Monday, 1 February 2010

Critical Week: Blow 'em away

That's John Travolta blasting his way through the new action mayhem of From Paris With Love, another slice of Luc Bessonian guilty pleasure with far more guns and bombs than are strictly necessary. And this week, London critics also got to see Mel Gibson shooting everything that moved in the slicker but far-too-serious Edge of Darkness, as well as Paul Bettany armed to the teeth with guns and big knives as the Archangel Michael in the enjoyably manic, but legion-free, Legion, and Sean Bean indulging in all sorts of nastiness in the thoroughly entertaining medieval horror romp Black Death.

The rest of last week's press screenings had fireworks of a different kind, from the moody but strangely muted Belfast teen angst of Cherrybomb (featuring Harry Potter star Rupert Grint's first - very tame - love scene), the sharply clever but ultimately somewhat formulaic London Arab-Jewish comedy The Infidel, Tilda Swinton in the extremely sedate and haunting Italian mob family drama I Am Love, and the eerily moody supernatural healing drama Lourdes.

Even more enjoyable was the chance to spend an hour in the presence of Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, who were in London for the premiere of their film Invictus.

This week the excitement continues with the all-star seasonal rom-com Valentine's Day, the teen Greek-god romp Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief, the Irish crime caper Perrier's Bounty, the gritty remake of the Aussie horror classic Long Weekend, the acclaimed Greek drama Dogtooth, the Mussolini biopic Vincere, and the British doc about the US comic American: The Bill Hicks Story. There's also the little matter of the Oscar nominations on Tuesday, at lunchtime in London.

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