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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead - Preview

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Preview by Jack Foley

ACTING legends Tim Roth and Gary Oldman play the titular leads, alongside Hollywood great Richard Dreyfuss in the award-winning Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, the big-screen adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s renowned play which comes to DVD in a brand new re-mastered version courtesy of RLJ Entertainment.

Winner of the prestigious Venice Film Festival Golden Lion award, Tom Stoppard’s hilarious directorial debut follows two lesser-known characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

To celebrate its 25th Anniversary the film comes to DVD in a stunning special edition two-disc set, on February 8, 2016, complete with more than three hours of bonus features including interviews with Tom Stoppard, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss and Gary Oldman.

Win Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead on DVD

To celebrate the release of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead on DVD on Monday, February 8, 2016, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who directs Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead?

Simply send the answer to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Win Rio, I Love You on DVD

Rio, I Love You

Preview by Jack Foley

TO celebrate the release of Rio, I Love You, out on DVD from February 8, 2016, we’re giving 1 lucky winner the chance to bring home a DVD!

From the creators of Paris Je T’Aime and New York, I Love YouRio, I Love You is the third in the Cities of Love series, celebrating love in the famous Brazilian city. From the perspective of 11 renowned directors, Rio, I Love You presents a distinctive range of stories spanning the tragic, comic, romantic, inspirational and unique aspects of love.

Discover the limitless and universal nature of love as Rio, I Love You is released on DVD from February 8, 2016.

Competition Question

Q: Which of the following cities is not a main location in the Cities of Love series?

A) New York
B) Rio
C) London

Simply send the answer to Rio I Love You competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Rio, I Love You is released on DVD from February 8, 2016

©2016 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved

Win Season One of Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce on DVD!

Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce

Preview by Jack Foley

TO celebrate the release of Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce, out on DVD from February 8, 2016, we are giving two lucky winners the chance to bring home a DVD!

Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce follows Abby McCarthy (Lisa EdelsteinHouse), the self-help guru and best-selling author of a hit book series as she struggles to maintain her reputation after separating from her husband.

Finding her life in free fall, Abby sets out on a journey of self-discovery comically stumbling through post-marriage hook-ups, single parenthood and a wild trip to Las Vegas. Supported by a new group of divorcee friends, join America’s once-favourite girlfriend as she tries to figure out life as a newly single woman in her 40s – learning a few lessons along the way!

Get ready for tears, laughter and a little bit of love with Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce as it releases on DVD on February 8, 2016.

To be in with a chance of winning Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce on DVD, just answer the following question…

Q: What type of book series does Abby write?

A) Cookery
B) Self-help
C) Biographies

Simply send the answer to Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce is released on DVD from February 8, 2016

©2016 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved

Sicario - DVD Review

Sicario

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

TENSE, uncompromising and morally and ethically challenging, Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario is a formidable piece of filmmaking that undoubtedly rates among the year’s best.

An intelligent dissection of America’s war on drugs stretched to a credible what if scenario, this grips from opening set piece to bittersweet climax and then continues to linger for some time afterwards.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an idealistic FBI agent who finds herself being recruited by an elite government unit that is engaged in a covert war against the Mexican drug cartels responsible for committing atrocities on the US side of the border.

The deeper she becomes involved, however, the more she begins to realise the dubious morality of what her job entails, while also becoming a possible target for both sides.

Based on a meticulously researched script by Taylor Sheridan, Sicario (the Mexican word for hitman) poses plenty of questions that yield no easy answers, opting instead to let audiences form their own opinions or draw their own parallels with issues like the war on terror.

How, for instance, do you fight an enemy that is prepared to do anything to win? Do you adopt the higher ground or do you fight at their level?

As if to emphasise the complexity at play, Villeneuve doesn’t just concentrate on one individual character (albeit that Macer serves as the eyes of the audience) but builds an intricate ensemble that extends to Josh Brolin’s gung-ho task force chief, Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious ally and even Maximiliano Hernandez’s Mexican border cop and father, whose own journey through the movie is just as interesting.

