Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Critical Week: Mel's got a gun!

London critics were last week treated to a screening of Mel Gibson's new action romp, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, which isn't even being released in cinemas in the USA (where it's going straight to video with the title Get the Gringo). It's a mess, but fans of gratuitous, mindless violence will probably enjoy it. Speaking of mindless, filmmaker Todd Graff kind of wastes both his premise and cast in Joyful Noise, a church choir comedy starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton that's silly and warm but in dire need of some proper sass.

In the prestige department, we had director James Marsh's cool, steady-handed IRA thriller Shadow Dancer, starring Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen; the cool, rather dull futuristic romance Clone, with Matt Smith and Eva Green; and the cool, sleekly unsettling Colombian thriller The Hidden Face. And there were three docs as well, including the comprehensive theatrical edit of the thoroughly entertaining Woody Allen: A Documentary, the hugely endearing real-life adventure Mission to Lars, and the harrowing privatisation horror-doc Catastroika.

This coming week we have another very late press screening of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, just a few days before it opens. We'll also see the ensemble rom-com What to Expect When You're Expecting, the acclaimed horror The Innkeepers, the British comedy Fast Girls, the animated feature Top Cat: The Movie, the Nazis on the moon romp Iron Sky, the Japanese drama Mitsuko Delivers, and a documentary about Ping Pong.

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