There was quite a broad range of movies out last week with Aardman’s The Pirates: In an Adventure With Scientists arguably the biggest hitter of the lot. Into the Abyss and The Island President were two wildcard documentary options and Streetdance 2 was the obvious choice for anyone who likes dancing, streetdancing to be precise.

By all accounts Wrath of the Titans was as expected, marginally better than Clash of the Titans but still nothing to write home about, while Breaking Wind was every bit as awful as you might expect.

This time out there’s a family fairy story , a couple of gung-ho action thrillers and a timely release of a legendary anti-war film. Oh, and a little film some of you may remember about a leaky boat and a doomed romance  is back in cinemas, this time in 3D.

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.

Headhunters *Pick of the Week*

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Adapted from Jo Nesbo’s novel of the same name, this Norwegian action thriller focuses on leading corporate headhunter Roger who likes to keep his beautiful wife in the manner to which she has become accustomed. Unfortunately as their expenses become ever more elaborate, Roger finds it necessary to steal valuable art to make ends meet.

He is introduced through his wife to Clas Greve, a former mercenary and prime candidate for Roger’s latest recruitment assignment. Roger also learns that Clas has a rather valuable painting in his possession and sets about planning his heist. When he breaks into Clas’s home though, he finds more than he bargained for. There’s a good buzz surrounding this movie and early reviews have been positive. Could well be the latest break-out Scandinavian offering!

You can read Craig Skinner’s review of Headhunters here.

 

Mirror Mirror

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This is the light-hearted fairytale yin to Snow White and the Huntsman’s bloody action yang. Two films offering a very different take on the Snow White story and both hitting your screens this summer. Tarsem Singh’s offering is seemingly in the adventure comedy mold and judging by the trailers and clips that have been released thus far his  fairytale world is certainly well rendered.

The plot sees the exiled Snow White (Lily Collins) teaming up with a band of seven rebels to reclaim the throne that is her birth right from an evil queen (Julia Roberts).  Early reviews have been fairly positive with several prominent critics admitting that they were taken by surprise at how enjoyable the movie was.

Jon Lyus says:

The latest case of ‘Never trust the marketing team’. Every trailer, TV spot and image we saw for Tarsem Singh’s film gave the impression of a puerile attempt at post-modern pantomime and all the magic of a bag of indignant skunks and yet the reviews are almost universally in its favour. Lily Collins may look a little too symmetrical for her own good but Tarsem seemed to have crafted this with the key ingredient – magic.

You can read Emma Thrower’s review of Mirror Mirror here.

 

Titanic 3D

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Just when you’d finally gotten Celine Dion out of your head, James Cameron has to go and do this. His all conquering box office smash is returning to screens again this week and this time it’s in 3D.

I’m sure we are all aware if the plot so I won’t waste your time with that other than to say they fall in love, boat sinks, he dies. That’s just about all you need to know. This will no doubt be an incredibly successful re-release as the army of 14 year old girls who each saw it 5 times when it was first in cinemas will no doubt return to the multiplex once again to see Leo in his floppy-haired prime.

All joking aside though, James Cameron is renowned for being a perfectionist and if anybody can retrofit 3D onto an old film and make it work, it’s him. The sight of the ship capsizing and plunging into the ocean will still look mightily impressive, as will Kate Winslet when Jack draws her like one of his French girls.

Jon Lyus says:

Like most of the country I was caught up in the intial wave of Titanic Mania and for the first time I saw a film have an almost entirely universal appeal. Friends who never went to the cinema were lining up to see the film again and again, people of all ages sat in the multiplex rows side by side and whether you were there for the doomed romance or the CG-showmanship of James Cameron it was a real moment in time. Now it’s back in 3D and like The Phantom Menace re-release it will serve its purpose in raking in the cash and it will be interesting to see if Titanic exerts the same hold over the nation as it did all those years ago.

 

The Cold Light of Day

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You must of course never judge a book by its cover but based on the TV spots and posters for this conspiracy thriller, The Cold Light of Day looks the epitome of run-of-the-mill.

The plot sees Henry ‘next Superman’ Cavill star as a young Wall Street trader whose family is kidnapped during a holiday to Spain. He is then confronted by the intelligence agency responsible who appear to be looking for a mysterious briefcase. It seems to have crept up unannounced on the cinematic radar and no reviews are currently available. Something of an unknown quantity then, it could go either way!

You can see a couple of clips and  from The Cold Light of Day here.

 

La Grande Illusion

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An absolute classic returns to screens this week 75 years after its initial release.  Jean Renoir’s masterpiece is a landmark anti-war film which looks at the futility of war and the death of the old aristocratic order.

Set during the First World War, La Grande Illusion sees a group of French POW’s from various social strata plotting their escape from a German camp.The film was dubbed “Cinematic enemy number 1” by Joseph Goebbels and banned outright by the Nazis.

The original negative was long presumed destroyed in an allied bombing raid but had actually been saved by a Nazi film archivist. After languishing un-recognized in Russian and then French archives it was finally re-discovered in the early 90’s and given a thorough restoration. The current print sees the film arguably looking better than it ever has and I urge any film buffs who have never seen the movie before to seek it out.

 

This Must be the Place

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Starring Sean Penn in full on Robert Smith-esque Goth mode, This Must Be The Place follows a wealthy former rock star as he relieves the boredom of retirement by setting out across America to find the Nazi War Criminal who tormented his father in the Auschwitz death camp.

According to the official site:

Cheyenne is a former rock star who is still rocking the Goth look. Now 50, he relives the days of superstardom with avid young fan and best friend Mary (Eve Hewson).

Living off his royalties he rattles around his grand Dublin mansion until the death of his estranged father calls him to New York.

Reunited with his family, Cheyenne discovers a secret that sends him across America. On a journey through the Midwest, full of surprises and surreal encounters, from New York socialites to ethical gun-shop owners to a reunion with old friend David Byrne of Talking Heads, Cheyenne is on the road trip of his life.

 

Le Havre

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A French comedy drama which sees an aging shoeshiner in the port city of Le Havre take in an illegal immigrant from Africa who he helps to try to escape to a new life in England. It’s received some pretty darn good reviews and has fared well at a host of European film festivals so could be well worth seeking out for any fans of French cinema.

You can read our review of Le Havre here.

Return

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A hard-hitting drama which sees a female American soldier return from her tour of duty in the Middle East and attempt to return to her old life in a Midwestern American town. Unfortunately it proves tougher than she thought to adjust back into civilian life and her relationships with friends and family suffer as a result.

According to the film’s  official site:

She’s ready to experience the feelings of everyday life-the carpet under her bare feet, the smell of her baby’s head. But slowly, her world comes to feel unfamiliar. Her friends love her but seem preoccupied with trifles. Her children need more focused attention than she can give, and as much as he tries, her husband Mike doesn’t understand what she’s been through.

As Kelli’s dislocation ripples through her world, she risks becoming an outsider. When she’s thrown back on her own resources Kelli has to struggle to find a new way forward.