Film Four & Film Four +1 15-06-08.
Astra 2D at 28.2E 10729 V SYM:22000 FEC 5/6
Film Four SID8335 VPID2312 APID2313 Eng
Film Four +1 SID8330 VPID2332 APID2333 Eng
(1987) Diane Keaton is a high-flying exec who finds herself left a baby in a distant relative's will.Diane Keaton stars as the hard-nosed career woman who is forced to get in touch with her maternal instinct when she inherits a baby.
Baby Boom Aside from the usual array of jokes about ploppy nappies, late-night feeds and general stereotypical infant humour, there's a risible sub-plot in which she ditches her city job to repair to New England and start up a business producing home-made applesauce, but if you can suspend your disbelief this makes for mildly engaging viewing.
Fun in Acapulco
(1963) Elvis Presley plays Mike Windgren, an ex-trapeze artist who's lost his nerve since dropping his partner.
(1979) Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale and Fulton Mackay star in this superior spin-off feature from the much-loved TV sitcom.When Slade Prison plays host to a celebrity football match, those on the inside smell a chance to escape. Big screen version of the hit sitcom starring Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde
Porridge While virtually every British sitcom of the 1970s was blown up for the cinema screen, only a couple made the transition successfully. The two Steptoe And Son pictures have their defenders, as does Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais' The Likely Lads. However, it's another Clement/La Frenais entity that best made the trip from its 8.30 TV slot to the local Odeon. Arguably the greatest situation comedy of them all, 'Porridge' was so small-scale it appeared about as easy to blow-up as a leaky air-bed. Hats off then to the writers for knowing how to inflate their meisterwork, and congratulations to the cast for keeping their characters small without diminishing the size of the laughs. With day-to-day life as grim as ever at Her Majesty's Slade Prison, everyone from the governor to the oldest of lags is delighted when ageing recidivist Norman Stanley Fletcher (Barker) suggests bringing a team of celebrities up to play football against the prison first XI. Fletch, though, is but the front for a scam cooked up by prison bigwig Harry Grout (Vaughan) for whom the match is a means to freeing the Ronnie Biggs-esque Phil Oakes (Rutter). But with matters failing to run smoothly, it's Fletch and cellmate Lenny Godber (Beckinsale) who find themselves on the outside. And since both are near the end of their sentences, they don't want out - they want back in!
M Night Shyamalan on 'the Happening'
Director/writer M Night Shyamalan talks about his latest eerie thriller, starring Mark Wahlberg.Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel star as a couple caught up in the chaos when a suicide-inducing toxin wreaks havoc on the East Coast of the US. From M Night Shyamalan
There's no doubt, M Night Shyamalan is a great ideas man. From the "I see dead people" hook of The Sixth Sense to the crop circle mysteries of Signs, he has an innate ability to plug into alluring concepts. While Lady In The Water sunk without trace in 2006, it's back to business with The Happening.Sadly, while this eco-thriller will have audiences drooling at the outset, its execution adds further weight to the argument that Shyamalan should pitch his great ideas to screenwriters more able to flesh them out.
(1976) A book publisher becomes embroiled in a murder-mystery aboard an LA-Chicago express. Action comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.A book publisher becomes embroiled in a murder-mystery aboard an LA-Chicago express. Action comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
Silver Streak Silver Streak is the name of the train that publisher Gene Wilder boards to get away from it all. However, on the long journey from LA to Chicago he stumbles across a murder, and soon finds himself at the mercy of the perpetrator.When Wilder teams up with Richard Pryor, a petty thief, things start to become amusing, but this comedy thriller is never quite on the right track, and director Arthur Hiller manages to exploit neither its thriller nor its comedy elements to full effect. The journey lasts too long, and while the pairing of Wilder and Pryor works like a dream, it too is under-exploited.
