Saturday, 21 April 2012

In, two, three, out, two three (Out this week - 20/04/12)

It's a bizarrely complex week this year with a massive 14 new non-fiction narrative releases not to mention the re-release of Vincenti Minelli's excellent inside Hollywood expose The Bad and the Beautiful and the highly praised Bob Marley documentary from Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald which is getting most film of the week recommendations. This platoon of cinematic offerings oddly doesn't have a clear front runner in either terms of critical reception or box office clout, in the former case there's plenty of decent looking pictures that seem utterly watchable but nothing looks like a must see art-house selection. I'm going to see (Yes, for the first time in 5 weeks) an adaptation of a satirical novel that appears to have lost it's edge in translation, but I'm skewing European in the weekly recommendation and am going for Austrian coming of age movie Breathing as the Runs like a Gay film of the week.

Box office wise I have no idea which film to back, so whilst I consider the options lets have a look back at last weekend. I claim no pride in having correctly guessed the rise of Battleship, with a £2m lead against it's nearest rivals. I expect Peter Berg's board-game adaptation will continue to lead the box office charts, but the battle for the top new release will be between Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Lockout. My £8 is going to the former so I suspect that the romance between Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt will just about win out.


Just about sticking it's head out in front of the pack is this Austrian picture (side note Austria seems to be having a mini filmic renaissance as this is the second RLAGFOTW from the central European nation this year) directed by Counterfeiters star Karl Markovics and starring Thomas Schubert as a child offender readjusting to life outside, his new job as an undertaker and the guilt and responsibility he still feels.

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Read on for frank sexuality, fly casting and a misleading named revenge thriller, as well as the round-up of all of this weeks releases and their trailers.

Elegant slow-paced trailer there that appears to encapsulate the feel of Markovics' debut.


Juliette Binoche is the magazine journalist working for French 'Elle' assigned to investigate the rise of middle class working girls (Elles) using the oldest profession to fund their University education. The article, and the close relationship founded with one of her subjects, awakens long repressed sapphic desires. Note even the trailer doesn't hold back in the imagery.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Paul Torday's epistolic novel is part political satire - a watered down Iannucci - and part treatise on the power of faith. This big screen adaptation with heavyweight Brit cast list including Ewan MacGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas appears to focus on the love story angle, but I'm still drawn by the unique premise.

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The breakout picture at this years London LGBT film festival is this South African expose of Afrikaaner brutality in Apartheid with Roeline Daneel struggling with internalised homophobia and becoming obsessed with the son of a family friend. The title translates into Beauty.

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Called The Samaritan in the States I expect the name change is in part to capitalise on the publicity for Samuel L. Jackson's little know Nick Fury character who you may know appears in a tiny independent fil coming out next weekend. Tom Wilkinson also stars as the mark in this twisty turner grifter flick.

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I'm not sure if this French trailer looks funny or not, mainly because it isn't subtitled and the release is so limited I can't be bothered to find a better version, but the concept of a dubbing artist trying to meet the "A"-lister she provides a French voice for is quite a cute premise and Jemel Debbouze has been good value in the past.

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Guy Pearce takes the wisecracking anti-hero role in this thriller inspired by an original idea from Luc Besson or maybe hundreds of B-movies to which it obviously holds a debt, films like Escape from New York, with the key concept of a one man mission to rescue the President's daughter from a high security prison. In space. Some shonky special effects in the trailer though.

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Vicky Donor

Somewhat odd looking Bollywood comedy about a serial sperm donor and his later attempts to romance. I expect the hundreds of children he's fathered on behalf of others complicate matters but not so much to spoil the chance of a happy ending.

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Darren Lynn Bouseman's (of the Saw films) cheap looking horror stumbled into US multiplexes (just 17 of them) last November and barely managed $30k, here in the UK without the benefit of the appropriate release date and with only a single showing it's not going to do even close to those paltry figures.

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I've watched the first few seconds of this apocalyptic thriller several times and I have to say I'm a touch confused but apparently you can outrun an nuclear blast. Obviously the survivors will then turn on each other and the living will envy the dead. It's all derivative crap with allegedly Michael Biehn's best ever performance.

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More psycho killers in this US thriller starring Amanda Seyfried in her attempts to prove she can open a film as an escaped kidnappee convinced her sister has also been abducted in order to be horribly murdered. Lots of screaming, untrusting cops and running around in creepily lit woods at night. P.S. she can't this grossed only $9m in the States in January.

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Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy

I had thought this latest adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Scottish drug scene came out last year to unenthusiastic reviews but no. It's come out this year to equally unimpressed ratings. The problem being that however much work is put into a project like this it's always going to suffer from comparisons to Danny Boyle's Trainspotting. Still it's good to see former Hobbit Billy Boyd is still employable.

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What a difference 8 years makes. Do you remember when Jim Caviezel defied all expectations and box office prognostications with The Passion of the Christ but now it's all virtaully direct to video thrillers like this nonsense involving a security truck heist, mixed bags and marital tensions coming to the fore. Mind you at least his career is going better than Mel Gibson.

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Elfie Hopkins

And finally the worst looking movie since last months Act of Valor is this British comic horror staring Jaime Winstone as the sleuthing titular teenager who discovers her neighbours are cannibals. Daddy Ray cameos as the local gun toting butcher.

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Alex in Movieland said...

was The Bad and the Beautiful excellent in any way? :) I still can't get past that Gloria Grahame win... absurd.

Runs Like A Gay said...

I'd forgotten about your Gloria posts.

Sure I agree she didn't deserve to win but the rest of the film is great, the structure totally original and Kirk is simply divine.

I'd work with him again no matter how many times he stabbed me in the back.