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Film Reviews: 45 Years - L'Eclisse - Hitman : Agent 47

27/08/2015 17:05 BST | Updated 27/08/2016 10:59 BST

Heartfelt, passionate and emotional, Andrew Haig's '45 Years' is the very best of British cinema and is a should see, must see film of the week - Michelangelo Antonioni's mysterious and mesmerising classic 'L'Eclisse' is released in a new digital remastered version - 'Hitman : Agent 47' has bullets, blood, bodies and exotic locations but there's little else to Aleksander Bach's debut feature.

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Director: Andrew Haig

Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtney, Geraldine James

Genre: Drama

Language: English

Country of Origin: Uk 2015 95 mins.

Winner Best Actress (Charlotte Rampling) 2015 Berlin International Film Festival

Certificate 15

Rating: *****

I've occasionally used the term masterclass. '45 Years' is far beyond that. Based on a short story by David Constantine, Andrew Haig's follow up to 'Weekend,' grips, mesmerises and is film making at its very best.

Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling), a retired teacher and her husband Geoff (Tom Courtney), a former trade unionist who worked his way up to management are planning their 45th wedding anniversary party. Their 40th was cancelled when Geoff had a bypass operation. It's a joyous time, a time with friends, fun, laughter and memories. A letter arrives from Switzerland addressed to Geoff one week before the party - Katya's been found, 'My Katya.' Long-hidden memories surface and with it, an emotional change. Nothing will be the same again.

Heartfelt, intimate, passionate, emotional and without musical accompaniment. Just Andrew Haig's wonderful script and assured direction and Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney's mesmerising performances. And of course Max, the dog. '45 Years' is the very best of British cinema - it's a should see, must see.

Released 28th August

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Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Cast: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabel

Genre: Drama

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Country of Origin: Italy, France 1962 122 mins.

Winner Special Jury Prize 1962 Cannes International Film Festival

Certificate PG

Rating: *****

Michelangelo Antonioni's 'L'Eclisse' the final film in his trilogy on contemporary malaise following L'Avventura' (1960) and 'La Notte,' (1961) has been reissued as a new digital remastered version. Unconventional, mysterious, mesmerising, Winner of the Special Jury prize at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival with stunning performances from 60s icons Monica Vitti and Alain Delon, 'L'Eclisse' fascinates and it's images remain with you.

The beautiful and seductive Vittoria (Monica Vitti), adrift, unable to fathom what she wants from life leaves her older lover writer Riccardo (Francisco Rabal) and embarks on an affair with Piero (Alain Delon), an ambitious stockbroker who advises her mother (Lilla Brignone). His is the materialist world of money, fast cars and easy thrills. Stunningly shot in monochrome by cinematographer Gianni Venanzo, old and new Rome form the backdrop to this doomed affair as Antonioni returns to a theme that preoccupied him - alienation, contemporary malaise, the difficulty of forming true connections amidst the meaninglessness of the modern world. 'L'Eclisse' is a cinema classic and the final shot, an avant garde assemblage of images remains one of the greatest endings in cinema.

Released 28th August

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Director: Aleksander Bach

Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachery Quinto

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Language: English

Country of Origin: Germany, USA 2015 96 mins.

Certificate 15

Rating: **

Exotic locations, contemporary interiors, bullets, blood and bodies in a slaughterhouse visual gore fest splatter the screen, but there's little else to Aleksander Bach's all rather staged characterless debut feature.

We're in Berlin where no one speaks German and genetically programmed killer, shoot to the right, shoot to the left, no smiles please, Agent 47 (Rupert Friend), can't be missed with his barcode tattooed on his neck, handy for the supermarket weekend shop. He's an agent with a mission - destroy the programme that created him. Katia van Dees (Hannah Ware), who's really the best agent in the business with super powers who's father started the whole fiasco is haunted by visions of a mysterious man but good old agent John Smith's (Zacary Quinto) there to take care of her. Everyone follows Katia because they want to get to her father. Confused? There's a baddie in the shape of Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann), who just loves sitting in a white room, everyone has their tech gadgets and exotic Singapore's where Agent 47 faces the evil Syndicate Organisation who want to keep the programme and create an army of elite killers. Still confused? Someone should have told Dr Litvenko (Ciaron Hinds) who created the original programme to lay off the inventions and do something else. Play Ludo, go for a walk, have a snooze, read a book, but no Agent 47, please.

Released 27th August

For further film and Blu-Ray/DVD reviews see www.film-reviews-and-news.co.uk

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