releasing this week: Unstoppable and The American

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Loads of films out this week, loads of them! Well, there’s 6, but that’s plenty more than we’ve had in recent weeks… Unsurprisingly they’re all aimed at older audiences, no studio dares go up against the behemoth that is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 with a youth release. Last weekend HP7 took in €1.4 million at the Irish Box Office, the second biggest opening weekend ever. I’d be pretty surprised if it doesn’t top the box office this weekend as well. Mind you, the weather the way it is, it will undoubtedly be a far smaller total.

But I digress… like I said, loads of films out this week, loads! So I’d better get to it.

Ustoppable Chris PineUnstoppable is the widest release this week. It’s the latest collaboration between director Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, who’ve previously worked together a good number of films before… from last year’s The Taking of Phelam 1,2,3 through Déjà Vu and Man on Fire all the way back to Crimson Tide in 1995.

The gist of the story is that there’s this un-manned train on the loose carrying a load of toxic chemicals and it’s going to derail in an innocent little town and kill a load of people unless Chris Pine (ohh… Chris Pine) and Denzel can stop it. Personally, I suspect “Unstoppable” may be a misnomer. But I haven’t seen it, so what do I know?

I also suspect that this film with be much like the last few Scott / Washington collaborations… in that Denzel will be the hard-ass who saves us all from Peril. Add in the fact that film is penned by, Mark Bomback, who is notable for writing Live Free or Die Hard, and I think you can pretty much guarantee that’s what’s gonna happen.

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly blown away by the trailer. That high contrast, over saturated grainy look wasn’t really working for me and all I could think was that it sounded an awful lot like this movie I saw late one night on one of those dodgy tv channels. No, not that sort of channel. One like SyFy… no, not those kinds of films of SyFy… It sounded an awful lot like Atomic Train. Now I’m not saying Unstoppable is a rip off… but… you’ve got to admit, aside from the fact that there’s no atomic weapons on the train, it sounds a lot like it. They also tell us that this is “inspired by a true story“. Ok. I’m sure it’s “inspired” by a lot of runaway train movies.

Anyway despite my reservations, I’m still probably going to go to this. I mean, runaway train? It’s gotta be a bit of a laugh. I’m sure they’ve worked their asses off to get the whole gamut of tension in there and yes, I do love Chris Pine so I’m sure it’ll be a reasonable hour and a half* of popcorn fun.

The American poster George ClooneyThe American looks like a whole other kettle of fish altogether.

Starring George Clooney, this is Anton Corbijn second feature film,after the Ian Curtis biopic Control. I didn’t really rate Control at the time, click the link through to the review and you’ll know why, but it stayed with me and it did leave me wanting to see what Corbijn would do next. And here it is.

George Clooney plays a hitman who’s hiding out in the Italian countryside awaiting his last assignment. I’ve deliberately avoided learning any more about it since well… you always expect “hitman on his last assignment” films to go a certain way… so if it doesn’t I want to be surprised.

The one thing I have heard about it is that it’s not really the way the trailers would suggest. Apparently it’s not an action film at all but rather a measured character study. I like the idea. After Control I think Corbijn would do a good job with a film like that and at the very least, given Corbijn’s photography credentials it should look great.

Other films out this week.

Machete – I did a little preview of this one last week so you have a look at that and the trailers here.

London Boulevard – Feature film debut from director William Monaghan, an Oscar winner as the writer of Scorsese’s The Departed. To be honest from the trailer this looks like a bog standard Landahn gangster film… it stars Colin Farrell and a few of the usual suspects, Ray Winstone and Stephen Graham in particular stand out. Oh, Keira Knightley is in it as well… Not that the usual supects (and Knightley) is a bad thing. I like all of them but I’m a bit tired of crappy gangster films. I’m hopeful this one will be decent…

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest – final film from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. I presume if you haven’t seen the first two then this one isn’t going to make a lot of sense.

My Afternoons with Margueritte (La tête en friche) – French comedy drama on limited release. Starring Gérard Depardieu as a illiterate man in his mid 50’s who befriends an older and well-read woman. Over the course of their afternoons together they discuss life, the universe and everything. I imagine. Reports are that this is a pleasant little film. Unusually for a limited release, this is playing in Movies@Dundrum and IMC Dun Laoghaire… and more usually, the Screen cinema off D’Olier St. and Cineworld on Parnell St.

Unstoppable, The American, London Boulevard, Machete, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and My Afternoon with Marguerite are all on general release from Friday 26th November 2010.

* = Just looked that up, shorter than I thought, great! 🙂

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