heart-warming emotion. Share the remarkable journey of the college All-American and first-round NFL draft pick who was a winner before he ever stepped onto the playing field.
I began watching this movie with a slight hesitation as it's about football...well American football...and having never watched a game in my life, I was not sure what to expect.
Well, I now know a whole lot more about American football, and fully understand that anyone who compares it to rugby union is slightly bonkers. But actually that's neither here nor there. The Blind Side is an agreeable and smart movie. Insofar as it being a true story just makes it all the more endearing; since I knew nothing about American football to start with, it was terribly well-illustrated and like Invictus, it's quite irrelevant whether you get the game or not. It has all the passion and feel-good factor of movies like Rocky, Bend It Like Beckham and Cool Runnings but just a little toned-down; there's none of that rousing rah-rah nonsense. You will leave the cinema contented and smiling rather than punching the air with glee.
Fundamentally this is an inspiring story about a very affluent white all-American family from Memphis, and how they invite into their home an apparently not-too-bright young black man from the projects on 'the other side of town'; he becomes as much a part of their world as their own two children; the younger of the two, SJ, was brilliantly portrayed by Jae Head. The family dynamic is touching, the performances by all are accomplished - particularly Sandra Bullock - and her fascinating eyelashes should have a credit of their own! To say any more would not give anything away, but because of the simplicity of the narrative, you would be wise to just get yourself to the cinema and make up your own mind.
CAST: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Lily Collins, Jae Head, Kathy Bates
DIRECTOR: John Lee Hancock
RUNTIME: 128 min
RELEASE DATE: 20/11/09 25/02/10 27/02/10 12 March 2010
MATT Damon and director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) re-team for their latest electrifying thriller in Green Zone, a film set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War when no one could be trusted and every decision could detonate unforeseen consequences.
During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission.
Spun by operatives with intersecting agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth.
KATE Muir of The Times made an interesting observation: "Green Zone is probably the nearest the Americans will get to the public floggings of the Chilcot Inquiry except there will be popcorn on hand and a far larger audience." And the movie is definitely far more engaging than the Chilcot Inquiry, but it doesn't set your soul on fire.
Matt Damon is excellent; the supporting actors playing the servicemen are wholly convincing, mostly because they are predominantly war vets and NOT actors. It's not too long, the locations work, the Iraqis sound like Iraqis and not cheap imitations.
Paul Greengrass + Matt Damon = fast-paced action thriller...not strictly true in this case. It's a good film, far superior to the overrated Oscar winning Hurt Locker, and there's a point to the film, and great action. But somehow there's depth missing from the story.
Go see it - but don't expect Jason Bourne to pop up any time soon.
CAST: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Khalid Abdalla
DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
RUNTIME: 115 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/03/10 12 March 2010 14/04/10 23/04/10 14/05/10
THIS heartwarming true story is an American adaptation of a Japanese tale about a loyal dog named Hachiko. This very special friend would accompany his master to the train station every day and return each afternoon to greet him after work. Sadly his master departs one day, passes away and never returns to the station. Hachiko faithfully returns to the same spot at the station the very next day, and every day for the next nine years to wait for his beloved master.
During his daily visits, Hachiko touches the lives of many who work near and commute through the town square. He teaches the local people love, compassion and above all unyielding loyalty. Today, a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya station in Japan as a permanent reminder of his devotion and love.
IF you are a dog owner or dog lover, be prepared...this is an absolute must see film but you will require half a box of tissues! The emotions run very high in this beautiful, touching, hugely expressive film of very simple premise. The dog - well you just want to run out and buy an Akita immediately, and Richard Gere - OK I'm biased - but that man does just get better looking with age, and his acting is as mellow and subtle as it has ever been.
There is positively no reason to not see this film, so if you haven't yet, then what on earth are you doing sitting in front of your computer? Get onto your local cinema site and book your tickets right now!
CAST: Richard Gere, Joan Allen
DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallström
RUNTIME: 93 min
RELEASE DATE: 30/12/09 12 March 2010 12/05/10
FORTY years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate.
When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger’s are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is based on the trilogy of books by Stieg Larsson and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Tragically, Larsson did not live to see the phenomenon his work has become as he died suddenly in 2004 soon after delivering the manuscripts to his Swedish publisher.
