WHAT'S ON

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What’s On

'71

“This is confident, fascinating filmmaking.” RogerEbert.com

Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell, brilliant in Starred Up) is an ordinary British soldier on a tour of duty in the crisis zone of 1971 Northern Ireland. When a routine search goes wrong, he finds himself alone behind enemy lines. In any other film, the result would simply be an adrenaline-fuelled flight to freedom but this effective and affecting tale doesn’t unfold that way, focusing instead on the experience of the man on the ground, putting us in Hook’s shoes.

Peter Bradshaw says of this in the Guardian:  ”Screenwriter Gregory Burke and first-time feature director Yann Demange have made a cracking movie debut with ’71, a behind-enemy-lines war movie reeking with bad blood and bad faith, perhaps best described as an action-conspiracy thriller. It is interestingly free of the tone that dramas about the Troubles traditionally assume: a tone that you might call tragical correctness.”

Mainstream Mondays: The Guest

Mainstream Mondays, £7/5

They say: “From the director of Your’re Next and featuring a standout, badass performance from Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), comes The Guest: a tense, action-packed and unpredictable film like everything and nothing you’ve ever seen before. Empire Magazine called it “a demented action-horror hybrid of sci-fi conspiracy thriller and gore-fest”, and Vanity Fair said, “The Guest is big, it’s bold, it’s badass, full of flavor Hollywood wishes it could pour over its vanilla blockbusters.”

We say:  Whatever happened to sensitive, intelligent, nice guy Dan Stevens?  Zowie!  The picture, right, is for the gals…

Gone Girl

“Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel has become a feverish thriller that has all the emotional subtlety of a Punch and Judy show – but is all the better for it” Guardian

Also showing as a Greene Sunday screening on Sun 12 Oct.  Find out more.

David Fincher (The Social Network) tackles the best-selling book  of 2012 and makes a great job of it!  It’s hard to live up to the hype on a project such as this, but Gillian Flynn herself has done the script, and Fincher has already earned his chops on teeth-gnashingly nasty thrillers with the likes of Se7en and The Fight Club.

When feckless Nick Dunne finds evidence of a struggle at home and his wife missing, assuming the worst isn’t half bad enough!  Before long press and public have him fitted up for the murder of his adored public figure of a wife, but that would seem a bit premature when there is no sign of a body…

This one has more twists and turns than a triple corkscrew roller coaster – and is just as edge of your seat!  Casting is always important but in this case it’s crucial, and Ben Affleck’s smug machismo is well offset against Rosamund Pike as his Dresden china-pretty wife.   This gleefully tilts at The War of the Roses, Hitchcock’s Suspicion and Fatal Attraction even as it explores Sartre’s Existential maxim:  Hell is others.  Indeed!

Book of Life

KIDS STUFF, all £5

In this vibrantly animated epic, our hero is torn between fulfilling his family duties and following his heart to win over the beautiful Maria. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an adventure across three fantastical worlds where he must somehow conquer his greatest fears, armed only with his guitar, his wits and a brace of swords.

Co-produced by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and directed by ace animator Gutierrez, this is a truly unique and richly achieved visual adventure. Voice talent includes Zoe Saldana, Ron Perlman and Channing Tatum (who is rather wasted on animation, in our humble opinion!).  Satisfyingly classic fairytale elements, all wrapped up in some the of the most distinctive animation since The Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

This Is Where I Leave You

“An incredibly emotional ensemble piece, perfectly matching laughter and tears, This Is Where I Leave You is the first official Oscar contender of the fall.” MediaMikes

Four grown-up siblings are corralled by their bossy mother (Jane Fonda) to spend a week mourning together after their father dies. In this razor-sharp comedy, past rivalries, romances and restless forces emerge to upend familial stability.

The film boasts a razor-witted script and some of the best comic actors around.  Special plaudits go to Tina Fey, working again with Date Night and Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, whose high calibre drollery is pure heaven.  Star comic turns, also, from fine ensemble players Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll and Kathryn Hahn.  Plus Fonda as you’ve literally never seen her before.  (Some of you may remember that ill-advised boob job she succumbed to in the 11th hour of her marriage to Ted Turner…)

Don’t miss this chance to sit Shiva with a totally A-list cast!

 

ParaNorman

Kids Club, £5

Bringing together leading talents behind Lexi-favourite Coraline and Flushed Away respectively, Chris Butler and Sam Fell had the credentials to do something special!  Employing a unique hybrid of CGI and stop-motion technology, Paranorman tells of a town besieged by rudely awakened and rather irate zombies. The town’s only hope of salvation is Norman, a boy blessed with the ability to understand the zombies’ language. As he battles with ghosts, witches and moronic adults in addition to  the living dead, Norman’s supernatural powers are entertainingly stretched to their limits, and the film’s breath-taking pace is further enhanced by stellar voicing from the likes of John Goodman, Elaine Stritch and Casey Affleck.   Beautifully animated and solidly scripted, this will entertain children while providing surprisingly thoughtful fare for their parents.