Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Would you like to play a game?
Right, how many of the following are British films?
Oscar winning filmmaker Danny Boyle's follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire. Based on the true life story of go-getting American Aron Ralston, trapped for five days by a random rock-fall while climbing alone in Blue John Canyon, Utah. He eventually gathered the incredible courage to cut off his own arm to free himself and escape with his life.
The King's Speech
Stuttering King George VI visits an abrasive Aussie speech therapist and learns to cope with his speech impediment (more or less), just in time to announce the start of World War II on the wireless.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Robert Downey Jnr plays the world's only 'consulting detective' as a Fin de Siecle fop with a lot of bad habits. Guy Ritchie's direction is stylish if bombastic and the film plays out exactly as one would expect of a film written by modern Hollywood screenwriters (which, of course, it was).
Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve Rogers is a plucky wimp who wants to fight for his country in World War II, but all of the army doctors say he is too small. That ends when he is approached by a mysterious German Jewish scientist who can see his true courage and offers him the chance to participate in a secret US government programme that will turn him into the world's first superhero, Captain America!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
The world is in mortal danger. Boy wizard Harry Potter is in hiding. Meanwhile, the Dark Lord Voldermort marches toward a final victory that will spell the end of the world as we know it... Will the forces of good prevail? … Okay, I admit it. No, I haven't seen it.
Asif Kapadia's documentary about the life, loves and losses of Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, possibly the most charismatic man to ever wear a crash helmet. The film charts his rise from carting – coming to the UK as a fresh-faced 18-year-old in order to pursue his life-long dream – his confrontations with one-time team mate Alan Prost, and his tragic death at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.
The Three Musketeers
A largely British cast lead Paul W.S. Anderson's steam punk-inspired adaptation of The Three Musketeers in a film that owes much more to the high-camp of Richard Lester's adaptation from the 1970s than to the classic French novel written Alexander Dumas novel in the mid-19th century.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Tomas Alfredson's dispassionate take on the subtle betrayals and quite paranoias of John Le Carre's take on British spycraft during the cold war. The film's ochre colour pallet depicts a murky world drained of vibrancy, which despite a stellar British cast – Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch – is all too accurate a description of the film itself.
A handsome adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's first published novel, directed by American filmmaker Cary Fukunaga. Like Tinker, Tailor it has a stellar British cast – Michael Fassbender, Jaime Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins – with Jane herself played by American actress Mia Wasikowska.
X-Men: First Class
20th Century Fox's latest reboot of the X-Men franchise depicts the well-known comic book characters coming together for yet another globe-trotting adventure, this time centred around the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Written and directed by the British duo of Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman, who previously brought us Kick-Ass and Stardust.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lend their comedic talents to an American studio film, writing and starring in a film about a pair of ComicCon geeks who encounter a dope-smoking extraterrestrial called Paul during a road trip between famous UFO hotspots. Inept FBI agents, cliched southern hicks (with guns) and Sigorny Weaver all feature.
So, what's the verdict? Three? Four? Five? Submit your answers in the comment box below. I will post another update soon.