Friday, 28 October 2011

Upcoming Releases - November '11

Here is a selection of films due out in UK cinemas next month.

In Time - 1st November
Crime | Sci-Fi | Thriller
109 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Johnny Galecki
Director: Andrew Niccol

'In a future where people stop ageing at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.'

Official site:

The Rum Diary - 4th November
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
120 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard
Director: Bruce Robinson

'American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1950s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.'

Official site:

Straw Dogs - 4th November
110 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard, James Woods
Director: Rod Lurie

'L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.'

Official site:

Arthur Christmas - 11th November
Running time and certificate: TBA
Main cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy
Director: Sarah Smith

'On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission.'

Official site:

Immortals - 11th November
Action | Drama | Fantasy
Running time and certificate: TBA
Main cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Luke Evans, Freida Pinto
Director: Tarsem Singh

'Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.'

Official site:

My Week with Marilyn - 18th November
Running time and certificate: TBA
Main cast: Michelle Williams, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench
Director: Simon Curtis

'Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.'

Official site:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 - 18th November
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
115 mins
TBC certificate
Main cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen
Director: Bill Condon

'The Quileute and the Volturi close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses different threats to the wolf pack and vampire coven.'

Official site:

50/50 - 25th November
Comedy | Drama
100 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard
Director: Jonathan Levine

'Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are.'

Official site:

Dream House - 25th November
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
92 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marton Csokas
Director: Jim Sheridan

'Successful publisher Will Atenton quits a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby, and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived.'

Official site:

Moneyball - 25th November
Biography | Drama | Sport
133 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill
Director: Bennett Miller

'The story of Oakland A general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.'

Official site:

Information obtained from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes,, and the films' official websites.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Review: Assassination Games

Assassination Games pairs veteran action icon Jean-Claude Van Damme with rising action star Scott Adkins in a tale of two skilled hitmen on the hunt for the same target. Vincent Brazil (Van Damme) and Roland Flint (Adkins) are both offered a contract on a criminal called Polo Yakur (Ivan Kaye), who was just released from prison. Flint has been living quietly in a remote part of the world with his bedridden wife. She was beaten, raped and put into a coma by Polo and his men, and she hasn’t recovered from it. Flint refuses the contract at first but ultimately has a change of heart. After finding out that another assassin has taken on the mission, he decides to go after Polo for revenge, regardless of the payment.

It comes to light that Flint has millions of dollars that belonged to corrupt Interpol agents, and they want it back. They arranged to have Polo released from jail in the hope of luring Flint out of hiding so they can capture him and retrieve their money. Brazil and Flint get in each other’s way when they both try to take out Polo so they fail to kill him. After a fight, they decide to work together on the contract as they have a common goal. However, because the mission is personal for Flint, it becomes very dangerous for both of them.

Van Damme’s Brazil is a professional contract killer. Cool, calm and calculated, he is a loner who trusts no one and doesn’t like anyone getting close to him. All he has is a cute pet turtle that retreats into its shell every time he tries to stroke it. Assassination Games is a real family affair for Van Damme as his daughter and one of his sons appear in the film. Kristopher Van Varenberg (Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Van Varenberg) plays an Interpol agent and Bianca Van Varenberg plays Flint’s wife Anna. They have both had roles in a number of Vam Damme’s other movies as well. Also, he was filming Assassination Games during his TV documentary series Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors, which gave viewers a glimpse into his personal life.

Scott Adkins is solid as the assassin with a personal vendetta but he isn’t given enough fights to show off his skills and the film doesn’t capitalize on the potential of his team-up with the action legend. Adkins faced off against Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum and played a Russian inmate and fighter in the Undisputed series of films. He is due to star with Van Damme again in Universal Soldier: A New Dimension and The Expendables 2.

Assassination Games is mostly set and filmed in Romania. The action sequences are well edited but scarce and there is a lack of man-to-man fight scenes. This is one that will probably satisfy those who like Van Damme’s extensive back catalogue of action films but it doesn’t really offer anything original or special to attract new audiences. It’s an enjoyable yet unspectacular action film that offers decent performances from its two leading men.

[DVD screener provided by flickfeast. Review originally posted here]


Catch up with Jean-Claude Van Damme’s back catalogue on where you can now watch movies online as well as renting blu-rays, DVDs and games.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Indie Songwriter Releases Album About Movies

Henning Goes to the Movies is a concept album recorded and produced by New England songwriter Henning Ohlenbusch at Rub Wrongways records. The album features nine songs, each written about a different film: Joe Versus the Volcano, The Straight Story, Poltergeist, The Year my Voice Broke, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Logan's Run, Superbad, Amelie, and Meatballs

The songs describe how the films have impacted Henning and the memories they've left him with. The indie songwriter sings all of the parts and plays all of the instruments except for the drums on Amelie (Brian Marchese). He has a conversational, relaxed style and the songs are melodic and melancholic. The gentle tunes often feature a strumming acoustic guitar and the lines remind you of events in the films. From the haunting Poltergeist: "Lightning flashes shadows on my bedroom wall...feels like the thunder is looking for me", to the lyrics of Amelie: "My apartment might seem real tragic. I'm sitting here scheming secretly, part of me dreaming this magic might find its way back to me."

Henning Goes to the Movies is an enjoyable listen even if you haven't seen the films he sings about. If you have, they lead you on a journey, causing you to remember the film and identify with the mood and spirit of the tracks. Henning writes on the back of the album:
"Like everything in life, movies are experienced differently by each viewer. On this record, I tried to express in music how these nine films impacted me personally. At the outset, I established one rule: I was not allowed to revisit a film until I composed and recorded the song that it inspired me to write. In this way, I hope that each piece genuinely conveys the ways in which each movie has stuck with me throughout the years."
Henning Goes to the Movies

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Red Bull Presents Snowboarding Film 'The Art of FLIGHT'

Following 2008′s snowboarding documentary That’s It, That’s All, director Curt Morgan’s new film The Art of FLIGHT is a sports action adventure that follows some of the most talented snowboarders on their quest to open up unexplored corners of the world.

