Out Now – 2nd December 2011

The Thing
A prequel (not a remake) to the 1982 classic, we see just what went on in the Norwegian camp before it became the charred, bloody mess we saw in the original. Worth seeing for a bit of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and deciding whether CGI can match extreme puppetry.

Happy Feet Two
The original was an all-singing, all-dancing penguin adventure turned environmental message film. While Mumble struggled to sing and started a dancing craze amongst the penguins, his son struggles to dance. This plot reversal reminds me of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. Not that I’ve seen it. Obviously.

Hugo
“Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.” I’m not sure either but this marks Scorsese’s debut into the world of 3D children’s films and has a message of preserving films. Curious.

The Big Year (limited release)
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are rival bird watchers in this comedy we should already start trying to forget.

Romantics Anonymous (limited release)
Two highly emotional and pathologically timid French people fall in love in this quirky romantic comedy. Plenty of chocolate is involved. Amélie meets Chocolat.

Ghett’a Life (limited release)
“An “against the odds” action drama set in a politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston. Derrick, a determined inner city teenager realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by divisive political system.” Not another Cool Runnings then?

The Last Waltz (limited release)
Scorsese goes for a double with a re-release of this late-seventies documentary about the last concert of The Band.

We Have a Pope (limited release)
Italian comedy-drama in which a newly elected pope struggles to deal with the unexpected situation of being the pontiff with the help of his therapist.

Las Acacias (limited release)
This Spanish-language film has a synopsis on IMDb which I completely failed to understand. Summarise it for me and I’ll buy you a Curly Wurly.

Camp Hell (limited release)
Advertised as starring Jesse Eisenberg when in reality he only has a brief cameo, presumably filmed before he became famous. Eisenberg wants so little to do with this film he is suing the distributors.

Surviving Life (limited release)
Czech comedy mixing live action with cut-out animation using photographs, about a man living a double life in his dream. Like Goodnight Sweetheart but not nearly so bad.

Margaret (limited release)
Set for release over four years ago this film must have given up hope by now. Anna Paquin stars as a teenage girl worried she may have caused a bus accident. A cast including Matt Damon, Kieran Culkin, Allison Janney, Mark Ruffalo and Jean Reno make you wonder what held this film back for so long.