Archive for April, 2009

UK New Film Releases Week 16: 17 April – 23 April 2009

April 22, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 21 [16% of total film releases]
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 134
  • The UK  film release schedule for the week commencing 17 April 2009 is:

    • Before I Forget (FR)
    • Good (Vicente Amorim, 2007, UK/GER) #20 British release 2009
    • I Love You, Man (USA)
    • In Search of Beethoven (UK) Documentary
    • In the Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2008, UK) #21 British release 2009
    • Not Easily Broken (USA)

    What’s wrong with Leicester? Why can’t we have the latest British films on our screens?

    For the second week running there is no place in the multiplexes (or any screen) for new British films in Leicester and surrounding areas. In the Loop  and Good, like 50 Dead Men Walking the previous week, failed to reach our local screens. This seems a shame since  In the Loop  performed very well at the box office on its opening weekend – ‘£467,000 from 104 cinemas, for a buoyant screen average of £4,509′ – making it 8th in the rank of weekend gross and the highest screen average apart from Fast and Furious (£5,011).

    How does this compare to the two new American releases this week? Metrosexual comedy I Love You, Man (showing in Leicester at three sites) has the 3rd highest weekend gross (£1,122,258), but a screen average (£3,340) that is less than In the Loop‘s, and the relationship drama Not Easily Broken (on one screen in Leicester) is way down in 28th place for weekend gross and earning only £168 a screen! In comparison, Good is making nearly £2,000 per screen.


    Can we have new British films in Leicester please? It seems, no we f****** can’t!


    Cinema Shows Week 12: The Young Victoria, 23rd March 2009, Phoenix, and Lesbian Vampire Killers, 26th March 2009, Odeon Freemans Park

    April 17, 2009
    • Total Ticket Outlay (on 9 British feature films released in 2009) – £34.92.5 

    young_victroria_ticekt lesbian_ticketr



    “Lesbian Vampire Killers, please”. These are four words that I never thought I would have to utter. I shared a largely empty cinema with I think three other people who were sat together. Young. I heard the occasional laugh-out-loud, but humour was  in short supply. Such a ‘come on’ title (tit-le?) deserves a more titillating and funny treatment. Too much treading carefully – a vampire farce filtered through ‘Scooby Doo’ ‘goings-on’ in ‘deepest’ Norfolk? I think Horne and Corden are good performers, but this is gruel-ing stuff. Thin and unsatisfying. Time to revisit Cannon and Ball’s The Boys in Blue (1982) I think, to see if the bottom has been scraped.

    Earlier in the week I went to see The Young Victoria. I would normally give films like this a miss. Not ideal stuff for a republican with a dislike of heritage films. I was expecting something sexier, but I was given a lesson in succession politics, and felt like I was learning quite a lot. Chris was not happy with the puffy sleeves on the women’s dresses – something about them being out of fashion by then, at least in fashionable circles, but perhaps not at court. Hate to get into debates about realism, especially in costume drama. The highlight of the experience was being surrounded by representatives of the ‘grey pound’. At least 50 in the audience – average age 60-65. And all sat  together in the central section as if they had come together on a coach trip. I heard one woman chatting at the box office that she had heard that the film wasn’t very realistic – meaning playful with the truth. How real do you want your nightmares?


    Though many teardrops are bound to fall
    True love can conquer all
    When you’re, when you’re young and in love

    (”When You’re Young and in Love’, The Marvelettes)

    UK New Film Releases Week 15: 10 April – 16 April 2009

    April 17, 2009


  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 19 [15% of total film releases]
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 128
  • The UK  film release schedule for the week commencing 10 April 2009 is:

    • 17 Again (USA)
    • The 400 Blows (FR) Re-issue
    • 50 Dead Men Walking (Kari Skogland, 2008, UK/CAN) #19 British release 2009
    • Fast and Furious (USA)
    • Let The Right One  In (SWE)
    • Race To Witch Mountain (USA) 
    • Tera Mera Ki Rishta (IND)
    • Tony Manero (CHILE/BRAZIL)
    • Crank 2: High Voltage (USA) 16 April

    No place at Easter on Leicester screens for the latest British feature film release, 50 Dead Men Walking (a terrible title?). Unusual to have a British action thriller, but more typically a film based ‘on a true story’. After British football of the 1970s and pirate radio of the 1960s in recent weeks, we now have Belfast in the 1990s. A topical subject matter, a popular genre, fairly decent budget, but no show.


