This Week’s Films (24/03/14)


Holes (2003)Holes

Prepare to be dazzled by the spectacular adaptation of Louis Sachar’s acclaimed teen adventure Holes, featuring an all star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Patricia Arquette. Wrongfully convicted of a petty crime, cursed youngster Stanley Yelnuts (played by acclaimed newcomer Shia LaBeouf) is banished to Camp Green Lake – a detention centre for boys. Mysteriously assigned to digging holes in the desert Stanley begins to unravel the sinister reasons behind the Warden’s (Oscar nominated Sigourney Weaver) actions. When he finally escapes he and friend Zero (Khleo Thomas) determine to expose the evil goings-on at the camp and crack Stanley’s family curse forever. A uniquely acclaimed family film, Holes is a smart and hilarious story bought to life by a pedigree cast and skilled direction by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive).

Verdict: 8/10

Puppet Master vs Demonic ToysPuppet Master vs Demonic Toys (2004)

Horror franchise crossover, this time with the sinister toymaker Andre Toulon’s formula in the hands of his great-nephew Robert (Corey Feldman). Leading a group of evil toymakers, Robert plans on unleashing the murderous toys on Christmas Eve, while trying to defend himself from Sharpe Industries and their demon-inspired attempts to get the Secret of Life from him.

Verdict: 3/10

Manny & Lo (1996)Manny & Lo

A pregnant teen and her younger sister run away from foster homes and kidnap a woman whom they believe can help with the pregnancy. Mary Kay Place, Scarlett Johansson and Aleksa Palladino star in this breakthrough drama that received four Independent Spirit Award nominations.

Verdict: 7/10

20122012 (2009)

From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.

Verdict: 5/10

Female Perversions (1996)Female Perversions

Female Perversions is the provocative and stimulating story of Eve Stephens (Tilda Swinton), a successful attorney struggling under the tremendous pressures of power, promiscuity and a destructive sister. Consumed by wild sexual fantasies, she is unable to feel satisfied by either her male or female lovers. She uses them to fuel her all-consuming desire for sexual fulfilment regardless of the damage she is doing to those around her. In a truly shocking exploration of female perversion, Swinton delivers a riveting performance that ranks alongside her stunning portrayal of ‘Orlando’. Dare to let yourself go .. where you’ve never been before.

Verdict: 6/10

Tuff TurfTuff Turf (1985)

For Morgan Hiller (James Spader), it s tough enough being the new kid in school. But when he tangles with a local gang, he becomes the lone target of some rough revenge. And when he falls for the gang leader s girlfriend (Kim Richards), the situation turns from dangerous to deadly. Welcome to TUFF TURF — where enemies are made, reputations are earned and love is the most risky affair of all. Robert Downey Jr. co-stars in this powerful 80s high school drama that features live performances by The Jim Carroll Band and Jack Mack & The Heart Attack, plus songs by Marianne Faithfull, Southside Johnny, Lene Lovich and more.

Verdict: 5/10

The Backwoods (2006)Backwoods

Summer 1978: an English couple are going through a difficult patch in their relationship, and so decide to spend the summer in the house that their friends have bought in the north of Spain.

Very much off the beaten track, the house seems ideal for some peaceful holidays. But their tranquillity is abruptly shattered when they discover a girl with horribly deformed hands locked away in a cabin in the woods. Filthy and unable to talk, the girl is obviously terrified and so the couple decide to take her to the police. But their attempts to help the girl are hampered by the denseness of the forest, as well as by a group of local villagers who seem determined to keep the girl in these conditions….

Verdict: 5/10

The RainmakerThe Rainmaker (1997)

Francis Ford Coppola directs and scripts an exciting, star-packed adaptation of John Grisham’s novel about an idealistic young attorney who takes on the case of a lifetime. Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) plays Rudy Baylor, a rookie lawyer in over his head on a high-profile case. Opposing him: an army of seasoned legal sharks (led by Jon Voight). On Rudy’s side: Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito), a feisty “paralawyer” who specializes in flunking the bar exam. Rudy’s chances are slim to none- until he uncovers a trail of corruption that might lead to the one thing that could win his case: the truth.

Verdict: 9/10

Four Minutes (2005)Four Minutes

Starring legendary actor Christopher Plummer (THE INSIDER, A BEAUTIFUL MIND) and Jamie Maclachlan as Sir Roger Bannister — you and your family will cheer on this amazing account of a gifted runner’s triumph! After Mount Everest was conquered in 1953, the last great individual challenge remained the four-minute mile. While many sought to break through the most famous barrier in sporting history, it was medical student and driven amateur Roger Bannister who did it — astounding the world. Written by renowned sportswriter Frank Deford — don’t miss one second of this remarkable achievement, both on and off the track.

Verdict: 6/10

The FirmThe Firm (1993)

Young, ambitious law student accepts a handsome bid from a seemingly prestigious Memphis law firm. But when he discovers that the mob runs both the organization and the lives of its employees, he must devise a plan to save his wife, his career and himself from elimination.

Verdict: 8/10

Asylum (2005)Asylum

David MacKenzie directs Natasha Richardson in this dark drama based on the novel by Patrick McGrath. In the 1950s, Stella (Richardson) follows her husband Max (Hugh Bonneville) when he takes up a post at a psychiatric hospital. Stella is soon drawn to charismatic inmate Edgar (Marton Csokas), and finds herself becoming increasingly obsessed with him. Despite the warnings from her husband and his superior, Dr Cleave (Ian McKellan), Stella risks everything, including her sanity, to be with him.

Verdict: 5/10

Dangerous MindsDangerous Minds (1995)

Top Hollywood star Michelle Pfeiffer (I AM SAM, WHAT LIES BENEATH) is the driving force behind this gripping and uplifting smash hit! Based on an incredible true-life story — Pfeiffer is former U.S. Marine LouAnne Johnson, a first-time high school teacher assigned to a class of tough but smart inner city students. When conventional methods fail to reach them, the feisty Ms. Johnson tries the unconventional — defying the rules and creating her own curriculum! In the process, she instills a new self-confidence in her students — motivating them toward their greatest potential. Critically acclaimed and powered by a riveting star performance, DANGEROUS MINDS is hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing entertainment you won’t soon forget!

Verdict: 5/10

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)Hellraiser: Hellseeker

Pinhead (Doug Bradley) makes another unwelcome return in this, the sixth film in the ‘Hellraiser’ franchise. After the puzzle box is once again solved and the forces of Hell are set to be unleashed on Earth, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), the only one to ever defeat Pinhead, returns to do battle with her former nemesis.

Verdict: 5/10

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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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