Film Four & Film Four +1 04-05-08.

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
(2004) The world is under threat from giant robots that arrive from the air, crushing anything in their path.Gwyneth Paltrow stars as a journalist investigating the disappearance of scientists in a retro-futuristic 1930s world, with Jude Law as an aerial ace. Innovative CGI movie from debut director Kerry Conran
Somewhere between a masterpiece and a folly, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow has met with a mixed reception. It's no wonder, as it's genuinely something different and new - in technological terms. However, its story is old and familiar - namely a pulp action adventure that plays earnest homage to older films and serials. As such it has a whiff of Lucas' original Star Wars, which thrilled 1970s children with its invoking of 1930s and 1940s Saturday matinee thrills. Given that almost the entire film was created with computer animation, the actors shot against blue screens and minimal sets, it connects with Lucas' less innocent, less endearing modern trilogy, which many feel is an airless, soulless exercise in exploiting new technologies.

River of No Return
(1954) Robert Mitchum stars as Matt Calder, a farmer recently released from prison after serving a sentence for killing a man.Two legends collide as Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum dodge the injuns and fall in love in this routine Western
Preminger directs a starry cast including Mitchum, Calhoun and Monroe in this patchy drama which owes more to its gorgeous scenery and musical numbers than it does to anything else.

White Feather
(1955) Intelligent western set in Wyoming in 1887, in which surveyor Robert Wagner falls for Cheyenne Indian Debra Paget and helps avert a massacre.Intelligent western set in Wyoming in 1887 where surveyor Robert Wagner falls for Cheyenne Indian Debra Paget and helps avert a massacre.

Happy Go Lucky Preview
An exclusive extract from Mike Leigh's new film Happy-Go-Lucky, introduced by both the director and its star Sally Hawkins.Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky grabbed a Silver Bear for Sally Hawkin's central performance at this year's Berlin Film Festival and has won over critics with its positive attitude. The film follows Poppy, a bouncy primary school teacher, as she embarks on driving lessons with the deeply unhappy instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan), a new relationship with the charmed Tim (Samuel Roukin) and goes about her days in Camden with best friend Zoe (Alexis Zegerman).
Some critics have expressed surprise that Happy-Go-Lucky is something of a departure from your previous work, which they describe as social criticism. How do you respond to efforts to define your style of filmmaking?
People can talk any amount of crap they like. I know what these films are about. If anyone wants to say that Happy-Go-Lucky is devoid of social comment, that's stupid, as it has plenty to say about how we live, that is the way we teach, the way we learn, the way we have relationships, the way we interact with people, the way people accumulate ideas and don't know what to do with them, surviving and dealing with problems. It's rooted in social issues, and in that sense, it's political if you like. But it's not tract, it's not a piece of propaganda.
A film can only be interesting if it's rooted in reality in some way, things can only be funny if they're rooted in reality, and they can only be tragic if they're rooted in reality. It's overall a bright, energetic positive experience and I hope it makes you feel it's worth living. But within it are darknesses and sadnesses of various kinds, which are there for Poppy to react to, deal with, feel about and care about. As such it's hopefully a complex film that has its comic and celebratory side.

(2001) David Duchovny and Julianne Moore combat a rapidly developing alien threat. Great special effects, superb dialogue and fast-moving action.David Duchovny and Julianne Moore combat a rapidly developing alien threat in director-producer Ivan Reitman's sporadically funny melding of his own Ghostbusters formula with the 50s B-movie genre
Evolution When a small-town, would-be fireman Wayne Green (Scott, American Pie) is nearly struck by a meteor, local college science teacher Dr Ira Kane (Duchovny) and geology teacher Harry Block (Jones) investigate. What they find is a hunk of space rock oozing living gloop. They immediately recognise the significance of the find - proof of extraterrestrial life. "Is the Nobel prize paid in instalments or a lump sum like the Lottery?" Harry asks, excitedly.

The Fifth Element
(1997) Luc Besson's stunning, audacious science fiction thriller stars Bruce Willis as an ex-government agent, now reduced to driving a taxi.Luc Besson's big budget sci-fi extravaganza set in the 24th century. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm and Chris Tucker star
Fifth Element Famously The Fifth Element is based on a novel that director Luc Besson wrote when he was 16. It shows. This is an incredibly juvenile film. There's a masturbatory fantasy involving a supermodel landing in the lap of a tough guy hero, nerdy space creatures, invented languages and a complete disregard for logic and reality. Fortunately, the parallels end there. Unlike most teenage outpourings, this gloriously camp film never takes itself too seriously - and it's very entertaining.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
(1972) Apes are now the slaves of humans, but still hidden is Caesar, the intelligent, talking ape/human...Third sequel in the Planet quintet. Roddy McDowall reprises his role as the highly evolved Caesar, leading an ape uprising against their human masters
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes As the promotional trailer announces "[we've]... seen the future, and it doesn't look good...", an interesting disclaimer for the simian-empowerment series, yet perfectly fitting for this fourth instalment. Though the 'future' in question (1991) has obviously dated since it was first released, the film gains an extra layer in re-examining its message. Whether seen as an allegory for race relations in the 1960s or as a political take on man's ownership and treatment of the world, the themes - those of prejudice and the abuse of power - still feel pertinent.

The Cooler
(2003) The story of a man whose job it is to bring bad luck to gamblers on a winning streak.The story of a man whose job it is to bring bad luck to gamblers on a winning streak. Drama starring William H Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello
Cooler At first glance, the casting of William H Macy as Bernie Lootz, the unluckiest guy in Las Vegas, seems uninspired. After all, Macy - be it in Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Fargo or Mystery Men - has made his living as an actor specialising in losers. One more hardly seems necessary. But utilising this baggage is chiefly why director and co-writer Wayne Kramer casts Macy, who offers up one of his more surprising and effective performances.