In doing so, he creates a wealth of fascinating characters, all of whom remain memorable in some way, and who have proper motivations – no matter how flawed – for doing the things they do.

In acting terms, everyone excels. Blunt is on career-best form, mixing feisty righteousness with fear and naivety; Del Toro mesmerises as the enigmatic Alejandro; Brolin combines cocky charisma with no-nonsense bureaucracy, and Hernandez draws our empathy for the hopelessness of his plight. There’s further noteworthy support from Daniel Kaluuya, as Blunt’s slightly more sceptical partner, and Jeffrey Donovan and Jon Bernthal.

Villeneuve, for his part, continues to enhance an already impressive reputation (post Prisoners and Incendies) by positioning himself alongside the likes of Michael Mann (of Heat/ Miami Vice form) and Martin Scorsese as a master filmmaker.

His action scenes are brutally efficient and thrillingly economic and his command of pacing is spot on. The tension in the film is often unbearable, while the various twists, turns and pay-offs are extremely well concealed so as to land some telling – sometimes gasp-inducing -blows.

Roger Deakins’ cinematography is another plus, serving to juxtapose the odd moment of landscape beauty with the brutal horror of life under cartel control in Mexico, while the overall feel of the movie leaves you, by turns, exhilarated and drained.

Quite simply, Sicario is the type of film that leaves you spoilt for superlatives.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 121mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: February 1, 2016

The Walk (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - DVD Review

The Walk

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THERE are two wow factors at play in Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk: the first relating to the audacity of the act itself; the second all about the technical bravura employed to bring this seemingly impossible feat to life.

Based on the true story of Philippe Petit, the French wire walker who, in 1974, stopped New York in its tracks by walking between the newly constructed Twin Towers, this is a stunning recreation of and tribute to that iconic moment.

If the rest of the film struggles to measure up, then all will be mostly forgiven once you reach it’s dazzling climax. For in a 40-minute sequence, Zemeckis truly puts viewers on the wire with Petit, providing them with the thrill of the act as well as danger surrounding it.

His camera work is breath-taking, as are the visuals (or effects) accompanying it. The sequence is stunning and worthy of the price of admission alone, especially in 3D IMAX. At a time when special effects can so easily be taken for granted, it returns that magic to them.

And in doing so, it also perfectly captures the mad genius of Petit himself while simultaneously paying a bittersweet tribute to the now lost beauty of the World Trade Centre itself, the terrible fate of which lingers without ever being spoken of.

Alas, if the finale of the film excels, the first two thirds are a little more easy to pick apart.

Anyone expecting to really get inside the head of Petit may be disappointed as the film refuses to speculate even though Petit himself has never addressed the why. While the decision to opt for a lot of humour undoubtedly negates a lot of the tension involved in realising the ambition in the first place.

In both regards, James Marsh’s superb documentary Man on Wire offers a far better insight into both Petit and the ingenuity required to put him on the wire in the first place.

That said, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a credible job of capturing Petit’s spirit (which I saw first-hand when I interviewed him for Man on Wire) and there’s also a charming performance from Charlotte Le Bon as his lover and primary accomplice, Annie.

If the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley and James Badge Dale, as two more accomplices, feel a lot more contrived and played for laughs, then this also negates the film’s dramatic impact. But then Zemeckis also seems a little too pre-occupied early on with dazzling with all the technological tools at his disposal, sometimes employing filmmaking touches for the sake of it at the expense of the characters.

You might even suspect that Gordon-Levitt’s voice-over and narration is to compensate for this, filling in the blanks left by Zemeckis’ handling of the performances. Unfortunately, it can get slightly annoying and sometimes even pulls you out of certain moments.

But even if such criticisms sound hefty and numerous, nothing should detract from the brilliance of the film’s final act. It truly deserves to be experienced on the biggest screen possible and it won’t fail to impress.

