New releases 04/08/2012: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, London: the Modern Babylon, A Simple Life, Sound of My Voice, Undefeatedm The Flowers of War, Eames: the Architect & the Painter, Leave It on the Floor and Truth or Dare

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days (U)

**

Dir. David Bowers
Starring Zachary Gordon,  Robert Capron, 94mins

Another episodic series of misfortunes and indignities befall Greg Heffley, the fairly charmless hero of these adaptations of Jeff Kinney’s children’s novels. He  embarrasses himself in  front of his teenage crush;  has to join his father in a  Civil War battle re-enactment; loses his trunks in the swimming pool, and so on.

 

London: the Modern Babylon (15)

****

Dir. Julien Temple, 128mins

This beautifully crafted mosaic of archival footage  is almost as multifaceted as its subject, but key themes emerge: the continued significance of London’s former position at the  hub of Empire; and the historically dynamic and ever-changing multi- cultural composition  of its population. Eisenstein himself would have been proud of Julien Temple’s montage technique, and there are some inspired audio-visual juxtapositions.

 

A Simple Life (PG)

****

Dir. Ann Hui
Starring Andy Lau,  Deannie Yip, 118mins

An unmarried Hong Kong film producer and the long-term maid who helped raise him begin a new phase of their relationship after she has a stroke and he must begin to take care of her as well as himself. A variously wry, compassionate and tender drama about old  age and familial bonds.

 

Sound of My Voice  (15)

***

Dir. Zal Batmanglij
Starring Brit Marling,  Christopher Denham, 85mins 

Two young documentary film-makers infiltrate a cult  of white-robed new-agers  led by a beautiful young woman (Another Earth’s Brit Marling) who claims to have arrived in the present from the year 2054. Is she a fraud? Is she dangerous? What’s happening to the film-makers’ sceptical objectivity? Who is that creepy young child? Will we ever get the answers to these questions? Does the world need another M Night Shyamalan?

 

Undefeated (12A)

****

Dir. Daniel Lindsay +  TJ Martin, 113mins 

Undefeated is about Bill Courtney, a volunteer football coach mentoring underprivileged black boys in Memphis. And how, by instilling in them qualities such as discipline and co-operation, he is able to turn around not just their football season but their whole lives. A cross between Hoop Dreams and The Blind Side, it was a worthy, albeit predictable winner in the Best Documentary category at the 2012 Oscars.

 

The Flowers of War (15)

*

Dir. Zhang Yimou
Starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, 142mins

Zhang Yimou has aestheticised warfare before, in period martial-arts epics such as Hero. But it becomes problematic in a film about still contested recent history such as the 1937 Nanking Massacre. There’s something downright creepy about this film’s mix of rape, gunfire and visual exoticism. And something simplistic and disingenuous about the whole story, a fictional episode in which Christian Bale’s white American tries to save some Chinese children from the depraved Japanese invaders.

 

Eames: the Architect  & the Painter (12A)

***

Dir. Jason Cohn + Bill Jersey, 84mins

A documentary about the designer and architect Charles Eames, with special emphasis on the significant contribution to their legacy that was made by his wife, the artist Ray Eames.

 

Leave It on the Floor  (15)

**

Dir. Sheldon Larry
Starring Ephraim Sykes,  Andre Myers, 101mins

A low-budget musical  about a young gay black man’s introduction to the New York ball culture, in which drag queens form surrogate families called houses for which they  vogue and have other competitive dance-offs.  Brash and colourful, but  also amateurish.

 

Truth or Dare (15)

*****

Dir. Robert Heath
Starring David Oakes,  Jennie Jacques, 95mins

A gang of detestable, privileged students get their comeuppance in a cabin in the English countryside, in this utterly unconvincing and weirdly homophobic low-budget British torture porn.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence