The week's new films reviewed and rated
Will 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' sweep all before it at the box office?
For most audiences, there’ll only be one film released in cinemas this week: ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ will sweep all before it at the box office, despite the fact that it’s not much of an improvement over the last two: ‘Hard Candy’ director David Slade adds a bit of bite to the action sequences, but otherwise this is more of the same bloodless, sexless sighing and pouting.
In a neat bit of counter-programming, the week’s other big release is sci-fi sequel ‘Predators’, which the filmmakers hope will mop up those audience members put off by ‘Twilight’: it’s a cracking return to form for the series, as Adrien Brody and a band of ragtag mercenaries are kidnapped and hauled off to an alien planet to serve as prey for the universe’s deadliest hunters.
Elsewhere, a pair of French directors do solid work with a pair of English actresses: Kristin Scott Thomas burns up the screen in infidelity drama ‘Leaving’, directed by Catherine Corsini, while Brenda Blethyn is impressive as a mum looking for her lost daughter in the wake of the July bombings in Rachid Bouchareb’s ‘London River’.
But the best film on release this week has to be 'Went the Day Well?', a classic wartime reissue from Brazilian-turned-British director Alberto Cavalcanti, in which a small English village is invaded by Nazi shock troops, and things turn decidedly ugly. Of the small releases, American indie ‘Frownland’ is the most impressive, an infuriating but oddly compelling tale of one self-absorbed New Yorker. There’s fun to be had with ‘Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema’, a South African take on ‘City of God’ which never quite reconciles the realistic and generic aspects of its screenplay.
Tom Huddleston on 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'‘Director David Slade can’t disguise the massive flaws inherent in the screenplay.’
Nigel Floyd on 'Predators'‘Deliversenough hardcore sci-fi, explosive action and monster mayhem to justify its belated arrival.’
Dave Calhoun on 'Leaving'‘Scott Thomas is the main reason to see the film: she inhabits the strange contradictions and volatile changes of her character.’
Wally Hammond on 'London River'‘The film is as interested in the effects of catastrophic events on people’s behaviour as it is in the specific events of the 7/7 tragedy. ’
Tom Huddleston on 'Went the Day Well?'‘A jawdroppingly subversive and efficient piece of work’
Wally Hammond on 'Frownland'‘The indomitable spirit of the downtrodden New York micro-budget indie lives! ’
Trevor Johnston on 'Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema'‘A poor man’s "City of God" in this bullet-riddled Johannesburg gangsta chronicle.’
Author: Tom Huddleston
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