It was always going to be close but this week, after another particularly healthy few days at the box office, The Dark Knight Rises finally overtook Avengers Assemble to be the highest grossing movie of the year so far in the UK.
As of last weekend, Christopher Nolan’s movie has taken around £53 million as opposed to the Avengers’ £51.8million. Still firmly rooted at fourth spot in the box office chart, there’s no immediate sign of the movie having a serious drop-off any time soon either so it could yet improve on its position as the 13th highest grossing film at the UK box office of all time.
Ted also continues to do sterling business and Seth Macfarlane’s comedy has in fact done so well it can now claim to be the fourth highest grossing movie of the year so far behind TDKR, Avengers Assemble and Ice Age 4. Not bad for a little comedy movie about a foul-mouthed bear!
Special praise should also be given to The Imposter which has done incredibly well in its opening week, taking £252,000 despite only playing at around 50 screens. It looks set to be one of the arthouse hits of the year and after achieving the highest opening weekend for a documentary since Senna, it looks set to become the highest grossing documentary of the year too.
Both Keith Lemon and The Three Stooges had fairly unremarkable opening weekends and it’s highly likely that fairly poor reviews for both movies will mean that neither will be around for long and both are likely to slide down to the tail end of the top ten by next week.
The big release this week is Len Wiseman’s remake of Total Recall, which sees the filmmaker take a second stab at Philip K. Dick’s short story ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’ after Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 cult classic. The trend for remakes and reboots shows no signs of going away any time soon, with Robocop, Starship Troopers and Judge Dredd all getting the update treatment.
Few however seem to achieve much critical acclaim and they often fall victim to inevitable comparisons to cherished originals. Only the Star Trek reboot from a few years back springs to mind as a recent example of succesful rebranding. It remains to be seen whether Wiseman’s fresh take on the story can buck the trend and prove a hit at the box office.
Also out this week,star-studded Sci-Fi comedy The Watch, demonic horror The Possession and Brit/Aussie wedding comedy A Few Best Men.
If you want to check to see if any of these films are playing near you, you can visit Find Any Film and they’ll be able to help.
Berberian Sound Studio *Pick of the Week*
Amidst the various other horror offerings out this week, Berberian Sound Studio stands out as being very much the one to watch. Toby Jones plays the lead role, and he alone is like a welcome barometer of quality. It may not guarantee brilliance, but if Jones is onboard, you know you’ve got at the very least one captivating performance to hold your attention. The film sees a British sound engineer arriving it Italy to work on the effects for a gruesome horror film.
The gruelling task at hand begins to affect him deeply and forces him to rake up some forgotten traumas from his past as real life become eerily similar to his work. Incredibly stylish and an audiophile’s dream, Berberian Sound Studio has received glowing reviews and is by all accounts well worth seeking out.
You can read Jamie Neish’s review here.
This Sci-Fi comedy comes with all the right ingredients. Screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have hit comedy gold before with the brilliant Superbad and a stellar cast including Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan, Jonah Hill and blighty’s own Richard Ayoade have certainly racked up some considerable comedy gold between them. Yet the early reports on The Watch have not been too inspiring with pretty damning reviews being dished out across the board.
I went to see the film the other night though and personally I think it all comes down to matter of taste. I can see why a lot of people aren’t too keen on The Watch, it’s light on plot, the Sci-Fi aspect is entirely superfluous and the humour is often on the crude side. However the cast is on solid form and while they all basically play their standard comedy roles, Vaughan an obnoxious loudmouth, Ayoade an awkward geek etc, if you tend to find them funny in other movies, you can’t go far wrong here.
It’s far from a classic and won’t linger long in the memory, but if you like the majority of other frat-pack style comedies, it will be an entertaining enough outing and is worth checking out. Put it this way, I found Wedding Crashers and Get Him to the Greek hilarious, if you are of a similar mind, give it a bash.
Jon Lyus says:
The Watch’s only redeeming feature is Richard Ayoade and it seems that even he can’t save this one from the doldrums. I sincerely hope he steps back behind the camera and follows up Submarine with something quickly and distance himself from this 21st Century ‘Burbs.
You can read Lisa Giles-Keddie’s review here.
Len Wiseman revisits Philip K. Dick’s ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’ some 22 years after Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic sent Arnie off to Mars to play with triple breasted women. Wiseman’s take on the tale is a slightly different beast, based as it is on earth and, as far as we are aware, involves only regularly breasted women. Set on a futuristic earth split between the wealthy United Federation of Britain and the downtrodden Colony, Colin Farrell stars as factory worker Douglas Quaid who decided to escape his humdrum existence by having the memories of a secret spy implanted into his brain. When the procedure goes wrong and Quaid becomes a wanted man, he must go on the run and figure out which side of the ongoing fight he is on.
Reviews have not been too kind to Wiseman’s version and the consensus seems to be that while Verhoeven’s movie was over-the-top and bonkers fun, this movie is the exact opposite. Taking itself far too seriously, the movie has been criticised for being extremely formulaic and distinctly lacking in wit and excitement. Just about every aspect of the film has come in for some form of criticism so far, from the script to the distinct lack of chemistry between the stars. I’m struggling to find any positive spin to give on this one, but maybe the critics all have it wrong…..all of them. Maybe.
