Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Critical Week: In yer face

Well, it took until the fourth film in the series, the oddly non-titled The Final Destination, for those bright sparks at Final Destination Inc to come up with the idea of using 3D to make their deranged black comedies leap off the screen and into fans' faces. And the film is so much fun (and such a box office success) that it's likely to reignite the franchise.

That was the highest-profile film screened to the London press last week, just days before its release. We also saw Heartless, an atmospheric and enigmatic horror mystery with Jim Sturgess; My Life in Ruins, the latest big fat Greek comedy from Nia Vardalos; Me and Orson Welles, an offbeat little period drama from Richard Linklater starring Zac Efron and the amazing newcomer Christian McKay; Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee, an hilarious mock-doc by Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows; Tulpan, a thoroughly engaging rural Kazakh drama; Antarctica, a slightly uneven ensemble romance from Israel; and two horror classic remakes: the less than thrilling demon-baby romp It's Alive and the guilty pleasure rampage of Sorority Row (the screening for which was introduced by a giggling Briana Evigan and Rumer Willis).

This coming (short) week isn't nearly as hectic, with just four screenings: Steven Soderbergh's experimental The Girlfriend Experience, the acclaimed French biopic Seraphine, the Polish thriller Tricks and the surfing doc Bustin' Down the Door. I'll also finally catch up with Michael Winterbottom's noted feature debut Butterfly Kiss, which is being reissued this week, and I even have a free evening that I can give to the theatre, namely the camp stage musical version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. With a front-row seat, it's bound to be in my face indeed...

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