Monday, 17 January 2011

Critical Week: Mindless thrills

In his ongoing effort to provide muscled guilty pleasure action movies, Jason Statham isn't wasting any time. For The Mechanic, which UK critics got to see last week, he enters Michael Winner/Charles Bronson territory and delivers mindless thrills like no one else in the business. The other big movie we saw last week was Ron Howard's The Dilemma, which seems unsure whether it's a laddish comedy or a wrenching relationship drama. It's not really either, actually, but it features some nice acting by Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly.

Smaller films included the remake of the notorious horror film I Spit on Your Grave, which is so grisly that it's extremely hard to watch; the rather uneven British gangsta comedy Anuvahood, about a young guy who gets into some pretty nasty trouble while trying to be seen as a tough guy; the somewhat grim British drama Travellers, about a group of city boys who have a fateful (and fatal) clash with some Irish gypsies; and the documentary How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?, which explores Norman Foster's particular style of architecture without much analysis.

Coming up this week: Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached, Marion Cotillard in Little White Lies, the aforementioned British-Aussie drama Oranges & Sunshine, the Irish comedy Killing Bono, and the marvellous combination of Danny Glover and Vinnie Jones in the medieval romp Age of Dragons, based on Moby Dick. Yes, really.

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