Out Now – 27th January 2011

The Descendants
With an overly confusing subplot about land ownership, Alexander Payne’s latest was in severe danger of losing me in its opening minutes. Luckily the main plot, in which a father reconnects with his two daughters as he hunts down the man who has been sleeping with his comatose wife (the affair was pre-coma, this isn’t Talk to Her), has enough humour and charm to save the film. From my review last October, “after the muddle at the start and a few awkward metaphors The Descendants comes together as a touching and hilarious family dramedy.”

Like Crazy
With a beautiful aesthetic, great cast, and improvised dialogue, Like Crazy is a naturalistic portrayal of a long distance relationship falling apart in spite of the deluded efforts of those involved. Sadly the realism of Like Crazy is almost too much, and I found myself as frustrated by the on-screen couple as I would be by any couple who are excessively in love and making a hash of it. My personal issues aside, this is not a terrible film and worth a look to see the moment that Felicity Jones truly arrives as an actress. Read the full review for more words, sentences, etc.

The Grey
Two hours of Liam Neeson fighting off wolves in Alaska. I had to choose between seeing this and going to a pub quiz, I think I made the right choice. SPOILER ALERT: Sarah Palin saves the day in the end, shooting down the wolves in her helicopter before throwing Neeson over her shoulder and carrying him away.

A Monster in Paris
French animated film about a monster (or giant flea) who falls in love with a cabaret singer and develops his musical abilities.

Intruders (limited release)
I think this is a horror movie starring Clive Owen in which a monster from his childhood starts to harass his young daughter. I can’t be quite sure though as the synopses on IMDb and Wikipedia are vague and confusing. HANG ON! Thanks to the BBFC I can now confirm that Intruders, “is a contemporary horror film about a monster that steals children’s faces.” As someone whose worst phobia is people with no faces I don’t think I could take this film.

House of Tolerance (limited release)
Your sexy film quota is filled this week by a French film focussing on the dynamics between women working in a Parisian brothel in the early 20th century. Expect sex, subtitles and presumably some more sex.

Acts of Godfrey (special release)
Who cares about the plot when this is the first film to be written entirely in rhyming couplets? Sadly only showing at the Vue in Shepherds Bush, you’ll need to make a special trip to see this unique British film.

Patience (After Sebald) (limited release)
Patience (After Sebald) is a multi-layered film essay on landscape, art, history, life and loss by the acclaimed documentary film-maker Grant Gee. It is an exploration of the work and influence of German writer WG Sebald, told via a long walk through coastal East Anglia tracking his most famous book The Rings of Saturn.”

Mercenaries (limited release)
“Andy Marlow, an ex British S.A.S serviceman turned mercenary, is sent into the Balkans after a military coup has arisen to rescue a U.S ambassador and his aide.”