Presented by Red Bull Media House, in association with Brain Farm Digital Cinema, the film features snowboarders Travis Rice, John Jackson, Mark Landvik, Scotty Lago, Jake Blauvelt, Nicolas Muller, DCP, Pat Moore, Eero Niemela and Jeremy Jones.

The film has been two years in the making, using the most advanced and progressive filmmaking technology to shoot on location in places like Jackson Hole, Alaska, Chile, Aspen, Patagonia and British Columbia. This high-energy snowboarding action film sees new tricks landed and remote areas opened up, as well as accidents, avalanches and wrong turns on the mountains.

The Art of FLIGHT was released last month and the filmmakers and stars are on a world tour with the film throughout October and November. Here is the trailer:

The Art of FLIGHT

[Written for PSFK. Article originally posted here]

Friday, 14 October 2011

Artist Launches 'Film' Exhibition at the Tate Modern

"I've turned the Turbine Hall into a strip of film," said British artist Tacita Dean as she unveiled her exhibition at Tate Modern this week. The piece, entitled Film, is an 11-minute silent film that celebrates 35mm filmmaking and features images of snails, bubbles, balloons, clocks and fountains. The looped film is projected onto a 13 metre high monolith and looks like a filmstrip, with sprocket holes down each side.

Dean's exhibition was commissioned as part of the Unilever series. She created it using classic in-camera and studio techniques like double exposure, superimpositions and glass-matte painting, even hand-tinting some of the images herself. It runs until 11 March 2012 in the Turbine Hall, and admission is free.

Via: BBC News

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Trailer: The Avengers

The Avengers is an all-star action film that sees Marvel superheroes including Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, team up to take on a global threat. Directed by Joss Whedon, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, and is due for release in UK cinemas on May 4th 2012.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Review: Bunraku

Bunraku is set in a world that has been ravaged by fighting and war. After an animated opening sequence detailing how it has changed, including the banning of guns by the new civilization, we are shown a dystopian setting where the majority of the action takes place. A theatrical fight scene introduces a group of assassins led by the smooth-talking but deadly Killer #2 (Kevin McKidd). These men work for Nicola (Ron Perlman), a man known as the Woodcutter, who never shows his face in public. He is the most powerful man east of the Atlantic and uses his Red Suits and Killers to rule the town, while having its officials over for exclusive poker games.

Two mysterious men arrive in town on the same train, one a nameless drifter (Josh Hartnett) and the other a samurai called Yoshi (Japanese pop star and actor, Gackt). They both find their way to a bar called The Horseless Horseman, and after initially taking a dislike to each other, the Bartender (Woody Harrelson) persuades them to work together. The two men share a common goal, both are out for revenge and Nicola is their target, although they have different reasons for hunting him down. By featuring an honourable samurai warrior and a gunless cowboy as the main protagonists, the film effectively blends heroes from east and west cultures.

Bunraku was written and directed by the Israeli-born filmmaker Guy Moshe. It is the follow-up to his debut child trafficking film Holly. The title is based on a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theatre, operated by puppeteers who dress all in black so they blend into the background. The film does often feel as though it takes place on a stage, with theatre-inspired sets and scenery that looks like it’s made out of paper. 

Walls and backdrops pop up and fall, green screens provide CG backgrounds and the virtual origami-like world is reminiscent of a pop-up book. Coincidentally, Woody Harrelson’s Bartender makes pop-up books as a hobby and shows Yoshi the one he is working on, which bears some resemblance to Spider-Man’s origin story. This unique visual style extends to impressive special effects and animation sequences, used to switch from one scene to another and enhance certain moments in the film. The stylish aesthetic includes subtitles that look like they’ve been lifted from comic book panels.

Bunraku’s interesting and innovative blend of techniques and genres makes it hard to categorize. The film draws inspiration from many different areas and is a genre mash-up of spaghetti western, martial arts, revenge thriller, noir, fantasy, mafia, musical (without the songs), and adds elements from video game and comic cultures too. 

The film has a great cast and is narrated by Mike Patton (former singer of Faith No More). Kevin McKidd clearly relishes his flamboyant and devious role as the villain’s right-hand man and Woody Harrelson provides some good humorous moments. Demi Moore is underused as Alexandra, Nicola’s woman who has a mysterious past. One scene shows how she is linked to the Bartender, but this isn’t expanded upon and her character ultimately feels a bit unnecessary. This quirky and unique film is not for everyone as some may find the mix of genres confusing and disjointed. However, others will find this oddness refreshing, the visual style striking and the story a fun, modern tale of good vs. evil.

[DVD screener provided by Flickering Myth. Review originally posted here


See more of Josh Hartnett at, where you can choose from over 70,000 titles to rent and now, movies to watch online.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Live Action 'Toy Story' Project: A Shot-by-Shot Fan Remake

A group of young filmmakers and Toy Story fans, led by Jonason Pauley, are working on a shot-by-shot remake of the classic movie. Instead of CGI, they are recreating the scenes using Toy Story toys, real people and sets.  They recently released a sneak peek with a video clip from the project showing Buzz Lightyear flying around Andy’s room. The video was even tweeted by Lee Unkrich, who worked on all three Toy Story movies, including writing and directing Toy Story 3. You can check it out below and follow the project’s Facebook page for updates:


[Written for PSFK. Article originally posted here]
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