Monday, 29 March 2010

Critical Week: Laugh it up

Two high-profile comedies were screened for the London press over the last week: John Cusack and Rob Corddry in Hot Tub Time Machine and Steve Carell and Tina Fey in Date Night. And the best surprise is that, while both clearly have very silly premises, they're both also very, very funny. And they also have some serious undertones to their stories. Frankly, I can't remember many genuinely funny comedies from Hollywood over the past few years, so let's enjoy them while we can.

The other biggie was the Clash of the Titans remake, which had its press screenings delayed (and press junket cancelled) because the transfer of the film into 3D took longer than expected. Frankly, they needn't have bothered, as the 3D is unnecessary, blurry and even a little annoying. But the movie itself is pretty good fun, with strong effects and a great cast. Staying in the ancient world, we also saw Alejandro Amenabar's Agora, starring Rachel Weisz in a fascinating but strangely awkward story set in ancient Egypt.

Meanwhile, the British Film Institute's 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has been continuing on the Southbank, with films, events and lots of parties (I need some sleep!). This year's programme has been extremely strong, leading up to the closing film on Wednesday, the excellent Children of God, from the Bahamas. Followed of course by another party.

Next week's film offerings include Julianne Moore in the thriller Shelter, Richard E Grant in the thriller Cuckoo, Tom DiCillo's doc about the Doors When You're Strange, and Austria's award-winning revenge drama Revanche.

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