CAST: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Haber, Sven-Bertil Taube
DIRECTOR: Niels Arden Oplev
RUNTIME: 152 min
RELEASE DATE: 12 March 2010 08/04/10 16/04/10 21/04/10
TWO best friends - one unlucky-in-love divorcee (Robin Williams) and the other a fun-loving bachelor (John Travolta) - have their lives turned upside down when they're unexpectedly charged with the care of six-year-old twins while on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives.
The not-so-kid-savvy bachelors stumble in their efforts to take care of the twins, leading to one debacle after another, and perhaps to a new-found understanding of what's really important in life.
DON'T heed what the critics have said...as long as you're not expecting an intellectually challenging masterpiece. If that's what you're after, you've got the wrong movie.
This is a comedy caper - a gentle amusing escapade about a Dad and his twins whom he had no idea existed until they were six, and his best friend. The kids are funny kids, the animals are cute and adorable [especially the guerilla], the action is what you'd expect from a kids' movie and the comedy is laugh-out-loud. There's nothing clever going on here - "it's not rocket science" as the children's entertainer says.
Yes the lead acting is entirely over-the-top; Williams and Travolta make the movie - had it been any other actors, it might have been as diabolical as some make out it is. But it's quite fun. In my opinion, teenagers will giggle but probably not admit to enjoying it, kids under 12 will laugh uncontrollably at the slapstick humour, and parents...well I'm old enough to be one and it tickled my funny bone.
So go, have a giggle on a miserable wet Saturday afternoon...and don't worry...I won't tell if you won't!
CAST: Robin Williams, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, Seth Green, Lori Loughlin, Rita Wilson
DIRECTOR: Walt Becker
RUNTIME: 88 min
RELEASE DATE: 25/11/09 26/12/09 07/01/10 19 March 2010 26/03/10
IN Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Academy Award® winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson returns to the role of the magical nanny who appears when she's needed the most and wanted the least in the next chapter of the hilarious and heart-warming fable that has enchanted children around the world.
In the latest instalment, Nanny McPhee appears at the door of a harried young mother, Mrs. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she's arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green's children are fighting a war of their own against two spoiled city cousins who have just moved in and refuse to leave.
Relying on everything from a flying motorcycle and a statue that comes to life to a tree-climbing piglet and a baby elephant who turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to teach her mischievous charges five new lessons.
OH Nanny McPhee...you may not be quite as magical and enchanting and endearing as you were in the first movie, and the story may not be quite as strong, but how can one but not simply adore Emma Thompson as the Mary Poppins of the 21st century!
CAST: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Dame Maggie Smith, Asa Butterfield
DIRECTOR: Susanna White
RUNTIME: 104 mins
RELEASE DATE: 26 March 2010 31/03/10 01/04/10 02/04/10 11/06/10 20/08/10 Sept '10
A twisted, funny, high-octane adventure, director Matthew Vaughn brings Kick-Ass to the big screen.
Kick-Ass tells the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), who decides to take his obsession with comic books as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name -- Kick-Ass -- assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There’s only one problem: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers.
His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copy cats, meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes -- an 11-year-old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) -- and forges a friendship with another fledgling superhero, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But thanks to the scheming of a local mob boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong), that new alliance will be put to the test.
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Aaron Johnson, Chloë Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
RUNTIME: 117 min
RELEASE DATE: 26 March 2010 08/04/10 16/04/10 21/04/10
FROM director Clint Eastwood, Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country.
Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
WHERE do I start - it's simply brilliant. At last a movie about rugby - that features rugby! OK, Morgan Freeman just had to play Mandela...and he is almost passable - may I add with a terribly dodgy accent; Matt Damon is far too short to be Pienaar, but is terribly good anyway once I got over my heightism. And there's more rugby in this feature film than most box set highlights of tours!
What I can't understand is why it was released in the USA before everywhere else - a nation that mostly can't spell rugby [with the exception of those enlightened elite!] apart from just to get in in time for the Oscar nominations, and yet Europe and most of the rugby world didn't see hide nor hair of it till the end of January!
I'm not going to say anymore here apart from if you haven't had the opportunity to see it now then do! I loved every moment of it! It has of course be featured as a cover story, and we've bagged a few exclusive interviews with Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Zak Feau'nati just for you. So click on the poster image and you'll be transported into the world of Invictus...
