This week – David Lynch makes another film which makes everyone say “wha…?” (Inland Empire) and Eddie Murphy dons a fat suit and makes a racially insensitive film(Norbit).
First up, Inland Empire.
We’re not a huge fan of David Lynch here at Londonist. For a while we were awed by the mysteriousness and ‘cleverness’ of it all but then, during a trip to Blockbuster when we had to choose between Mulholland Drive and Die Hard With A Vengeance, we realized that it’s all bull and that ultimately we’d rather watch Bruce Willis. This is a feeling we get about a lot of films. Think fast. Look alive. Die hard.
Bradshaw, however, seems to love it and gives it 4/5,
The great eroto-surrealist David Lynch has gone truffling for another imaginary orifice of pleasure, with results that are fascinating, sometimes very unwholesome, and always enjoyable.
I think Bradshaw ‘gets’ Lynch. Oh dear.
He describes the film as a “supernatural mystery thriller” with “the word “mystery” in 72-point bold.” Indeed when Lynch was asked about what Inland Empire was about he replied that it is “about a woman in trouble, and it’s a mystery, and that’s all I want to say about it.”
The Guardian started a discussion about what the film is about here.
As is usual for a Lynch film, this certainly isn’t a film to watch with a hangover,
There is a disquieting chorus of LA hookers, and often we come out into an imaginary sitcom featuring a braying laugh-track and characters dressed as rabbits. Curiouser and curiousest …The nightmare goes on and on – for three hours, in fact. But believe me when I say that, though this is familiar Lynch stuff, it is never dull, and I was often buttock-clenchingly afraid of what was going to happen next and squeaking with anxiety.
The opening scene is “so disturbing, I found myself gnawing at a hangnail like a deranged terrier.”
Bradshaw finishes his media studies A level coursework review with,
It is mad and chaotic and exasperating and often makes no sense: but actually not quite as confusing as has been reported … How boring the cinema would be without David Lynch, and for a long, long moment, how dull reality always seems after a Lynch movie has finished.
James Christopher, in contrast, gives the film a mere 1/5, writing that,
Even by Lynch’s weird standards Inland Empire is an exasperating stretch. For three impenetrable hours he shoots the tinkerings of actors and prostitutes on a grainy digital camera … The point is hopelessly lost in surreal mazes and dead ends. The only consistent element is a string of heart-stopping fright moments that reach out and clobber a slumbering audience with ear-splitting shrieks. Take earplugs.
Anthony Quinn gives it 2/5 but has no more praise for it than Christopher. The film goes into “narrative freefall” and,
There is barely a moment in its three-hour running time when you can make head, tail or anything in between of it … The only thing I could tell for sure about this mind-boggling fugue is that I didn’t enjoy it, at all
It is an “unwieldy puzzle” and “shot on scuzzy DV, it looks awful, too.”
Watch the trailer here -
Next up, Norbit
We don’t like Eddie Murphy one bit after what he did to Mel B, so we’re giving the film 0/5 having not seen it. What do the critics think?
Bradshaw gives it 2/5.
The thing that we most admire about Bradshaw is that while he clearly relishes the opportunity to force us to dust down the thesaurus when he reviews the highbrow flicks, he also admits when he enjoys a really shit one.
Even though “the crudity and crassness of this movie have been widely deplored in the United States” he writes, “I have to confess that I did laugh occasionally”.
You’re a big man for admitting it Pete.
Wendy Ide gives it 2/5 although there is no evidence in the text that Wendy should give it anything other than 0/5. She writes that it is “probably the film that lost Eddie Murphy his Dreamgirls Oscar” and that it is also “a crass assault on the boundaries of good taste.”
A bit like the new Times website.
The jokes run the gamut from racially insensitive to rabidly misogynistic to just plain dumb. A big fat failure.
Anthony Quinn gives it 1/5,
Obesity seems quite a risky target in today’s America, and one imagines Chinese audiences won’t be too thrilled by the portrayal of Wong as an unregenerate racist. The real problem, however, is the complete absence of anything you could call wit.
Never impregnate one of our Spice Girls again, Eddie.
Watch the trailer-
(We laughed, we feel so dirty)
Other films out this week – After The Wedding (Efter Brylluppet) (A man who has dedicated his life to street children in India receives an unusual offer that leads him back to Denmark.), Becoming Jane (The story of Jane Austen’s youthful romance with a lawyer, said to be the template for Mr Darcy.), Duelist (Hyeongsa) (A female detective becomes obsessed with trying to uncover the person behind a huge counterfeiting ring.), Gone (A British couple on the holiday of a lifetime in the Australian outback are befriended by a mysterious American.), Outlaw (Five men form a vigilante gang after becoming embittered over the state of contemporary Britain.) and The Good German (Based on the book by Joseph Kanon, where a US military correspondent becomes entangled in a former lover’s attempt to escape postwar Berlin.)
Trailer of the week- The Prisoner or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair