12th December 2005
12:00 AM — Films based on books are commonplace. Films based on plays are likewise ten a penny. Films about putting on plays also have a long tradition in Hollywood, especially when, as here, the "putting on a show" idea provides an excuse for a number of song and dance numbers. On top of this, these days remakes of existing movies seem to be cropping up every month. But it is still rare - in fact well-nigh unprecedented - to get a film adaptation of a play that was itself an adaptation of a film that was about putting on a play.
7th December 2005
March of the Penguins
12:00 AM — We've been spoiled in Britain when it comes to nature documentaries. Since the 1950s, the British public has had innumerable superb expeditions into the wonderful world of wildlife beamed into their homes thanks to a combination of the BBC and the national treasure that is Sir David Attenborough, all of which have been in equal measures fascinating and expertly produced.
12:00 AM — How do you follow up on the most successful and critically acclaimed film trilogy since the original Star Wars movies? What do you do next after proving your critics wrong and pulling off a great adaptation of a book many still considered to be unfilmable? How do you move on from the longest and most complex deliberately-planned film shoot in the history of cinema?
12:00 AM — War films produced through cooperation between the combatant countries have had a fairly solid track record over the years. There's the epic re-telling of the Normandy Landings, 1962's The Longest Day, a British/German/French co-production, 1970's American/Japanese take on the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tora! Tora! Tora! and the British/Japanese prisoner of war movie Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence from 1983, all of which are superb in not only their historical accuracy but also their sensitivity.
Just Like Heaven
12:00 AM — Yet another one of those films where you can just imagine the studio execs hammering out the pitch, which can't have been anything other than, "Ghost, but with the genders reversed - and it's a comedy!"Yep, whereas 1990's Ghost featured the living Demi Moore doing the whole love thing with the ghost of Patrick Swayze, helped out by a female medium, here we get the living Mark Ruffalo falling in love with the ghost of Reece Witherspoon, helped out by a male psychiatrist. And on top of that, they've chucked in the When Harry Met Sally idea (in itself pinched from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing) that on first meeting, they hate each other