Film Four & Film Four +1 21-06-08.

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The Fighting Temptations
(2003) Cuba Gooding Jr and Beyonce Knowles star in this rousing comedy about creating a gospel choir from scratch in a conservative African-American community.Cuba Gooding Jr and Beyoncé Knowles star in this rousing comedy about creating a gospel choir from scratch in a conservative African-American community
The Fighting Temptations Not content with musical stardom both in and out of Destiny's Child, Beyoncé Knowles moved into celluloid with her turn in 2002's Austin Powers In Goldmember. Here she co-stars with Cuba Gooding Jr. But while this musical comedy directed by Briton Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) has a lot going for it in Gooding Jr's boundlessly energetic lead performance and a soundtrack to die for, Beyoncé's bootylicious sex appeal fails to gel. Gooding plays Darrin, a New York advertising executive who will only collect his late Aunt Sally's fortune if he agrees to reform his Georgia home-town's gospel choir and lead it to victory in the local championships. Luckily he has an ace up his sleeve - Lily, a former classmate who has grown up to become a sultry torch singer (Knowles).
The Pop Idol-style auditions that follow are amusing enough, and the climactic concert - though awash in schmaltz - is predictably uplifting. But everyone from Cuba downwards seems to be overcompensating for Knowles' alarming woodenness, and after a while the strain begins to show.

All About Eve
(1950) Margo Channing is the acid-tongued star of screen and stage who takes the young, innocent, mousey Eve Harrington under her wing.Bette Davis excels as an aging diva in the six times Oscar Winner. Sit back and 'Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night'
Davis gives one of the performances of her career portraying aging stage diva Margot Channing with a painful air of authenticity: the camp star, still awesome but aware of the ravages of time and the threat of younger actresses snapping at her heels.What she needs is someone to follow her around, look after her and worship her, and that person seems to arrive in the form of Eve (Baxter), an apparently innocent, adoring fan. But of course appearances can be deceptive, and we know from the opening scene that somehow the mousy, unassuming Eve has herself become a big star. Mankiewicz triumphs as writer and director.
The piece fizzes with energy and the bitchy lines flow, largely from Davis' wickedly crooked mouth. The entire cast is on top form (Marilyn Monroe makes an early, fleeting cameo appearance), although among the actors only Sanders won an Oscar for his superb turn as the louche theatre critic, Addison De Witt, who also serves as the film's narrator.

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.

The Core
(2003) Humanity faces certain doom unless Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank and co can get into the Earth's outer core and set off some nukes.
Humanity faces certain doom unless Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank and various character actors can get into the Earth's outer core and set off some nukes. An enjoyably silly blend of Hollywood bombast and old-school sci-fi pomposity
The Core Although The Core works along the same lines as that hyperbolic Hollywood essay in global doom Armageddon, it also draws on older genre material. It's not merely a disaster movie (though it does include such classic motifs as a suspension bridge getting it, here the Golden Gate), it riffs on the sci-fi greats: notably Jules Verne's 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth' and Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'At The Earth's Core'. Eckhart is the square-jawed hero, geophysicist Dr Josh Keyes. It's Josh who puts two and two together after a series of bizarre incidents round the world (the death of 32 people with pacemakers in Boston, pigeons freaking out in London). Something is very wrong with the Earth's electromagnetic field. "It's the end of the world," he says.
The problem lies at the Earth's molten metal outer core, which generates the electromagnetic shield that prevents us from being cooked by solar winds. A team is hurriedly assembled: Dr Conrad Zimsky (Tucci), an arrogant geophysicist (who's already involved with something hush-hush with the US government); Dr Sergei Leveque (Karyo), a French atomic weapons expert; Dr 'Brazz' Brazleton (Lindo), who has developed a means of boring using ultra-sound; and a hacker, Rat (Qualls), "to control the flow of information on the internet". There's also NASA mission controller Stick (Woodard), Shuttle commander Iverson (Greenwood) and Major Beck Childs (Swank) - a hotshot who'd saved a Shuttle mission by finding a way of landing it in the LA River! (It's a dramatic, hilarious sequence but an odd homage to the troubled Shuttle programme.) We see them all in the pre-requisite The Right Stuff shot, striding toward the gantry.
With the threat of earthquakes, electromagnetic storms and even blasts of cosmic microwaves, the heat is on. Brazz uses his sonic boring device and a remarkable material ("Unobtainium"!?) to construct a craft, Virgil, for taking the team into the core - in the hope that a few judicious nukes will set it spinning again.

This Is England
(2006) Shane Meadows' film is set in early 80s Grimsby, where 13-year-old Shaun has lost his father in the Falklands War.Twelve-year-old Shaun hooks up with a bunch of fun-loving skinheads during the long hot summer of 1983, until the spectre of racism drives the group apart. Shane Meadows' most personal film to date
At 12-years-old, and young-looking even for his age, Shaun Fields (Turgoose) looks hardly capable of breaking and entering a boiled egg. As elder skinhead Combo (Graham) jokes, he looks like "he came out of a box, like an Action Man, or Barbie doll". Shaun's loss of innocence is at the heart of Shane Meadows' most autobiographical work to date (notice how 'Shaun Fields' deliberately echoes 'Shane Meadows'), along with ever-relevant subjects like absent and surrogate fathers, Western imperialism and white working-class marginalisation, particularly in the post-industrial suburbs. Right on time, the film also addresses the biggest flashpoint issue of the day; an incipient racism virtually legitimised under recent governments and in sections of the press, stoking anti-Muslim sentiment. This Is England packs a lot into its 100 minutes, but never feels hectoring. Therein lies its power. Not to mention a terrific, danceable soundtrack, laid down with love.

Fight Club
(1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt star in David Fincher's Oscar-nominated drama.A man and his new best friend make soap, form an unlicensed boxing club and set-up a terrorist organisation. Intense drama starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by David Fincher
Fight Club It begins with a journey through a man's brain. It ends with a city collapsing to the accompaniment of The Pixies. In between times, David Fincher's Fight Club visits unchartered parts of the human mind and the American underworld. Planes and apartments blow-up, men beat one another senseless, a man quits his job, soap gets made - yes, all human life is here. Adapted from the cult novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is different things to different people. What it isn't is a movie that deserved to flop massively on its original release - budgeted at $67 million, it took under $40 million at the US box office. How ironic that a film with an anti-globalisation message should have proved so difficult to market.
Our Narrator (Norton) is an unhappy soul. Stuck in a lucrative but dull job, his unsatisfying consumerist lifestyle has left him unable to sleep. Briefly finding comfort by attending victim support groups, his bliss is shattered by Ms Marla Singer (Bonham Carter), a ball-busting free-spirit. Trapped once again, the Narrator finds fresh hope in the form of Tyler Durden (Pitt), a good-looking, charismatic man who even has answers to the most difficult questions. How do you get ahead of the consumer game? You don't play it. How do you stop being crushed by your employment ambitions? Don't have any. How do you rid yourself of frustration? You join Fight Club.

(2003) Davison is the young man living with his invalid mother in a rat-infested house.Davison is the young man living with his invalid mother in a rat-infested house. He makes the best of the situation and befriends one of the rodents. Soon he has a macabre idea of how to take advantage of his new pal and his smelly friends. He trains the rats to exact revenge on everyone who ever upset him and soon has a seemingly invincible fighting force at his disposal. An intelligent and disgustingly sick horror movie, Willard'has many thrills, all handled with finesse. Wonderfully gross at times - even the not-too-squeamish may finally find something to turn their stomachs upside down.