Last week’s big new release, 21 Jump Street, looks like it cleaned up at the weekend – at least in the US, where it opened at number one with $35million in takings. That’s $5million more than last week’s big film, John Carter, which cost approx $250 – $300million to make, as opposed to Jump Street’s £42million. Both films are great but 21 Jump Street definately wins the Head to Head on that one and is probably the only one likely for a sequel. Check back here later in the week for how Jump Street and the other new releases did in the UK.
For this week we have another franchise starting venture in our midst, the much anticipated Hunger Games, starring the delectable Jennifer Lawrence, the chameleon like Stanley Tucci and the Rock God Lenny Kravitz. The movie is based on the first in a series of wildly popular teen-centric books by novelist Suzanne Collins and chronicles the story of a young girl (Lawrence) in a dystopian America of the future who has to battle for survival against other young people of her age in a televised reality competition to the death. It sounds like a cross between Logan’s Run (anybody remember that film?), The Running Man and Twilight – although, unlike the Vamps vs Wolves candy-floss saga, it will probably have a little more to say than ‘this is my chest.’ However, like Twilight, if The Hunger Games does catch fire there are more books in the series that can be filmed; the next being Catching Fire (see what I did there?) followed by Mockingjay. With the reviews that have been coming in (100% on Rotten Tomatoes at time of posting) I predict we’ll see the sequel within the next 18months. Tops.
Also coming this week, but not likely to challenge, is Act of Valor – a very, very ‘American’ film that might find it hard to chisel a foothold in the pockets of UK audiences. It’s a hybrid ‘fictionalised biography’ of a group of Navy SEALs that details the events of actual operations but recreated for the screen using serving Navy SEALs as actors. It all sounds like a bit of an experiment but it’s won a lot of fans in the US (not among the critics) and has done really well at the box office there. The only real reference the collective UK consciousness has for SEALs though is from that all-action movie on a boat that Steven Seagal starred in at the beginning of the 90s (what was that called? It was pretty good!) So it will be interesting to see whether Act of Valor can muster a comparable impact here.
A film that should (and hopefully will) challenge is the new film by Dexter Fletcher, Wild Bill. I previewed Wild Bill and showed the trailer earlier last week HERE and it’s my Tip of the Week for this week. It’s a brilliant film with a great cast, including a for once recognisable Andy Serkis, and it’s British too. What more could you want? You don’t have to take my word for it, here are the buzz words from all of you at a recent preview of the film:
“Brilliant” “Outstanding” Engaging” “The Actors Were Astonishing” “Smartly Observed” “We Want More” “Really Enjoyed it” “Very British and Real” ‘British Filmmaking At Its Best”
OTHER FILMS ON LIMITED RELEASE:
Agent Vinod – Indian and English language non-bollywood (i.e. no singing) action flick from Illuminati Films (how long before the internet conspiracy theorists latch onto that?)
The Kid With a Bike (12A) – French language tale of a young boy whiling away his days on a state run youth farm until a local hairdresser agrees to foster him on the weekends.