Sunday, 29 April 2012

It's a Man's World (Out this week - 27/04/12)

Another really crowded this week, but where there is a fundamental difference between last week huge selection of mid-level players fighting for attention and the box office giant hogging the screen this weekend. Indeed the other 11 new releases combined are in around a third the number of cinemas that this weeks comic geek mastubatory fantasy inhabits (that's an unfair comment as I hear the film is very good but the number are extremely shocking when you sit back and consider them). And as well as being the official start to the blockbuster season (the hors d'ouevres of John Carter, Hunger Games and Battleship not really counting) we also see the official end to 2011 Oscar season with the last mainstream feature nominee (excluding Foreign language and documentaries) getting it's UK release. Naturally the contest for the RLAG film of the week lies between these two extremes - the box office behemoth and the art-house breakout - but in the end a man can't change who he is so I opt for Albert Nobbs as the top choice.

It comes as no surprise that my box office predictions will go the other way, with Avengers Assemble likely to sweep everything else out of it's way at the multiplexes, indeed it's first day take on Thursday was larger than Battleship last week so were pretty much guaranteed a win there. The only questions is how the property will fare in the longer term, in the UK The Hunger Games has just past a gross of $35m which is slightly above the historic ceiling for comic book adaptations so it will be interesting to see if Joss Whedon can steer his superhero troupe ahead of Katniss in the next few weeks. Last weekend the aforementioned board-game adaptation just about stayed afloat at the top of the charts with Salmon Fishing nipping at it's heels. Needless to say I was smug about that prediction for days.

Albert Nobbs

Glenn Close's passion project has been waiting for funding for about 20 years as she reprises her acclaimed stage role of a 19th century cross dresser trying to make a living in hypocritical Dublin society. Justifiably picking up three Academy award nominations (Close, Janet McTeer and makeup) but drawing severe criticism for the pace it'll be interesting to see if it can get an audience.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●●●○○○

Read on for invulnerable tag teams, worthless horses and the return of an American Indie treasure, as well as all of this weeks trailers in just one post!

Hands up if you think the loud American voiceover in this trailer actually makes the film less appealing.

Avengers Assemble

Renamed in the UK so we don't go in looking for Steed and Diana Rigg, this is the much anticipated Marvel hero mash-up bringing together the subplots of every one of their releases over the last few years, with the other films effectively acting as trailers for this one. It'll be very interesting to see whether the combination of the stars and characters makes for a substantially bigger box office return. The all star cast includes Robert Downey Jnr. (Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Gwynneth Paltrow. Phew!

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Damsels in Distress

There are many critics who point at Whit Stillman and laud him as one of the most influential American Indie directors of the last 20 years, yet I have never seen any of his movies. I doubt that will change soon judging on the divided critical reception to this college comedy, his first in 13 years.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Le Moine

Vincent Cassell is the not altogether sane monk at the centre of this Middle Ages set French/Spanish co-production about a renowned and popular man of God confronting temptation. Cassell's always worth the money and I here he brings everything he's got to the role in the third act.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

The Assault

Based on the true story of the 1994 Air France hijack this multi-narrative piece replays the chain of events through the eyes of the kidnapper, the emergency command HQ and the captain of the assault team sent in to rescue the hostages.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Ee Adutha Kaalathu

The first in our trio of Bollywood releases this week utterly baffles me with is tagline "Reality is a movie... Starring only you...". Does that mean no-one else is in my reality. Someone get me a philosopher my brain is hurting.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Hans Kloss Stawka wieksza nic smierc

Exciting looking Polish WW2 movie that sees the hero Hans Kloss going behind enemy lines to prevent some Nazi plot (forgive me my Polish is rusty) and cause general mayhem. Lots of action, sex and violence that should do well in it's limited release.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○


Translated as Minefields, this Tamil movie explores the continued presence of Landmines in Sri Lanka which sounds like a worthy and fascinating topic, however the acting style will still alienate many Western cinema goers.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Outside Bet

There's a whole host of British stars who really should know better including Bob Hoskins, Adam Deacon and Jenny Agutter in this low-rent comedy about a bunch of working class heroes and that horse that makes their fortune. Probably not worth putting a punt on it, though.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

388 Arletta Avenue

Canadian stalker thriller that proves Nick Stahl is still alive even if his career seems to have taken a turn for the worse, completely filmed with 'hidden cameras' I think we can all guess where the plot goes.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○

Strippers vs. Werewolves

You know there's something about this campy, poorly produced 'B'-movie trailer that actually works for me, it's as if the team behind it almost knew from the get-go that they wanted to make something crass and cheap for a Friday night beer and movie marathon. But there's nothing that will persuade me to spend £8 on it.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○


You won't believe the central conceit of this Anglo-Indian co-production, there's a bomb on a London to Glasgow train speeding up the country (Yes, it's speeding which shocked me) whilst a collection of only Hindi speaking police must catch the man responsible before it's too late.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○

Last week I, unfortunately missed out

Grave Encounters

yet another found footage horror briefly visiting a tiny number of screens before making it's DVD debut. Not that you can blame me, it manages to look both derivative and dull in two minutes.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○

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