Asim Burney says:
Total Recall is directed by Len Wiseman, which for me is reason enough to avoid it.
Jon Lyus adds:
Total Recall appears to be a pointless remake but as with everything an open mind is necessary and from everything I’ve seen the future world looks very robustly built and should provide a good foundation for what we know is a decent story. Let’s hope it’s not the worst of all our fears and ends up being, of course, forgettable.
You can read Ben Mortimer’s review here.
A supernatural horror courtesy of director Ole Bornedal and with Sam Raimi on co-producing duties. The Possession sees a recently divorced couple forced to work together after their daughter becomes obsessed with a strange box she buys at a yard sale. The box seems to possess some strange power which is driving their daughter to increasingly erratic behaviour. Premiering at this years Fright Fest, The Possession has not been overly warmly received by most critics who suggest it’s fairly generic Exorcist-lite fair. There is the odd positive review though with Roger Ebert granting it an impressive 3.5/4, so who knows, maybe it does have some appeal . It may be a touch predictable for hardcore horror fans, but if you’re just after a slickly made spook-fest with a few decent jumps, it looks like a safe enough bet.
[Rec] 3 Genesis
This is the second sequel to the terrifying Spanish horror movie [Rec] and as is so often the case, it falls victim to the law of diminishing returns. The main appeal of the original was its grainy quality and eerie near-pitch black setting. This third entry in the series sees the events shift to broad daylight and by all accounts it’s a transition which results in a serious loss of tension. This time the virus which engulfed the tower block in the first outings has spread to the outside world and in particular the wedding of young couple Koldo and Clara. Critics have not been especially kind but a [Rec] 4 is still nonetheless already in the works. Seemingly it may unfortunately be going the way of the Saw franchise.
Jon Lyus adds:
Rec 3 was a real let down for me. Not least the deliberate move away from the hand-held camera gimmick, the biggest crime the film commits is not expanding on the intriguing mythology built up over the first two films. It’s by no means a bad film. It just becomes a very ordinary one.
Cockneys VS Zombies
Talk about a film doing exactly what it says on the tin. This distinctly British comedy horror sees a group of bank robbers trying to fight their way out of a zombie-infested London. Basically it’s Shaun of the Dead with added cockney. Reviews have been fairly positive so far with many suggesting that it’s a bit of a hidden gem and much funnier than you might expect. It’s definitely well worth seeking out if you’re a fan of a splash of gore or even just of enjoyable British comedies.
Jon Lyus says:
Cockneys Vs. Zombies! The name suggests Eastender-rejects and bargain bucket monsters and yet… It seems that knowing your assumed fate before you start the project is the key to exceeding expectations and good on them for making the most of this strangely titled horror.
You can read Adam Lowes’ review here.
A Few Best men
This Australian/British production seems to be riding The Hangover wave a few years too late. The story sees a groom and his three best men travel over to Australia where he is to marry a holiday romance. Cue much hilarity. In theory. Reviews have been fairly scathing (a recurring theme this week) pretty much unanimously with basically every reviewer in agreement that unfortunately, its just not at all funny. The words puerile and homophobic crop up in at least a couple of reviews, which should provide a good indicator of the level we’re dealing with here. Basically, if you’re going to see one British wedding-based comedy in the coming weeks, make it The Wedding Video….not this.
You can see Ben Mortimer’s interview with stars Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop here.
According to the official blurb:
Ever wondered if aliens were to visit a village that is not on the map of our country, what hell would break loose?! Joker is the story of Agastya (Akshay Kumar), a researcher probing the existence of aliens in the universe, who returns to his small little native village. The out of luck Agastya takes it upon himself to put his crazy village on the global map and continues with his alien exploration from there. While his plan gets the village attention from across the world, it also comes with a great deal of risk. Will aliens save the day for Akshay? Or will his plans fall like a pack of cards? Get set for India�s first ever extra-terrestrial drama-comedy – Joker!
Asim Burney says:
Very Very excited for Joker. Director Shirish Kunder has been mired by the worst possible PR for a movie in recent years, with a rumoured fall out with the main lead and before that a controversy he created by offending King Khan of Bollywood, but he is such a unique visionary and a true geek at heart, I just love his movies, sensibilities and even misplaced humour. Joker is the story of hoax to get a village in no man’s land on the map of India so they can get access to water and electricity, by claiming that they were visited by Aliens… until they actually get visited by Aliens.
You can read Asim’s thoughts on Joker’s trailer here.
The Myth of the American Sleepover
A coming-of-age drama made by first time writer/director David Robert Mitchell which charts the adventures of four 15-year-old youngsters on their last summer night of freedom before school starts again. Set in suburban Detroit, it’s a nostalgic look back at adolescence and its various trials and tribulations. Reviews have been fairly positive on the whole and its seemingly a sweet and charming piece with some solid performances from its unknown leads. Could be a potential sleeper hit!