It came, it saw, it conquered. Taking a massive, £38 at the cinemas, Strippers Vs Werewolves was every bit the success we all hoped and dreamed it would be. The Avengers did alright too apparently. Joss Whedon’s superhero epic more than lived up to the hype and laid financial waste to all before it.

Out this week are a sizable number of releases with the main one being the belated American Pie Sequel, American Pie : Reunion. The whole gang is back together, all grown up and with successful careers, which is ironic given the vast majority of returning actors. ZING.

Also out is the Zac Efron drama The Lucky One, in which the posters assure me he is ‘hotter than ever’. Plus, tense horror thanks to Silent House, 3D vintage animation in the form of Beauty and the Beast and Jason Statham once again flexing his proverbial acting muscles in Safe.

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

 

American Pie : Reunion

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Jim, Jim’s dad, Stifler, Sherman, erm, Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, her out of American Beauty……and all your other favourites, are back in the roles which made them what they are today (insert own punch line here). The old group has all grown up and settled into adulthood with kids, marriages and real jobs now the order of the day. The gang’s 13th High School reunion has rolled around and will no doubt prove a perfect opportunity to relive youthful indiscretions. I’ll admit that when this sequel was first announced I was fairly uninterested, but now that it’s actually out, I’m quite intrigued to see what they do with the characters 13 years on. It’s had fairly average reviews thus far and would appear to be a solid 6/10 type of movie which won’t blow anyone away but will be decent enough entertainment for a couple of hours on a rainy bank holiday.

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

We also have a host of cast interviews which you can start reading here.

The Lucky One

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Hankies at the ready ladies, this is a romantic weepy drama starring the really, really ridiculously good looking, Zac Efron.  Efron stars as a US Marine who returns from three tours of Iraq in search of the woman he believes was unwittingly his lucky charm. His belief stems from a time when he saw a discarded photo of the woman on the ground and in moving to pick it up, avoided an exploding bomb by just a few feet.  Naturally he tracks her down in small town America and a romance begins to blossom. From hereon in, prepare for melodramatic schmaltz by the bucket load folks. If you like aforementioned melodramatic schmaltz of course, this will be right up your street, if not, probably one to avoid.

You can read Will Jones’ review here.

Beauty and the Beast 3D

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After the success of The Lion King in 3D, it was inevitable that Disney would turn to another major success story from it’s back catalogue and give it the 3D treatment. It’s a great chance for kids who didn’t get to see it on the big screen the first time  to experience a Disney classic and I’m sure older fans will jump at the chance too as it’s a true landmark in feature film animation. Be warned though, the 3D added absolutely nothing to The Lion King and it could well be the same here.  It’s a tricky process to retrofit 2D into 3D and I’m yet to see evidence it can be done effectively. By all means fork out the extra £££ for 3D if you wish, but personally I’d stick to the Blu-Ray.

You can read Will Jones’ review here.

 

Silent House

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This is an American remake of the successful Uruguayan horror film The Silent House from back in 2010. The main talking point in both films is the central gimmick that it all unravels in one continuous take. It’s an interesting conceit and one which by all accounts the original mastered rather well. Fingers crossed the remake can do likewise. Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (the team behind 2003 horror Open Water) and starring Elizabeth Olsen, the movie sees Olsen trapped inside her family lakeside house being terrorized by an unseen force.

You can read Adam Lowes’ review here.

Safe

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Jason Statham is back, gun in hand and surly look firmly in place. Fans of the action star will know what to expect by now and this appears to very much be a Stath-by-numbers affair (like a Colour-by-numbers affair but with more guns). Jason is a former NYPD cop who must save a young Chinese girl from the Triads and then outwit the crime outift along with the Russian mafia and the police themselves. All in a days work for your average action hero. Directed by the writer  of Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights and Prince of Persia : Sands of Time. Make of that what you will.

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

Lawrence of Belgravia

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An intimate documentary looking at cult musician Lawrence. The official blurb says:

As lead singer with Felt, Lawrence was responsible for some of the most precious music of the 1980s. On touchstone indie labels such as Cherry Red and Creation, the band released ten albums and ten singles – one for each year of the decade. Though few releases troubled the charts, Felt’s cult status was assured and a mission of sorts was accomplished. Lawrence went on to form Denim and Go Kart Mozart, bands that revelled in referencing 1970s glam and novelty rock while slyly critiquing the contemporary pop scenes. There’s been an air of tragi-comedy about Lawrence’s career at times. Felt were bumped from the cover of the NME when editors favoured a blacked-out cover to illustrate a feature on youth suicide, while Denim’s infectious 1997 single ‘Summer Smash’ was scratched from radio playlists when it was released in the week Princess Diana died. Paul Kelly’s intimate, smart doc portrait, a labour of love filmed over the last eight years, follows Lawrence between Go Kart Mozart albums, weighed down by the chips on his shoulders while still dreaming of being a pop star who rides in limousines and dates supermodels. He appears as, perhaps, he always has; a man out of time, touched by rare genius.

 

Monsieur Lazhar

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A powerful Canadian drama that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars. An Algerian immigrant, Bachir Lazhar, is brought in to replace a school teacher who died in tragic circumstances. Bachir himself is recovering from a personal tragedy and despite the cultural divide begins to connect with his students who are unaware of his perilous status as a refugee. This film has received great critical acclaim and is a must-see for fans of world cinema.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

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The latest offering from prolific director Takashi Miike (13 Assassins) is a slow-burning tale of a poverty stricken Samurai who upon learning the fate of his Ronin son-in-law sets of on a mission of vengeance against a powerful feudal lord.  The action is very much dialed down compared the Miike’s usual output, so don’t go expecting the guts and gore of some of his usual offerings.

You can read Craig Skinner’s review here.

Juan of the Dead

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A Cuban Zombie comedy courtesy of director Alejandro Brugues. The film owes a great debt to Shaun of the Dead and fans of the Edgar Wright classic could do a lot worse than seek this little curio out. I’ve had it on good authority that it’s far funnier than it is scary and it’s received some really positive reviews since its release.

Piggy

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Piggy is a brutal thriller which focuses on a mild mannered boy called Joe whose brother is senselessly murdered. Joe becomes close to his brother’s friend Piggy who in trying to help the grieving Joe, leads him on a dangerous path of violent revenge. Joe is forced to question and confront Piggy as events build up to a disastrous climax. It’s a gritty story with revenge and street justice at its center. It doesn’t look like a comfortable watch but fans of UK gangster movies may find this one well worth seeking out.

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