    UK New Film Releases Week 14: 3 April – 9 April 2009

    April 10, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 18 [15% of total film releases]
  • New British Fictional Feature Films (Released in 2009) Watched in the Cinema in 2009- 11
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 119
  • The new films on release in the UK  in the week commencing 3 April 2009 are:

    • Cherry Blossoms (GER)
    • I Can’t Think Straight (Shamim Sarif, 2008, UK) #17 British release 2009
    • Modern Life (FR)
    • Monsters Vs Aliens (and 3D) (USA)
    • Religulous  (USA)
    • Waveriders (UK/IRE) Documentary
    • The World Unseen (Shamim Sarif, 2008, S. AFR/UK) #18 British release 2009
    • Dragonball Evolution (USA/HK) 8 April

    April Third is ‘super-Friday’ for the release of documentary. There is an opportunity to poke fun at organsied religion (Religulous), discover how the Irish invented surfing (Waveriders) and learn a little more about French rural life (Modern Life). And also pretty super for Shamim Sarif who has two debut releases on the same day. Surely this must be a first for a British film director?

    Sarif, a novelist,  has adapted and directed her own work with her partner Hanan Kattan for their own production company, Enlightenment Productions . Privately financed films are quite rare in the British film industry and funding difficulties caused the films to be completed at roughly the same time. Both films are only showing at the Apollo Piccadilly Circus and by the time they are shown anywhere else they will be available on DVD (10 April). Sarif wants both films to be seen as ‘just love stories’, but this might be difficult for romantic films that are ‘just’ a cocktail of lesbian and cross-cultural drama.


    Captivated: A Review of Bronson

    April 9, 2009

    A review placeholder

    UK New Film Releases Week 13: 27 March – 2 April 2009

    April 8, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 16 [14% of total film releases]
  • New British Fictional Feature Films (Released in 2009) Watched in the Cinema in 2009- 9
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 111
  • The new films on release in the UK from 27 March 2009 are:

    • Aa Dekhen Zara (IND)
    • Afghan Star (UK/AFG) Documentary
    • The Damned United (Tom Hooper, 2008, UK) #14 British release 2009
    • Genova (Michael Winterbottom, 2007, UK) #15 British release 2009
    • The Haunting in Connecticut (USA)
    • The Life Before Her Eyes (USA)
    • Martyrs (FR/CAN)
    • Traitor (USA)
    • Two Lovers (USA)
    • Tyson (USA)
    • The Boat That Rocked (Richard Curtis, 2009, UK) #16 British release 2009 (1 April)

    A big week for British film releases with a documentary and three fictional feature films. All the British films are distinctive in terms of referencing time and place. Places where we shouldn’t be (Afghanistan), a place for grief (Genova), 44 days in Leeds in the early 70s (The Damned United), floating outside UK territorial waters in the late 60s (The Boat That Rocked). Richard Curtis’ new comedy and The Damned United are getting plenty of publicity and wide distribution. Not so for Michael Winterbottom’s new film Genova which is not being shown in Leicester this week. Why? Winterbottom has to be the UK’s most prolific film director, averaging a film a year since the mid-1990s. Why?




