Opening in cinemas this week are Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, adapted from the classic John Le Carre novel, and directed by Tomas Alfredson, Young Adult, directed by Jason Reitman from an original screenplay by Diablo Cody and starring Charlize Theron, The Darkest Hour and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Courtesy of Way to Blue I also have some clips from Young Adult to share with you. I will upload them and give a quick overview of the film a little bit later.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - This international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government - which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets. Featuring an all-star cast (Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hindes in addition to Oldman), and direction by Tomas Alfredson (who created an incomparable atmosphere for Let the Right One In), this densely plotted, impeccably designed espionage tale has been universally acclaimed, and though it requires close attention - it's a highly sophisticated and rewarding experience. Review to be posted in the next couple of days.
Young Adult - Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with her former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn't quite gotten over high school, either. Rotten Tomatoes describe the film as a "funny and ultimately powerful no-holds-barred examination of prolonged adolescence, thanks largely to a convincing performance by Theron" - Golden Globe nominee for her work. It's the same team (Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman) behind Juno, and though it likely won't appease everyone's tastes, I think it should be worth checking out for Theron alone.
The Darkest Hour - The story of five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects. Apparently. The film does star Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Rachael Taylor.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - In this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit Journey to the Centre of the Earth, this new 3D family adventure begins when young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first film) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It's a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luiz Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever. All I remember about the first film was that it was pretty bad. This doesn't look much better - but it might be a bit of fun for kids.
My Recommendation: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Young Adult will be worth seeing if you have an interest in the content. Young Adult is a comedy/drama that works in a cringe-worthy fashion, while Tinker Tailor is a very very dense espionage thriller, with a plot that can elude you if you switch off for just a second. Still, the cast is phenomenal.