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Friday Film News

By Rob Last edited 143 months ago
Friday Film News
hostage.jpg

You can't mention this week's releases without mentioning "real sex" and Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs.

They really did 'it' you know.

It's always interesting to see how the critics approach a film with knobs in it, and this one's no exception.

In the Guardian Pete Bradshaw gives the film a respectable three stars, calling it a "robust and unpretentious sex film". And he's also "relieved to report that the hardcore sex action is completely gratuitous - which, in real life, is the very best sort."

Wow, far too much information their Pete.

It's a different story in the Independent, where Anthony Quinn can only bring himself to award 9 Songs one star, and it's the wood that's to blame:

"The documentary element is disruptive; bare a breast and you may get away with it, but throw in an erection and your audience's concentration is lost."

Well, he's got a point.

But Quinn also has a problem with the film's other main element: the songs: "The concert footage, shot, like the rest of the film, on digital video, has a certain raucous immediacy, yet none of it appears to illuminate the story, or provide a link between one sequence and another."

But, in the end, it comes down to one question: "Why should we be interested in these people?"

We don't know Tony. Maybe because one of them used to be Gruey?

So it's up to James Christopher in the Times to cast the deciding vote...except it seems Jim is abstaining!

That's right, Mr Christopher has awarded the first 'no stars' review in the history of the Friday Film News to 9 Songs.

"Without a plot, script, or back-story, the film flounders in the realm of the senseless." Don't hold back James, say what you really think.

"What bothers me about 9 Songs is not the sex but the fact that it’s impossible to work out what the director is being experimental about...The serious point is that if you’re going to push the envelope, at least put something useful in it."

So an empty envelope or a bulging 'french letter'? You decide.

Now on to the latest Bruce Willis outing: Hostage.

Willis has been out in the action movie wilderness for a while now, so is this his return to form? James Christopher in The Times seems to think so:

"A familiar but enjoyable piece of bloodshot convention," he syas before awarding Hostage three stars. It's "a masterclass in how to come back after being flushed down the toilet for the umpteenth time," apparently.

In the Guardian, Pete Bradhsaw is a little less forgiving, giving the film just one star.

"This garbled movie has clearly been extensively recut and chopped, leaving loads of plot strands untied, and what appears to be a serious omission: namely, an ending that makes sense. Oh, Bruce."

Oh Bruce, indeed.

It's a similar story in the Independent with Anthony Quinn awarding Bruce's efforts two stars before summing it up in one sentence: "after a 0-60mph opening it coasts through a fairly preposterous last reel."

And talking of preposterous...

Monster Man is a comedy/horror film about two annoying people being chased by a killer monster truck. And, as far as we can tell, it was released a good two years ago in the US.

Surprisingly, in the Guardian, Bradshaw seems to quite like this one:

"A genial and forgiving disposition is also needed for this completely reprehensible indie-horror comedy. A 32-pack of strong lager would come in useful, too."

Pete Bradshaw promotes binge drinking and crap films shocker!

Meanwhile, in the Independent, it's only one star from Anthony Quinn, who compares Monster Man to the Speilberg masterwork, Duel:

"Just to go one better than Duel, the vehicle of choice is a monster truck. The writer-director fails to grasp that it's not size that matters, but suspense."

Funnily enough, Monster Man doesn't even register over at The Times, so we have to turn to our back up reviewer: the BBC. And it's another one star from reviewer Jamie Russell, who says that the film is "short on joy but steeped in stupidity," and, "even a retarded gerbil could join the all-too-obvious dots between this brain dead effort and backwoods horror movies."

And so on to the news, and it's all Star Wars again with the release of the full teaser trailer for Revenge of the Sith. We won't say too much about it, apart from that the first half is pretty retro-tastic and we felt the usual spine shivers when we saw Christensen looking like pure evil. Let's just hope this isn't as good as it gets.

We're big big fans of Jon Favreau here at Londonist, so we were a little confused when we heard that he was adapting the kid's book Zathura. You can check out the trailer here and make your own mind up, but to us it looks like Jumanji in space (not surprising as the guy who wrote Jumanji also wrote Zathura).

And did you know that Marlon Brando is set to appear in the Superman film. No, really. We're not kidding.

Last Updated 11 March 2005