There wasn’t a whole lot on offer last week with Hunger Games unequivocally eclipsing all the other releases. It’s received fairly unanimously positive reviews and looks like being the first box-office smash of the summer. Meanwhile both The Kid With a Bike and Wild Bill have received their own fair share of plaudits and would appear to be well worth seeking out.

This time out though there’s a wide range of releases hitting the screens ranging from big-budget mythological blockbuster and animated piracy adventure to hard-hitting prison documentary and a ghastly looking vampire spoof.

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 Pirates : In an Adventure with Scientists *Pick of the Week*

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The latest offering from Aardman Animation sees them return to their stop-motion bread and butter after a dabbling in computer animation with the enjoyable Arthur Christmas.  This time out they are adapting from Gideon Defoe’s ‘The Pirates’ book series with major voice talent on board including Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Selma Hayek, Jeremy Piven and the man, the myth, the legend that is Brian Blessed. The story will see a hapless Pirate captain and his ragtag crew terrorising the high seas as they try in vain to capture some booty and win the Captain the elusive Pirate of the Year Award. Along the way they have run-ins with Queen Victoria and more importantly (given the title), Charles Darwin.  Aardman rarely put a foot wrong and early reviews have indicated they have another hit comedy on their hands here.

The erstwhile Dave Sztypuljak says:

I am SO excited for this movie! I was fortunate enough to go on set for it and it was one of the highlights of my HeyUGuys career. Adam saw the movie and gave it 3/5 but im still hopefully that im going to come out of the cinema with a 4 or 5 star rating in my head. Peter Lord hasn’t let me down yet and I maintain that he wont let me down with this!

You can read Adam Lowes’ review here.

Wrath of the Titans

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Truth be told, after the fairly clunky Clash of the Titans was released in 2010 along with some of the feeblest attempts at retrofitted 3D yet, few were calling out for a sequel. Nevertheless,  the movie made a tidy profit and Studio heads therefore did the maths and asked for a follow-up. This time round, with an even larger budget than before, one can expect more Greek Mythology, more swords and sandals and by the looks of the trailer, even more in the special effects kitty.

Sam Worthington returns as Perseus who, after saving the day in the first film, has been keeping his head down and staying out of trouble. The ongoing tensions between the Titans and the Gods however lead to Zeus being captured and imprisoned in the underworld and only demigod son Perseus can save him.  By all accounts it’s a definite improvement on the original, for proof of which see Dave’s quote below.

Dave Sztypuljak says:

I’ve actually seen this movie already and the good news is that it’s better than Clash! Then again, it couldn’t have been any worse could it?!

Streetdance 2

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Something of an acquired taste needed here, but needless to say if you liked Streetdance 3D, there is no good reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this. The plot sees two dancers travelling the world recruiting the very best dancers to join their dance crew. Then at the end you’re not quiet sure if it has all been real or whether they are all still inside one of their dreams. I kid. Me being a patronising snob aside though, this is a movie clearly aimed at a target audience and as Rebecca-Jane emphasises below, it does exactly what fans will want it to.

Rebecca-Jane Joseph says:

To be fair, if you’re going to see Street Dance 2, then the cinema is the place to see it. I gave into the whims of a pregnant friend and took her to see Street Dance and in all honestly, it was some serious fun. Like watching the XFactor or Britain’s Got Talent only without the shame and soul-stealing. It’s a switch your brain off and enjoy all the dancing kind of film. Does what it says on the tin.

You can watch some video interviews from the Streetdance 2 Premiere here.

Into the Abyss

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Werner Herzog’s previous documentary work has been a resounding success with both Grizzly Man and Cave of Wonders receiving plenty of critical acclaim. This time, the unique German director turns his attention to an American death row inmate called Michael Perry. Perry was sentenced to death for the murder of a nurse seemingly in order to steal her car for a joyride. Perry’s accomplice Jason Burkett is also featured, he himself faces life behind bars and the two men both blame each other for the crime. The victim’s family are also interviewed, as is Perry’s wife, a woman who met Perry after he was convicted and who despite only ever holding his hands under guard supervision, claims to be pregnant with his child.

In true Herzog fashion, the film does not seek to establish whether Perry is guilty or innocent, rather it chooses to look at why people and the state itself, decide to kill. A heavy-duty documentary but it is right up Herzog’s street and the filmmaker is rarely anything but informative.

Tiny Furniture

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This indie comedy won best narrative feature at the South by Southwest festival and is written, directed and starring rising talent Lena Dunham whose TV series ‘Girls’ will soon air on HBO with Judd Apatow onboard as Exec Producer. The movie sees Dunham play Aura, a young woman who returns home from her Midwestern Arts College with a Film Studies degree, a failed romance and no direction whatsoever.  Aura struggles to decide on what to do with her life and in the mean time shr gets a job as a hostess at a restaurant and gets involved with some questionable men.

Asim Burney says:

I heard about Tiny Furniture being pretty interesting as a female perspective of the mumble core movement from a few years ago and even more so as director Lena Dunham is acting in the forthcoming Judd Apatow produced HBO show Girls which has been garnering rave reviews and has a great online buzz. And in my book when you have words like Apatow and HBO, then you know it’s going to be good.

Breaking Wind

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This is a ‘hilarious’ spoof of the Twilight movie franchise. It looks awful and if you go and see it, you only have yourself to blame when the next awful spoof movie is released, as you will have paid your money and thus made the whole process worthwhile to the movie studios. For christ’s sake, the writer/director’s last film was called: The 41-Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About it.

The Island President

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This documentary looks like a truly interesting and eye-opening  piece of work. The film follows the President of the Maldives, President Mohammed Nasheed, an astonishing man who helped bring democracy to his homeland and was jailed repeatedly by the military government as he sought to do so. President Nasheed’s beloved Maldives is the lowest lying country in the world and thanks to Global Warming, there is a real danger of large swathes of the country being washed away into the sea. The film follows the President’s campaign to bring attention to the impending disaster and to try and come up with a solution.

One great clip in the trailer sees him giving a speech at a global assembly (possibly the UN?) where he passionately tells the assembled dignitaries, “we continue to shout, even though we know, you’re not really listening.” This looks to me like it’s well worth seeking out!

Dave Sztypuljak says:

I watched the trailer for this movie and it really got to me. The Maldives is sinking and one man (yes, the President) is trying to save it. I know this movie wont be watched by very many people but personally i think these are the movies that we need to watch to get a grip on the world and what’s going on with it. I have asked for a screener from Dogwoof who are releasing it and I cant wait to watch it. The Maldives are sinking people, let’s do something about it! (steps down off his high-horse!)

Babycall

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Noomi Rapace stars in this Norwegian thriller as Anna, a single mother who relocates herself and her 8-year-old son to the outskirts of Oslo to escape her violent husband. Anna buys a Babycall so her son can sleep in a separate room and she can still keep tabs on him. She soon starts picking up the sounds of another unseen child being abused elsewhere in the flat however and her nerves are soon on edge as she begins to question her own sanity.

You can read Jamie Neish’s review here.

Switch

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A Canadian fashion designer, Sophie,  is dreading a boring and lonely Summer at home and stumbles across a website called SWITCH.com which allows you to switch homes with someone else for a month. She first thinks she has hit the jackpot after finding an idyllic flat in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower (mind you, every Parisian house has a view of the Eiffel Tower in the movies). Things take a turn for the worse however when the police arrive at the flat one morning and find a dead body in the room next door.  Sophie cannot prove she isn’t the owner of the flat whose identity she has unwillingly taken on.  So far so routine right? Well, get this……… it only stars Eric bloody Cantona as well.