Film

Where Star Wars meets Chaplin

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

A 25ft Tyrannosaurus Rex roars at Charlie Chaplin while a Dalek looks on — and all within sight of the Thames. No, not a scene from the imagination of a particularly eclectic movie buff, but one of the prop-filled exhibition rooms at the London Film Museum.

This is where memorabilia marking some of the greatest moments in British cinema history can be viewed by visitors, ranging from the original Rank gong to a spear from Michael Caine’s epic Zulu, via the Pinhead costume from Hellraiser.

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The Infidel

By Simon Round, January 21, 2010

There have been very few British comedies about Jewishness — and even fewer that actually made anyone laugh. But The Infidel, a comedy written by David Baddiel on a Jewish (and Muslim) theme, does just that, by poking fun at both religions.

The mother of Muslim minicab driver Mahmud dies suddenly. As he goes through her papers, he realises that he has been adopted as a baby… from a Jewish family.

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Review: Up In The Air

By Gerald Aaron, January 14, 2010

Director/co-writer Jason Reitman’s acidly funny follow-up to his marvellous Juno showcases George Clooney’s award-worthy performance as a corporate “downsizer”. He is the hired gun whose job is to constantly travel around the US firing luckless employees of the companies who hire him.

Clooney, smooth as a perfectly mixed cocktail, is perfectly cast as a narcissist who uses fellow-travellers for sex without commitment. Until, that is, his peripatetic affair with fellow executive Vera Farmiga takes an unexpected turn.

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Review: 44 Inch Chest

By Gerald Aaron, January 14, 2010

Sexy Beast writers Louis Mellis and David Scinto are reunited with Ray Winstone for a stagey, foul-mouthed, unentertaining drama. Winstone is joined by fellow East Enders John Hurt, Ian McShane and Tom Wilkinson as he seeks revenge on the French waiter who has slept with his wife. As appealing as a winter power cut.

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Review: All About Steve

By Gerald Aaron, January 14, 2010

Seriously weird crossword compiler Sandra Bullock stalks TV news cameraman Bradley Cooper in a truly dreadful rom-com. Avoid.

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Review: It's complicated

By Gerald Aaron, January 7, 2010

Meryl Streep strikes a blow for sixtysomethings playing a divorcee who, after a night of wine and warmed-up memories, embarks on an affair with her former husband Alec Baldwin (bravely stripping off to reveal a very un-Hollywood pelt and paunch).

Writer and director Nancy Meyers creates a mellow if hardly memorable rom-com which, for once, is not necessarily aimed at younger moviegoers, peppered with witty lines (although Steve Martin as the dull architect dating Streep could have done with some more effective comic material).

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Review: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

By Gerald Aaron, January 7, 2010

Andy Serkis’s riveting tour de force dominates Mat Whitecross’s fascinating biopic of 1970s punk star Ian Dury who achieved stardom despite childhood polio and, reportedly, brought the phrase “sex and drugs and rock and roll” into common English parlance.

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Review: Sherlock Holmes

By Jonathan Foreman, December 22, 2009

There are no deerstalker hats or curved calabash pipes to be seen in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. Never once does the famous detective say, “elementary, my dear Watson.” He does however reveal himself to be a formidable martial artist, as adept with his hands and feet as he is with a stick and a gun, and able to take part in a brutal bout of bare-knuckle boxing.

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Review: Avatar

By Jonathan Foreman, December 17, 2009

In the 1980s and ’90s, director-writer James Cameron made a series of outstanding science fiction films, all of which broke new ground in special effects and as stories. In Aliens and Terminator 2 — Judgment Day, Cameron invented a new kind of action hero — a tough, hard-muscled woman with a child in one hand and a gun in the other.

But then came his Titanic. It succeeded wildly, presumably thanks to its extraordinary special effects, strong performances by a perfectly chosen cast, and the way its romantic storyline appealed to a new generation of young film-goers.

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Review: Where the Wild Things Are

By Jonathan Foreman, December 10, 2009

The trailers for Where the Wild Things Are that have been playing for the last six months were so thrilling and so moving — I know adults who reduce themselves to tears watching them on the internet — that it would be almost impossible for any full-length feature to live up to their promise. And the film does not.

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