CAST: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Adjoa Andoh, Zak Feau'nati
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood
RUNTIME: 134 min
RELEASE DATE: 03/12/09 11/12/09 21/01/10 5 February 2010 12/02/10 24/02/10
SET in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist named Tenma (Nicolas Cage). Powered by positive “blue” energy, Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore) is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly.
Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy encounters many other colourful characters along the way. Through his adventures, he learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Ultimately learning his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his awesome super powers and returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero.
THERE are plenty of reviews out there already since the UK appears to be the last country to be getting the movie, and general consensus is that the animation is excellent, the kids will enjoy it, but it is a little heavily politicised from an adult’s perspective. As it’s out in time for half term, send the kids with the grandparents and put your feet up for a few hours!
CAST: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron, Eugene Levy, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Madeline Carroll, Matt Lucas
DIRECTOR: David Bowers
RUNTIME: 94 min
RELEASE DATE: 10/10/09 23/10/09 09/12/09 21/01/10 5 February 2010
RIZVAN Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), a Muslim man from India, moves to San Francisco and lives with his brother and sister-in-law. Rizvan, who has Aspergers, falls in love with Mandira (Kajol). Despite protests from his family they get married and start a small business together. They are happy until September 11, 2001 when attitudes towards Muslims undergo a sea-change. When tragedy strikes, Mandira is devastated and they split. Rizvan is confused and very upset that the love of his life has left him. To win her back, he embarks on a touching and inspiring journey across America.
‘My Name is Khan’ is the triumphant story of an unconventional hero overcoming obstacles to regain the love of his life.
DESPITE the extreme right-wing Indian politicking, the attempts to thwart the opening of this most eagerly anticipated blockbuster fell flat and the movie opened to full houses across the sub-continent [as well as the rest of the world]. But the chances are like me, you're elsewhere so let me tell you what I thought...
Whether you've seen a Bollywood movie before or not, it's mostly nothing like one. The story is moving, the sentiment is perfect, but where one can liken it to typical Bollywood is the overly-sentimental pushing of the boundaries just a little bit too far. Karan Johar is reknowned for making tear-jerking, laughter-filled, feel good movies which unlike most Hindi films often rushed into the shortest completion schedule possible, he nurtures over a long period to get the best performances from his carefully chosen acting professionals, and this was no exception.
The locations are superb - the USA is captured with the most spectacular vistas; the supporting cast are excellent, including the Americans - foreign talent is usually on oversight in Hindi movies. Shah Rukh Khan is sublime, and for once comes out of his comfort zone of playing Shah Rukh Khan and totally immerses himself in the character of Rizvan Khan, even though there is a slight parallel with reality since he is in fact a muslim guy who married a hindu girl - but that's where the similarity ends.
Kajol is, well, maybe I need to see it again to really understand but I'm afraid she didn't rock my boat; she's a stunningly talented actress but somehow she left me cold in this film. And this was a big gamble for Johar as his blockbuster movies Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham pitted SRK opposite Kajol and the result was magic; in MNIK I did not even fell the slightest spark - the chemistry was non-existent. Though I believe I may be one of the few on this planet of this opinion.
But never mind that - MNIK treats the difficult topic of muslim treatment in the USA post-9/11 in a respectful manner; it illustrates tolerance and shows extremists for the headcases that they are. I must admit I don't know how close to reality the portrayal of the experience of asians in the US is as we did not experience the same backlash in the UK. I did find it a little over-the-top in parts, especially the melodrama of the devastating hurricane that destroys the town in Georgia as a very convincing George W stands by and does nothing [art imitating life perhaps?]; but I did laugh, and I did cry [not necessarily in the same places as the rest of the audience], and I came out smiling.
It reminded me of Forrest Gump - it was cringe-worthy in parts, it stretched the imagination a little to far, but you will enjoy it. And don't worry about the almost 3 hour runtime - there's an interval!
CAST: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol
DIRECTOR: Karan Johar
RUNTIME: 161 min
LANGUAGE: Hindi/English with subtitles
RELEASE DATE: 12 February 2010
A Single Man is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, it is the story of a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life.
A striking and moving film, one needs to be in a certain gentle frame of mind to appreciate this work of art. Tom Ford is every bit the film maker as he is the designer. And Colin Firth and Julianne Moore - how can you go wrong? Every element of the movie has such attention to detail, and as expected, every aspect of design is voguish and classic, whether it be the set, the locations, the interior design or the magnificent wardrobe. Very chichi, very Gucci, a movie with both style and substance...well worth seeing.
