This Week’s Films (20/07/14)

Of Mice and Men

Trishna (2011)Trishna

Trishna (Freida Pinto, Slumdog Millionaire) lives with her family in a village in Rajasthan, India’s largest state. As the eldest daughter, she works in a nearby resort to help pay the bills. Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) is the wealthy son of a property developer. When he takes up managing a resort at his father’s request, he meets Trishna at a dance and their fates cross. Jay finds every opportunity to win Trishna’s affection and she accepts his efforts with shy curiosity. But when the two move to Mumbai and become a couple, Jay’s deep family bond threatens the young lovers’ bliss. Based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Ubervilles, master filmmaker Michael Winterbottom’s (A Mighty Heart, The Trip) latest film is a powerful look at the tension between ancient privilege and modern equality, between codes of urban and rural life, and ultimately a hymn to both the glory and the tragedy that comes with beauty in all its forms.

Verdict: 7/10

Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice (2004)

WINTER SOLSTICE tells the tale of small steps taken in the aftermath of family loss. Landscape gardener Jim Winters (LaPaglia) is a quiet craftsman, a soft-spoken man who prefers an orderly life. His family, however, is anything but orderly. Older son Gabe (Stanford) is planning his escape to Florida, leaving behind any shot at a stable future with his girlfriend. Younger son Pete (Webber) has retreated into a private world of anger, drift and disappointment. It is only when he meets his new neighbor, Molly (Janney), that Jim finds a way to deal with his own life and his family’s future.

Verdict: 6/10

White Men Can’t Jump (1992) White Men Can't Jump

Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) are an unlikely pair of basketball hustlers. They team up to con their way across the courts of Los Angeles, playing a game that’s fast dangerous – and funny. Directed and written by Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham”), and co-starring the sizzling Rosie Perez, “White Men Can’t Jump” is a slam dunk, high-flying comedy hit!

Verdict: 7/10

FaithlessFaithless (2000)

An imaginary woman recollects the painful experience of adultery to a storyteller.

Verdict: 8/10

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)When a Man Loves a Woman

Two of Hollywood’s hottest stars, Meg Ryan (YOU’VE GOT MAIL, CITY OF ANGELS) and Andy Garcia (DESPERATE MEASURES, THE GODFATHER, PART III), deliver critically acclaimed performances in this inspiring motion picture hit. As Alice and Michael, Ryan and Garcia are a passionate couple whose once-stable marriage is rocked by her increasing dependence on alcohol. As they strive to overcome this challenge, they discover a renewed sense of love and commitment. Sparked by hope and ignited by riveting star performances, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN is the must-see hit of the year — a story of fiery passion — and the enduring power of love.

Verdict: 6/10

ThirstThirst (2009)

From the acclaimed director of the global hit Old Boy comes a shockingly original vampire story with a chilling, erotic style. A blood transfusion saves the life of a priest, but also transforms him into a vampire. He struggles to control his insatiable thirst for blood until a love affair unleashes his darkest desires in deadly new ways. Hailed as “Daring, operatic, and bloody funny!” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly), Thirst is a truly wicked love story that takes classic vampire lore to twisted new heights.

Verdict: 8/10

The Replacement Killers (1998)The Replacement Killers

International superstar Chow Yun-Fat (John Woo’s Hard-Boiled) makes his Hollywood debut with Oscar(r) winner Mira Sorvino (1995 Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite) in THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, a fierce and explosive action thriller from director Antoine Fuqua (Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” video). After he betrays Mr. Wei, the ruthless crime boss who hired him to avenge his son’s death, professional killer John Lee (Yun-Fat) goes on the run. Enlisting the aid of beautiful document forger Meg Coburn (Sorvino), Lee attempts to return to his family in China before they are victimized by his betrayal. But Wei’s army of “replacement killers” is hot on his trail, and now both he and Meg are targets of their impressive firepower. With both sides fully armed and determined to fight to the death, an ultra-violent shootout breaks out when they finally face off against each other.

Verdict: 6/10

The War of the WorldsThe War of the Worlds (1953)

H.G. Wells’ chilling novel of a Martian invasion of Earth becomes even more frightening in this 1952 film adaptation that’s widely regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. An Oscar. winner for Best Special Effects. Also available is the first season of the TV series: The attempted Martian invasion of the Earth in the 1950s was thwarted when the aliens fell foul of the common cold virus. But rather than die the invaders went into hibernation and 30 years later they are revived and a second invasion attempt begins. The Martians can now possess human bodies and are opposed by a small band of resistance fighters.

Verdict: 6/10

Of Mice and Men (1992)Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s classic comes magnificently to life in this beautiful and stirring film starring Oscar® nominees* John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. Directed by Sinise from an adaptation by Oscar® winner** Horton Foote, this “flawless miracle of movie-making” (Susan Granger, “American Movie Classics”) is a must-see for all audiences. Best friends Lennie (Malkovich) and George (Sinise) find themselves unemployed in Depression-era California, unable to keep jobs because of Lennie’s childlike mentality. But once they get hired at the Tyler Ranch, they enjoy a brief period of stability – until their supervisor’s wife (Sherilyn Fenn) becomes the victim of Lennie’s compassion, forcing George to make a compassionate decision of his own.

Verdict: 8/10

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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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