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Fancy the cinema?

30 May

I’ve been to see a couple of films lately so thought, just in case anyone out there is contemplating a night at the flicks (although with the weather as nice as is it of late, I expect you’re probably not), I’d fill you in on the two shows I’ve seen.

First up is What to expect when you’re expecting featuring a pretty star-studded cast – Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, and the sickeningly-stunning Jennifer Lopez to name a few. It follows five couples whose lives become intertwined and turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. Not just a film for expectant couples, or those already with children, this is a hilarious – I challenge anyone not to laugh at the adorable traits of Rock’s clumsy son – honest (I like to think; I don’t have children), and moving look at all the different scenarios and outcomes of creating a family. There’s Lopez’s character, Holly, who’s in the process of adopting; Wendy (Banks), who, after waiting 30+ years to get pregnant, discovers it’s not as glamorous as it may seem; and Rosie (Anna Kendrick), whose life is turned upside down following a one-night stand. Not just one for the girls, this is a chick-flick that even the men in your life (I can hear M already chuckling) will enjoy. whattoexpectthefilm.com

If thriller’s more your thing and if, like me, you’ve been totally engrossed in Scandinavian dramas such as The Bridge, then Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters is a must-see. I had no idea what to expect when I turned up at the cinema but I found myself, despite some of the excessive blood and gore, loving it from the start. It tells the story of a headhunter, who, to maintain a lavish lifestyle, steals priceless works of art in his spare time. When he gets a tip-off about a masterpiece, long believed to be lost, and he makes it his next project, needless to say, his life changes for ever – with unexpected, and sometimes funny, consequences. This one’s been out for a while so if you want to try it, get to the cinema now! imbd.com

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Dark Shadows

11 May

Johnny Depp

If you’re looking for some light-hearted, spoof-like entertainment this weekend, head to your nearest cinema to catch Tim Burton’s latest, Dark Shadows (out today). Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, and Eva Green – amongst others – it tells the tale of Barnabas Collins, an arrogant young man from the 18th century, who is cursed to be a vampire then buried alive (there’s also the compulsory love story but I won’t give that storyline away). Fast forward 200 years and a group of Macdonald-building construction workers have the mishap of uncovering his body. Suddenly Barnabas finds himself free but faced with the bright colours, swinging music, and new-found gadgets of the 70s – with laugh-out-loud consequences.

Some reviews already released haven’t been particularly praising but, take this film with a pinch of salt and see it as a satire of current popular vampire flicks (think Twilight), and it makes for comic viewing. Plus, it beats the endless stream of Saturday/Sunday-night reality TV at least!

darkshadowsmovie.warnerbros.com

Secret Cinema

16 Dec

Where to start? Last night JP, K, J and I took part in the Secret Cinema and I can only describe it as one of the best experiences of my life. It was unlike anything I’d ever done and I could never have imagined how much fun it would be. I never wanted the night to end!

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the Secret Cinema is part film screening, part theatrical performance. Each screening is held at a secret location in London (although they are starting to run them nationwide now too), and the location and film are kept as a surprise right up until the moment you arrive. You gather at a location (ours was Barbican tube station) and then you are led (in our case through tiny, twisty back alleys) to the venue of the cinema. Even now, I don’t know if I could find the place again. Our screening was being held in a disused building of some sort that had be transformed into a 1940s town square in Vienna, with a hotel, bar, casino, and offices. It was like stepping back in time.

I should also mention that in the weeks running up to the screening, you are emailed clues to help you work out what the film is that you’re going to see. For us, these came in the form of telegrams and spy letter, from which we deduced that it was going to be a black and white, war time, spy thriller. But how many of those are there?! We were also told to dress in costume – trilby hats, tuxedos and overcoats for the men, and net hats and fur coats for the women. Seeing everyone else dressed up when we arrived made the experience even more amazing.

For about two hours before the screening we had time to wander around the ‘town square’ exploring all of the rooms and ‘buildings’. In each place actors had taken on the personas of people from the film we were about to see (we still had no idea what it was) and we were taken from being interogated by a Russion officer one moment, to having a hushed conversation with a man from the black market the next. It was so much fun; a real production.

We could have carried on like that all night but we were there to see a film after all! When the time for the screening, we were all led into separate rooms around the complex and The Third Man was put on show. It was fantastic watching the film and recognising the scenes and situations that we’d just been living out moments before. It’s cinema well and truly brought to life.

Tickets sell out super fast and cost about £35. If you want to try it yourself, sign up for alertsof the next dates here: secretcinema.org. I can’t recommend it enough and this blog post seriously does not do it justice. It has to be seen and experienced to be believed.