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FrightFest 2011 Line-Up

Posted by: Matthew Turner 29/07/2011 @ 12:30
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 264
Films seen in the last week: Captain America: The First Avenger, Poetry, Our Day Will Come (again), Basil The Great Mouse Detective, Zookeeper, A Better Life (again), The Smurfs (3D), Horrid Henry: The Movie (3D)The Light Thief, Arrietty (again, dubbed), The Devil's Double, Kill List, Friends With Benefits, Mr Popper's Penguins, Cowboys & Aliens

FILM OF THE WEEK: Captain America: The First Avenger

FrightFest 2011 line-up
Rejoice, genre fans! On the 26th of August, FrightFest is back, screaming into the Empire Leicester Square and unleashing a plague (or whatever the collective noun is for horror movies) of fabulous films over the course of five days. I've seen six of them so far and the standard is exceptionally high this year, with highlights including Andre Ovredal's TrollHunter, the 3D remake of Fright Night (starring Anton Yelchin and David Tennant), Melissa George (fast becoming a FrightFest regular thanks to her apparent decision to stick to genre movies) thriller and festival closer A Lonely Place to Die, bonkers post-apocalyptic horror The Divide and British hitman thriller Kill List, writer-director Ben Wheatley's astonishing follow-up to his already impressive first feature Down Terrace.

I'm also looking forward to catching horror anthology The Theatre Bizarre, psychological horror The Glass Man (starring Andy Nyman) and festival opener Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. And, okay, I admit it, I'm also looking forward to Final Destination 5, though, really, I'm surprised they haven't got there by now. Other exciting-sounding FrightFest events this year include FrightFest regular Andy Nyman's film quiz and a live DVD commentary of African zombie movie The Dead, in which directors The Ford Brothers will go into gruesome detail as to how the film was eventually made, an against all odds tale involving malaria, looting and actual cannibals. And then of course there are the midnight specials, such as Vile, Chillerama and Detention. Bring it on ...

Films I Am Dying To See: Drive (Red Band trailer)
Pretty much everyone I know who's seen it has been raving about Drive, ever since it played at Cannes earlier this year. And those that haven't seen it have been raving about the trailer since it “dropped”
(as the kidz like to say) a few weeks ago. Somehow I had held off on watching the trailer until now, but having seen it, I can see what all the fuss is about and Drive is now officially top of the Films I'm Dying To See list.

It stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stunt driver moonlighting as a wheelman, who winds up with a hit put out on him after a heist goes horribly wrong. Gloriously, that heist also involves a smoking hot Christina Hendricks (Mad Men's Joan Holloway), who looks like she'll at least have more to do in Drive than she has done in her previous movies (she was the mother who died and left her baby in the care of Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel in Life As We Know It). The film's mouth-watering supporting cast also includes Carey Mulligan (as Gosling's married love interest), Bryan Cranston (if you're not watching Breaking Bad, you damn well ought to be), Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks, who doesn't do nearly enough movies these days, if you ask me.

The trailer itself is incredibly stylish and promises a heady cocktail of fast cars, thrilling heist-based action and some striking looking violence (Gosling threatening to nail a bullet into someone's head, for example, although the shaking arm suggests he bottles it). It's always great to see a trailer that's had this much effort put into it – check out the sequence that starts around the 1 minute 45 second mark. Nice jacket, too. Anyway, the film opens here on 23rd  September. Can. Not. WAIT.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week with no less than four new entries into the top ten. These include: Joe Johnston's Captain America: The First Avenger, Arrietty (a delightful Studio Ghibli animated feature based on Mary Norton's The Borrowers), stunning Korean drama Poetry (which would make an excelllent double bill with Bong Joon-ho's Mother) and bonkers French drama Our Day Will Come (aka Vincent Cassel and the Ginger Apocalypse).

Interview-wise this week we have an exclusive interview with Submarine star Craig Roberts, to tie in with the DVD release of Submarine (see below) as well as press conference interviews with Horrible Bosses stars Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and squeaky-voiced Charlie Day, on top of our exclusive interview with Horrible Bosses (and King of Kong) director Seth Gordon.

Elsewhere you can still read our press conference interviews with Michael Caine, Jason Isaacs and Pixar head honcho John Lasseter for Cars 2, as well as our exclusive interviews with Princess of Montpensier stars Melanie Thierry, Gaspard Ulliel and director Bertrand Tavernier.

1. Bridesmaids
2. The Tree of Life
3. Captain America: The First Avenger
4. Arrietty
5. Poetry
6. X-Men: First Class
7. Senna
8. Bobby Fischer Against The World
9. Our Day Will Come
10. Cell 211

DVD of the Week: Submarine (released Monday 1st August, RRP online £9.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is British coming-of-age comedy-drama Submarine, directed by Richard Ayoade. Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film stars Craig Roberts as Oliver Tate, a nerdy, articulate, duffel-coat-clad 15 year-old who falls for supercool outcast-slash-arsonist Jordana (Yasmin Paige) and is dumbstruck when she agrees to go out with him. At the same time, Oliver realises that his parents (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) are on the verge of splitting up so he schemes to keep them together, but things are complicated by the fact that Jill's ex-boyfriend, New Age ninja-hippie Graham (Paddy Considine) has just moved in next door.

Roberts is superb as Oliver, displaying a neat line in blank-faced deadpan delivery that's all the more effective for the fleeting moments where his emotions shine through, such as his expression after his first kiss with Jordana. Similarly, Paige is terrific as the painfully cool object of his affections and there's strong, likeable chemistry between the two. The script is frequently hilarious, especially in the first half, where Ayoade has a lot of fun with the novel's first-person narration, illustrating Oliver's voiceover with a series of impeccably edited comic vignettes. There's also a lot of fun to be had spotting Ayoade's various film influences, from Harold & Maude to Rushmore and French New Wave classics. In short, this is a hugely enjoyable, frequently funny and superbly acted comedy-drama that marks writer-director Ayoade out as a talent to watch. Highly recommended.

The superb extras package includes: an audio commentary with director Richard Ayoade, author Joe Dunthorne and Director of Photography Erik Wilson; cast and crew Q&A's from the Glasgow screening with Craig, Richard and Yasmin; Alex Turner’s Piledriver Waltz music video; more cast and crew interviews; a Special Message from producer Ben Stiller; test shoots; the trailer; a Through the Prism featurette with Considine in character; ten deleted scenes; and extended scenes featuring Considine's improvised Through the Prism speeches.

And as a special bonus extra you can also read our exclusive interview with star Craig Roberts here.


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