ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Celebrate the 30th anniversary year of Pixar studios with a repeat viewing of a computer animation watershed. I mean this in terms of technical achievement and emotional depth, because Up is as much a feather in Pixar’s cap as Toy Story. It centres on the knotty but ultimately heart-warming relationship between crotchety old geezer and lifelong fan of exploration Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) and can-do, guileless boy scout Russell (Jordan Nagai), who go on a wondrous odd-couple journey when the former’s condemned house is airlifted to South America by party balloons. Directed by Monsters, Inc’s Pete Docter, Up went backwards with its more simplistic, blocky character design but forwards in terms of sophisticated humour (typified by easily distracted talking dog Dug) and affecting sentiment. In a montage early on, we experience human mortality in a way that causes us to catch a breath – and shed a tear – and the bright, gag-filled adventure that follows is richer for it.
Storage 24 ★★★★
Aliens run amok and Noel Clarke and Antonia Campbell-Hughes run for their lives in this claustrophobic horror in which the gore just keeps on gushing.
The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey ★★★
The critics were sceptical but see if you think this return to Middle-earth can hold a torch to the Rings saga. As always, it’s a long road for big hairy feet.
Safe House ★★★
Rookie CIA man Ryan Reynolds has to figure out who are the good guys and who are the bad when he takes agent Denzel Washington into custody.
One-Armed Swordsman ★★★
Oh, what to do when you’re a swordsman who has his arm lopped off… Take bloody revenge, of course! A martial arts classic starring Wang Yu.