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Friday Film News

By Rob Last edited 137 months ago
Friday Film News
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Guy Ritchie's new film Revolver isn't out until next Thursday (the 22nd), but there's been so much talk about it (the critical savaging in Toronto, the outrage over the posters etc) that we couldn't resist taking a peek at Pete Bradshaw's review in today's Guardian even though the other papers look to be waiting until next week to sink their teeth in.

And we'll be honest here: we're not even reading this review to find out whether or not we should go and see this film. We already know that we don't want to see Revolver, in fact we know that we'd rather drink Toilet Duck than see any Guy Ritchie film...we just want to see how many different ways Bradshaw can slag Mr Madonna off.

On your marks. Get set. Go:

Those of us unfortunate enough to have seen Guy Ritchie's previous film, the straight-to-video desert island romance Swept Away starring Madonna, comforted ourselves at the time with the thought that it couldn't get any worse.

Can you see where this is going?

Oh how wrong. How very wrong. Because after Revolver, Swept Away now looks like Citizen Kane. Ritchie's new film lands on cinema-goers' collective head like a sack of wet sand. It's a metaphysical thriller that is so long and so boring that each of its minutes lasts long enough for a Test match. This film is like the most horrific 90s TV ad for Guinness that never got shortlisted for an industry award.

Think that's bad? Pete is only just getting warmed up:

"Words cannot easily express how emphatically this film withholds the pleasures of film-going."

"There is no fun and no excitement, and certainly no compensatory food for thought."

"Faced with this dead weight at the centre of the film, poor Ray Liotta does his considerable best."

"How could Guy Ritchie...have become such a muddled, pretentious bore?"

Weirdly the film has a current 'user rating' of 6.4 over on IMDB, so maybe Bradshaw has overreacted...but we doubt it. We'll have to wait until next week for the Times and the Independent to weigh in with their views.

Next up this week, is Room 36, the "bizarre British horror-farce set in a manky DSS hotel in west London".

Last week the Guardian carried an article explaining how this film took 11 years to shoot, during which time "the investment ran out, one of the main actors died, the leading man had gained weight and the master negative suffered serious damage which would have been fatal but for the restorative abilities of digital imagery."

However the Guardian piece was optimistic, suggesting a happy ending for the film" based on a "low key screening at Cannes where it won acclaim, principally from German noir fanatics."

Peter Bradshaw obviously did not read this article.

"The script is just so daft and crude and stupid," moans Bradders in his tertiary one star review. "The presence of TV warhorse-actors such as Brian Murphy, John Cater and the late Norman Mitchell makes it look as if it could be set, and indeed made, 30 years ago," according to Pete and as for the plot, that is simply described as "garbled".

The Independent doesn't seem to deem Room 36 worth reviewing, so it's on to The Times, where Wendy Ide goes one better than Bradshaw, awarding two stars in a review so short we can reproduce it here in its entirety:

While you have to admire the tenacity of the makers of Room 36 (the film took 11 years to make), I’m not sure the effort is justified. A film noir homage shot in starkly lit black and white spiked with flashes of colour, the picture looks quite striking – a kind of grubby, budget version of Sin City. But the plot is weak, and the acting reeks of the kind of wacky amateurism that marred many 1960s British movies.

There is one film that the critics like this week (no, not Pride and Bloody Prejudice, although they do quite like that, it's just another middle of the road, three starrer that makes us want to headbutt our keyboard), and even more surprisingly it's a horror film.

Wolf Creek comes from Australian first-time writer-director Greg McLean and, according to Anthony Quinn's three star review in the Independent, it takes the "horror conventions that we've become familiar with" and upends them in spectacular fashion.

"You'll have nightmares after this, and so will the Australian Tourist Commission," says Quinn, and James Christopeher tends to agree with him. In his brief three star review he manages to give far too much of the plot away in around half-a-dozen lines but ends by summing it up as a film with "high production values, but not for the faint-hearted.".

The film gets its best review in the Guardian, where Bradshaw gives it four stars claiming that it "shows the neo-goreheads from the US and UK how it ought to be done".

Again, there's not much in the way of review that doesn't reveal some of the scarier bits in the film (what is it with broadsheet reviewers that makes them incapable of 'properly' reviewing a horror film?) but Bradshaw does say that Wolf Creek is "the best Australian movie since Lantana, and deserves an audience outside the horror fanbase," which is high praise indeed.

In film news this week...can we start of with a Guy Ritchie story? Ok, then: turns out Guy might be making a Kaballah documentary": "I'm interested in the intellectual aspects of Kabbalah. They're a good bunch but it's not something I'd necessarily promote overtly. But I might make a documentary on Kabbalah because I think it's misunderstood."

You tell 'em Guy.

In slightly more uplifitng news, there's rumours that Joe Pesci might be making a return to cinema screens. The dimunitive nutjob has been AWOL since 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4, but he's due back to play a small part in The Good Shepherd alongside Matt Damon and (shock!) Robert DeNiro as (double shock!) a mob boss.

Now forget Joe Pesci sticking pens in people's throats - if you want to see something genuinely scary then take a look at these exclusive clips from Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Could David Cronenberg's 'long gestating' London Fields project finally be moving forwards? We can only hope.

Trailer of the week this week just has to be get Rich or Die Tryin' starring Fiddy himself. Inspirational gangsta rags to riches stories don't come much crappier than this...y'all.

Last Updated 16 September 2005

The Daily Growl

The best Bradshaw-ism of the week (and one of the best review disses I've heard recently) is for 'Must Love Dogs'. One look at the poster would put anyone off, but Pete excels himself with:

"After this dire romcom, I was to be found hunched in a foetal ball of pain, and so immovable that the cinema staff had to slide a pole under my stomach and carry me out like Dick Whittington's belongings."

It made me chuckle out loud on the Bakerloo Line this morning...