September 26, 2008

A Fascinating Glimpse of New York’s Celebs


Face Addict

(12, 102 mins)

Debbie Harry, John Lurie, Victor Bockris

Think celebrity culture was just invented by Heat magazine and Big Brother? Think again.

Former Rolling Stone snapper Edo Bertoglio's fascinating documentary trawls the detritus of Sixties and Seventies New York, catching up with all the erstwhile Beautiful People ... where they are now? Are they still beautiful (were they ever, in the true sense of the word?) Has age, bad living and the dark underbelly of celebrity caught up with them? A must for anyone interested in NYC's glory days.


Showing exclusively at the QFT, Belfast, from tonight.

Death Race

(15, 101 mins)

Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez, Max Ryan, Justin Mader, Robert LaSardo

Loosely based on the 1975 cult favourite Death Race 2000, Paul WS Anderson's follow-up to Alien Vs Predator is a turbo-charged action- thriller set in a bleak future (2012, no less) in which reality programmes continue to dominate television and the internet.

Against this gloomy backdrop, convicted murderers race in the ultimate pay-per-view battle for survival, burning rubber with a fury as scriptwriters Anderson, Robert Thom and Charles Griffith strip out characterisation and realism in their hunt for maximum carnage. Death Race is a non-stop assault on the senses, whether it be the deafening soundtrack, Niven Howie's hyperactive editing or Anderson's insatiable hunger for crash-bang-wallop destruction.

Oscar nominee Allen brings gravitas to her thankless role as the ice maiden who spits out the film's best line with relish - "Release the Dreadnought!" - but gets her comeuppance without any fanfare.

Swing Vote

(12A, 120 mins)

Kevin Costner, Madeline Carroll, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez

On November 4, more than 100 million voters will cast their ballots for the next president and vice-president of the United States.

Abiding by a simple principle of representative government - one person, one vote - citizens will place their trust in the figureheads they believe can lead the country through the next four years of financial and political uncertainty.

But what happens when the outcome of such an election rests on the shoulders of a man who takes more interest in the contents of his beer glass than pressing social concerns such as poverty and education?

How low would Capitol Hill stoop to curry this drunken wastrel's favour - rewrite an entire manifesto, blatant bribery, blackmail? Swing Vote is a gentle and surprisingly sweet comedy that lampoons the electoral process, as seen through the bloodshot eyes of factory worker Bud Johnson (Costner).

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