News: New Bond Film Premiers in London

October 30, 2008 by  
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Last night the red carpet was rolled out for the Royal World Premiere of the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. There was glitz, there was glamour. There was also a heap of screaming fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the latest Bond totty himself, Mr. Daniel Craig.

Princes William and Harry were looking jolly smart, all tuxed up and out to show their ra-ra-royal support for a fellow British institution and adding to the general female hysteria.

Dame Judy Dench cut a dignified figure leading a flock of beauties including Bond girls, Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko up the crimson pathway. The White Stripes’ Jack White, composer of the film’s song, ‘Another Way To Die’ (with Alicia Keys) who had been brought in after Miss. Winehouse just couldn’t get it together, also made an appearance.

In QOS, director Marc Foster, also in attendance last night, has ensured that the new movie leads effortlessly on from its forerunner, Casino Royale. This is Bond at his rawest, seeking vengeance for the death of his love, Vesper Lynd, and ultimately on a quest to find his personal quantum of solace.

Catch footage from the World Premier in our Videos section.

Watch the Quantum of Solace Trailer in our Trailers section.

Trailer: Get a snippet of the latest James Bond Film

October 30, 2008 by  
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Quantum of Solace Trailer

Video: William and Harry say a Royal “Well done” to Mr. Bond

October 30, 2008 by  
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World Premiere of Quantum of Solace

Catch last night’s footage from the Royal World Premiere of the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. Princes William and Harry were there as the royal presence looking dapper, as well as all of the cast and Jack White of The White Stripes, composer of the movie’s theme song. Take a peek for yourself…

W Review: A new side to George Bush

October 27, 2008 by  
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w300x210W. Screened as part of the London Film Festival

General Release from 7th Nov

It is deeply odd to release a biopic of a man who is the serving President of the United states, yet W., Oliver Stone’s latest film is eerie, surprising and most of all intriguing.

Starring Josh Brolin as George Bush Jr, with excellent supporting performances from the likes of Richard Drefuss as Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush and an unrecognisable Thandie Newton as a slimy Condaleeza Rice.

This is not so much a tale of an evil boogeyman who took the world to war because he was profoundly, enormously dumb but rather, it is the story of a son who desperately wants his father’s approval.

It opens on the Oval office as Bush discusses with his advisers the infamous ‘axis of evil’ phrase. It is a suitable starting point as there are two stories that shape the film- the war, in which Bush goes from success to failure, counterpointed by the story of his private life- in which he goes from a failure to a success.

A partying, drinking, charismatic man’s man, the young Bush is an alcoholic and trouble maker but somehow Josh Brolin manages to give him an enormously endearing quality so that you find yourself actually just liking this man a lot, despite his flaws.

But therein is the complexity of the film, as no matter how much you may like the man, there is no doubt that history will look upon his presidency as a disaster. Here, Stone gives insight into the man as well as the president. A truly engrossing film and a fascinating story.

By McGee Noble

Wendy & Lucy Review

October 23, 2008 by  
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wendy__lucy_1300x210Wendy and Lucy is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Friday 24th November, 6pm, London Odeon Leicester Square

Sunday 26th, 4.30pm, Ritzy Cinema, Brixton

Wendy and Lucy is a tale about a girl who loses her dog and….well, that’s it.

OK, so Wendy (Michelle Williams) is already down on her luck and there are emotions involved with losing a dog, especially if the hound-less is a fragile girl with nothing much else, but 80 minutes of a girl looking for a dog really drags on.

Losing something yourself is really annoying. Watching somebody else lose something, even if it is a cute dog called Lucy, and then looking for it in really long slow shots is just torturous and if I had spent my money and/or free time on this film I would be more p*ssed off than Wendy is post dog-loss.

The synopsis claims that Wendy and Lucy is well thought out and I don’t doubt that, but I spent more time thinking out my lunch than I did admiring this film. One shot that sums up the pace of the film occurs when Wendy is told that the dog pound don’t have Lucy, but she can have a look anyway. Then follows an agonisingly slow dolly shot across a never-ending row of cages (some even without a bloody dog in them) that we know don’t contain the right dog.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, but the pace of this film is non-existent, and we all know that the dog isn’t really lost, it’s just a film. After initially wanting Wendy to find Lucy, I actually ended up horribly hoping that Lucy or even Wendy for that matter would be in some way mutilated or murdered, just to liven things up.

By Charlie Coffey

Waltz With Bashir Review

October 22, 2008 by  
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waltzwithbashir300x210Waltz with Bashir is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Friday 24th October, 8.30 pm, London Odeon Leicester Square

Monday 27th October, 6.30pm, London Phoenix

An ambient but breathtaking exploration of consciousness turns into a journey of the conscience in this animated docufilm.

Multi-faceted and deeply personal, Waltz with Bashir successfully explores the power of dreams and memories as the auteur and protagonist Ari Folman takes a guilt-trip into his past as an Israeli soldier involved in the 1982 Sabra and Shantila massacre. A friend’s account of his recurring nightmare of 26 baying hounds provokes Ari into a spiritual and physical exploration of how the human mind copes when overwhelmed by emotions too shocking to fully comprehend.

The premise that gaps in memory can be filled by the imagination leads to recollections in which reality is tainted by the mind’s ability to replace aspects that it would prefer not to acknowledge. Think of the fantasy of ‘This Waking Life’, evolving from psychological exploration in theory into stark reality on the gritty battlefield.

