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Cinema ian 11/20/2013

Three terrific movies hit Event Cinemas this week, each appealing to a different type of movie goer/film fan.

The much awaited sequel to Hunger Games, Hunger Games: Catching Fire is getting terrific reviews. Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss and she drives the action in the futuristic thriller. The Huffington Post review calls the movie ‘impressive’ and that it is more like a remake than a sequel, meaning that it is an upgrade rather than a franchise cash-in. It is rated M for mature themes and violence and runs 146 minutes.

Another one that lives up to its title is Filth. To get the rating out of the way, it is R18+ and runs 97 minutes, which is plenty long enough for this assault on the senses. They say the rating is for ‘high impact sex scenes’ which I might add sometimes only has one participant. The storyline follows a bipolar, bigoted, drug-addicted cop who manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season to get a promotion and win back his wife and daughter. It is a riveting performance from James McAvoy and deft direction from Jon S. Baird. As you squirm in your seat you know you are watching excellent filmmaking and a movie that will be stapled in your memory bank. It was well summed up by Deborah Ross in her review for The Spectator – “I watched Filth from behind my hands. It’s ghastly and unpleasant, but what I saw of it was brilliant.”

The trailer gives you a good idea of what to expect:

The third movie that looks excellent is a documentary called 20 Feet from Stardom. Normally I see the word ‘documentary’ and move on, but this one has my name on it. It runs 91 minutes and is rated M for coarse language. Here’s the official synopsis – “Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.”

The trailer follows and according to one of many positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, “This is a fascinating doc for pop, soul, R&B and rock fans, for it peels back the often unfair layers of the music business like the skins on an onion. Sometimes, it'll make you cry to witness how terribly these talents were treated.”