Out Now – 4th March 2011

10 films out today, some of them will be your new favourite film, some are mediocre and two involve confusing conspiracies.

The Adjustment Bureau
This all looks a bit silly to me. Two people in love are forced apart by agents of Fate. The cast makes it an appealing event if the synopsis is crazy. Matt Damon will run around a lot to find his love and escape men in suits.

Archipelago
“Deep fractures within a family dynamic begin to surface during a getaway to the Isles of Scilly.” British family drama with great reviews.

Ironclad
A film shot in Wales about the Knights Templar and starring Paul Giamatti. Eh?

Rango
With Pixar heading back down the Cars route this is easily the best animated film 2011 will see. Johnny Depp plays the titular chameleon who has a western adventure. It looks amazing!

Unknown
Liam Neeson wakes up from an accident to find his wife doesn’t recognise him and another man is claiming to be him. Uh oh! Expect a formulaic thriller with a neat twist at the end. I wonder if The Adjustment Bureau did it.

Babies (limited release)
A documentary following four babies from across the world for a year. Warning: May contain scenes of extreme babies.

Client 9 (limited release)
Anyone who watches far too much of The Daily Show will already be familiar with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was forced to resign after being caught as a client of a very pricey escort service. Not sure just who this documentary will appeal to in the UK.

The Insatiable Moon (limited release)
An indie romantic drama from New Zealand about a man who claims to be the son of God and falls in love with a woman longing to be pregnant. Crikey.

Patagonia (limited release)
A Welsh couple go with their nephew to the Welsh colony in Patagonia to get away from their fertility troubles. The nephew falls in love and the whole flipping thing is in either Welsh or Spanish. On the plus side you get Matthew Rhys, on the downside you get Duffy.

The Tempest (limited release)
A mixed reception for the latest bit of Shakespeare on film. It certainly seems to have taken a while to get here and there’s been plenty of chatter along it’s way to the cinema. All I care about is that it co-stars Felicity Jones, because she’s lovely.

Spotlight On – Felicity Jones, An Update

We return to a less than active feature to revisit the actress that we created it for in the first place. That actress is Felicity Jones, who is about to become everyone’s new favourite person and we got here first. Back off!

Right now Jones is looking at two releases in the next few months, the moderately well received The Tempest and the “good for what it is” comedy Chalet Girl. With lukewarm reviews for both films you’d expect her career to be far from flying high but that all changed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (more on that later).

At the festival Jones starred in Like Crazy, a raw and romantic dramedy about the struggle to keep a relationship alive across the Atlantic. Not only did the film win the special jury prize, so did Felicity Jones herself, finally marking her out as “the one to watch” or “this year’s Carey Mulligan”. Fingers crossed she doesn’t go cutting off all her hair. With this award under her belt you can expect to see a lot more of Miss Jones over the next the next few years and we can’t wait.

Upcoming projects include Hysteria, a film about the inventor of the vibrator, Page 8, a BBC thriller, This Beautiful Fantastic, a modern fairytale and Trap For Cinderella, a bleak looking drama.

There’s no explaining why we find Felicity Jones so intriguing an actress but it looks like we’re not the only ones any more.

Below is a clip from Like Crazy, it’s not the last you’ll hear of it.

The Best is Yet to Come: 2011

Today we’re looking ahead at out most anticipated releases of 2011… and there’s a lot. A few glaring omissions perhaps but we have no interest in giant robots fighting.

So what can top 127 Hours and The King’s Speech?

Friday 14 January 2011
Blue Valentine
Made the headlines by getting its rating reduced in America as they claimed the sex scene wasn’t obscene just realistic. If that doesn’t tempt you how about a realistic portrayal of a marriage and career best performances?

Friday 21 January 2011
Black Swan
It’s great, powerful stuff and yet is another with more coverage of a single sex scene that the rest of the film. Portman is at her prime and Kunis ain’t too shabby either.

Friday 11 February 2011
Never Let Me Go
True Grit

A small British sci-fi with a beautifully subtle plot and the Coen brothers’ latest acclaimed production. Good Friday.

Monday 14 February 2011
Paul
For some reason sneaking out on a Monday, Pegg and Frost’s latest is funny if not up to the standard of an Edgar Wright collaboration. We saw it, reviewed it and got asked to take it down.

Friday 18 February 2011
Chalet Girl
A hopefully above average romantic comedy starring our own Felicity Jones and the slimy one from Gossip Girl.

Friday 25 February 2011
No Strings Attached
Waste Land

Natalie Portman tries her hand at a comedy about two friends trying out casual sex before Mila Kunis gets the chance. And on the same day we have one of our favourites from the London Film Festival, though most likely only at three cinemas.

Friday 4 March 2011
Rango
The Tempest

Animated comedy starring Johnny Depp as a lizard that is set to offer something better than the average animated film accompanied by the apparently less than perfect Shakespeare film featuring… Felicity Jones!

