Sunday Cinema Summary!

By Londonist_ben Last edited 132 months ago
Sunday Cinema Summary!
snipshot_8414xwd9b8xh.jpg

This week - Kate Winslet falls in love with Jack Black - ludicrous, ludicrous! (The Holiday) and a documentary about the US governments attempts to deport John Lennon, (The US vs. John Lennon).

In short, this film is gash. The rule goes - the worse the film, the more entertaining the reviews. This film is no exception. Bradshaw gives it 1/5. He begins with,

"I'm a book editor from London - you're a trailer-maker from LA. We're worlds apart!" In this new romantic comedy about Americans and Brits falling in love, Jude Law actually has to say that line. He has to open his mouth and say it. To Cameron Diaz - whose character makes film trailers, by the way, not caravans. Poor Jude Law has to say this line, without wincing or crying or being turned into a column of soot by an angry Old Testament God.

Bradshaw curtly sums up what is wrong with this film - the characters and the acting. First up, Cameron Diaz, "her beaming, hyperactive face almost entirely devoid of ordinary human emotion"

What about Kate Winslet and Jack Black?

If you get a chance, take a look at the poster for this film, on which the paired photos of Winslet and Black are smiling blandly, blankly in each other's general direction. It's entirely representative of what's not happening on the screen. They could be two waxworks together. Forget chemistry - were they even on set the same day when their scenes were filmed? It's a kind of bluescreen acting. Black had more of a relationship with King Kong. And Black just does not work as a romantic lead: his face is hardwired for wacky comedy. When he smiles in what is clearly supposed to be a winning way, it just looks creepy, or as if he is having some sort of intestinal spasm.

He has a point about the poster

Last up, Jude Law - "for real creepiness, for real oh-my-God-I-think-he-might-be-a-serial-killer creepiness, Jude Law's character wins hands down."

These films really do bring out the best in Bradshaw,

This glutinous film is coated in a kind of buttery stuff, a soft golden glow of ersatz romance. It's as if they have taken the brown gooey contents of a million Mars bars and used it to develop the film - with the leftovers being poured down our throats.

Yummmm.

Quinn at the Independent gives it 1/5,

The warning lights went on as soon as I saw it was a Nancy Meyers film, this being the writer-director responsible for What Women Want - that's the one in which Mel Gibson suffers an electrical accident in his bathtub, but instead of dying (alas) ends up being able to hear the innermost thoughts of womankind. The Holiday isn't quite as terrible as that, but comparing them is like trying to decide whether a cesspool is better than an open sewer.

Ok, so it's bad. But harmless right?

Much harder to swallow is the film's cynical reduction of the romantic heroine to the level of whimpering, self-pitying, neurotic imbecile. It seems that Meyers has made it her personal mission to put the cause of feminism back about 50 years.

Oh dear.

Well at least James Christopher at the Times doesn't despise this film entirely. He gives it a mammoth 2/5 and writes that it is "like falling into a tub of warm syrup", something which we think could be quite fun.

Surprisingly, for Quinn, Jude Law "is a silky and charming surprise in his first out-and-out romantic role."

So which is it? Is Law the serial killer creepy weirdo of Bradshaw's review or the silky lothario of Quinn's? Who cares, no one is going to see this film anyway. It's gash!

Next up, The US vs. John Lennon

The reviews for this one are strange. None of them do a good job of reviewing the actual film, they rather expound their own thoughts on John Lennon. Bradshaw, who gives the film 3/5 and writes that Lennon "was a genuine English radical."

Like Lennon or loathe him, he had a kind of genius and passion that is nowhere apparent now. We have Live Aid, and Live8, and perhaps these are the projects that, by aspiring to change merely part of the world, will achieve more than those huge gestures from the 1960s and 70s which aspired to change all of it. But the sleek superstars of pop are now very chary of Lennon-ist gestures, or serious dissentient positions, perhaps aware of the treatment meted out to the Dixie Chicks after their anti-Bush statements.

Ok Peter, but what about the film?

Anthony Quinn at the Independent gives the film 1/5 . This seems to be because he didn't like Lennon much,

Even as a lifelong devotee of John Lennon's music, I would have to concede that the man himself really did talk the most prodigious amount of balls.

For him, the documentary is a "remorseless hagiography" (look it up) and seeks to "lionise him as peace activist and spokesman for a generation" but "has the effect of making him look a pious, publicity-crazed bore".

Quinn, it seems, is a bigger Dylan fan,

Indeed, the cumulative impression you would glean here is that, before Lennon, nobody had ever picked up a guitar in protest. Dylan, a hero to Lennon and his fellow Beatles, is conspicuously ignored throughout.

James Christopher manages to leave most of his prejudices at the door for his 3/5 review of a film that he calls a "lopsided account" as the "desire of the film to paint Lennon as a saint is a miscue". However, "The archive footage is extraordinary. So are the retrospective confessions of various government spooks who had orders from the top to “neutralise” Lennon."

Other films out this week - The Nativity Story (A retelling of the story, focusing on Mary and Joseph's arduous journey to Bethlehem to register for a census, leading to the birth of Jesus.), The Heart Of The Game (A portrait of a Seattle high-school girls' basketball team, their unorthodox coach and their star player's fight to play.), The Covenant (Four students, descended from families that signed a pact of silence in 1692, discover they have supernatural powers.), strong>Happy Feet (A misfit tap-dancing penguin sets out to find the true cause of the lean fisheries afflicting his colony in Antarctica.), Frostbite (After a doctor and her daughter move to a small town in Lapland, it emerges that something is hunting people in the winter night.)

Trailer of the week - Balls of Fury

Last Updated 10 December 2006

Sandy

I suggest that these film bashers who hate movies get themselves other job. It must be awful to have to daily turn our words to describe a chore
that terrifies and disgusts you. On the other
hand there are millions of people out there who
like going to the movies. they look forward to the escapism of nancy Meyers, to enjoying the great fantasy-making looks of Jude Law and the possibility of an off=beat romance with a pairing
that might be interesting or not but real people
don't prejudge the way 'critics?' do. THe whole
article was RUBBISH. The movie was fine, I'm going
again and the audience seemed to agree.

Graham

Nothing brings out a smile like the posters above who throw toys out of a pram simply because they don't like what a film critic said.

Bradshaw's review was one of the funniest things I've read this year, and in fact almost makes me want to go and see the film. Particularly after being put off by said promo poster.

Talia

Are there any romcoms that get good ratings from the critics? I was dying to see The Holiday just from the trailer, because I like trash and it looks amazing in a silly, bad romcom way. Saw it on Thursday and it was fun. Yes Jack Black seemingly can't be romantic and was a bit creepy, but he's still hot. The Kate / Jack plot is ridiculous. There's a whole old man plot not mentioned.

Anyway it was the first time I've seen Jude Law and not wanted to tear out my eyes, so it does have it's merits. Doesn't come close to Love Actually for a Xmas romcom though.

Edward Scoble

God I hate The Holiday, it was leered to the American than the British, I mean to the American they think we're all having simple job living in big mansion and such, while it's quite confusing to us Brits, here an example, remember the scene where Cameron Diaz trying to get the coffee machine to work, and Jude pointed out that it's not plugged in?

Am I the ONLY one who think it would be funnier if the switch was 'off'??.

Bloody Yanks director.

Andy

I haven't seen The Holiday and really don't want to...but mostly because in my head Kate and Jack are just the funniest and coolest couple ever (That'll be "Extras" Kate and "School of Rock" Jack).