CAST: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
DIRECTOR: Tom Ford
RUNTIME: 101 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/12/09 14/01/10 12 February 2010 24/02/10 25/02/10 06/05/10
AN all-star ensemble cast comes together in “Valentine’s Day,” which follows the intertwining storylines of a diverse group of Los Angelinos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day. Couples and singles experience the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping or ending relationships in a day in the life of love.
NOW we would put up a full review of this movie, but on the advice of every single person we know who has had the unfortunate experience of seeing it already [without exception], we shan't bother wasting 125 minutes of our lives, and neither should you. I personally wasted about 20 minutes before giving up and now truly understand why it's been so slated...need I say more?!
CAST: Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift
DIRECTOR: Gary Marshall
RUNTIME: 125 min
RELEASE DATE: 14/02/10 12 February 2010
FOUR-time Academy Award® nominee Jeff Bridges stars as the richly comic, semi-tragic romantic anti-hero Bad Blake in the debut feature film Crazy Heart from writer-director Scott Cooper. Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean (Golden Globe® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man’s crazy heart.
CAST: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall
DIRECTOR: Scott Cooper
RUNTIME: 112 min
RELEASE DATE: 14/02/10 19 February 2010
SET in the last tumultuous years of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy's life, centres on the battle for his soul waged by his wife Sofya Andreyevna and his leading disciple Vladimir Cherkov. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children and a life of hedonism, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny rail station at Astapovo, he believes that he is dying alone, while over one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.
CAST: James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, Helen Mirren, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, Patrick Kennedy, John Sessions
DIRECTOR: Michael Hoffman
RUNTIME: 112 min
RELEASE DATE: 15/01/10 19 February 2010
"EVERYBODY'S Fine", a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore's "Stanno Tutti Bene," follows a widower (Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro) who embarks on an impromptu road trip to reconnect with each of his grown children only to discover that their lives are far from picture perfect. At the heart of "Everybody's Fine" is the theme of family and physical and emotional distances traveled to bring the members back together. Kirk Jones ("Waking Ned Devine") directs.
THE impression one gets from the trailer is that this is a comedy - don't be fooled - it's not. There are amusing moments and classic lines that only De Niro could do justice to, but it is simply a story of a family; your average middle class American family with everyday incumbent issues. It's the holidays, but all the kids cancel coming to see him, so Dad decides he has go see what's up, and thus the story unfolds as he travels across America.
De Niro is understated and perfect, there is a stellar cast playing the children, and though the movie is not some face-paced runaway train caper, you will enjoy it of an evening or a Sunday afternoon. If you're a De Niro fan, another one not to miss...
CAST: Robert De Niro, Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale
DIRECTOR: Kirk Jones
RUNTIME: 99 min
RELEASE DATE: 04/12/09 04/02/10 26 February 2010 10/03/10 09/04/10
A personal aide to the U.S. Ambassador in France, James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has an enviable life in Paris and a beautiful French girlfriend, but his real passion is his side job as a low-level operative for the CIA. All James wants is to become a bona fide agent and see some real action. So when he's offered his first senior-level assignment, he can't believe his good luck - until he meets his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta).
A trigger-happy, wisecracking, loose cannon who's been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack, Wax leads James on a white-knuckle shooting spree through the Parisian underworld that has James praying for his desk job. But when James discovers he's a target of the same crime ring they're trying to bust, he realises there's no turning back...and that Wax himself might be his only hope for making it through the next forty-eight hours alive.
Hmmm...interesting...only inasmuch as a film maker of the calbre of Luc Besson involved with masterpieces like Nikita, Léon, Fifth Element and Nil By Mouth, what was he on when he penned From Paris With Love? Though in his defence, it may actually be the direction of Pierre Morel that upset the party.
This is a slightly bonkers movie with very little point; the shoot-em-up-style will please cinema-goers like me who are amused by unnecessary violence [though that probably doesn't say much about me!] Travolta is seen in a whole new light sporting the bald look and dressed like an additional member of the Village People; there's plenty of eye-candy courtesy of Rhys-Meyers and supermodel Smutniak.