Rarely would such harrowing subject matter be so successfully explored using such lush and ambient hallucinatory visuals, yet Waltz With Bashir manages this effortlessly, creating an original piece that can be enjoyed on many levels in the process.

The pace of the film constantly switches between fast-paced daytime memories of war and the slow, semi-conscious, often fantastical recollections of night-time and dreams, resulting in an exhausting but highly pleasurable 87 minutes.

By Charlie Coffey

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist Review: Relight My Teenage Fire

October 22, 2008 by  
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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Sunday 19th October, 8:30pm, Odeon West End

Wednesday 22nd October, 3:30pm, Odeon West End

Remember those heady teenage days when a guy making you a mixed CD made you blush your face off because it undeniably meant he must, like, think you’re the ONE and by choosing these songs surely totally understands you in every way? Nevermind that you didn’t quite get the meaning of some of the lyrics (many of which, cosy synonyms for sh*gging)- they must be saying something sweet, right? Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is like getting in a time machine and getting all caught up again in the fumbling anticipation of young love.

Nick (the wonderful Michael Cera, though again, playing his usual soppy self) is a downtrodden, sweet guy, who’s had his heart trampled on by his shallow, perfectly-formed tramp of an ex-girlfriend, Tris. Norah (Kat Dennings), the quirkily smart daughter of a famous guy, takes no crap from Tris, who she knows from school, and despite never having met him, adores the mixed CDs from Nick that Tris just bins.

One night, Nick, who plays bass as the straight third of three-piece gay indie band, The Jerk-offs, and Norah are thrown together when on a mission to ‘find Fluffy’, an unmissable band, whom they both adore (and Norah’s wandering drunken friend). As the night goes on, they proceed to fall first for each other’s music tastes, and then each other.

Delightfully, the film avoids the pure camembert stench of other teen romance films. Its sharp dialogue and erratic cityscapes as they hurtle through Manhattan in Nick’s broken down car and his mate’s van renders it wholly credible and means the vom bucket need not be close at hand- not for the sentimental bits anyway. Director, Peter Sollet, ensures that scenes with the battered friend and a distinctive storyline involving a piece of chewing gum serve to make NANIP, at times, sickening in anything but the romantic sense…

With an awesome soundtrack that takes you back to the days when there was little else to do but believe in the all-encompassing power of music and spend your evenings chasing good times, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will reignite your teenage fire.

By Susan Allen

Genova Review

October 22, 2008 by  
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Genova is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Wednesday 22nd October, 8.30pm, London Odeon Leicester Square

Sunday 26th October, 4 pm, London Odeon Leicester Square

Genova is a story of loss, a tender look at how a family from Chicago cope with the death of their mother in a car crash. In order to make a fresh start they move to Genova, Italy, whose dark, winding streets provide a spooky backdrop in which the youngest daughter Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine), responsible for the crash, is visited by her mother from beyond the grave.

Pretty, older daughter, Kelly (Willa Holland), desperately wants to grow up, which means ditching Mary and flaunting herself to Italian boys further isolating Mary, who misses her mother dearly and faced with an increasing sense of guilt over the incident, begins to see her mother, who comes to comfort her.

The use of natural light and a handheld camera lend intimacy to Mary’s story and the effect is at times voyeuristic, closely involving us in her emotional journey. The excellent and wholly believable performances of Haney-Jardine and Colin Firth as her father, Joe, go a long way to making this film great.

Genova does have a strong sense of tension. There are huge similarities to Nicholas Roeg’s 1973 tense horror classic “Don’t Look Now”: an initial death in the family followed by a relocation to an Italian city, Venice, except here it’s the narrow alleyways and snickets of Genova that are explored. These references convinced me that a shock akin to DLN’s crazy knife-wielding woman in the red coat was just around the corner for most of the film. As the 90 minutes tick on though, I began to doubt.

It could be said that the most shocking thing is that there is no shock.
When the titles run, Genova changes from a film with full-on horror potential to a warm social drama. If you’re more of a ‘minutiae of a family forced to cope with grief’ sort of person and tend to steer clear of the terror genre, then this is the film for you.

By Charlie Coffey

The Baader Meinhof Complex Review

October 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Film Reviews

The Baader Meinhof Complex is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Sunday 26th October, 9:00pm, London Odeon West End

Tuesday 28th October, 12:30pm, London Odeon West End

So many events of the past are simplified by the passage of time that it is often difficult to portray that moment with the density it deserves.

The Baader Meinhof Complex, the latest among a spree of impressive German releases (Downfall, The Lives of Others), has no such trouble.

With a title acknowledging complication from the outset, the film violently blasts through this obstacle and the result is something quite breathtaking.

Set against a backdrop of 1970s Germany, The Baader Meinhof Complex tells the story of the Red Army Faction, the left wing militant group Read More…

Frost/Nixon Review

October 15, 2008 by  
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frost-nixon1300x210Frost / Nixon is screening as part of the London Film Festival

Wednesday 15th October, 7:00pm, London Odeon Leicester Square (LONDON FILM FESTIVAL OPENING GALA)

Saturday 18th October, 12:30pm, London Odeon West End

A disgraced President Nixon, forced to resign from his post in 1974 remained silent for three long years.

It was not until the summer of 1977 that he agreed to sit for an all-inclusive television interview in order to meet head-on those questions about his service in office and the legendary Watergate scandal that brought his career to an explosive close.

This interview attracted 45 million viewers, the largest audience for a news programme in the history of American TV.

It is this famous interview, the confrontation between Read More…

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