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the-raid-2Who needs a Winter Soldier, disappointing teen franchises or Vince Vaughn comedies? Look a little further and you’ll find a world full of incredible films, several of which are out this week.

Man goes into an apartment block. Man gets repeatedly assaulted by everyone in there. Man somehow prevails. Gareth Evan’s Indonesian action movie The Raid kept it simple with spectacular effect. This time around, The Raid 2 has widened the scope into a full-blown crime epic and its every bit as spectacular. Continuing almost straight from the end of the previous film, Rama is off to infiltrate a crime syndicate and uncover corruption in his own police force. Running to two and a half hours, it packs a sustained punch.

George Clooney has already snapped up the rights for an American remake of Pioneer so expect big budgets and even bigger stars but don’t forget that the original is already a remarkably good historical conspiracy thriller. Telling the story of Norway’s efforts to tap their own deep water oil supplies, it’s based on the real life suffering that faced the bold divers disappearing into the watery unknown. Add in a political cover up and some stunning underwater photography and you have a real winner.

By now you’ll have filled your quota of thrills for the week. That’s where The Lunchbox comes in. A rare mix-up from the famous dabbawalas leads to an unexpected relationship developing between the grieving Saajan and the neglected Ila. Not only is it full of romance and beautifully drawn characters, it also features unbearably delicious food. A word of caution though; don’t watch on an empty stomach.

The big release on DVD this week is the second part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. Picking up straight where we left them, Gandalf’s merry band continues to make their way towards the Lonely Mountain culminating in a terrifying showdown with the dragon itself. Strangely disjointed and rushed, it’s a let-down compared to the first part, but there is still plenty to enjoy as Bilbo’s quest starts to go awry.

You’ll need a rest after all that. See you next week.

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