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Now showing at Alexandra Palace Alexandra Palace Way,London,London N22 7AY 020 8365 2121

  • American Psycho
  • Blade Runner
  • Grease (Sing-A-Long)
  • Mother India

American Psycho 2 stars

Controversial adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's pithy commentary on '80s materialism and greed, reworked as a black comedy. At its centre is handsome yuppie Patrick Bateman, a social climber who judges success by the clothes people wear. But beneath his smartly tailored surface, Patrick harbours dark, disturbing thoughts about his business rivals, murderous fantasies which gradually stray from his unconscious into the real world.

  • GenreHorror
  • CastChristian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Chloe Sevigny.
  • DirectorMary Harron.
  • WriterEntertainment In Video.
  • CountryUS/Can
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official site
  • Release21/04/2000

Before Bret Easton Ellis's third novel hit bookshelves in 1991, it was caught in the eye of a media storm. Simon and Schuster, who had given the young writer a $300,000 advance for the book, bowed to intense pressure from female employees and women's groups and refused to publish it. Vintage snapped up the rights and published American Psycho a few months later, and were immediately inundated with complaints regarding the graphic depictions of violence, especially towards women. Ellis received numerous death threats and an alleged copycat murder in Canada sparked a campaign to have the book banned. In adapting one of the most controversial novels of the last decade to the screen, Mary Harron has shifted the focus away from the gore and bloodshed and has concentrated on Ellis's pithy commentary on '80s materialism and greed, nudging the picture towards the realms of black comedy. At its centre is handsome yuppie Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a coke-snorting, power-hungry social climber who judges success by the clothes people wear, the places they eat, and the richness of the paper in their business cards. Possessions and wealth mean more to him than life itself. He is a paragon of conformity in an amoral society where to conform is to be amoral. Patrick treats his body like a temple. Several hundred ab crunches every morning, push ups, a rigorous regime of exfoliating, moisturising and massaging to ensure his greatest asset - his face - is the picture of health. Anything and everything to allow him to fit in, be part of the game. But all the while, he harbours dark, disturbing thoughts about his business rivals. How he would like to give them a taste of his pain, his insecurity. Sooner or later, you just know his murderous fantasies will stray from his unconscious into the real world. Bale looks sensational and digs deep within himself to capture the melancholy and madness of a designer label-clad monster driven by his inner demons. There's a terrific energy and desperation to his performance, accentuated by a chilling, almost emotionless voiceover which reveals his innermost thoughts: "I had all the characteristics of a human being - flesh, blood, skin, hair - but my depersonalisation was so intense that the normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure..." Chloe Sevigny, playing Patrick's secretary, represents the sole voice of compassion and humanity in the whole film and as such is the person we most identify with in this nightmare world. Stylistically, the film exudes an eerie cleanliness and Harron directs with flair and courage, implying violence and showing the terrible aftermath, leaving us to fill in the gaps. Like the book, the film doesn't always know what it is trying to satirise, but for the most part it hits its targets, striking the right queasy balance between horror and humour, so that while we recoil at Patrick's heinous crimes, we find ourselves compelled to laugh at him.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 23rd April 2015

Blade Runner 4 stars

Sci-fi.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Science Fiction
  • CastHarrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young.
  • DirectorRidley Scott.
  • WriterHampton Fancher, David Peoples.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration117 mins
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 22nd April 2015

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Grease (Sing-A-Long) 4 stars

New version of the classic musical, which allows audiences to follow the words on screen and deafen fellow cinema-goers with impromptu renditions of all of the hits. The story centres on Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, the bad boy and the good girl who fall in love one long, hot summer to a toe-tapping soundtrack of memorable hits.

  • GenreAction, Classic, Drama, Musical, Romance
  • CastStockard Channing, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Conaway.
  • DirectorRandal Kleiser.
  • WriterBronte Woodard, Warren Casey, Jim Jacobs, Allan Carr.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration111 mins
  • Official site
  • Release17/09/2010 (selected cinemas); 14/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

This version of the classic musical allows audiences to follow the words on screen and deafen fellow cinema-goers with impromptu renditions of toe-tapping tunes like You're The One That I Want, Hopelessly Devoted To You and the infectious Greased Lightnin'. The soundtrack is - of course - a treat from beginning to end so script and dialogue take a back seat, but John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are both appealing in their key roles as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, the bad boy and the good girl who fall in love one long, hot summer. Meanwhile Stockard Channing steals the film as the irrepressible Rizzo.

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Tuesday 21st April 2015

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Mother India 3 stars

Radha comes to live with her husband Shamu and mother-in-law. The young couple toil ceaselessly to bring prosperity to their land, but to no avail, and the property defers to Lala. Radha suggests cultivating a barren strip of land. Despite Radha and Shamu's best efforts, the enterprise is a disaster: firstly, the family's prize bullock dies, then Shamu's hands are crushed in an accident. Too ashamed to burden his wife, Shamu flees his home, leaving Rahda to fend for herself.

  • GenreDrama
  • CastNargis, Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar.
  • DirectorMehboob Khan.
  • CountryIndia
  • Duration175 mins
  • Official site
  • Release03/05/2002 (selected cinemas)

Selected re-issue of Mehboob Khan's 1957 Hindi epic, starring Nargis as the eponymous Mother Earth figure. Radha (Nargis) comes to live with her husband Shamu (Rajendra Kumar) and mother-in-law (Jilloo). The young couple toil ceaselessly to bring prosperity to their land, but to no avail, and the property defers to Lala (Kanhaiyalal). Radha suggests cultivating a barren strip of land. Despite Radha and Shamu's best efforts, the enterprise is a disaster: firstly, the family's prize bullock dies, then Shamu's hands are crushed in an accident. Too ashamed to burden his wife, Shamu flees his home, leaving Rahda to fend for herself.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 20th April 2015
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