NEW RELEASES: 29TH JULY

A LATE QUARTET:

a-late-quartet-poster02First-rate drama with a first-rate class cast. Director Yaron Zilberman uses the vehicle of the string quartet to explore the relationships and inner tensions of a group who have been working together for many years. Starring Philip Seymour-Hoffman (The Master), Christopher Walken (Batman Returns) and Catherine Keener (40 Year Old Virgin). Cert.15

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SIDE EFFECTS:

side-effects-filmPsychological thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. A young husband attempts to care for his wife who is suffering from severe depression. In an attempt to save their marriage she tries one form of medication after another, until she is finally prescribed a drug by her new psychiatrist which has unexpected SIDE EFFECTS… or does it???? Starring Jude Law (Alfie), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Mask of Zorro). Cert. 15

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PAPERBOY:

paperboy-poster-zac-efronTwo brothers, one a successful reporter, the other a college dropout,  re-unite in their hometown to investigate the case of a deeply unlikable death-row inmate. Directed by Lee Daniels who made the fantastic Precious (2009). Starring Matthew McConaughey, Zac Effron, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack. Cert. 15

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THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE:

The-Incredible-Burt-Wonderstone-Poster-005American comedy about a group of magician’s who find they have to up their game after being out-classed by a street performer.

Tom says: “It’s got some laughs in it. Quite cruel. Jim Carrey’s character is staggeringly ugly, but kind of brilliant. A film of very limited victories.”

Starring Steve Carell (40 Year-Old Virgin), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy) and Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine). Cert. 15

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WELCOME TO THE PUNCH:

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Rob says:

Enjoyable action thriller. More lightweight than Heat, more heavyweight than any Statham movie – it’s a middleweight movie or perhaps  bantamweight cos that sounds better. Lots of Laaandaan accents going on and a shiny blue steel look. Good cast too.

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SMALL APARTMENTS:

527760_547513468613373_401778072_nAmerican comedy starring Matt (Little Britain) Lucas as an eccentric obsessed with Switzerland who lives in an apartmentcomplex populated by other eccentrics. Accidentally killing his landlord brings in investigator Billy Crystal who interviews the other local residents played, amongst others, by Johnny Knoxville and Juno Temple. Directed by Jonas Akerlund, who also directed the quite fantastic Spun (2002). Cert. 18

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Also out this week:

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN:

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HOST:

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HARDY BUCKS:

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by Dixie Turner

New Releases: 22nd July

IN THE HOUSE:

in_the_houseA French Thriller from Director Francois Ozon (Swimming Pool). A teenage schoolboy manages to trick his way into the family life of a fellow student, all the while writing essays about his experiences with them for his literature teacher who finds his young student strangely compelling. Eventually, things take a dark turn, and the growing attraction the young man feels for his classmate’s mother leads to a troubled blurring of the line between fact and fiction. Starring Kristin Scott-Thomas. Cert. 15. French with English subs.

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BEWARE OF MR. BAKER:

2013BewareOfMrBAker_UKQuad_03260413Documentary about the infamous Ginger Baker, the drug-addled, scandal-riddled and highly acclaimed drummer of the British band, Cream.

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JACK THE GIANT SLAYER:

Jack-the-Giant-Slayer-PosterThe classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk gets a re-vamp in this star-studded fantasy-action flick. Ugly giants want to crush the little pretty humans, but Jack, battling for the love of a Princess, won’t let them. Hurrah for Jack! Swords, Sires, stalks and Stanley Tucci (Big Night). What more is there? Well, Ian McShane (Deadwood), Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) and Eleanor Tomlinson (White Queen). Cert. 12

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G.I.JOE: RETALIATION:

GI-Joe-Retaliation-PosterG.I. Joe again. Based on the toy. Starring Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum (Magic Mike). Andrei says: “I liked G.I. Joe when I was a kid. These movies suck.” Cert. 12

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NEWSROOM SEASON 1:

The-Newsroom-DVDMuch-anticipated, critically acclaimed HBO series, starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer. A new’s anchorman’s life is turned upside down by a new bunch of colleagues….

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ABCs OF DEATH:

Abcs-of-Death-PosterA series of short horror movies by 26 directors, including Ben (Sightseers/Kill List) Wheatley, about different ways to die, covering the letters of the alphabet. Edward Gorey anyone?

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gorey ennui

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THE RETURNED:

the-returned-posterFrench zombie film on which the immensely popular and well received TV series is based.

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Also out this week:

WHITE ELEPHANT:

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VINYL:

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by Dixie Turner

Film of the Day: OLDBOY (2003)

“LAUGH AND THE WORLD LAUGHS WITH YOU. WEEP AND YOU WEEP ALONE.”

oldboy-1024x819Directed by Chan-wook Park, who made the recently released Stoker, Oldboy, based on a manga book, is the most famous of the director’s Vengeance Trilogy which started with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and finished with Lady Vengeance (2005).

