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2012 | 2011

3 items from 2012

This week's new cinema releases

16 March 2012 5:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

21 Jump Street (15)

(Phil Lord, Chris Miller, 2012, Us) Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson. 109 mins.

As with comic books, now that all the big titles have gone, it's down to TV's B-list to feed Hollywood's appetite for ready-made movie concepts. Based on the show that first traded on Johnny Depp's youthful good looks, it stars Hill and Tatum – a great odd-couple anchor – as two low-flying cops who are sent back to high school to infiltrate a drugs ring. The premise is an almost pitifully obvious excuse to aim for broad-appeal paydirt with a mix of fratboy crudity, teen-movie romance and crime-flick action, but for all the box-ticking, it has intermittently hilarious results.

Contraband (15)

(Baltasur Kormákur, 2012, Us) Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi. 110 mins.

Mark Wahlberg sticks to what he's good at, which is muscled, breathy and slightly high-pitched posturing in a brooding action thriller. Here he plays a smuggler lured »

- Damon Wise

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Booked Out – review

16 March 2012 2:13 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Mirren Burke delivers a fine performance as an eccentric comic-book artist in this gentle comedy from a first-time director

You should dislike Ailidh, the protagonist of this gentle comedy from first-time writer/director Bryan O'Neil. She's brash, childish and deliberately eccentric. She invents animals, draws wacky comics, treats her neighbours like amusing playthings. Un petit Amelie, sans the continental exoticism.

And yet, thanks to a tight script and a confident performance by newbie Mirren Burke, Ailidh comes off more endearing then irritating. Her micro-problems – stamping upstairs to help confused old Mrs Nicholls (Sylvia Syms), then wooing floppy-haired hottie Jacob (Rollo Weeks) on the way down - are real, even if she's living a fantasy.

Syms is wasted, as Mrs Nicholls is little more than a batty old dear. And O'Neil's portrayal of degenerative illness is simplistic - a kindly word and nice a cup of tea will sort that dementia right out. »

- Henry Barnes

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DVD Review: 'Booked Out'

12 March 2012 7:00 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ Made on a shoestring budget and self-distributed by debut feature writer and director Bryan O'Neil after he became disillusioned by various distribution studios, Booked Out (2012) is almost the textbook definition of independent British filmmaking. However, instead of focusing upon violence, rape or kitchen sink realism, this slice of indie cinema brings something refreshing to the table - a desire to explore the lives of unique characters who have been marginalised by society.

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- CineVue

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2012 | 2011

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