6:00 PM, 16th June, 2012
WOW. A new feature from Aardman (or 'Aaaaargghmannn' in Pirate). For those who know and love Wallace & Gromit shorts, 'nuff said. No further justification needed to attend and expect a Grand Day Out and a Close Shave (whether you're wearing the Wrong Trousers or not is up to you).
For those less familiar, it's stunningly good claymation. The characters, situations and humour in Aardman films list well to the starboard (i.e. right) side of brilliant. They're the kind of films that can be seen and enjoyed over and over. Just fantastic, clean fun.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits is about a quest by the Pirate Captain and his not so competent crew. He wants to beat his rivals, Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award. But the road to the award's red carpet is awash with diversions, adventures and blood. OK, maybe no blood, given this crew of misfits are made of clay. But there're cannons, treasure and a really big whale that flips. Plus Charles Darwin & Queen Victoria also make appearances.
The voice cast is excellent, with Hugh Grant in the lead role and others voiced by notable British actors. How these elements all fit and sound together is kind of hard to explain so come along to find out. And laugh. Loudly. Like Brian Blessed whose trademark roar gives voice to the Pirate King.
8:00 PM, 16th June, 2012
This epic film is a fictional story set during World War II, based loosely on actual Japanese efforts to construct bridges over the Kwai River along the infamous Thai Burma railway.
Beautifully shot in Sri Lanka, The Bridge on the River Kwai explores the complex, brutal and unforgiving relationships between the Allied officers (and men) working as prisoners to complete the bridge and their Japanese captors.
The film describes a savage yet poetic clash between the two protagonists (Colonel Nicholson & Colonel Saito); and how this friction reveals surprising similarities, emphasising the pathos of war. This beautifully crafted story leads irrevocably to a poignant and thrilling cinematic climax seldom achieved in modern film.
The film's screenplay (from the Pierre Boulle novel) was brilliantly adapted by Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman. Both writers were retrospectively (in addition to Boulle) granted an Academy Award for the screenplay in 1984. Overall, the film won seven Oscars and many other awards internationally after its release in 1957.
Unforgettable performances from Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa and William Holden (and others) make for breathtaking cinema. The brilliant (and award-winning) score is juxtaposed almost perfectly with Lean's impressive use of silence to build tension.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is must see cinema.