Out Now – 4th February 2011

After the recent slew of Oscar seducing films it is a little jarring to have a week where nothing exciting is released. That’s just my opinion though, some people love watching pot-holing gone wrong in 3D.

Brighton Rock
It’s finally out for you all to see. Run, don’t walk! This completely unimpressive film won’t be out for long. In Brighton some right nasty people are being right nasty to some other people. This all happens in a film getting some right nasty reviews.

The Fighter
This actually came out on Wednesday but I was too busy packing ready to move tomorrow to notice. As far as I can tell this is The Wrestler but not so good.

A Little Bit of Heaven
Kate Hudson falls in love whilst dying of cancer, I guess they ran out of romantic scenarios that didn’t involve terminal illness. Whoopi Goldberg is credited as playing God, reprising her role from some Muppet film I watching during a period of unemployment. Bet this won’t be as good.

Sanctum
After all his preaching about certain films tainting the reputation of 3D, James Cameron (boo) lends his name to an appalling film about people getting drowned in a cave. There aren’t even any gremlins.

The Clink of Ice (limited release)
French film in which “An alcoholic writer is visited by an incarnation of his cancer.” Can’t wait for the US remake where Kate Hudson ends up dating her own cancer.

Nenette (limited release)
French documentary about an orangutan. Only 70 minutes so perfect for when you want to watch an unappealing documentary but just don’t have the time.

New York I Love You (limited release)
Starring every American actor that matters this collection of shorts is a follow up to its Parisian equivalent. Similar to the original it is a mixed bag of shorts with slightly lower standard of quality than the French film. Well worth seeing if you are a fan of the short film and have ever been in love.

Rabbit Hole (limited release)
Fancy seeing Nicole Kidman grieve over a dead son in an oscar nominated film? Me neither. Pow!

Silken Skin (limited release)
A French film from the 60s in black and white that portrays an extra-marital affair in PG fashion. You’ll have to go to the Southbank for this one.

Brighton Rock – Review

The Surprise Film is consistently the hottest ticket at the London Film Festival, previous years having included The Wrestler and No Country For Old Men, and after last year’s disappointment with Capitalism: A Love Story a real treat was expected last Sunday.

Somehow the internet decided that the surprise film was most likely Brighton Rock, but this was by no means guaranteed… until the opening credits rolled. What followed did not match the Coen Brothers, Aronofsky or even Michael Moore.

Brighton Rock is everything I was so pleased Submarine was not; a gritty, gangster filled period film with Helen Mirren. In theory the film followed the descent of young rogue Pinkie into organised crime and disaster, when in reality his arc ended after about twenty minutes and then failed to progress for the final hour and a half.

To say that Brighton Rock is terrible would be an exaggeration, it would make a fine addition to any ITV drama line-up. Sadly the film is simply unimpressive and a far cry from the quality you expect to be shown in what is one of the Festival’s top four events. Rather than creating huge hype, the screening felt like a trick, making people buy tickets for a film they would never have shelled out for had they known what they were getting themselves into.

After a rough start Brighton Rock does get better, though never quite finds a way of connecting with its audience and struggles to develop any character beyond their two dimensions. Considering Rowan Joffe, the writer/director, also penned The American he is responsible for more than his fair share of flops for one film festival.

Brighton Rock does not have a UK release yet, and after the backlash it has received this week it could be a good thing.