The HeyUGuys Cinema Release Round-up: 17th August

The HeyUGuys Cinema Release Round-up: 17th August


Blockbuster season may be drawing slowly to a close but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a couple of big hitters out there hoping to make a dent in the Box Office chart.

In the meantime, The Dark Knight Rises continue to rake in the coins and it still looks set to match and possibly surpass Avengers Assemble’s total gross.  Seth Macfarlane’s comedy Ted still stands at the top of the chart however after a second strong week. Macfarlane’s comedy has done pretty darn well in its opening fortnight, taking in a whopping £17million thus far. When one considers that The Hangover had only taken around £7million at this point, it emphasises how well Ted has performed in this time where franchises and sequels seem to rule all.

Overall it’s been a fairly slow few weeks at the cinema and the draw of the Olympics has definitely had a negative effect on the number of people making the trip to their local cineplex. Last week’s premier release Step-up 4 : Miami Heat had a disappointing opening weekend and very little else made much of an impact. Special mention should go to arthouse documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry however, which came in at an impressive 11th place despite a very limited release.

Brave is riding high at number 5 in the chart having taken in nearly £600,000 in two weeks despite only having a limited release in Scotland and Ireland. Pixar’s latest offering is one of the week’s big releases though and it’s fair to say that its takings will skyrocket over the next few days. The kids are still off school and the Pixar brand name is usually a pretty good stamp of quality. Ice Age 4 and The Lorax have both been out for a while now so Brave will undoubtedly be the family film of choice.

Also out this week is the new Bourne movie starring Jeremy Renner The Bourne Legacy, action testosterone-fest The Expendables 2 and British wedding comedy The Wedding Video.

If you want to check to see if any of these films are playing near you, you can visit Find Any Film and they’ll be able to help.

 

The Bourne Legacy

There was a fair bit of scepticism surrounding the decision to make another Bourne movie without Jason Bourne in it, after all, everything was more or less wrapped up by the end of 2007′s Ultimatum. Yet after the solid casting of Jeremy Renner and a pretty impressive, action-packed trailer, initial fears were expelled somewhat and excitement began to build. Renner may have had little to do in Avengers Assemble but in both The Town and The Hurt Locker he showed an incredible  raw intensity and proved he could handle some gun-toting action. As CIA operative Aaron Cross, Renner will take over from Matt Damon as the wronged man on the run and judging by the trailer, he looks every bit as deadly.

Cross is part of Operation Outcome, an initiative which physically and mentally enhances a team of select agents who work for CIA black ops. Legacy takes place in conjunction with Bourne Ultimatum as Operation Blackbriar and the Treadstone project being exposed to the world and as such the CIA is well and truly on the ropes. New arrival Ed Norton plays a retired Colonel put in charge of CIA black ops activities and he decides to eliminate all of the Outcome operatives. Needless to say this doesn’t bode well for Cross.

It remains to be seen whether Tony Gilroy, the writer for the first three Bourne movies, can bring the series’ trademark kinetic action style to proceedings as he takes over in the directors chair, but if anyone can claim to be fully versed in the world created by Messrs Liman and Greengrass, it’s him.

Tracy Ladd says:

We got The Bourne Legacy here in the States last week.  I really liked and thought it was good, but not as good as its predecessors.  That being said Jeremy Renner was great.  Boy can definitely handle the action roles.  And he’s from my hometown which is also a bonus.

You can read Adam Lowes’ review here.

 

The Expendables 2

Sly and the gang are back for another old-school guns and muscles actionfest in this follow-up to the moderately succesful Expendables. For me, the idea behind the original was far better than the finished article as the tone of the movie seemed ever so slightly off as the cast seemed to actually be taking themselves seriously. This time round, fingers crossed they go even more over the top and really lay the schlock on thick. On top of the numerous legends they already had onboard, there’s extra screen time for Arnie and Bruce and the arrival of Chuck Norris and the inimitable Jean-Claude Van Damme as the main antagonist.

Any action fan has to be excited by this line-up, JCVD and Stallone are going to slug it out for christ’s sake. It’s not going to be the slickest or subtlest thriller of the year, and you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for, but if the 80′s action movies of days gone by hold a special place in your heart, you have to at least give it a go. The plot will see Sly’s Barney Ross lead his team on a mission of revenge after one of their own his killed in action. That my friends is all you really need to know.

Tracy Ladd says:

I’m chomping at the bit for Expendables 2.  I loved loved loved the first one and may even consider venturing out with the crowds to see it Friday night after work.  That says a lot considering I normally hit first showings on Sunday to avoid crowds.  There really is nothing like seeing all the 80′s action heroes in the same film wielding weapons and blowing stuff up.  Good times!

