This Week’s Films (17/02/14)

Barney's Version

In the Woods (1999)In the Woods

While on a hunting trip in the woods, firefighters Alex Kerwood and Wayne Higley discover the skull of a mysterious horned creature on an ancient burial site. The woodland takes on a terrifying perspective for the two men as they make their way out, but once back home the terror continues, for it now transpires that the skull has the power to kill!

Verdict: 1/10

Melinda & MelindaMelinda & Melinda (2004)

Romantic comedy/tragedy written and directed by Woody Allen. Sy (Wallace Shawn) is having dinner with some friends when they begin debating the nature of the tragic and the humorous. Sy, observing that a very fine line separates the two, decides to demonstrate this by showing how the same story can be either funny or sad depending on the way certain elements are handled. He uses the story of Melinda (Radha Mitchell), a young woman with some serious problems in her life. In the tragic version, Melinda crashes a dinner party thrown by old friends Laurel (Chloe Sevigny) and Lee (Jonny Lee Miller). When she arrives, she is under the influence of alcohol and pills, much to the annoyance of Lee, an actor hoping to impress a producer who is one of his guests. After breaking up with her husband, Melinda lost custody of her children and came to New York City, where she became involved with Ellis Moonsong (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a handsome and well-mannered composer whose promises to her proved to be worthless. In the funny version, Melinda shows up dazed and confused at the home of Susan (Amanda Peet) and Hobie (Will Ferrell), who are in the midst of a dinner party. Learning about the sad state of Melinda’s love life after divorcing her husband and losing custody of her children, Susan decides to play Cupid and fix her friend up with a well-to-do dentist. However, neither Susan nor Melinda are aware that there is another man deeply interested in the troubled divorcee – Hobie.

Verdict: 6/10

The Lookout (2012)The Lookout

When a bank heist goes wrong it’s up to the expert and deadly sniper Vincent Kaminski (Mathieu Kassovitz – La Haine, Haywire, Munich) to take out the army of police outside the bank waiting for the armed robbers. Vincent’s accuracy from behind the scope of his rifle soon gains the attention of Mattei (Daniel Auteuil – Hidden) a disgruntled cop and head of the team that Vincent is targeting, who is hell-bent on bringing him to justice. When an anonymous tip off puts him behind bars, Vincent suddenly finds himself a target, and a deadly game of cat and mouse emerges when those close to Vincent begin to die.

Verdict: 6/10

Nacho LibreNacho Libre (2006)

Jack Black is at his comic best as Ignacio a disrespected cook at a Mexican monastery that can barely afford to feed the orphans who live there. Inspired by a local wrestling hero he decides to moonlight as the not-so-famous Luchador Nacho Libre to earn money for the monastery — not to mention the admiration of beautiful nun Sister Encarnacion.

Verdict: 4/10

She’s the One (1996)She's the One

The love lives of two brothers, Mickey and Francis, interconnect as Francis cheats on his wife with Mickey’s ex-girlfriend, while Mickey impulsively marries a stranger.

Verdict: 6/10

Two Girls and a GuyTwo Girls & a Guy (1997)

They’re as different as they are beautiful, but Carla (Heather Graham) and Lou (Natasha Gregson Wagner) have more in common than meets the eye. Each brags that she has the world’s greatest boyfriend — until both realize they’re talking about the same guy! Sparks fly when the two girls team up to confront their lying, two-timing lover.

Verdict: 5/10

Casa de mi Padre (2012)Casa de mi Padre

Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch faces financial strains, Armando’s younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up with his new fianc‚e, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) and pledges to settle all his father’s debts. It seems that Raul’s success as an international businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over, but when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business dealings turn out to be less than legit, the Alvarez family finds themselves in a full-out war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord, the mighty Onza (Gael Garc¡a Bernal).

Verdict: 6/10

FernGullyFernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

Magic and adventure await in FernGully, a spectacular rainforest where a bat named Batty, whose radar has gone haywire, joins together with Crysta, Pips and the Beetle Boys to save their marvelous world from the evil Hexxus. Ignoring the warnings of her friends, Crysta, the curious tree fairy, explores the world beyond FernGully. She discovers Zak, a real live human who is helping demolish the rainforest. Once Zak sees the beauty and magic of FernGully, he vows to save it. But it may be too late. The Diabolical Hexxus is on the loose and intent on destroying all of FernGully. This animated feature rocks with an original score performed by Sheena Easton, Raffi, Tone-Loc and others.

Verdict: 5/10

Creature of the Night (2006)Creature of the Night

Angst-ridden rock star Rob Parker has a horrible secret, one he’s desperate to keep from adoring fans, in this unusually fresh take on the werewolf legend which introduces a completely new semi-wolf phase.

Verdict: 1/10

Barney's VersionBarney’s Version (2010)

Academy Award® nominated Barney’s Version is a warm and witty story documenting the extraordinary life of seemingly ordinary Barney Panofsky. With a stellar cast including a Golden Globe® winning performance from Paul Giamatti as Barney (Sideways, Cinderella Man), Dustin Hoffman (Meet The Fockers, I Heart Huckabees), Minnie Driver (The the Phantom of The Opera, Good Will Hunting) and Rosamund Pike (Made in Dagenham, An Education), Barney’s Version is set across two continents and spans three decades. Take a flashback journey through the different stages of Barney’s unusual life. 

Barney’s Version begins in Rome where Barney meets and marries first wife Clara (Rachelle Lefevre; New Moon, Twilight) a fiery and flame-haired free spirit until he discovers her infidelity with one of his close friends. Encouraged by his father and close confidante (Hoffman), his second shot at marriage sees Barney wed a wealthy Jewish heiress (Driver) who barely notices him switch off whenever she talks. Ironically it is at their wedding Barney meets the third ‘Mrs’ P, Miriam (Pike) who turns out to be his true love and mother to his two children. At times a true romantic, performing acts of gallantry, generosity and goodwill, often when he least expects it; other times acting jealous and wallowing in self pity, Barney certainly lives a packed life, making him an unlikely and captivating hero. An emotional, heartfelt comedy portraying the depths one will go to for love; sometimes getting it right, other times getting it wildly wrong, Barney’s Version is a must see.

Verdict: 9/10

In America (2002)In America

From Academy Award Nominee Jim Sheridan comes this deeply personal and poignant tale of a poor Irish family searching for a better life In America. Through the eyes of their spunky daughters, two anguished parents find hope and the ability to once again believe in love and magic…even amidst the dangers of New York’s harrowing Hell’s Kitchen. With mesmerizing performances by Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou, In America is “a classic” (USA Today) you won’t ever forget.

Verdict: 8/10

Me, Myself and IreneMe, Myself & Irene (2000)

A nice-guy cop with dissociative identity disorder must protect a woman on the run from a corrupt ex-boyfriend and his associates.

Verdict: 6/10

War of the Dead (2011)War of the Dead

March 1941. Captain Martin Stone(Andrew Tiernan) leads an American unit on a mission to destroy a secret Nazi underground bunker. Fighting alongside an elite platoon,the soldiers find themselves attacked by the same men they killed in an earlier assault. Now, the remaining officers must struggle to survive against the war s most terrifying enemy…a flesh-hungry army of the living dead.

Verdict: 2/10

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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