Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Critical Week: Action mayhem

This week's Sunday morning "fun in the foyer" screening was Aliens in the Attic, a frenetic children's action movie that's actually pretty good fun for grown-ups too. Of course, we were all hopped up on sugar during the pre-screening festivities, which included the green-screen mash-up here. Do I look like I haven't had quite enough sleep for this?

Last week's other juvenile offering was Robert Rodriguez's Shorts, equally frenetic but also a bit frantic. And staying in the guilty pleasure mode, I caught up with the amazingly titled Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, which is rather a lot of fun for a seriously awful film. Much better in the guilty pleasure stakes was A Perfect Getaway, cleverly casting Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich against type for a nutty-twisty tropical paradise thriller.

Brows were rather higher for Jane Campion's John Keats drama Bright Star, which is perhaps one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen. Katalin Varga is a beautifully made and truly memorable drama from Romania (by first-time British filmmaker Peter Strickland), while the Jamie Foxx-Robert Downey Jr drama The Soloist has a great story but is so worthy it almost hurts. Adventureland is a warmly made, serious-minded take on the same themes as American Pie; The Firm is a much more grown-up look at English football hooligans from Nick Love, but it's still yet another hooligan movie; and Pontypool is a concept horror from Canada that feels strangely uncinematic, perhaps because it's not too different from the radio play it's based on.

Yes it was a busier week than usual, and this week is more manageable, perhaps, with the likes of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (this summer's second toy-based movie), Imagine That (this summer's Eddie Murphy comedy), The Merry Gentleman (Michael Keaton's directing debut), Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes and Colin Firth in Oliver Parker's latest Oscar Wilde adaptation), Bunny and the Bull (offbeat British film), and Ip Man (the true story of Bruce Lee's mentor).

No comments: