Friday, 13 January 2012

Picks of the Week: War Horse, Shame, Boardwalk Empire Series One, and Troll Hunter

THIS WEEK'S CINEMA RELEASES

This week sees the release of the most hyped movie of the last twelve months, War Horse. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is undoubtedly the popular choice this week. With a screenplay by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually) my hopes for this movie are high. Yet there have been some differences of opinion between the critics. Whilst the Guardian claims War Horse is; 
an unconvincing attempt at summoning up the spirit of the time,
the Telegraph has argued that;
The film is genuine in its emotion, unflinching in its reality, epic in its grandiosity, effective in its performances, and imaginative in its storytelling

Marino for the Telegraph goes on to praise both John Williams' score and Janusz Kaminski's cinematography.

Despite these differences, War Horse has been nominated for a number of awards including Best Motion Picture at this years Golden Globes (taking place this Sunday), making it a must see.

Watch the trailer here
Personally though, my movie pick of the week has to be Shame. With a strong cast including Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre) and Carey Mulligan (An Education, Never Let me Go), Shame tells the uncomfortable story of  two damaged siblings - Brandon, a thirty-something male with a serious sex addiction, and unhappy Sissy who is trying to make it as a singer. Directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame has been widely applauded by critics, with Empire magazine describing it as;
Brave, beautifully acted and emotionally revealing — an early strong contender for the most provocative and compelling film of the year
Watch the trailer here
THIS WEEK'S RELEASES ON BLU-RAY AND DVD


Monday saw the release of Boardwalk Empire's first series on both DVD and Blu-Ray. If you didn't catch Boardwalk on Sky Atlantic last year, it is set in Atlantic City during the prohibition era and focusses on the personal and private life of corrupt County Treasurer Nucky Thompson. The show was set to be a success from the beginning, being produced by both Martin Scorsese and Terrence Winter (Sopranos), and featuring an impressive cast which includes Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Sopranos). The pilot episode alone cost a staggering $18 million and was well spent with the series being nominated for eighteen Emmy Awards and winning eight. Series two has recently aired in the UK and is also up for a number of Golden Globes this Sunday. 

Boardwalk Empire is a must watch series. It is incredibly cinematic, from its vastly scaled and minutely detailed sets, to its costume and soundtrack. If you have a Blu-Ray player, it is definitely worth the extra few pounds to experience the full beauty of Boardwalk Empire in HD. 

More information on Boardwalk Empire can be found at HBO

Also out on Blu-Ray and DVD this week is the Norwegian movie Troll Hunter. Filmed in a documentary style, Troll Hunter follows a group of students in their attempt to make a film about bear hunters. Along the way, the students stumble upon a man who claims to hunt Trolls on behalf of the government and decide to tell his story instead with perilous consequences.

Toll hunter is original, imaginative, humorous and captivating. The best found-footage movie since Blair Witch project.
Watch the trailer here

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