Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Critical Week: Hear me roar

London critics got the feeling New Line was hiding something from us, as they only screened Sex and the City 2 at 9pm on Thursday night - one way of making sure not a single review of this two-and-a-half-hour film leaked until midnight Friday morning. Honestly, the film is review-proof anyway; its fans clearly don't mind that it undermines its female-empowerment message by having these women continually frazzled by man trouble. But there are a few good laughs in it.

Better films last week included Sylvain Chomet's animated follow-up to his brilliant The Triplets of Belleville: The Illusionist will open the Edinburgh Film Festival in two weeks, and it's a real charmer. Andre Techine's The Girl on the Train is an elusive and complicated drama that rewards tenacious viewers. Exhibit A is yet another hand-held camera thriller, but at least this one, from new British filmmaker Dom Rotheroe, starts as a dark family comedy before it turns genuinely unnerving. And the Swedish documentary Videocracy looks at the power of media using a telling example: Italy's rather scary "television of the president".

I also saw, in a special screening at the Venezuelan Embassy, Oliver Stone's entertaining doc South of the Border, which provides a necessary balance on outrageously biased American news reports of left-leaning Latin American governments, even if it's weirdly unquestioning.

This coming week is another mixed bag: the Russell Brand-Jonah Hill comedy Get Him to the Greek, the British comedy-thriller remake Wild Target, the black suburban comedy Lymelife, the surreal British comedy Skeletons, the zombie horror of The Horde, South African crime thriller Jerusalema, the nutty adventure thriller Mega Piranha and the Mt Everest doc The Wildest Dream.

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