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The Notable Films of 2010: Part Ten

St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold

Opens: 2010

Cast: Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, David Tennant, Gemma Arterton, Talulah Riley

Director: Oliver Parker, Barnaby Thompson

Summary: A rollercoaster-style treasure hunt for the legendary Fritton’s Gold ensues as the feisty and ever-resourceful schoolgirls of St Trinian’s face their most fearsome establishment rivals yet - the villainous Pomfrey and his sidekicks from the women-hating secret society known as AD1.

Analysis: While it didn't travel much beyond the UK, 2007's reboot of the "St Trinian's" franchise nearly doubled its £7 million production budget in sales in the UK alone - making it one of the top grossing independent British films of the past decade. Reviews were decidedly mixed but generally pretty weak at the time, so the greenlighting of a sequel surprised quite a few.

Despite a critical drubbing, the core audience of young British teenage girls seemed to be satisfied by
See full article at Dark Horizons »

The Notable Films of 2010: Part Nine

Shanghai

Opens: 2010

Cast: John Cusack, Gong Li, Ken Watanabe, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chow Yun-Fat

Director: Mikael Hafstrom

Summary: In the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an American man arrives in Shanghai to find his friend recently murdered. In investigating his friend's death, he stumbles upon a secret the United States government has been keeping and falls in love in the process.

Analysis: After being granted permission to shoot in the Chinese city, the $10 million production found its permit quickly being revoked by the Government who expressed concerns about the script. The result is Bangkok and the United Kingdom standing in for the real Shanghai which seems kind of against the entire point.

Cusack himself has emphatically endorsed the project in interviews, calling it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", but being stuck at the cash-strapped Weinstein Company means that its release plans are unsure beyond a vague promise of a limited bow around Easter.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

The Notable Films of 2010: Part Four

Georgia

Opens: 2010

Cast: Val Kilmer, Andy Garcia, Rupert Friend, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Johnathon Schaech

Director: Renny Harlin

Summary: An American journalist, his cameraman, and a Georgian native get caught in the crossfire of the five-day Russia-Georgia conflict in August 2008, and then have to deal with their obligation to be impartial.

Analysis: A timely parable on war, or Hollywood propaganda filmmaking at its worst? Wherever it goes, especially in Europe and the former Soviet states, "Georgia" will cause a lot of talk and controversy as the incidents depicted are still so fresh in many's minds. Like all topics of the sort, it'll also have its strong supporters and detractors having opinions on the film long before a frame of footage is screened anywhere.

Shot on-location in Tbilisi, the project also marks a potential return to form for Finnish director Renny Harlin. Given the right material the skilled action director delivered three
See full article at Dark Horizons »

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