Certificate: PG
Running time: 2hrs 3mins
UK Blu-ray and DVD Release: February 1, 2016

The House On Pine Street - Preview and trailer

The House on Pine Street

Preview by Jack Foley

AARON and Austin Keeling’s tauntingly sinister new feature – The House On Pine Street – wreaks havoc on an expectant young couple as they move into an eerily ominous house. This highly acclaimed psychological thriller comes to DVD thanks to Second Sight on Monday, February 1, 2016.

After an unexpected mental breakdown, seven month pregnant Jennifer Branagan (Emily Goss – An Emotional Affair) reluctantly returns to her hometown in Kansas with her husband Luke for the arrival of their baby. Struggling to cope with fears of motherhood, a strained relationship with her husband and the presence of an overbearing mother, Meredith, Jennifer is losing control of her life.

But what begins with objects moving behind her back and unexplained knocking sounds, soon escalates into something far more sinister and threatening. Jennifer fears the house is haunted yet alone in her convictions, she is forced to question her own sanity. Is she losing her mind, or is there a dark entity within the house that is all too real?

Winner of Best Feature Film at Kansas International Film Festival and New Orleans Horror Film Festival and starring Emily Goss, winner of Best Actress at Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival and Fargo Film Festival, this chilling tale of a disturbed dwelling with a ghostly lore makes its DVD debut on February 1, 2016.

Fear what you cannot see in The House On Pine Street.

Win The House On Pine Street on DVD

To celebrate the release of The House On Pine Street on DVD on Monday, February 1, 2016, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. How many months pregnant is the main character, Jennifer, in The House On Pine Street?

Simply send the answer to The House On Pine Street competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Watch the trailer

Legend (Tom Hardy) - DVD Review

Legend

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

TOM Hardy delivers not one but two outstanding performances in Legend, an engaging if flawed look at the reign of London’s notorious Kray twins.

The British actor is typically mesmerising as both Ronnie and Reggie, investing both with the type of multi-layered complexity we’ve come to expect from him.

It’s just a shame that writer-director Brian Helgeland’s film cannot always match the quality of it’s leading man, especially when scrutinised from a historical perspective. That is to say, liberties (or artistic licence) have been taken with elements of the story, whether in the depiction and motivation of certain key events or even the nature of the relationship between the brothers.

It’s almost academic that there is also a certain glory attached to them that feels slightly unsavoury given the violent extremes for which they were infamous. But that’s par for the course in a lot of gangster films.

Helgeland, for his part, would possibly argue that part of the film’s glorification stems from the point of view he has chosen to tell it from; that of Reggie’s ill-fated wife Frances (played by Emily Browning), whose own story arc involves being firstly seduced and only slowly appalled. But even this depiction has drawn criticism from at least one surviving member of Frances’ family.

And besides, it could also be argued that telling the tale from an outsider’s perspective denies viewers the opportunity to really explore what made the brothers tick and really get into their psychology.

It’s no coincidence that Legend works best when giving Hardy centre-stage and when the internal wrangling of the Krays themselves is the main focus.

Hence, Hardy plays Reggie as the more calculated poster boy; someone capable of extremes but equally someone who perhaps felt trapped by the life (and legend) he had created for himself. And while this type of portrayal is undoubtedly contentious, it makes for an interesting dynamic, not least for the way in which it contrasts with Hardy’s very different take on Ronnie, as a ferociously homosexual hulk of a man who would sooner use violence than diplomacy to perpetuate the legend surrounding them.

Admittedly, there are times when Hardy steps close to caricature in this portrayal but there’s no denying his Ronnie is a scary kind of beast to bare witness to. And the animosity this creates between the brothers’ differing business styles creates an uneasy tension between them that occasionally erupts into sibling violence. Again, this constitutes an interpretation that may well polarise opinion based on how much is known about the Krays going in, but it makes for fascinating viewing.

