This week's film releases

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2012, 16:18


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Weekly film review by:Vincent Camilleri


Ralph Fiennes – Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’
Gerard Butler – Tullus Aufidius
Brian Cox – Menenius
Vanessa Redgrave – Volumnia

Directed by Ralph Fiennes
Running time: 123 minutes

Based on the play ‘Coriolanus’ by William Shakespeare

CORIOLANUS is a tense and timeless, futuristic political thriller based around power broking, political manipulation and the arguments and prejudices of opposing social extremes. The backdrop is a republic caught up in a long and bitter war.

But at its heart is the personal journey of Caius Martius, the noble, but also complex, ‘Coriolanus’ of the title. His honour, courage and confident self-belief– all carefully nurtured and conditioned by his mother and central to his success as a great military leader - are also the eventual cause of his destruction. His frustration and anger at the pressures placed upon him to compromise his political and social principles is his great tragedy. The hero’s personal and political struggles, and the state of the society in which he lives, are as relevant now as when the play, and Plutarch’s original source story, were written.

The common people of Rome are hungry – never has the social inequality between themselves and the wealthy ruling classes been so apparent. Riots are widespread and the people’s fury rapidly becomes focused on the Republic’s most courageous general, Caius Martiu s (Ralph Fiennes), who has publicly expressed his scorn for their suffering.

But, Rome is also at war with the Volsces, a neighbouring state whose guerrilla-style army is led by Martius’s sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler). Martius’s outstanding courage and leadership on the field of battle secures the city of Corioles for Rome. It is a crushing defeat for the Volscians and, in honour of his victory, Martius is awarded the title ‘Coriolanus’, meaning conqueror of Corioles. The anger of the Roman people has now subsided and Coriolanus has become a hero.

With his recent triumph, Coriolanus’s politically ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) joyfully anticipates her son being elected to the powerful Senate position of Consul.

(Production notes – Lionsgate Films)

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“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” ( in 3D)

Dwayne Johnson Hank
Josh Hutcherson Sean Andeson
Vanessa Hudgens Kailani
And Michael Caine as Grandfather

Directed by Brad Peyton
Running time: 94 minutes

The new 3D family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” begins when seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist.

Unable to stop him from tracking the signal to its source, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest that will take them first to the South Pacific, and then to a place few people have ever seen. It’s a place of stunning beauty, strange and threatening life forms, volcanoes, mountains of gold and more than one astonishing secret.

Together with Gabato (Luis Guzmán), the only helicopter pilot willing to risk the trip, and Gabato’s beautiful, strong-willed daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone human inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island underwater and bury its treasures forever, in this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” also stars Michael Caine as Sean’s grandfather, Alexander, the stranded traveler they’re seeking, and Kristin Davis as Sean’s mother, Liz.

Shot in 3D, the film is directed by Brad Peyton from a screenplay by Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn, story by Richard Outten and Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn. It is produced by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson, and Charlotte Huggins, who previously collaborated on “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown, Marcus Viscidi, Michael Bostick and Evan Turner serve as executive producers.
(New Line Cinema - Production Notes)

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“The Grey”

Liam Neeson Ottway
Frank Grillo Diaz
Dermot Mulroney Talget

Written, produced and directed by Joe Carnahan
Running time: 117 minutes

In THE GREY, Neeson portrays John Ottway, a sharpshooter who has been hired by the refinery to keep bears, canines and other wild beasts from attacking oil workers during their shifts.

Liam Neeson's character leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out. The film begins at a refinery in Alaska, where crude oil is broken into various elements for commercial use. Workers endure grueling five-week shifts 24/7, and then have about two weeks off for vacation. One group of men heading back home encounter a brutal storm, causing the plane to crash in the Alaskan tundra. All on board are killed except for eight survivors who head south toward civilization, pursued by a pack of mysterious, almost mystical wolves practically prehistoric in their size and ferocity.

From the silent NANOOK OF THE NORTH through the groundbreaking JAWS, one of the most enduring motion picture narratives has centered around the classic conflict between man and nature. Now comes an engaging new adventure about macho guys stranded in the wilderness and pitted against impossible conditions and even more nightmarish predators. In THE GREY, set in the frozen mountains of Alaska, a pack of angry, snarling, bloodthirsty wolves are in dogged pursuit of human prey. As they pick off their helpless victims one at a time, the chances of survival for the last men standing become more and more remote.

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(Open Road Films Production Notes)

“The Thing”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Dr Kate Lloyd
Trond Esppen Seim Edvard Vollner
Joel Edgerton Carter

Directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen
Running time: 103 minutes

Antarctica: an extraordinary continent of awesome beauty. It is also home to an isolated outpost known as Thule Station. There, a crew of international scientists has unearthed a remarkable discovery. But elation quickly turns to terrifying paranoia in the thriller The Thing, as the group of researchers encounters something inhuman that has the ability to turn itself into an exact replica of any living being.

Columbia University paleontologist Dr. Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has left behind the safety of her sterile laboratory and traveled to this desolate region for the expedition of her lifetime. Joining a Norwegian research team led by Edvard Wolner ( Trond Esppen Seim) that has stumbled across a creature buried in the ice, Kate—along with fellow explorers Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) and Adam (Eric Christian Olsen) discovers an organism that seems to have died in the ice eons ago.

When a simple experiment near this outpost frees the thing from its frozen prison, Kate must join the pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), and his sidekick, Jameson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), to keep it from killing everyone and anything it encounters. And in this vast, intense land, a parasite suddenly mimics anything it touches…pitting human against human as it fights to survive and flourish.

The Thing, which serves as a prelude to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 film of the same name, is directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen. The thriller is written by Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and based on the classic story of terror “Who Goes There?” by John W Campbell Jnr.
(Universal Pictures Production Notes)

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Top Ten Films in Malta

25 - 29 January 2012


With acknowledgements to KRS Film Distributors Ltd

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