***Imprisoned without explanation by someone unknown and set free one day, after 15 years, Dae-su Oh sets out to find out who did this to him and why.***

oldboy-1“If they had told me it was going to be fifteen years, would it have been easier to endure?”

oldboyEVEN THOUGH I’M NO MORE THAN A MONSTER, DON’T I, TOO, HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE?

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Will Josh Brolin be repeating Min-sik Choi’s unforgettable live octupus-eating stunt in Spike Lee’s upcoming re-make?? Can’t see it myself…

A great look at the preparation for this notorious scene:

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Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again.

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Soon to be seen again as:

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(BUT OBVIOUSLY WITH SOME SERIOUS RE-EDITING)

AND directed by:

TCM Road To Hollywood / New York

by Dixie Turner

New Releases: 15th July

ARBITRAGE:

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Crime-drama-thriller of the sort that used to get made a lot in the 90s and then fell out of fashion. Richard Gere plays a man seemingly on top of his game – a successful business man with a loving family. However, behind his desire to push through a deal to sell one of his companies is a dangerous secret that could land him in jail. Through in a devastating accident with his mistress and poor Richard finds himself in the hot seat under a whole lot of pressure. Strong performances from Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Nate Parker and the up and coming Brit Marling. All in all, not outstanding, but certainly worth watching. Cert. 15

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ROBOT & FRANK:

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Endearing comedy about Frank, a retired jewel thief, and the robot given to him by his son whose purpose is to help improve Frank’s health. Underwhelmed by the various hum-drum activities the robot suggests, Frank hits on an idea that he finds totally revitalising: planning a heist together involving stealing all the jewelry off his rich and pretentious acquaintances. Starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon (again), James Marsden, Liv Tylor and featuring the voice of Peter Sarsgaard. Cert. 12

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IDENTITY THIEF:

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Without having seen it, I hazard a guess: a business man’s identity is stolen by a woman whom he has nothing in common with. He hunts her down, tries to reason with her, finds her totally repellent, discovers she has ‘a story’ and sees a side of her he finds surprising. And a ‘unlikely friendship’ is formed…. Or maybe she really is repellent. Who knows? Starring Jason Bateman and Melissa (Bridesmaids) McCarthy. Cert. 15

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NASHVILLE SEASON 1:

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TV drama show centering around the rivalry between the middle-aged queen of country and the young new pretender…

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Also out this week:

DAMAGES SEASON 5:

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CIRQUE DU SOLEIL:

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by Dixie Turner

New Releases: 7th of the 7th Twenty-Thirteen

ME AND YOU:

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Italian family drama, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris, The Dreamers). An introverted teenager decides to hide away in the family basement only to discover that he must share the space with his half-sister who is trying to kick a heroin habit. Italian with English subs. Cert.15

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SAFE HAVEN:

Safe-Haven-posterA young woman running from her troubled past finds new love and old troubles in North Carolina. Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks and easily confused with all the other films adapted from his novels. This offering has the potentially notable benefit of having been directed by Lasse Hallstrom (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) until you realise he also directed Dear John and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. But then, if you’re considering this one, then those two are probably right up your street – in which case they are heartily recommended! Cert. 12

Not to be confused with:

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or:

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SHELL:

shellA haunting British drama set in the Scottish Highlands. Shell is a 17-year-old on the cusp of womanhood who, together with her father – with whom she has a difficult and disturbing relationship, runs a Petrol station and has very little interaction with anyone else except the occasional customer. Strong performances in this coming-of-age drama. Cert. 15

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PARKER:

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A thief, a heist and a double-cross. Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. Action. Crime. All that bad fun stuff… Cert. 15

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Also out this week:

INSPECTOR MONTALBANO SERIES 5:

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PARKS AND RECREATION SERIES 3:

Knope-Poster-TextureIt just had to be this big.

by Dixie Turner

Recent Additions (Films We Thought We Already Had But It Turned Out We Didn’t):

… or, to be more accurate: Films We Had Already, But Only in that 17th Century Format Known As ‘VHS’ (Visual Heightening Systeme).

wild_style_25th_anniversary_coverWild Style (1983) – dir. Charlie Ahearn.

A fine example of a late 20th Century piece of urban expressionism. Note the exemplary musical numbers known in the language of the day, I believe, as ‘hippy hop’ – not to be confused with an altogether different movement of the mid 20th century known as ‘the hippies’ (although it has been pointed out by recent scholars that there are a number of overlaps between these two cultures, in particular a penchant amongst those involved in both to partake of a smokable weed, known as ‘weed’.) This piece pays particular attention not just to these ‘hippy hoppers’, but also to another ‘underground’ form of expression for which participants would receive considerable kudos from their peers, a form known as ‘graph-iti’. So, in the lingo of the day: get down with Grandmaster Flash, yo, and the Busy Bee – watch them rap, spray and MC. Yes, bless my soul, indeed!

Released here on its 25th anniversary, Wild Style is a true classic of its generation whose influence can still be seen in contemporary art and music.

***

haxan-witchcraft-through-the-ages-movie-poster-1922-1020691725Haxan (1922) – dir. Benjamin Christensen.

