Saturday, 4 July 2009

Review Of The Year: Part 1

So we are now in July already, where does the time go?
People have been saying that the cinema industry is "recession proof" during the credit crunch. That was certainly true during the first quarter of the year where admits were at all time high due to a bountiful award season with quality films like Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader and The Wrestler using their Oscars and Baftas to turn themselves into hits at the box office. Customers who repeatedly tried to see The Reader in Screen 3 will know how popular it was with us!

However now we have hit the summer season, things have started to move on a downward spiral.
Summer is never a good time for an independent cinema like The Belmont that prides itself on showing quality films like Let The Right One In and Fermat's Room, that the mainstream multiplexes wouldn't dream of screening.
This is because that the distributors for these films tend to go on holiday at this point, leaving the major studios to fight it out with the big, brash summer blockbusters that have varied from the fantastic (Star Trek) to the truly, diabolically awful (Transformers 2). While we do try to show the best of these options, the masses will normally tend to visit the multiplex for this type of film.
Another pesky problem we have encountered is that Aberdeen has decided to actually have some sunshine during the summer holidays. If you are from Aberdeen, you know that if you get a day of sunshine, you make the most of it, as you never know when you will get another one!
This has resulted in very low attendance, despite having some great titles like Public Enemies.

So until August/September come along and the foreign, independent titles start to sneak back onto our screens, I might as well put on my sunglasses, make the most of the sun, and think about taking a holiday before the battle begins when the new 10 screen Cineworld opens at the train station.

So for now I'll leave you with my Top 5 films of the year (so far):

1. Let The Right One In - An ethereally beautiful love story between a young Swedish boy and a 200 year old vampire trapped in the body of a 12 year old. This film strips back the horror to concentrate on character and delivers possibly the best vampire movie ever made.

2. In The Loop - The funniest film of the year and an amazingly topical political satire featuring a barnstorming performance from Peter Capaldi as the foul mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. Possibly the most quotable movie since Anchorman.

3. Star Trek - The best blockbuster of the year (and the best since The Dark Knight). JJ Abrams breathes new life into the franchise allowing Pine, Quinto, Pegg and Urban to comfortabley slip into the shoes of the crew of the Enterprise. Great SFX, pulsating action, Old Spock and nearly a tear in my eye at the beginning. Shatner who?

4. The Wrestler - Harking back to my childhood days watching wrestling (who am I kidding? I still do!) Mickey Rourke bodyslams his way back onto our screens with his portrayal of Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, a down and out wrestler looking for one more shot at the big time (how much of this was acting Mickey?).

5. Public Enemies - Michael Mann's best film since Heat sees Johnny Depp oozing 0ld-school movie star charisma as the media-savvy criminal John Dillinger, whether it's stealing money from banks or the heart of Marion Cotillard.

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