Tag Archives: USA


Due Date
d. Todd Philips / 2010 / USA / 95 min
Cinema 1 @ Empire Leicester Square (London, UK)

Still from Due Date

When I wrote about Todd Philips’ last feature, The Hangover – which receives almost equal billing on some UK posters for Due Date – I arrived at a loose theory about what I termed Male-Orientated Comedies. Since then, I’ve refined the tenets of the theory somewhat to cover what are essentially frat boy stories, told in different ways or in new (non-College) settings, with a distinct gross-out element and a predilection for supposedly ‘boundary-pushing’ (but often just coarse) humour. I termed them Male-Orientated Comedies simply because they are exclusively by men, for men and – crucially – about men.

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The Social Network
d. David Fincher / 2010 / USA / 120 mins
Cinema 1 @ Barbican (London, UK)

Still from The Social Network

I really wanted to not laud The Social Network, largely because I think it’s been a little overhyped. But there’s one element of the hyperbole surrounding this film that I just can’t avoid. Sure, there’s no question that its a solid effort on all counts, there also seems to be no doubt that it is Aaron Sorkin’s script that wins out.

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Midnight Movie
d. Jack Messit / 2008 / USA / 82 mins

Still from Midnight Movie

Low budget, independent genre pics are a notoriously difficult thing to get right. Midnight Movie doesn’t quite achieve that winning formula, but it is a valiant enough effort.

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Let The Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in
d. Tomas Alfredson / 2008 / Sweden / 115 mins

Let Me In
d. Matt Reeves / 2010 / USA-UK / 116 mins
Screen 2 @ Cineworld West India Quay (London, UK)

Stills from Let The Right One In and Let Me In

A little while back – having watched the films almost back to back – I wrote about the similarities between two English-set 1940s classics, Hitchcock’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and the Robert Stevenson-helmed Orson Welles-led version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. And then, in a post about Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner, I was rather disparaging about the very concept of a Hollywood remake, particularly the way that a dire, saccharine-drenched film such as You’ve Got Mail could suck all the life and energy out of one of the all-time classics of romantic comedy.

Before the firing squad this time around is another remake – albeit from an entirely different genre – and the tale of two films much closer together (temporally, but also in form and intent): Tomas Alfredson’s original Swedish adaptation of Låt den rätte komma in (2008) – better know to fanboys around the world as Let the Right One In – and it’s recent Hollywood revision as Let Me In.

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Cat People
d. Jacques Tourneur / 1942 / USA / 73 mins

Still from Cat People

Cat People was Val Lewton’s first production at RKO, having previously worked under Selznick as a story editor. Lewton was tasked with producing films on spec, with only a title and a budget limit of $150,000 for guidance. In the end, the film would cost RKO approximately $140k, and proved a major success, helping to pull the studio back from the brink of financial disaster by producing close to $4m in box office coin over the next two years.

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