The story is vague, and you'll likely forget what the movie was about before you leave the cinema. But strangely, you'll probably be entertained - I was. I can think of far worse ways to spend an hour and a half...
CAST: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden
DIRECTOR: Pierre Morel
RUNTIME: 92 min
RELEASE DATE: 05/02/10 17/02/10 25/02/10 26 February 2010
PERCI Trachtenberg, widely regarded as the world's greatest living mathematician, meets Venkat, a reclusive math genius from India, at a high rolling casino in London. Venkat tells Perci about an equation that could not only change the dialogue on mathematics forever, but one that has already left an indelible impression of guilt - for many painful reasons - on Venkat's life. As it turns out, the reclusive genius Venkat has cracked a theory that could redefine the principles of probability and randomness. However, as with all exceptional knowledge, his equation has its upside - as well as its dark underbelly. Aware that he is on the precipice of an extraordinary discovery, one that could find applications across various sciences, Venkat is encouraged to test his theory in the real world by professor Shantanu, an ambitious colleague of Venkat.
Although Venkat has no interest in the money that could come from practicing his equation to crack Teen Patti, (a poker game) he eventually succumbs to Shantanu's charismatic persuasion. Soon, with the help of a few students, each with a complicated and singular fate of their own, they explore the addas (underground gambling dens) of wild Bombay. But what starts out as an experiment between a charismatic young professor and an eccentric older one soon descends into a game neither of them can control. When their lives sink into maddening chaos, the greed and desperation that had fuelled them on can no longer save them. Perci understands that Venkat's theory in essence, questions the idea of what is random - and what is fated.
AN hour into the movie and I was still trying to figure out what the point of this film was. But alas, one loses the will to live and simply cannot be bothered to waste one's life on inexplicable drawn out excuses for entertainment, so I gave up and switched off.
Within that hour, however, the biggest disappointment was Sir Ben Kinglsey - or more to the point the lack of him. Of the little I saw, he cannot have been on screen for more than ten minutes at most, and was awfully dubbed over so lost all his charm anyway.
The verdict: maybe I should have stuck it out and watched the whole film to give a comprehensive opinion, but quite frankly, I have better things to do, and would humbly suggest you may have to.
CAST: Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan, Dhruv Ganesh, Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar, Saira Mohan, Raima Sen
DIRECTOR: Leena Yadav
RUNTIME: 204 min
RELEASE DATE: 26 February 2010
O2 are giving you the chance to see the England Team like never before. We're broadcasting their RBS 6 Nations matches against Wales and Ireland using the latest 3D technology. Live to cinemas nationwide.
Making them the first ever live 3D broadcast of a rugby match in the world.
Screenings will be happening simultaneously at Cineworld and Odeon cinemas across England. All venues will have a licensed bar. And if you're with O2, you can get a free pint.
Priority Tickets for O2 customers only on sale: 9am Mon 15 Feb
General Sale: 9am Fri 19 Feb
CAST: England and Ireland Rugby Teams
RUNTIME: 105 min
DATE: 27 February 2010
THE comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans? follows a highly successful Manhattan couple, Meryl and Paul Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant), whose almost-perfect lives have only one notable failure – their dissolving marriage. But the turmoil of their romantic lives is nothing compared to what they are about to experience: they witness a murder and become targets of a contract killer.
The Feds, protecting their witnesses, whisk away the Morgans from their beloved New York to a tiny town in Wyoming, and a relationship that was on the rocks threatens to end completely in the Rockies… unless, in their new BlackBerry-free lives, the Morgans can slow down the pace and rekindle the passion.
GENERAL consensus is that it’s a pretty poor offering as a romcom from two such well-known actors, but I must admit, aside from Sex & The City, what is SJP any good in [and I do find Carrie fairly irritating], and yet Mr Grant is the height of English suave mixed with foppishness and in my eyes does nothing bad, so it’s a shame.
The RU verdict is that Hugh Grant did not shape up as Paul Morgan in comparison to the real McCoy! The film was probably the worst that Mr Grant has ever made; the story was dry, predictable and terribly tiresome! Elliott & Steenburgen were delightful, Hugh Grant was wasted on a lousy script, and SJP...well...she was SJP. Definitely a wait for DVD movie.