    Cinema Shows Week 11: Bronson, 18th March 2009, Cinema De Lux, Leicester

    April 7, 2009
  • British Fictional Feature Films (Released in 2009) Watched in the Cinema  in 2009- 7
  • Ticket Outlay £25.47.5  (on British feature films released in 2009)
  • There are many times that I will find myself in the cinema between 5 and 6 to watch a film straight after work. This is convenient for not getting home too late. The downside of this is that most screenings at this time are not popular. This means spending quite a lot of time in quite large, empty theatres. It can seem a bit sad and feel like an experience on the way out. How long can such a poorly attended ‘mass medium’ continue in this format?

    Popped along to the CDL in Leicester to watch Bronson. I was looking forward to this one and wasn’t disappointed. Hard to figure the audience though. About 10 people. A couple of young couples on the back rows, a group of 4 older adults who wandered in just as it started – were they in the right film? But then, what is Bronson‘s audience?


    The film adds to a growing mediated campaign to ‘Free Charlie Bronson’, and develops the myth of how the ‘innocence’ of Michael Peterson grew into the ‘experience’ of being ‘Charlie Bronson, Peterson’s ‘fighting name’. We are in British cinema’s mainstream realism-tinsel dualism with a real life story framed through Bronson’s theatrical monologue. Bronson’s perpetual incarceration (currently in Wakefield Prison) and ‘bad boy’ antics are entertainingly interpreted as performance art. Bronson presents not just a ‘con-artist’ (a prisoner who draws and paints), but a conceptual artist whose life’s work is a performance produced in the clash between fathomable injustice and unfathomable violence, enforced regulation and the unchecked human spirit.

    Baby Peterson

    Baby Peterson


    The Artist Formerly Known as Peterson

    The Artist Formerly Known as Peterson

    TYGER, tyger, burning bright

    In the forests of the night,  

    What immortal hand or eye  

    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?  

    In what distant deeps or skies         

    Burnt the fire of thine eyes?  

    On what wings dare he aspire?  

    What the hand dare seize the fire?  

    And what shoulder and what art  

    Could twist the sinews of thy heart?  

    And when thy heart began to beat,  

    What dread hand and what dread feet?  

    What the hammer? What the chain?  

    In what furnace was thy brain?  

    What the anvil? What dread grasp  

    Dare its deadly terrors clasp?  

    When the stars threw down their spears,  

    And water’d heaven with their tears,  

    Did He smile His work to see?  

    Did He who made the lamb make thee? 

    Tyger, tyger, burning bright  

    In the forests of the night,  

    What immortal hand or eye  

    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

    (‘The Tyger’, William Blake, 1794)

    UK New Film Releases Week 12: 20 March – 26 March 2009

    April 1, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 13 [13% of total film releases]
  • New British Fictional Feature Films (Released in 2009) Watched in the Cinema in 2009- 7
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 100
  • The new films on release in the UK from 20 March 2009 are:

    • The Age of Stupid (2008, UK)  Documentary (with a bit of drama)
    • Bottle Shock (USA)
    • Diminished Capacity (USA)
    • Duplicity (USA)
    • Flash of Genius (USA)
    • Il Divo  (IT)
    • Lesbian Vampire Killers (Phil Claydon, 2008, UK) #13 British release 2009
    • Paul Blart: Mall Cop (USA)
    • Knowing (USA) 25 March

    A major shower of Hollywood films this week. Rather routine sounding fare, though. None of the America films jump out as much as Il Divo – a promisingly stylish political thriller from Italy. The milestone this week is reaching a hundred film releases – the equivalent of about one film for every day. Unluckily this week sees the thirteenth British fictional feature of 2009 – Lesbian Vampire Killers, but also the enviromental awareness-raising British documentary-drama-animation The Age of Stupid. In the realm of fantasy, LVK  offers us a country village in Norfolk cursed by Sapphic blood-suckers, and in the domain of docu-drama (mostly docu) The Age of Stupid highlights a Bedfordshire village warding off a ‘curse’ of wind turbines. Nimbies and lesbos, come away.