Welcome to Cinematical's newest regular: a look at things hitting the big screen on the other side of the pond here in the UK. Sure, those of you Stateside have had your A-Team and your Karate Kid, but while the population of the UK continues to wait for such 'treats,' it's up to other distractions to keep us entertained. So without further ado, we present a new column picking five film-related things with which to occupy your time if you're in the UK.
5. Go for an Urban Drive-In
Ever wanted to experience that most American of pursuits, the drive-in cinema? Well now you can, though the downside is you will have to sit in a Volvo...
The car manufacturer is sponsoring the Volvo Starlite Urban Drive-In, which will take place at the Old Truman Brewery on July 2nd and 3rd. There'll be 25 cars, each with space for two, and tickets are £25 a pop. The films? Grease and Dirty Dancing, naturally. And should you desire some cinema snacks, rollerskating waitresses will happily oblige.
4. Make a Tenuous Tennis Connection
Few can be unaware that the Wimbledon Championships are taking place this week. Aside from the atrocious Paul Bettany film we'd all do well to forget, the tournament doesn't have much of a connection to cinema. But keep an eye out for British Wimbledon Junior, Oliver Golding, who made his way to the Boys semi-finals today after beating Argentinean player Renzo Olivo. Golding used to be an actor, and though he's chosen to focus on the sport now, he was the young lead, alongside Christopher Lee, in 2005's sappy family flick The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby, which is out now on DVD. It may not mean much now, but when he's the next Andy Murray that fact will make excellent pub trivia.
3. Try Ultra Culture Cinema
The UK's self-proclaimed 'greatest movie blog' – though, this column aside, the competition's not up to much – Ultra Culture has partnered with the ICA in London for a couple of months now to put on special previews of cool indie flicks in hip surroundings with a dangerously trendy young audience. Last month it was Trash Humpers, which involved giveaways, a video link-up with the director and some well-written production notes crumpled into a ball. Of trash, you see.
This month they'll be putting on revenge thriller Mother by Bong Joon-Ho. The screening happens at 7:45 on Wednesday 7th July and tickets are £8 if you read the blog. Find out more here.
2. Visit Far Far Away
It's stormed the US box office, but this weekend, more than a month from its US release, Shrek Forever After finally arrives in UK cinemas. The wait, to be honest, hasn't really been worth it.
A despondent Shrek is in a monotonous marriage and can't even make the people of Far Far Away run in fear from him. So he makes a deal with a traveler named Rumpelstiltskin. If the short magic man will grant Shrek a single day as a fearsome ogre again, he'll give him a day from his childhood in exchange. But, of course, Rumpelstiltskin's catch is he's chosen the day Shrek was born, so when he awakes, Far Far Away is a very different place. Fiona, Donkey and the gang have never met him and, worse, Rumpelstiltskin has finagled the deeds to the kingdom and is ruling with an iron fist.
The result is never less than amusing, but equally never as amusing as the brilliant first film. In the Cinematical review, Scott Weinberg suggests the film is nothing but a checklist of Shrek greatness, and it's hard to disagree. What's worse is that jokes are shamelessly reused here by virtue of the wiped-memory device. It's a Wonderful Life it's not.
1. Get Your Heart Broken
Our top tip in cinemas this week is actually a French movie. Heartbreaker (main picture), starring Romain Duris and Mrs. Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis, is a riotous rom-com caper about a smooth-talker who's turned his knack for seducing women into a career – helping rich fathers lead their deluded daughters away from men they're wrong for.
He meets his match in Paradis's society girl, who proves tricky to break down and even trickier to seduce. But all is counting on his success, because he's got debts to pay off.
Naturally, the stage is set for a bit of a switcheroo, with Duris's character falling ever more in love with the intoxicating Paradis.
But there's charm by the bucketload and real heart under the surface. The beats come thick and fast enough to keep guys entertained while the girls will fall for the twinkle in Duris's eye.
Are you based in the UK? What are you planning to see this weekend? And if there's something coming up in the UK you think we should feature, make sure to let us know!