Further positives extend to the look of the film (which is suitably stylish), Helgeland’s handling of the set pieces (which are brutal) and supporting performances from the likes of Christopher Eccleston (as top cop Nipper Read), David Thewlis (as dubious accountant Leslie Payne) and Chazz Palminteri (as Angelo Bruno, a representative of Meyer Lansky).

But in some ways, the positives only make the negatives surrounding Legend all the more disappointing. Given the enormous talent involved (Helgeland did adapt the screenplay for LA Confidential after all!), Legend still feels like something of a missed opportunity. It’s only ever good when it could have been great.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 131mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: Monday, January 25, 2016

Paper Planes - Preview

Paper Planes

Preview by Jack Foley

SAM Worthington (Avatar), Ed Oxenbould (Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) and David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings) star in Paper Planes, an imaginative children’s film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

Eleven-year-old Dylan meets the junior Japanese champion Kimi in the national paper plane championships in Sydney, Australia. They develop a close bond, challenging each other to create a plane that has never been seen before.

Directed by one of Australia’s leading filmmakers, Robert Connolly, this is a powerful true story about a friendship between two countries and defying the odds (and gravity in the process). If at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again!

Paper Planes is out on DVD today.

Win Paper Planes on DVD

To celebrate the release of Paper Planes on DVD on Monday, January 25, 2016, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Who directs Paper Planes?

Simply send the answer to Paper Planes competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

The Fear of 13 - Preview

The Fear of 13

Preview by Jack Foley

Following its highly acclaimed theatrical release, Dogwoof is delighted to announce the DVD release of David Sington’s enthralling psychological thriller with a difference, The Fear of 13 on January 25, 2016.

After more than two decades on Death Row a convicted murderer petitions the court asking to be executed. But as he tells his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems.

A man sits in front of the camera and talks – documentary filmmaking boiled down to its essence. But the tale he tells is multi-layered. At its heart is the story of how, through literature, a man comes to master language and to recast the narrative of his own life, to change the story he tells about himself to himself, and so find redemption in the most unlikely of circumstances.

The Fear of 13 is a stylistically daring experiment in storytelling, a psychological thriller constructed from a single four-day long interview.

In a monologue that is part confessional and part performance, Nick, the sole protagonist, tells a tale with all the twists and turns of classic crime drama. But as the story unfolds it reveals itself as something much deeper, an emotionally powerful meditation on the redemptive power of love and literature. A final shocking twist casts everything in a new light.

Win The Fear of 13 on DVD

To celebrate the release of The Fear of 13 on DVD on Monday, January 25, 2016, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Who directs The Fear of 13?

Simply send the answer to The Fear of 13 competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

The Carrier - DVD Preview

The Carrier

Preview by Jack Foley

BUKLE up for an outbreak of terror at 30,000 feet as The Carrier comes to DVD on January 25, 2016!

To celebrate, we have a copy to giveaway.

With civilisation on the brink of extinction, there’s only one way to ensure survival and that’s kill or be killed. Take to the skies in a stolen 747 where cabin fever becomes reality, fuel runs low and tempers flare. Everyone is a potential threat, isolation is key but there’s no escape at 30,000 feet…

The Carrier, directed by Anthony Woodley and starring Jack Gordon and Karen Bryson, is an expert blend of suspense, horror and drama playing out in a welcome addition to the outbreak genre.

Order today

Synopsis

When a devastating infection spreads across the entire world, causing chaos and collapsing civilisation as we know it, the only safe place is in the air.

A cabin crew escapes on a damaged 747 bound for Greenland but not all the passengers are as healthy as they seem… When the plane is sabotaged, the ragtag group of survivors are forced to land in an England tearing itself apart and ravaged by disease.

The crew are faced with impossible life or death decisions which force them to confront their past, face their fears and fight for their very survival.

Win The Carrier on DVD

To celebrate the release of The Carrier on DVD on Monday, January 25, 2016, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 copy. Simply answer the following question…

Who directs The Carrier?

Simply send the answer to The Carrier competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email