CAST: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen
DIRECTOR: Marc Lawrence
RUNTIME: 103 min
RELEASE DATE: 18/12/09 26/12/09 1 January 2010 26/02/09
FROM Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country For Old Men, comes the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Road. Academy Award-nominee Viggo Mortensen leads an all-star cast featuring Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and young newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee in this epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival of a father (Mortensen) and his young son (Smit-McPhee) as they journey across a barren America that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm. A masterpiece adventure, The Road boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of - a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.
CAST: Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Garret Dillahunt
DIRECTOR: John Hillcoat
RUNTIME: 111 min
RELEASE DATE: 25/11/09 02/12/09 8 January 2010 28/01/09 16/03/09
IN Ankert University, California, Alisha (Priyanka Chopra) is the name of that dream everyone wished came true. The most beautiful girl on campus, she makes hearts flutter like leaves in the wind. A snap of her fingers and a line of boys, waiting on her every whim. Everybody Loves Alisha!
It is no surprise then that Abhay (Uday Chopra) loves her too. More than his computer programs and MAC stores he thinks of Alisha. Who is Abhay? Abhay is a nerdy, awkward, socially challenged, bespectacled geek of the college who is so far removed from her world that she doesn't even know that people like him actually exist.
This is a love story of impossible proportions, how can a man like Abhay ever hope to be with a woman like Alisha, and therein lies the story...
Will Abhay have the strength to believe in himself and attempt to achieve what he never thought possible? Will Alisha ever be able to see the man behind those glasses, beyond what her idea of the perfect man is? Is everything fate or can one take destiny in their own hands? Is this possible or just Pyaar Impossible?
THIS is a predictable but very cute romcom set in the USA and Singapore. Priyanka proves yet again she's a formidable actress who can take on pretty much any role, and Uday is the perfect geek, suffering the burden of unrequited love for the stunning Alisha for 7 years.
In his quest to get the girl - along with the rights to his intellectual property - Abhay inadvertently ends up as nanny to Alisha's spoilt daughter, Tania (the role probably didn't require much acting but she was highly amusing). A number of funny situations arise, and the music is simply gentle and complementary.
A lovely movie to wile away a couple of hours at the multiplex.
CAST: Priyanka Chopra, Anupam Kher, Uday Chopra, Dino Morea, Rahul Vohra, Advika Yadav
DIRECTOR: Jugal Hansraj
RUNTIME: 141 min
LANGUAGE: Hindi with subtitles worldwide
RELEASE DATE: 8 January 2010
WRITER/director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) directs Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin in It’s Complicated, a comedy about love, divorce and everything in between.
Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has—after a decade of divorce—an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). But when Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son’s college graduation, things start to get complicated. An innocent meal together turns into the unimaginable - an affair. With Jake remarried to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell), Jane is now, of all things, the other woman.
Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realises he’s become part of a love triangle.
Should Jane and Jake move on with their lives, or is love truly lovelier the second time around? It’s…complicated.
GIVEN Nancy Meyers’ expertise is making fabulous movies for the merriment of both sexes, no doubt this will be yet another hit movie. But unfortunately she's becoming slightly formulaic.
The movie though cute and amusing, and the acting natural and unforced, is quite unbelievable. The settings are picturesque - straight out of Brothers and Sisters - and the abundant wealth is slightly nauseating. And there was a real cringe-worthy moment when 'Land Of Hope And Glory' is piped out at an American graduation ceremony.
Overall, it's a fun film - not of the calibre of The Holiday or What Women Want - that is perfect for a Saturday afternoon out of the cold.
CAST: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin
DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers
RUNTIME: 118 min
RELEASE DATE: 10/12/09 07/01/10 8 January 2010 19/03/10
FROM Jason Reitman, the Oscar® nominated director of Juno, comes a dramatic comedy called Up in the Air starring Oscar® winner George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate-downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles, and after he’s met the frequent-traveller woman of his dreams.
WELL, quite frankly, it's a George Clooney movie so of course it’s worth watching. The ladies will love it, so guys, if you want brownie points – take your other half! But on a less superficial level, it's a delightful film about a middle-aged guy so set in his bachelor lifestyle, living out of a suitcase, his home is literally in the skies...he is really I suppose the antithesis of the American Dream; a home, family, garden with a white picket fence is just not what he wants. He thrives on his loyalty cards from the airlines, hotel chains and car rental companies, and then he meets the ultimate lady - someone just like him. But a new employee in his company - a fresh-faced Cornell business graduate has big ideas to change his world. The story takes us through Ryan's world at a gentle pace, from Chicago to Vegas, San Francisco to Omaha, via nothing more elaborate than airport lounges.
