Review: Frozen

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddStarring: (voices of) Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk

Directed by: Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck

Disney latest animated family film is the rather winter-y Frozen, which is computer animated, much like their last two films were, and like Tangled, it continues the tradition of musical about princesses. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, directed by Jennifer Lee, who also wrote the screenplay, and Chris Buck, who directed Tarzan for Disney back in 1999, and features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

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Review: Saving Mr. Banks

movies_saving-mr-banks-posterStarring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, B. J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, Annie Buckley, Rachel Griffiths

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Everyone knows Mary Poppins, the Disney film, which stars Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke, but the book series it was based on, by P. L. Travers, is not as popular, at least not anymore. Saving Mr. Banks tells the story behind how the books became the much-loved film that we all know, with Tom Hanks starring as Walt Disney himself, and Emma Thompson as British author P. L. Travers.

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Bollywood Review: Ram-Leela

336747,xcitefun-ram-leela-posterStarring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak, Richa Chaddha, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Sveta Salve, Raza Murad

Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

The basic premise of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, two lovers from enemy families, has been used numerous times in Bollywood, whether filmmakers acknowledge the play or not. Even in the past couple of years we’ve had Issaq and Ishaqzaade, both essentially versions of Romeo & Juliet set in modern India, which is what Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest is as well, but while those two went for more gritty realist approach, SLB sticks to what he does best: grand, colourful, full-on musicals.

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Review: Thor: The Dark World

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Directed by: Alan Taylor

Phase Two of the Avengers films continues, following this year’s Iron Man 3, with the sequel to Thor. Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins all return in their roles, under the helm of a new (to the series) director, Alan Taylor, taking over from Kenneth Branagh who directed the first film featuring the Nordic God, which was possibly my favourite of the Phase One films.

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LFF Review: The Grandmaster – The Weinstein Cut

grandmaster-posterStarring: Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Wang Qingxiang, Zhang Jin, Zhao Benshan, Hye-Kyo Song, Chang Chen

Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai

The Surprise Film at the BFI London Film Festival this year ended up being The Grandmaster. I’m not sure how, but I hadn’t seen a Wong Kar-Wai film until this. I’ve been meaning to watch 2046 and In The Mood For Love for ages, but it hasn’t happened yet, and after seeing his latest, I don’t know how much of a rush I’m in to catch up. I should mention this review may get spoiler-y, as I don’t think I can get my point across without discussing the plot.

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LFF Review: Nebraska

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Nebraska_PosterStarring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacey Keach

Directed by: Alexander Payne

We all know elderly people who believe whatever they’re told, and some who are a little too stubborn for their own good, so it’s very likely anyone who watches Nebraska will see something familiar in the lead character. Alexander Payne’s latest film stars Bruce Dern in the lead, alongside Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacey Keach and Bob Odenkirk.

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LFF Review: Tom at the Farm

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Tom at the FarmStarring: Xavier Dolan, Pierre Yves-Cardinal, Lise Roy, Evelyne Brochu, Manuel Tadros, Anne Caron

Directed by: Xavier Dolan

Tom at the Farm is the latest film by the young Canadian director, Xavier Dolan, set in rural French Canada, quite a change in backdrop from his previous work. Dolan takes the lead role of Tom, a guy from Montreal, who visits the childhood home of his boyfriend, Guillaume, after he dies in an accident. But of course, all is not as it seems with his mother, Agathe and brother Francis. Hell bent on keeping Tom at the farm, Francis pulls Tom into a strange, abusive (but platonic) relationship.

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LFF Review: As I Lay Dying

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as-i-lay-dying-posterStarring: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Danny McBride, Beth Grant, Logan Marshall-Green, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by: James Franco

James Franco keeps churning out films faster than most people can keep track of, and they all seem to have some merit to them, making it all the more impressive. One of his latest directorial ventures is an adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year. Franco also co-wrote it (with Matthew Rager), and stars in it alongside Jim Parrack, Logan Marshall-Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Beth Grant, Ahna O’Reilly and Danny McBride.

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Review: Sunshine On Leith

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Starring: George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, Freya Mavor, Antonia Thomas

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

I knew nothing of Sunshine On Leith, until seeing the trailer for it a couple of months ago. I also know practically nothing about The Proclaimers, the band who originally sung the songs, apart from one song, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), but even that I knew from the US sitcom How I Met Your Mother. It’s been a while since we had a proper feel-good film musical though, so I couldn’t help look forward to this. 

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Review: Filth

FILTH-POSTERStarring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Martin Compston
Directed by: Jon S. Baird

With any film that’s based on something by Irvine Welsh, the expectations are inevitably for it to live up to the standard of Trainspotting, and with a cast consisting of the likes of James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent and Eddie Marsan, even more so. While the Danny Boyle film may have set the bar too high when it comes to Irvine Welsh adaptations, Jon S. Baird’s adaptation of Filth is in no way a failure.

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