While it might look like an anachronistic live action reimagining of the classic Eastern folk tale, 'The New Adventures of Aladdin' is actually based on a story told by a pair of thieves at a department store on Christmas Eve. Sam and Khalid are best pals and partners in crime who decided to dress up as Santa Claus for their latest robbery, however their plan is foiled by a group of kids who demand they tell them a story. With the store owner also urging them to relay a tale, they decided to launch into their own version of Aladdin. Set in the city of Baghdad many years ago where taxis are magic carpets that still need stop signs, where magic lamps lock like iPhones and people sell knock-off CDs from the future in the street, Sam tells of the tyrannous rule of Vizir who Aladdin plans to defeat with the help of an effeminate Genie and hopefully win the heart of the beautiful Princess Shallia along the way.
Continue: The New Adventures Of Aladdin Trailer
A relentlessly smiley-glowy tone threatens to undo this film at every turn, but it's just about rescued by a spiky script and the adept cast. Director Lasse Hallstrom has been indulging in warm-fuzzy filmmaking since 2000's Chocolat, and this story (based on the Richard Morais book) seems set in the same fanciful, far too-cute France, created with digital effects rather than cinematography. Nothing is remotely realistic, but the characters are engaging and the food looks absolutely delicious. This is definitely not a film to see on an empty stomach.
The central character is Hassan (90210's Manish Dayal), who was born in India and developed his prodigious gift as a chef with his late mother. Now refugees in Europe, Hassan's Papa (Om Puri) is on a quest to establish a restaurant with his five children. They settle on an impossibly quaint French village, and set up their Indian eatery just across the road from the Michelin-starred restaurant run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), who of course immediately declares war on these interlopers. Meanwhile, Hassan begins exploring French cookery with Mallory's sexy sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). And his innate expertise catches Mallory's attention.
This simple twist helps propel the story and draw us in, as Hassan proves that he can teach Mallory a thing or two. Where this goes is played out in a simplistic way, but for audience members who are looking for meaning there's quite a bit of insight scattered around the script. Otherwise, Hallstrom is far more interested in superficial imagery, never quite letting the actors dig deep into their characters. Dayal shows some real texture as Hassan, but is reduced in the editing to merely smiling or frowning to show the character's frame of mind. And his relationship with Le Bon's impossibly perky Marguerite is almost painfully predictable.
Continue reading: The Hundred-Foot Journey Review
Talking about upcoming restaurent drama 'The Hundred Foot Journey', producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, director Lasse Hallstrom and star Helen Mirren reveal their thoughts in a short featurette.
'This really is a story about the fusion between two opposite cultures', says Steven, with Oprah explaining of the film's plot: 'The icy Madame Mallory, the owner of the very proper Michelin-starred French restaurent, doesn't allow for any kind of competition whatsoever.' Helen reveals that within the clashing of two food cultures 'it's a feud that becomes a war - and no holds barred actually'.
The Hundred Foot Journey is a drama directed by Lasse Hallström (Dear John/Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and written by Steven Knight.
Based on the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morals, The Hundred-Foot Journey sees an Indian family start a new life in France, where they intend to open a family business in the form of a restaurant, however the top restaurant in the south of France is opposite the restaurant the family buy, owned by the fiercely competitive Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). This gives the family little chance of being successful, yet they persist with it exposing the French to food they won't have tasted before. When Mallory becomes aware of this, she bitterly attempts to slow down business for their restaurant, i.e. by making snide remarks about the restaurant to her customers. Over time though, the two restaurants become friends, with Mallory even offering Hassan (Manish Dayal) of the Indian family, a job at her restaurant. But how will his father (Om Puri) feel about this?
The film came about when producer Oprah Winfrey became a fan of the script, and encouraged Steven Spielberg to make an adaptation of the novel, who she knew from working with on The Color Purple. Spielberg searched for a director he thought would be good for the role and so he found Hallström, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his adaptation of The Cider House Rules, by John Irving.
Nenette is an ageing woman with mental disabilities which has meant that she has lived with her mother all her life. Her father left a long time ago and so, following the inevitable death of her mother, she is forced to seek care elsewhere and approaches a home for people in need of general living assistance. However, as they refuse to allow her to bring her pets along with her, she decides to track down her father, but after getting lost on the way, she is picked up by a group of punks travelling from a party who take her to see her half-brother Paul instead. Paul is a pharmacist known by his family and colleagues as being particularly uncheerful and dismissive. Characteristically, he has no time for Nenette, but after she slips him a few ecstasy pills in his coffee from her punk friends, he agrees to let her stay. Unfortunately for Nenette though, the high doesn't last forever, and his ensuing comedown is likely to be worse for her.
Continue: Demi Soeur Trailer
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