Up In The Air is a movie showing off George Clooney at his best - there are no bells and whistles, no elaborate CGI, in fact there's nothing flashy about this film at all. It's a simple story exploring whether one needs to settle into the traditional family norm or not.And not surprisingly, the film is nominated for numerous gongs at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars including Best Actor for Clooney and Best Director for Reitman.
My advice...go see it!
CAST: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman
DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman
RUNTIME: 109 min
RELEASE DATE: 23/12/09 14/01/10 15 January 2010 22/01/10 27/01/10
Won Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner
[Take A Chance On Dance]
CHANCE Pe Dance is the story of the talented and passionate Sameer. Positive and brimming with energy, Sameer juggles various jobs to keep him afloat while pursuing his one dream to get a break on the big screen.
In his quest, Sameer has a lot of ups and down, hopes and disappointments. Not one to be disillusioned and armed with a never say die attitude and dynamic talent; Sameer fights every hurdle that comes his way because achieving your biggest dream is never easy.
In this challenging journey he is helped by a beautiful and spirited choreographer Tina, and eventually Sameer realises that sometimes life gives you that one chance…so …Chance Pe Dance!
I have yet to see a bad Ronnie Screwvala produced movie [OK there is the rare exception], and with him back with Shahid Kapoor – who in the last UTV production Kaminey was spectacular – the movie has bags of potential. Shahid is a trained dancer, and Genelia Dsouza is an affable and pretty young thing so this should be another hit.
Well, the potential was found - a lovely movie - not complicated or too clever; a simple story of a young man trying to break into the entertainment industry, and it does not disappoint. Kapoor yet again demonstrated his light-footed excellence in a movie that could not have been better cast in the lead role. Genelia - it could have been anyone really - she was fluffy like candy floss, and interestingly cast as a choreographer since she has the grace of a puppy dog.
A typical struggling actor comes good in traditional Bollywood style - the music isn't going to rock your world, but it's definitely merits a trip to the cinema.
CAST: Shahid Kapoor, Genelia Dsouza
DIRECTOR: Ken Ghosh
RUNTIME: 103 min
RELEASE DATE: 15 January 2010
BASED on the acclaimed memoir by Simon Carr, The Boys are Back in Town, Academy Award® nominee Scott Hicks (Shine) directs The Boys Are Back, inspired by the poignant, comic and uplifting true story of a man who must suddenly raise his two sons alone. After the untimely passing of his second wife, the ill-prepared Joe (Clive Owen) is confronted with the daily challenges of parenthood, while coping not only with his own loss but also with his young son Artie's expressions of grief. They soon are joined by Harry, Joe's teenage son from his first marriage, who brings his own personal “baggage” into the mix.
Without a roadmap pointing the way forward, the three boys decide it is best to leave the conventional rules and responsibilities of the grown-up world behind and lead a life based on the mantra ‘just say yes’. When things go awry, Joe is forced to step up and behave like a parent, but must figure out how to do so without abandoning the joy and exuberance shared in their more child-like world.
QUITE simply - perfection. Clive Owen portrays the recently widowed Joe Carr with such sensitivity and subtlety; the boys are impeccably cast. The story gently meanders through the trials and tribulations of a young mother leaving behind her husband and child - along with slightly over-bearing parents. You'll get swept up in the emotion and find yourself getting rather annoyed at anyone trying to upset the Carr world.
A beautifully put together movie showing off the arresting beauty of South Australia, The Boys Are Back will delight, sadden, warm your heart but most importantly make you smile. Of all the movies appearing on our silver screens in these grey depressing times, put this one as the first you see.
CAST: Clive Owen, Laura Fraser, Nicholas McAnulty, George MacKay, Julia Blake
DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks
RUNTIME: 100 min
RELEASE DATE: 12/11/09 22 January 2010 10/02/10 18/06/10
Brothers tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirty something Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters (Bailee Madison, Taylor Grace Geare). Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family provocateur on his first night out of prison, at Sam’s farewell dinner with their parents, Elsie (Mare Winningham) and Hank Cahill (Sam Shepard), a retired Marine.
THE acting is excellent; the dynamics of a family in crisis brilliantly and sympathetically portrayed when the elder war-hero brother is reported dead. Natalie Portman is sublime as the mother and wife torn between her feelings in different realities.
With a director of the calibre of Jim Sheridan (In The Name Of The Father, My Left Foot) taking the helm, Brothers is an interesting way to spend an evening watching the performances of a smart bunch of young thespians - but you'll need to be in the mood to see quite a heavy, slow-paced family drama.
CAST: Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bailee Madison, Taylor Geare, Patrick Flueger, Sam Shepard, Mare Winningham, Clifton Collins Jr., Josh Berry
DIRECTOR: Jim Sheridan
RUNTIME: 105 min
RELEASE DATE: 04/12/09 23/12/09 22 January 2010 03/02/10
BASED on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, and directed by Oscar® winner Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones centres on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Oscar® nominee Mark Wahlberg and Oscar® winners Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon star along with Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli and Oscar® nominee Saoirse Ronan.
THE movie has not been the most well received by the critics, and overall it appears that Peter Jackson has gotten so carried away with his big budget, big screen, CGI-fuelled epic adventures that he has the lost the ability to portray a simple beautiful story in a delicate manner; it’s not as if he is incapable – Heavenly Creatures was a great movie. Also the screen adaptation has not been wholly sympathetic to the original novel which has lost some impact of the characters – a real shame for a movie with such a strong cast.
Having now seen it - but not read the book - I think I understand why the critics have the opinion they do. The story is upsetting but beautiful; any daddy's girl will understand the anguish of the father. The transition of the family over the year while no one is any the wiser who is the culprit is clever and grown up. But where it loses the subtlety of the story is in the ethereal world where Susie Salmon, the murdered girl is trapped; there was no need to make this world so obvious and surreal.
Stanley Tucci is perfectly unnerving as the murderer, Saoirse Ronan as Susie could not have been better cast, Weisz, Wahlberg & Sarandon are exactly as you would expect them to be, and it's great to see Michael Imperioli as a cop rather than a gangster.
It's a shame that Jackson felt the need to over-dramatise a touching and profound story. Despite that, the film is definitely worth a trip to the cinema.
CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Michael Imperioli
DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson
RUNTIME: 135 min
RELEASE DATE: 01/01/10 15/01/10 29 January 2010 10/02/10
EDGE of Darkness is an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, twenty-four year-old Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter’s secret life and her killing.
His investigation leads him into a dangerous, looking glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder – and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven’s solitary search for answers about his daughter’s death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption.
ADAPTED from the critically acclaimed and award-winning 1985 BBC production of the same name, if they had done the original justice, it would've been an excellent and enthralling thriller.
But despite Martin Campbell directing this creation as well the original, they really didn't manage to pull this one off. Part of the mystery and intrigue of the six-part mini series was that it was set in cold, dank and dark Yorkshire; the move to Boston, USA did not translate well. Cramming a slow-burning thriller into less than half the time meant that corners were cut, the action was knee-jerk and reactionary, and frankly it lost the edginess of the made-for-tv version.
Unfortunately, since I have seen the earlier version, I am unable to give an unbiased opinion as to how this 2010 Edge Of Darkness stands up as a movie in it's own right. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of both Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone so was very much looking forward to seeing this, but it just didn't do it for me.
My verdict - don't be rushing off to the cinema for this one - you'll do as well to see it on DVD, and if you can get your hands on the TV series, settle in on the sofa over a few evenings and watch excellence unfold on the small screen instead.
CAST: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, Shawn Roberts
DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
RUNTIME: 108 min
RELEASE DATE: 29/01/10 29 January 2010 04/02/10 17/02/10
WALT Disney Animation Studios presents the musical The Princess And The Frog, an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the creators of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.
The Princess And The Frog marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman.
THERE has of course been controversy surrounding the movie with regard to a central character, i.e. the Princess Tiana being black and much has been written about this; frankly, who cares? It’s a classic Disney movie with a great voice cast that will keep children entertained and amused.
CAST: Anika Noni Rose, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Bruno Campos, Jennifer Cody
DIRECTOR: Ron Clements, John Musker
RUNTIME: 97 min
RELEASE DATE: 11/12/09 18/12/09 01/01/10 27/01/10 29 January 2010