Thursday, 13 September 2012

Critical Week: Where'd the time go?

Time travel movies always do your head in a bit, although Rian Johnson's Looper isn't as impenetrable as some. No, my problem this past week was recovering from the full-on Paralympics schedule I kept up over the previous two weeks. But I'm starting to feel a bit more normal now, just as meetings are kicking in to organise the Critics' Circle Film Awards in January! Clearly there's no rest for me in the near future.

Anyway, back to Looper, which was screened last week to UK critics: we're embargoed from saying much about the film, which stars Joe Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same hitman character meeting up in a time loop. So what can I write about. We also saw Woody Allen's latest Euro-pudding, To Rome With Love, which is very fluffy but still worth a look. Oliver Stone's Savages is a return to Natural Born Killers nastiness without the bite, mainly due to a pretty dire script that even a terrific cast can't rescue. And it gets worse: Sam Riley and Garret Dillahunt star in Walter Salles' take on the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road, which simply doesn't hold together at all, despite gorgeous production values.

The nicest surprise of the week was British comedy sequel Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, of which I didn't expect much. It starts in the same annoying vein as its predecessor, but wins us over with an infusion of Christmas spirit that worked on me even on a sunny September morning. Two other independent films held my interest even though they're both flawed: Sally Potter's drama Ginger & Rosa is a dark coming-of-age drama starring Elle Fanning and newcomer Alice Englert. While Jason Biggs is superb in the lively grassroots politics comedy titled, erm, Grassroots.

This coming week is even busier, screening-wise, with Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson in the comedy Pitch Perfect, Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider in The Babymakers, the British action thriller Tower Block, the Swedish political comedy Four More Years and the Queen documentary Hungarian Rhapsody, plus a chance to revisit Raiders of the Lost Ark on the Imax screen.

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