(2002) Joel Schumacher's taut thriller, told in real-time, stars Colin Farrell as a slimy New York publicist trapped in a phone box by a sniper.Colin Farrell stars as a slimy New York publicist trapped in a phone box by a sniper - voiced by Kiefer Sutherland - who wants to force him to admit to his sins
Phone Booth First it was delayed in the expectation that star Colin Farrell (Tigerland) would make it big post-Minority Report, then knees collectively jerked when a real sniper started picking people off in the US, but director Joel Schumacher and writer Larry Cohen's Phone Booth finally made it to screens (in the UK at least) in 2003. It's a quintessential piece of high concept cinema. A sniper snares a guy in a phone box. The guy in question is Stu Shepard (Farrell), a New York publicist who's been introduced doing his business on the mobile phone, playing would-be stars and magazine editors off against one another while a put-upon assistant scurries along behind him. He really is a creep: he's rude, he's arrogant, he's a fibber. But he's heading for a comeuppance, of sorts.
When Shepard goes to "the phone booth on 53rd and 8th, one of the last of its type still in operation" to call client cum potential conquest Pamela (Holmes) the phone rings. Instinctively he answers. Bad move. There's a crazy guy on the other end (voiced by Sutherland) and he's wielding a high velocity rifle with telescopic sights.
The film flags up the sniper's fundamental grievance with a question writ large in a shop window display behind Stu: "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?". More specifically, the sniper believes he is fulfilling some sort of judicial function, acting as conscience and even executioner of those he considers immoral, sinful. Previous victims include a German pornographer (and secret paedophile) and a corrupt corporate executive. He tells Stu, "You are guilty of inhumanity to your fellow man."
This vigilante mission pursues pretty weak logic, and is a flaw in the film. Sure, Stu is a liar who uses skilful deception to manipulate lives, but so do a million people in the media, marketing and entertainment industries. The problem is that the audience has to sympathise with Stu, so although we'd all concede he's a creep, there's still hope for him. The sniper is aggrieved that Stu is playing around behind the back of his wife, Kelly (Mitchell), but he's not actually shagged Pam, he's just thought about it. As he says himself, he's "just a publicist who has fantasies about pretty little actresses".
(2001) Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson star as two close friends just graduated from high school, both cynical, knowing and bored.Sweet-natured yet scabrously funny account of two teens bewildered by looming adulthood, based on an acclaimed comic book. Spot-on performances from, among others, Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi
Ghost World After graduating, stomping their mortar boards and giving school the finger, teenage friends Enid (Birch) and Rebecca (Johansson) are faced by the off-putting prospect of adulthood. Bonding over a mutual repulsion at modern life - all malls and franchises - the girls differ in every other aspect other than their cynicism and shared crush on put-upon convenience store employee Josh (Renfro). They hang out in diners (such as 'Wowsville' - "it's like the Taj Mahal of fake '50s diners") and bars, ridiculing strangers ("Check out those people behind you, I'm totally convinced they're Satanists") and making mischief. One trick they play is to reply to a lonely hearts ad, then observe the scrawny, bad-toothed man who shows up. This is Seymour (Buscemi), an unhappy 40-something who works in fast-food middle-management and takes solace in his collection of 78s.
Rebecca thinks "he should totally just kill himself", but Enid is intrigued, "he's such a clueless dork, he's kinda cool", and embraces him as a friend, even working to get him a date. While Rebecca gets a job (in a thinly-veiled Starbucks; "some people are okay, but most people I just feel like poisoning"), Enid gets closer to Seymour.
Kissing Jessica Stein
(2001) After a string of dates with the men from hell, Jessica Stein answers a lonely hearts ad placed by a woman who shares her interests.A New York journalist tries lesbianism for size in this fresh twist on the romantic comedy formula. Charming, for gays and straights alike
This film has been begging to be made for years. Lesbianism hits mainstream US romantic comedy not as an erotic distraction or a one-joke wonder, but as the whole focus of the film. Jessica Stein (Westfeldt) is a quirky, slightly neurotic and ostensibly straight Jewish thirtysomething who, in a mix of curiosity, desperation and adventurousness, answers an alluring small ad from another woman. Her date with Helen (Juergensen), a funky artist, is an unexpected success, but the path of their romance is hindered by Jessica's fear of Sapphic intimacy. What she - and we - have to work out is whether or not this fear is socially imposed.
Blending sharp sitcom humour (think 'Seinfeld' meets 'Friends' with a dose of 'Ellen') with romantic comedy staples and an arthouse twist, this movie manages to retread familiar territory while still feeling fresh. The two leads (also, interestingly, the writers and co-producers of the film) are attractive without being lipstick lesbians. They are also convincing and likeable, helped by a consistently amusing and observant script.