Jon Lyus adds:

The Expendables 2 will surely be more of the same, and that’s not exactly an enticing option. Half the problems of the first Expendables film was the po-faced nature of it all. If there was ever the chance to send up the genre which gave most of these guys a career then this was it.

You can read Stefan Pape’s review here.

Brave

After years of unprecedented success, last years’ Cars 2 proved to be the first Pixar movie that really failed to receive any critical praise whatsoever. Mind you, after years of incredibly prolific output, with countless movies quite rightly judged to have set a new high watermark in animated movie making, I guess they were due one. It does put a fair bit of  pressure on Brave however as, with their 13th feature film to date, the studio will be anxious to get back to winning ways.

Brave sees the studio turn their incredibly detailed eye to mythical bonny Scotland, so naturally, Billy Connolly is onboard as King Fergus. The film’s plot centres on young Princess Merida, played by Kelly MacDonald. Merida is a rambunctious young girl who grows tired of being expected to conform to societies’ notions of what a young lady should do. After defying an age-old custom, she accidentally brings chaos and disorder upon her father’s Kingdom and must do what she can to put it right.

Critics haven’t been raving about Brave like they did for the likes of Up and Wall-E, but it’s been warmly received and is certainly seen as Pixar being back on the right track.

Jon Lyus says:

Brave looks to be another winner for Pixar, the teasing marketing campaign and the quality of the cast points to something special. And we should all be glad it’s not another sequel.

The Devil’s Business

A short and sinister little horror which focuses on two hitmen who turn up at the house of their target only for them to be nowhere to be seen. After passing the time by exchanging stories, they stumble across a black magic altar and a shocking sacrifice which sends them on a terrifying journey into the occult underworld. The hit-man horror will forever now be in Kill Lists’ shadow but critics have been pretty positive about The Devil’s Business so far and while it’s hardly treading any new ground, there’s definitely something there for horror fans to enjoy,  even if it is a bit brief at just 69 minutes.

The Wedding Video

The latest Brit-comedy courtesy of director Nigel Cole (Calender Girls, Made in Dagenham) and writer Tim Firth (Calender Girls, Kinky Boots) stars Peep Show’s Robert Webb , Lucy Punch and Rufus Hound. Webb and Punch play the soon to be married couple Tim and Saskia, with Hound playing the troublesome best man Raif. As a present to the happy couple, Raif decides to make a wedding video capturing the happy day and inevitably, hilarity ensues. Shot in a found-footage style, reviews have been fairly complimentary thus far and seemingly The Wedding Video contains a distinctly British humour and garners enough laugh out loud moments to keep you entertained. Hound has received some positive reviews for his debut film performance and both Webb and Punch are both solid comic actors, so it could well be the best British wedding comedy you will see in 2012 (though we’ll see what  A Few Best Men is like when it comes out.)

You can read Lisa Giles-Keddie’s review here.

Jon Lyus says:

I was on set for The Wedding Video and the standout was Rufus Hound. He was genuinely excited to be on a big British film and was very funny off camera. The early reviews seem to suggest that he’s carried that over to the film itself.

Take this Waltz

Michelle Williams stars as Margo, a happily married woman in her late 20”s whose partner Lou (Seth Rogan) is a succesful cookbook writer. Her marital bliss is shattered however when she falls for Daniel, a handsome artist who lives across the street. The two of them share many intense moments over the course of a  summer, with Margo struggling to restrain herself and stay faithful to Lou. Over the course of the film, Margo must decide what will make her happy and whether she can stay with Lou long term.It’s billed as a comedy-drama but the reviews I’ve read suggest it’s far more in the drama camp than comedy.

There’s been plenty of praise for the film’s luscious and colourful look and both of the leads put in strong performances. If you like your drama oozing in bittersweet love and repressed emotion, then this looks like a sure-fire winner. It seems to have divided critics slightly, though very few have actually slagged the film off. It seems that some have really been swept up by the story, whereas others are slightly less engaged. Could be worth a shot.

Adam Lowes says:

I’m looking forward to Take this Waltz. Michelle Williams can do no wrong in my eyes, and director Sarah Polley has proved she can make an intelligent, very human adult drama with Away From Her. Co-star Seth Rogen has also shown a different side to his usual schtick in 50/50, and it will be interesting in seeing him do something else outside of his comfort zone.

You can read Lisa Giles-Keddie’s review here.

The Bitter Buddha

A documentary following  cult American comedian Eddie Pepitone, a 30 year veteran of the circuit who struggles to break through to the next level. The film combines live stand up with interviews (Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman amongst others) and animation to look into the character of this legendary alterative comedian as he deals with crippling self-doubt and sobriety.

 

Rob is a freelance writer based in Manchester. He writes about movies and TV shows for various websites and magazines. Favourite movies are Casablanca, Goodfellas, Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark and High Fidelity. Dream job will forever be a job in the Bartlet administration.