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Alice in Wonderland Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 24/07/2009 @ 15:30
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 243
Films seen this week: Broken Embraces, Inglourious Basterds, Charles Dickens's England, Skin, Orphan, 500 Days of Summer, Julie & Julia

Top Ten of 2009 so far
As we're three weeks past the halfway mark, I thought it might be time for a Top Ten of 2009 so far. However, if I'd realised what an agonising and stressful few hours I'd be letting myself in for, I might have reconsidered. The films below are the current front runners for the Top Ten of 2009, but I just know I've left something important out and I'm going to be kicking myself and adding things in the comments section for weeks to come. (Even while writing that last sentence, I realised I'd forgotten to include Synecdoche, New York and had to bump Wendy and Lucy).

Some of these (500 Days of Summer, Up, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds) haven't come out yet, so I could have made it easier on myself by only including things that had been released, but as the four films mentioned are all definite locks for the end of year list, I couldn't leave them out.

1. Sugar
2. 500 Days of Summer
3. Up
4. Fish Tank
5. Inglourious Basterds
6. Anvil! The Story of Anvil
7. Moon
8. Synecdoche, New York
9. Watchmen
10. Star Trek

Special mentions go to Revolutionary Road, Wendy and Lucy, The Wrestler, Kisses, Frozen River and everything else I've given five stars to over the last seven months. Thank goodness I don't have to do this again till December...

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Alice in Wonderland
This week saw the release Tim Burton’s hotly anticipated Alice in Wonderland trailer. I hadn't realised it was going to quite as visual effects-heavy as it looks here (especially the shot of Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen), but I like that he's gone for a mixture of cartoonish and theatrical.

In the Alice and Wonderland trailer we get glimpses of a very Addams Family-looking Tweedledum and Tweedledee (both played by Matt Lucas), the Cheshire Cat (to be voiced by Stephen Fry), Crispin Glover as The Knave of Hearts (just the fact that Tim Burton and Crispin Glover are working together in the first place is cause for joy) and a good look at Johnny Depp's ginger fright-wigged Mad Hatter. (I like the delivery of his “Naughty!” line – it looks like his Hatter will be more fun than his Wonka, at least). The down-the-rabbit-hole scene also gives an idea of how good the film will look in 3D. Now the bad news though – it's not out till March 2010. You can see the trailer here.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only two new entries this week, with Lars Von Trier's controversial Antichrist and apartheid drama Skin both making it into the Top Ten. My love of Moon has also grown considerably since I wrote the review and I'm sort of regretting not giving it the full five stars, so I've bumped it up to the number one spot here instead. Incidentally, Synecdoche, New York is still showing at the Prince Charles in London, but is very definitely into the end of its second run, so I've dropped it off the list, but catch it if you possibly can.

1. Moon
2. Kisses
3. Frozen River
4. Drag Me To Hell
5. Star Trek
6. Public Enemies
7. The Hangover
8. Antichrist
9. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
10. Skin

DVD of the Week: Religulous (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Religulous, directed by Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles. The film follows comedian Bill Maher as he embarks on a mission to examine the nature of religious belief. Throughout the documentary he questions Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Scientologists, cynics, atheists and everyone in between but although there's an element of Louis Theroux-style undercutting, Maher is careful to maintain his position of someone seeking answers rather than indulging in out-and-out ridicule.

By turns provocative, informative and very, very funny, Religulous is an engaging and frequently fascinating documentary that should be seen by both believers and non-believers alike. That said, the extras are hugely disappointing, particularly as there must have been tonnes of deleted scenes. Sadly, all we get is a trailer, unless you count trailers for other films as extras (which I don't). Hopefully, Maher and/or Charles will get round to doing a commentary at some point.

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