Another fine example of 20th century expression, this time from the 1920s and Scandinavian Expressionism, to be exact. Whilst the content and subject matter of the film has long been a source of considerable controversy (the piece relates to witchcraft and the persecution of witches, drawing in particular on Malleus Maleficarum as a source, and it was banned in the US for its depictions of sexuality, nudity and torture) it is worth noting the superb craftmanship of director Benjamin Christensen who, with considerable dexterity, albeit on a budget which exceeded any other spent on a Swedish film of the silent era, managed to combined both the ‘documentary style’ and the ‘fantasy style’ by incorporating meticulously researched recreations of medieval scenes. It is also worth noting that, when the film was re-released in 1968 ( a somewhat abbreviated version) it featured a narration by William Burroughs (a noteworthy figure of his own time, often cited in conjunction with an incident involving an apple). he film is presented here in both its original and it’s re-released versions, with various musical accompaniments for you to choose from at your leisure/for your pleasure.

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by Professor Nerdix Rutie, Dept. of Recent Acquisitions.

This Week’s New Releases…

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL:

oz-the-great-and-powerful-banner-posterA Disney family-fantasy-adventure from director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Simple Plan) and one of James Franco’s 15,000 films this year… another Oz tale (can there be too many? Probably not), this time set 20 years before the events of the Wizard of Oz. The tale focuses on small-time magician, Oscar Diggs, who moves to Oz and becomes embroiled in a power struggle with three witches. He is ultimately enlisted to restore order to the wonderful and enchanted land of Oz. Co-starring Video City favourite, Michelle Williams (check out her Video City ‘My Week with Michelle’ shelf – should it be ‘My Week with Mishelf’? Just a thought…), Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz. Cert. PG

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STOKER:

stoker-posterFrom the director of the unspeakably fantastic Oldboy, Park Chan-wook delivers this dark and sinister tale of India, a young woman whose mysterious and previously unknown uncle comes to live with her and her mother after he has spent years travelling the world. Despite her mistrust of him, India cannot help being drawn to – and ultimately infatuated by – him. Naturally, strangeness abounds and, because it’s a Park Chan-wook film, it abounds oh so stylishly… Starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre) and Matthew Goode (A Single Man). Cert. 18

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CLOUD ATLAS:

CloudAtlas-PosterSci-fi drama adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name and directed by the Wachowsi’s (The Matrix). With the tagline ‘Everything is connected’, Cloud Atlas explores how one life – and, indeed, one action – impacts on another across centuries. Suffering from a ‘mixed’ reception, critics have complemented it visually, but complained of a confusing (and an overly long) narrative. Starring Everyone in Hollywood and beyond (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarando, Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw). Warning: Have your weekly coffee intake in one sitting, as this film weighs in at just under 3 hours long.. Cert. 15

Shorter of the 2 trailers (the other is 5:42 mins long…)

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A FIELD IN ENGLAND:

movies-a-field-in-england-posterBen ‘Sightseers’ Wheatley is following on from his previous successes (inc. Kill List and Down Terrace) with this period piece set during the English Civil War (yes, we did have one too) in the 17th century. Expect buried treasure and alchemy. Sounds fantastic, though there isn’t a huge amount of information available on the film as Wheatley has embarked on a distribution experiment with this film to make it the first ever film to be released both on DVD, at the cinema, on TV and for digital download all on the same day (ignore that ‘digital download’ part – I don’t even know what that means… I think he just made that bit up. Downloading indeed! Who ever heard of such nonsense?). The Guardian has called it a “micro-budget psychedelic civil-war era head trip”. Truly, how great does that sound? Cert. 15

Guardian interview with Ben Wheatley.

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GUILT TRIP:

GuiltTrip1A comedy with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand? How bad could it be? Let me count the ways.. Ok, so Seth Rogen has been in a few fun films. And Barbra Streisand has been quoted as saying “I knew that with a mouth like mine, I just had to be a star or something.”Also: “It is every woman’s dream to be some man’s dream woman.” And also: “I hate tooting my own horn, but after Steven Spielberg saw Yentl, he said, ‘I wish I could tell you how to fix your picture, but I can’t. It’s the best film I’ve seen since Citizen Kane” “- which is just hilarious. So, again: how bad can it be? Cert. 12

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MANIAC:

maniac-poster-towatchpile“From the visionary director of Pirhana 3D”… ’nuff said.

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UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES:

oliver-stone-the-untold-history-of-the-united-statesTV documentary series by Oliver (me and my best buddy Fidel Castro are here just casually hanging out. Oh, did I mention this is a picture of me with FIDEL CASTRO?) Stone. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, then take a peek (and preferably no more) at one of his previous documentaries, Me and My Buddy, Fidel – kidding, it’s actually called Comandante. Anyway, I’m sure he still has a lot to teach us… although I’m actually not sure at all.

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Also out this week:

BROKEN:

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THE NUMBERS STATION:

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…by Dixie Turner