Saturday, 11 August 2012

Coming Full Circle (Out this week - 10/08/12)

Just as no major releases saw their debut at the same time as the Olympic opening ceremony a couple of weeks ago now the games at coming to a close there is again a slight pause in the proceedings. There are two major releases coming out on Monday, the latest from Pixar and a twist on the Bourne franchise, so afraid are they of losing a few punters on Sunday evening. There are a dozen foreign language efforts and mid-level independent releases competing for audiences with Stephen Daldry's closing night on Sunday. Most of them are forgettable and frankly look awful, but there are a couple that are worth a look. The Runs like a Gay film of the week may not be one of those but it's got a great cast so Fernando Meirelles sneaks into the lead with 360

Last weekend my scepticism about Seth MacFarlane's cinematic debut led to me underestimating it's chances predicting it to miss out on the lead in the charts. Instead it soundly defeated the third weekend take from The Dark Knight Rises proving the cult audience of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" would follow their hero to multiplexes. As I mentioned earlier there's only one big release this weekend - the latest dance drama Step Up 4: Miami Heat - which will certainly find an audience but will it surpass Ted of the Batman? My guess is The Dark Knight Rises will climb back to number 1.


Loosely based on Alfred Schnitzler play La Ronde, with a terrible on the nose title referring to the structure of following sexual and emotional couplings across class and geographical barriers, this international co-production brings together a huge number of stars from all continents - keen on the foreign market sales. It premièred at Toronto last September - reviews may explain why we've waited so long to see it.

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Read on for Albanian blood feuds, Scandinavian pools and Chinese thrillers and all of this weeks new releases and trailers.

In an Empire interview last week director Fernando Meirelles stated the Austrian trailer and poster best exhibited the film. What can I say, I don't speak German so you have the English version.

Forgiveness of Blood

I have a thing about Blood feud plots. No really, ten years ago I loved Behind the Sun which tackled a similar plotline in South America. So when I heard Joshua Marston - the genius behind Maria, Full of Grace - was travelling to Albania to film a similar stand-off between neighbouring families and tying in the themes of technological progress against cultural stand-still I knew I had to see it. It's a shame it's only on in London or Cambridge.

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The second Jo Nesbo novel to get apated this year comes with less fanfare than the critically acclaimed Headhunters but should do equally well in terms of box office thanks to it's pitch black comedy elements. How could a former criminal who wins the pools with three mates and then wakes up, some hours later, squashed under a dead chubby hooker fail to make you laugh?

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Harold's Going Stiff

It's difficult to try to work out what this well received independent British horror is aiming for, with it's mix of social realism and zombies. I expect it's a metaphor. With the question of whether Harold really is infected holding the entire plot together.

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Let the Bullets Fly

A couple of cinema chains are holding an exclusive this weekend, with Reel cinemas the only place to find this immensely popular Chinese film which took over $100m in it's home country back in early 2011. Chow You-Fat is the name over the title even though this looks like a shared lead movie. If the film is half as fun as the trailer then it's worth travelling for.

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It's already been and gone on it's limited one day release but this Russian spy thriller set during the Second World War looks like it has the right balance of action and romance, including a delicious tango, seen intercut in the trailer. Probably worth digging out the DVD in next weeks bargain bin.

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Barbie: The Princess and the Popstar

Make it stop. Please just make it stop. Luckily I don't have to watch this sort of garbage but the trailer was bad enough. Anyway this badly animated 90 minute advert is exclusively showing at Cineworlds nation wide this weekend. They shouldn't bother.

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Dinosaur Project

It's the Blair Witch meets Jurassic Park in this fairly predictable adventure romp that sees a sextet of young athletic 'explorers' crash land into Conan Doyle territory and live just about long enough to regret it. Much like paying to see it at cinemas.

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I Against I

It's taken a very long time for this tale of London gangsters to make it to the big screen, but the patience the producers have shown in the 2 years since filming was completed has paid off, for at least 9 cinemas. It's a shame the same amount of effort wasn't put into an original and insightful script.

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In the Dark Half

I'm probably coming across as really harsh, bashing all these low budget British films, after all I'd probably kill to get into one of them and to have even a couple of cinemas showing my work. Some nice shots of stampeding deer is fine but it's not enough to make me want to see this over-worked plot.

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Taking the starting off point of last summer's riots this ultra-violent youth picture follows our hero Joe Cole as he infiltrates a young offenders institution in order to take brutal revenge for his girlfriend being attacked. I think I'm too old and middle class to appreciate the warfare on the streets message.

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Step Up 4: Miami Heat

Thankfully not all the bad looking movies this week are British, as the likely biggest selling bad movie will be American. I want to like to concept of flash mob dancers forming an alliance with small businesses against the corporate sharks aiming to buy up whole neighbourhoods, but there's still probably nothing new in either the romance plot or the choreography so why should I bother buying a ticket?

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