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film preview 2010
AVATAR ANTICIPATION: ***** THE LOVELY BONES ANTICIPATION: ****
Dir: James Cameron (12A, 166 mins) Dir: Peter Jackson (12A 139 mins)
The king of the world, James Cameron, returns to the cinema 12 years after the Alice Sebold’s bestselling book comes to the big screen courtesy of Peter Jackson,
blockbuster success of Titanic. Avatar is a 3D spectacular, set to immerse you in who leaves Middle Earth and King Kong behind to focus on an emotional story
an alien world with revolutionary technology and, hopefully, a story to match the –albeit one with a great deal of visual effects. The critically acclaimed novel was
scale of the mayhem. Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully, a paraplegic war veteran a deeply moving tale of a murdered girl watching over her parents from ‘the in-
who is offered the chance to recover his faculties if he goes deep undercover in an between’, her soul unable to move on until her death is avenged or her family can
alien body: his avatar. The reason? A dastardly corporation is pillaging the planet accept her passing. Atonement’s Saoirsie Ronan plays the murdered Susie Salmon
Pandora for its valuable mineral stores, and blue-skinned, indigenous species the content in her wonderfully realised CGI ‘heaven’, but knowing that she has to do
Na’vi are putting up some resistance. Sully, in his avatar’s Na’vi body, is sent to something about life back on earth. Mark Wahlberg, hopefully atoning for Max
infiltrate the alien race at Stephen Lang’s behest, but finds himself siding with Payne, is her grieving father, and Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon her mother
this more primitive, soulful race rather than technology-obsessed mankind. The and grandmother respectively. Their lives are all in chaos. Wahlberg, obsessed with
stage is set for a technology vs. bows and arrows battle – bit like the end of Return finding his daughter’s murderer, the bespectacled Stanley Tucci, has ruined his
of the Jedi, really. This is visually gobsmacking, if a little video game-y, and the marriage. The spectral Susie attempts to contact him, the rest of her family and
story also feels somewhat familiar. Gung-ho soldiers attacking an alien they don’t even her murderer from her limbo – especially as it looks as if he will kill again.
understand for some shadowy corporation – Aliens anyone? Still, there’s a cameo The book is heartrending, and if Jackson and his regular script collaborators Fran
from Sigourney Weaver, a fully realised alien world and enough smash-bang-wallop Walsh and Phillippa Boyens have captured any of its wounded beauty then this will
to satisfy any action hound. Opens Dec 17 clean up at the Oscars and cause mass sobbing. Opens Jan 29
THE BOOK OF ELI ANTICIPATION: *** SHERLOCK HOLMES ANTICIPATION: **** IT’S COMPLICATED ANTICIPATION: ***
Dir: The Hughes Brothers (15, 120 mins) Dir: Guy Ritchie (12A, 120 mins) Dir: Nancy Meyers (12A, 120 mins)
A post-apocalyptic Western with a high profile cast, The Guy Ritchie has inexplicably been given the keys to a Starry romantic comedies are Nancy Meyers’ forte. The
Book Of Eli showcases Denzel Washington’s action chops potentially massive film franchise and, thankfully, Robert Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want
and kicks. He plays a nomad walking the ravaged waste- Downey Jnr is on board. A reinvention of Sir Arthur – they may often be bland, but they are crowd pleasers,
lands who protects a sacred book that could bring hope Conan Doyle’s sleuth, this has somewhat more action and the poorly titled It’s Complicated is no exception.
to humanity. Naturally, less noble people want this book than previous incarnations, and plenty of knockabout Meryl Streep is a divorced woman with an amicable rela-
too, in the shape of Gary Oldman in full-on baddie mode. humour. Downey’s Holmes is paired with Jude Law’s tionship with her ex, Alec Baldwin. The 30-year-old rock
Mila Kunis might be best known as the voice of Meg in Watson, and they must do battle with evil genius Lord star has subsequently remarried a much younger woman,
Family Guy, but she’s no stranger to action movies such Blackwood (Mark Strong) to save the world from some Lake Bell, but when the exes find themselves out of town
as Max Payne, and features as Denzel’s companion and sort of black magic. Rachel MacAdams features as Adler, at their son’s graduation, one thing leads to another and
student, with the pair doing battle in various bleached the only woman who has gotten the better of Holmes, and the pair find themselves in bed together. They begin to
ruins. Several heavyweight thesps add kudos: Malcolm Kelly Reilly rounds out the cast as Watson’s squeeze. As have an affair, Streep loving the fact that she is ‘the other
McDowell, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits and even Frances always, however, the love affair belongs to the likeable woman’. Matters are further complicated by Steve Martin,
De La Tour from 70s TV sitcom Rising Damp. The last leads. Holmes is now an action hero, Downey displaying who has developed a relationship with Streep and quickly
film from the Hughes Brothers was the muddled adapta- previously untapped fighting skills, and Ritchie employs finds himself embroiled in a very messy love rectangle.
tion of From Hell... Let’s hope this graphic novel-esque many of his trademark cinematic quirks – zooms, slo-mo The central trio’s comedy skills should make this hilari-
story is more rewarding. Opens Jan 15 punching, homoerotic topless boxing etc. Should be an ous, so long as Meyers’ writing and direction are up to
unashamed romp held together by the resurgent Downey scratch. This should be enjoyable fluff, entertaining and
Jnr elementary entertainment. Opens Dec 26 instantly forgettable. Opens Jan 15
AND ROCK AND ROLL (15) Ian Dury biopic with Andy Serkis playing the man. Hit me with your rhythm stick! OSS 117: LOST IN RIO (12A) The French Austin Powers returns for a spoof spy sequel. BROTHERS
(15) Drama with Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman, as a family deals with a missing brother in Afghanistan. ASTRO BOY (PG) Action-packed animation based on the manga character and with a stellar voice cast
including Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron and Matt Lucas. TOY STORY 2: 3D (U) Buzz and Woody’s superb sequel gets some sticky-out bits. Fantastic!
december2009.indd 36 28/11/09 17:03:32
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