Friday 18 March 2011
Submarine
A film everyone should see as Richard Ayoade makes a strong directorial debut with a near perfect tale of young love and awkwardness.

Friday 1 April 2011
Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder kicks you in the face with amazing visuals, sexy crazy girls and general madness.

Friday 8 April 2011
Attack The Block
Joe Cornish made a film with a slightly bad sounding premise. Can Cornballs make a bad synopsis into a great film?

Friday 15 April 2011
Scream 4
Winnie the Pooh
Your Highness

A triple whammy in mid-April. First the fourth in the Scream series starring the cast of the entire TV alongside the usual faces. Then we have a hand animated Disney film about everyone’s favourite bear and a medieval comedy starring future Mrs Mild Concern, Zooey Deschanel and with her third film in four months, Natalie Portman.

Friday 22 April 2011
Source Code
Duncan Jones tries to top Moon with sci-fi action thriller involving confusing time travel in which Jake Gyllenhaal consistently fails to find the bomber on a train.

Friday 29 April 2011
Thor
Michael Gambon directing a comic book movie? Surely worth a look. Oh, hello Natalie Portman.

Wednesday 18 May 2011
Pirates Of The Caribbean 4
They’ve promised to keep it simple this time and have lost the less interesting characters, we’re excited.

Friday 15 July 2011
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II
Because Part I was so good this can only be the peak of the Potter series.

Friday 29 July 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger
It might be terrible but is the lead-in to The Avengers which might also be terrible. Wait, it could be good too!

Friday 5 August 2011
Rise Of The Apes
John Lithgow and James Franco! And monkeys!

Friday 19 August 2011
The Inbetweeners
Super 8

The spin-off from E4’s best output and J.J. Abrams top secret new film. Funny and surprising… and deeply shameful.

Friday 26 August 2011
Final Destination 5
Guilty pleasure alert… I like to see people die in ridiculous ways…

Friday 2 September 2011
Friends With Benefits
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Mila Kunis gets to do the friends having sex comedy to see if she can top Portman. Portman doesn’t care after having so many other films out.

Friday 7 October 2011
Johnny English 2
“It’s only a bit of poo.” Heh.

Friday 14 October 2011
Footloose
The Thing

A musical remake of a personal favourite and a prequel starring Ramona Flowers. It could be a glorious pair or a double disaster.

Friday 21 October 2011
Paranormal Activity 3
With no new Saw film this is all we have for Halloween. Boo!

Wednesday 26 October 2011
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Because the best British writers all seem to have had a hand in the writing of this particular film. Wright, Moffat and Cornish? Wow.

Burke and Hare, The Tempest and PA 2: Tokyo Night – Trailers

So many trailers I want to share with you there no time to get into details. We’ll start with The Tempest which has been waiting for release for a year and still hasn’t got a UK date yet. I’m excited because of felicity Jones and wary because of Helen Mirren.

Next up Burke and Hare the new John Landis comedy starring SImon Pegg and Andy Serkis, looks fun if a little slapstick. Continue reading

Spotlight On – Felicity Jones

Every now and then I want to draw your attention to an up and coming actor so that if they ever get successful I can claim to have known all along. Today I bring you Birmingham’s own Felicity Jones who, after 14 years of working steadily onscreen, may well have her big break coming in 2010.

Jones’ first big TV role was as school bully Ethel Hallow in the children’s series The Worst Witch, followed a few years later by a co-starring role in BBC series Servants. After studying a degree in English at Oxford she went on to take the lead role in ITV’s Northanger Abbey and the short lived series Cape Wrath. Moving into the movie arena Jones took on small roles in Flashbacks of a Fool, Brideshead Revisited and Cheri, while continuing to appear on the small screen in The Diary of Anne Frank and Doctor Who. None of these films were very successful in the box office or critically well received so Felicity Jones remained mostly unheard of.

Alongside her work onscreen Jones was appearing onstage and since 1999 has played the role of Emma Grundy, now Emma Carter, in radio series The Archers so her lack of fame is not down to an absence of hard work. I really enjoy Felicity Jones, as you may have guessed by now, and she is often the only good aspect to a few otherwise horrible films. The reason I think 2010 is her year is Cemetery Junction, the new comedy drama, heavy on the drama, from Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant where she plays the female lead. The trailer was recently released and coming from this duo is likely to be a success; hopefully also a launch pad for the young stars within. The recent adaptation of The Tempest starring Helen Mirren, and Felicity Jones as Miranda, would have also been a good breakthrough film but for the fact that it was produced by the recently deceased Miramax, so its future remains in the balance.

I believe that Jones is an engaging, and not unattractive, young actor with a hopefully successful career to come. Look out for Felicity Jones in the future as she may well be the next big thing, and if she is, don’t forget I told you so.