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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

47 Ronin

In feudal Japan, Lord Asano rules his province with fairness. However, jealous Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) fears that the shogun favors Asano over him and hatches a plot that ends with Asano's ritual suicide. After Asano's death, his samurai, led by Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), are forced to live as outcasts. 

Oishi wanders for several years but realizes that he must turn to Kai (Keanu Reeves), a mixed-blood warrior he once rejected, to help him and his ronin comrades take revenge on Lord Kira.



Tammy

For Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), a burger-joint waitress, a bad day keeps getting worse. She wrecks her car, loses her job and finds her husband in a compromising position with their neighbor. 

It's time for Tammy to hit the road, but without money or transportation, her options are limited. Her only choice is a road trip with her grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who has a car, cash and an itch to see Niagara Falls. It's not the escape Tammy had in mind, but it may be what she needs.



Before I Go To Sleep

Ever since a vicious attack nearly claimed her life, Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) has suffered from anterograde amnesia and is unable to form new memories. Every morning, she becomes reacquainted with her husband, Ben (Colin Firth), and the other constants in her life.

In accordance with her doctor's (Mark Strong) instructions, Christine keeps a video diary. As Christine starts to uncover terrifying truths about her past, she begins to question everything -- and everyone -- around her.



Monday, 17 November 2014

I Am Ali

An intimate and heart-warming look at the man behind the legend - as we've never seen Ali before. 

Told through exclusive, unprecedented access to Ali's personal archive of 'audio journals' combined with touching interviews and testimonials from his inner circle of family and friends, including his daughters, son, brother and former wife, plus legends of the boxing community including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Gene Kilroy.



Dracula Untold

In 15th-century Transylvania, Vlad III (Luke Evans), prince of Wallachia, is known as a just ruler. With his beloved wife, Mirena (Sarah Gadon), Vlad has brokered a prolonged period of peace and ensured that his people are protected, especially from the Ottoman Empire. 
However, when Sultan Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper) demands 1,000 of the country's boys, including Vlad's son, for his army, Vlad makes a deal with a monster that will enable him to defeat the Turks -- but cost him his humanity.



Stonehearst Asylum

A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues -- though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.



The Guest

the guest
A stranger, David (Dan Stevens), introduces himself to a bereaved family as a friend of their lost son in combat. David claims that their son's dying wish was that he come and pay them a visit and to do what he can to take care of them... Perhaps David over interprets that dying wish and takes it a little too far or perhaps he's just plain psychopathic, but whatever his motives, we soon find David worming his way into the family fabric, winning over sceptic members and making ambitions come true ...one way or another. A man that seems to never sleep, he has a sinister and peering stare that lets the audience know not all is right by him and that there are secrets lurking behind those cold, killer eyes.

Dan Stevens is cast perfectly in this role of David. Dry enough to pass as the perfect, courteous soldier boy to woo a mother in mourning, yet at the same time edgy enough that you don't quite know if he's going to talk his way out, or fist his way out; he has that sadistic glint in his eye that really does make it seem like David enjoys messing with the minds of those weaker advisories.

Very much a homage to 80's suspense/horror/slasher style movies, it's slick, yet self-aware enough not to take its narrative too seriously all the time, without becoming too much a farce at any one time. Surprisingly suspenseful, its mood is enforced with a supered electronic score that reflects the brooding tension and mounting suspense. The imperfect beauty of Anna (Maika Monroe) as the very homely, slightly slutty, somewhat angst teen again epitomises the 80's vibe going on. Maika plays the part of Anna beautifully as she tries to reconcile her mixed feelings for the enigma that is David. The shower scene when David opens the door half naked to her wouldn't have worked if they had dressed Maika up as a pristine beauty. Instead she is very much the 'girl next door', conflicted by desire. David is the boy she loves to hate, hates to love and knows not why – is it gut intuition or primitive urge?

It reminds me a little of Cold in July (also 2014) in so far as, it builds upon our expectation of the narrative, and, if it doesn't quite break entirely from the mould in this case, it at least pulls on the strings and plays with those expectations. We sort of know the story and will anticipate certain things, but that's good! For example, when the son Luke (Brendan Meyer) is given the choice to either stay in the car, or join David in the bar (where Luke's bully classmates reside within), we already know in our minds that it's going to be a classic showdown. The following scene has to be the highlight of the movie for me! I don't want to ruin the scene for you, but suffice as to say, we all know Luke's curiosity is going to get the better of him, as it has ours.

Again, in that playful way, it mixes genres, moving from pure suspense, through action and on into slasher. Even the whole haunted house scene, is such a contrived set-up we have to chuckle a little at its self-referential play on the 80's movie theme – it's the perfect slasher showdown, but who in their right mind would build such an elaborate maze??? But most off, it's such a joy to watch because its assuredly dumb enough to reinvigorate that sometimes cheesy atmosphere we enjoyed as teens in the 80's, yet remains suspenseful and clever enough to reinvent itself within a new era.



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