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Friday Film News

By Rob Last edited 136 months ago
Friday Film News
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First up in the film reviews this week is The Aristocrats, which starts off reasonably well by picking up three stars in the Times.

At just two paragraphs Wendy Ide's review of this documentary about a legendary in-joke amongst comedians is probably shorter than the joke itelf, but she seems to like it, calling the film "a fascinating insight into a close circle".

By the time we get to Anthony Quinn in the Independent though, The Aristocrats is down to two stars, the problem being that "a) any joke told repeatedly over 90 minutes soon loses its lustre, and b) this joke - basically an incongruous-title gag - isn't that funny anyway."

In the Guardian, Pete Bradshaw is of the same mind, and awards another two stars while openly admitting that he can't do any better than 'the definitive comment" which came from Australian comic Brendon Burns, who asked: "That the best you Yank pussies can do?"

We do get a little insight into Bradders online preferences though:

The editorial team of The Onion make an appearance, and sadly are edited to look like obtuse, sophomoric amateurs. Their admirers, however, know that they come up with more chancey stuff online every week. (My personal favourite is The Onion's special report from Srebrenica: "Mass Graves - Are They Really More Cost-Effective?")

On to the unholy trinity of Ron Howard, Russell Crowe, and Renée Zellweger in Cinderella Man.

Now to be honest the trailer for this makes us want to resort to self-harm, so God only knows what sitting through two and a half hours of it must be like. Fair play then to Pete Bradshaw then for managing it, and all for just yet another two star review.

Everything is smothered "in a rich peanut-buttery schmaltz says pete, makign us feel a but hungry. "There are no surprises, no subtleties, no unexpected reversals. The nearest thing to a spanner that Howard can bring himself to throw into the works is Braddock's daring friendship with a union organiser, played by Paddy Considine."

In the end though this is just "feelgood drama, doggedly maintained for two and a half hours, and plenty of workmanlike boxing action diluted from Scorsese: Russell Crowe is Extremely Vexed Bull."

Another two stars from Wendy Ide in the Times, who can't get away from the fact that Cinderella Man is a "manipulative piece of Oscar bait". And it says something when a reviewer thinks the best work on a film was done by 'the costume department and the production designer".

The film's best score comes from Tony Quinn in the Independent who gives it three stars , praises the performance of Crowe (" the pathos is so overwhelming you feel the actor almost had to humble himself to make it real") and Paul Giamatti as his trainer, but still contests that the whole things is a bit of a bit of a mixed bag: "it would take quite a curmudgeon not to be cheered by this tale of courage in adversity. And it would take an idiot not to mind its complete lack of suspense."

Last up this week is 'Hobbit does hooliganism' film Green Street.

And you know a film's pretty crap when Peter Bradshaw's mauling is the most generous of the lot.

Pete gives it two stars in the Guardian, dubbing it an "efficiently crafted but naive and faintly bizarre drama" with a "highly dubious moral i.e. "football yobbos teach us to stand our ground and help our mates: ie, by giving other yobbos a right old kicking".

Both the Independent and the Times give Green Street one star with Quinn saying that everything about the film is "so palpably, pitifully wrong, not least of it chief yob Charlie Hunnam's abysmal cockney accent and the egregious solecism of a black Millwall fan," and Wendy Ide summing it up as "a spectacularly misjudged examination of football hooliganism".

In the news this week it's back to Elijah 'Frodo' Wood and the slightly disturbing story that he may be due to play Iggy Pop in a biopic about the Stooges frontman. Miscast of the century?

We're sure we're going to get bored of Superman stuff over the next few months, but for now we're still getting excited over pictures like these showing Casey as Lex Luthor etc.

Trailer of the week? It has to be Tim Burton's The Corpse Briide doesn't it.

Last Updated 09 September 2005