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Our stateside readers who dig serial killer procedural-thrillers in the vein of Zodiac and Silence of the Lambs should make a blood-scrawled note of Britain’s Red Riding Trilogy. This Friday, the epic triptych begins a one week run at IFC Center in New York City, complete with two intermissions and a free popcorn (caution to the hemoglobin phobes, the elderly, and flatulent ). I recently attended all three entries, titled 1974, 1980, and 1983, and definitely recommend the five-hour experience, both for the project’s interconnected, serpentine plotting and to contrast the clear stylistic and tonal differences between the three directors.

Below is an exclusive Slashfilm clip from 1974, which I felt in my review is the superior entry thanks to the charged noir vision of director Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited) and a star-making performance by Andrew Garfield, as a young journo submerged in idealism, booze, and mutton-chopped pheromones. Garfield’s conveyed arrogant dissonance seethes through in this excerpted scene, and the actor is set for a high profile 2010 with upcoming roles in David Fincher‘s Facebook drama The Social Network and Mark Romanek‘s mysterious Never Let Me Go. He also participated in Spike Jonze’s short film and /fave, I’m Here

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/redriding1974.flv 550 366]

Without spoiling the film, here’s context for the above scene: Garfield’s character, Eddie Dunford, hungry for his big break and his mum’s approval, is researching and investigating the fresh case of a missing girl in Northern England. In the cig-smoke clouded office of his newspaper, Dunford’s equally clouded by older, world-weary cynics. In this particular scene, Dunford is adamant that the recent arrest of an alleged abductor is bullocks. At clip’s conclusion, he finds a suspicious card on his boss’s desk, evidently filled with warm-sentiments from a shady developer named John Dawson (the unseen Sean Bean in a sleazy role that rivals Garfield’s in arrogant machismo).

Dawson’s card is just further proof that the media is in bed with shady elites who are in bed with the cops—all the while nobody seems to give a shit that young girls—those eluded to in the trilogy’s title—are being picked off the street by a madman (men?). Yorkshire in the ’70s, evil was a fan. Also, note the presence in the scene of the always-good Eddie Marsan, who adds a wild-and-defeated-eyed unpredictability to the film(s)—a familiar gift to anyone who saw him in last year’s Happy-Go-Lucky.

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/FilmCast

state_of_play1In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley weigh the stupidity of Fox’s multiple Wolverine endings, speculate on David Slade’s capacity to direct Eclipse, and grow ever more dubious of McG’s credibility. Special guests Tyler Smith and David Bax join us from the Battleship Pretension podcast.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next MONDAY night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Buy It

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
If you’re looking for a vampire movie to help wipe away the embarrassing display of inanity that came with last year’s Twilight, look no further. This bizarre Swedish horror tale of love and revenge ranked #6 on my top ten favorite films of 2008, and I’m clearly not the only one who believes it’s deserving of such praise. It may not be the first film to offer its own unique twist on the vampire genre, but it’s easily one of the best, providing an intimate and compelling study of its two young characters while always making sure the heart-stopping moments are never too far away. Rest assured, there are scenes in this movie that will stick with you for weeks to come.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette, and a poster gallery.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$18.99 $19.99
Amazon – $18.99

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jason butler harner changeling

The Academy Awards for 2008 have been handed out, and the “popular kids” have Oscars on their mantles, but the dirty little secret about winning awards is that you’ve gotta campaign for them. Thousands of dollars were spent by the distributors and filmmakers behind Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Milk (Focus Features), The Reader (Weinstein) and other assorted winners and nominees, but not all performances received that sort of big money backing.

I am an unabashed lover of the acting craft. I see virtually every movie, large and small, that passes through the US marketplace, and, taking nothing away from Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Heath Ledger, not all of 2008’s best performances have been recognized. I’m not going to be obvious here. Clint Eastwood was snubbed for Gran Torino, but he received lots of acclaim for the role including being named Best Actor by the National Board of Review. My goal is to highlight 10 performances from last year that have received virtually no acclaim in the US. Many of these roles can be found in hardly-seen, under-appreciated movies that came and went without much notice. Each and every one of these movies deserve a spot in your Netflix (or Blockbuster) cue.

My list is by no means definitive. If you have a favorite performance from 2008 that sticks with you, this is a great place to tell the world. There were 20 actors nominated on Oscar night, but there is a lot of great work that hasn’t been recognized with a walk down the red carpet.

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Telluride Review: Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky

They say that if you give out positive energy than you should receive positive energy in return. The person who coined that phrase never met Poppy. Dressed in bright colors and wearing big earrings, Poppy has a personality that is as obnoxiously perky as her wardrobe, if not more so.

Mike Leigh‘s latest film is a character study focusing on a 30-year-old primary school teacher with the attitude of a child, who has to deal with a series of problems ranging from her bicycle being stolen to a problem child at school, to her pregnant/married sister who lectures her about responsibility and settling down. She joins a dancing class with a co-worker and takes driving lessons from an angry racist.

If you’re looking for a story, there isn’t much of one. The film is purely about Poppy, and how the world reacts to her quirky upbeat attitude. Sally Hawkins delivers one hell of a performance, which you might only begin to realize late into the film when Poppy is forced to get serious. Happy-Go-Lucky is fun and endearing, but the character might be too in-your-face for easily annoyed viewers.

/Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Happy-Go-Lucky Movie Trailer

Happy-Go-Lucky seems like one of those wonderfull indie films which will bring a smile to your face. Mike Leigh‘s (Vera Drake / Secrets & Lies / Topsy-Turvy) latest film stars Sally Hawkins as Poppy, “an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters.” But when things start to go wrong in Poppy’s world, her positive state of mind is put to the test.The film has played the film festival circiut and is currently getting a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Total Film calls it “Fresh, Funny, and uplifting” and BBC says that it “establishes Hawkins as a major talent to watch.”

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/happy-go-lucky.flv 470 200]

Happy-Go-Lucky
hits theaters on October 10th 2008.

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