Classic Screening,

February UK Film Releases

Monday, February 01, 2010 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

February 2010 sees the release of some highly anticipated films as well as some that are sure to be classics. The full list of the UK's February cinema releases can be found here.

Astro Boy

Loosely based on the very popular Japanese TV show from the 60s. Astro Boy is set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him

Sure to enthrall kids & older kids alike. Astro Boy features the vocal talents of luminaries; Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nighy and Donald Sutherland.

Invictus is a biographical drama film based on Nelson Mandela's life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film stars Morgan Freeman as South African President Mandela, and Matt Damon as François Pienaar, the South African team captain. The film is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation. A top notch cast and film however I found the film oddly flat compared to Eastwood's previous efforts. Especially given the emotional times and subject of the film. A second screening may be needed.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
As the Harry Potter series comes to an end. Studios are keen to replace the impending void with a new successful fantasy series and so far 2 time directory of Harry potter films Chris Columbus's Percy Jackson seems to be the most likely contender. A cast that includes Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan and Joe Pantoliano can't hurt either.

It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Ponyo on the Cliff
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan's equivalent of Walt Disney) latest offering Ponyo on the Cliff is sure to satisfy all fans of Japanese animation.

The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human.

Crazy Heart
Having being already nominated and winning a whack of awards as well as being earmarked for Jeff Bridges greatest performance yet - Crazy Heart is the story of Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician.

Shutter Island
Scorsese is back! With Shutter Island based on a Dennis Lehane's (Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone) dark novel and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow and Jackie Earle Haley. This is sure to be a must see.

It's 1954, and up-and-coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. He's been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy's shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals "escape" in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable clues multiply, Teddy begins to doubt everything - his memory, his partner, even his own sanity.

If you need any more convincing behold - the trailer below.

The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones based on Alice Sebold's best selling novel is the bitter sweet tale of of a 14-year-old girl from suburban Pennsylvania who is murdered. She tells the story from limbo, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while coming to terms with her death. I'm a fan of Jackson's work particularly his earlier stuff so anticipation was high even though the subject matter was not that compelling to me. I was a little disappointed as I thought that their was some incongruous between the emotional heart of the film and the CG. Although the effects were good it felt like the CG took me out of the story. Still stand out performance all round from Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon.

The Wolfman
After several delays Joe Johnston's (Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, October Sky, Jumanji, The Rocketeer) The Wolfman has finally come to the screen. The trailer certainly engages and has a real feel of Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula to it. With an outstanding cast that includes Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin, Elizabeth Croft and Art Malik. I'm looking forward to this and hope it doesn't turn out to be another League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Van Helsing.

A Couple of Dicks/ Cop Out
Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Cop buddy film. Should be enough- but with Kevin Smith's direction Cop Out is sure to marvel. It is a sharp comedy about two cops whose adventures include locating a stolen baseball card, rescuing a woman, and dealing with gangsters and their laundered money.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the man behind Amelie and The City of the Lost Children, is bringing us a new slice of original madness in MicMacs. The story of Bazil who is accidentally shot in the head and finds his whole life turned upside down. Homeless, he ends up being taken in by a group of eccentrics, and starts to plot with them to take down the source of all his woes: the weapons manufacturers responsible for the bullets that hit him and killed his father years before.

If anything, Jeunet is consistently fun, original and inventive so Micmacs is sure to be on a par with his previous works.

The Crazies
Not for eveyone, the update of George A. Romero's classic horror. The American Dream goes horribly wrong when the residents of a small Mid-Western town start succumbing to an uncontrollable urge for violence. As the horrific bloodshed escalates into anarchy, the military attempts to contain the epidemic, using deadly force to seal off the town. This means that the few healthy citizens who remain are trapped in a hellish scenario where depraved killers lurk in the shadows. Sheriff David Dutton, his pregnant wife Judy, medical assistant Becca and Dutton's deputy Russell find themselves trapped in a once-idyllic town they can no longer recognise. Unable to trust former neighbours and friends, deserted by the authorities and terrified of contracting the illness themselves, they are forced to band together in a desperate and bloody struggle for survival.

Other notables from February's releases are:

The Last Station
A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.

Malice in Sunderland
A modern take on the classic fairytale, Alice in Wonderland, set in the North East of England.

From Paris With Love

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.