FilmFour & Film Four +1 29.02.08

Astra 2D at 28.2E 10729 V SYM:22000 FEC 5/6

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A Town Like Alice
(1956) Taut Second World War drama reflecting the experience of the generation of Australians that fought the war against the Japanese.After being captured by the Japanese, a group of women and children are forced to trek across Malaya in this classic World War II story based on the novel by Nevil Shute
For a good film, A Town Like Alice has a terrible opening. Lead character Jean Paget (McKenna), sitting stock still, face to camera, explains to her solicitor (a wooden Geoffrey Keen) that she wants to go back to Malaya "even after what happened there". She makes a clunky reference to the money she's inherited and informs him she's going to dig a well. The next cut sees her in the village (or at least a Pinewood studio recreation of a village) by a well, again standing stock still and having another stilted conversation about her plans for the future. Eventually she drifts unconvincingly into an overdubbed memory of "all that's happened since the day that changed my life, that day in Kuala Lumpur in 1942."

The Sun Shines Bright
(1953) John Ford's favourite film features the same character, Judge Priest, that appeared in his eponymous 1934 film.An old judge standing for re-election finds it hard to cope with the new way of doing American politics. Ford's masterfully observed comedy of social manners rings true as the old are confronted with the new, neither side having much time for the other. His idealized view of American values may at times seem naive, but this, one of Ford's own favourite films, is beautifully crafted, and Winninger, as the judge, turns in the performance of a lifetime.

Daniel Day-Lewis Interview
Daniel Day-Lewis talks about his latest film There Will Be Blood.

The Hunters
(1958) Dick Powell's adventure drama is set during the Korean conflict. Commendably brisk, with the tough action mellowed by romance.Robert Wagner plays Maverick to Robert Mitchum's Iceman in this 1950s air-force action drama set in the swelter of the Korean War
If you're a plane spotter with military leanings, you're in for a treat. The fighter aircraft on show in The Hunter's brilliantly choreographed action sequences are liable to get you sweatier than a winter anorak on a spring day. For those who don't know their F-84Fs from their F-86s, the picture also sports a spicy little drama running beneath the dogfights to keep you hooked.

Catch that Kid
(2004) Maddy Phillips, a youngster with a contented life stages a bank raid with computer geek Austin and mechanic Gus.When a teenager's dad needs $250,000 for surgery, she convinces her friends to help her rob a high-tech bank. Junior action-adventure starring Kristen Stewart
Considering the majority of heist movies are built around the conceit of old hands doing one last job, Catch That Kid at least breaks the mould. Here the bank robbers are mere teens, and they're not even motivated by a desire to retire to a tropical island.

Austin Powers in Goldmember
(2002) Austin Powers returns, this time travelling back to the 70s to rescue his imperilled father.The Austin Powers trilogy eats itself, with a conveyor belt of old jokes climaxing in the unexpected revelation of Dr Evil and the International Man of Mystery's true relationship
Austin Powers In Goldmember serves up the same jokes from the first two films. The shadow games from The Spy Who Shagged Me between Austin (Myers) and Heather Graham's Felicity Shagwell, in which their innocent actions appear indisputably rude when played out against tent canvas, are re-enacted here with Austin and Mini-Me (Troyer). Dr Evil's Number Two (Wagner) once again comes up with a legitimate way of making a stack of money, only to be shouted down by Evil's desire for world domination. And Austin's catchphrases ("Yeah, baby!" etc.) are all rolled out to punctuate the action. Mike Myers certainly knows the comic hit of repetition.

Monster's Ball
(2001) Halle Berry is the widow of an executed prisoner, Billy Bob Thornton his racist executioner in this quality drama.Halle Berry is the widow of an executed prisoner, Billy Bob Thornton his racist executioner in this quality US drama
Monster's Ball Like In The Bedroom (2001), Monster's Ball proves that intelligent, character-based filmmaking that treats audiences with a modicum of intelligence is not dead in America.

Lady Vengeance
(2005) A kidnapper is released from prison and sets about getting her revenge. Intense drama from Chan-Wook Park, director of Oldboy.A kidnapper is released from prison and sets about getting her revenge. Intense drama from Chan-Wook Park, director of Oldboy
With Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (2002) and the award-winning Oldboy (2003), Chan-Wook Park established himself as foremost among the generation of South Korean directors whose work was leaping beyond the bounds of their native country (which, prior to the start of the new century, had strict export rules).