This week - Spiderman gets into more bother (Spiderman 3) and a film that features Avril Lavigne (Fast Food Nation).
Peter Bradshaw begins his review of Spiderman 3 thus,
Global warming continues. The magnolias are blooming obscenely early. The sky is an unseasonable blue. The burning sunshine seeds tiny flowers of skin cancer on our puckered flesh. And the long, hot summer of pointless film sequels is underway. In the coming months, it seems as if every film will have a digit after the title - a worryingly high digit, mostly, like the first half of a catastrophic scoreline in which the second half should read: Entertainment Factor Nil.
He then gives Spiderman 2/5. It "has its moments" but,
it's over-long and messy with a number of disjointed storylines. There's no clear villain to boo and, by the end, no clear hero to cheer. Instead of one obvious, compelling enemy, there are two. Or three if you count another who pops up right at the end.
In this film, Spiderman gets covered in black sticky glue which makes him appear and act "as if he has been bitten by a radioactive Simon le Bon."
Bradshaw also thinks that he could have done a better job at fighting Sandman than Spiderman, and we agree,
When it comes to fighting the Sandman, dark-clad Spider-Man realises that, like the Wicked Witch in Oz, his opponent is fatally susceptible to water. He sprays him with acrid liquid and instantly the Sandman is turned into the equivalent of a sludgy skipful of builder's rendering. But, for some reason, Spider-Man forgets about this childishly simple "liquid" method for fighting Sandman during their final confrontation; there's lots of pointless squad-car throwing and roaring, when all he needed to do was chuck a large bucket of water.
Despite its attempts to be dark, SM3 pretty well abandons the complexity and real-world pain that made the first two movies interesting. And Peter Parker's journey into psychological cruelty is more camp than anything else.
James Christopher also gives it 2/5,
The biggest film of the year opens tomorrow and it’s a towering disappointment. Spider-Man 3 cost a staggering quarter of a billion dollars to assemble. But I’d be surprised if the script set the producers back much more than a fiver and a bag of cinnamon balls. Sam Raimi’s sequel is stuffed with promising plot lines, bionic new villains, expensive stunts and dazzling special effects. But it is starved of a single ounce of drama.
Christopher blames box office pressure, in order to make its money back, the director has turned it into a "fairground ride" that is simply a "medley of stunts". Spiderman's new 'dark side' is "inadvertently comical and reminiscent of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever." and "the incessant Tom and Jerry action makes it impossible to actually care."
Anthony Quinn gives it 3/5, remarking that "it leaves the viewer with a hollow feeling." howeverm
Still, there are moments where Spider-Man 3 draws on fresh reserves of imagination and sympathy. Most of these involve Flint Marko, the Sandman: Thomas Hayden Church, with his wide mouth and jug ears, allows a sketchily drawn character some of the qualities of Boris Karloff's monster in Frankenstein, both fearsome and sad.
Watch the trailer -
Next up, Fast Food Nation
Bradshaw gives it 1/5,
Let's get one thing straight. Eric Schlosser's 2001 book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal was a factual exposé - a passionate, crusading, factual exposé designed to alert the US, and indeed the whole world, to the squalor of the burger industry. The arrowhead of Schlosser's polemic was a sensational revelation about "faecal matter" in the beef patties.
So what on earth is the point of a movie version that is fictional? A fictional version that is often leadenly acted and scripted, and cravenly attacks only an imaginary burger firm called "Mickey's" - leaving McDonald's and the other real players unchallenged?
It may have "a couple of funny moments" but,
all of its telling details would have made better sense in a documentary, not this made-up version, which looks like a dramatised module in some Open University course on corporate evil.
Wendy Ide gives it 3/5, writing that,
Linklater and Schlosser (who co-wrote the screenplay) weave together a multi-stranded tale to convey as many of the key issues of the book as possible.
however, "Ultimately, Fast Food Nation is preaching to the converted."
Robert Hanks gives it 2/5,
The stories lack shape, and the procession of famous faces detracts from the low-key, realist tone. Overall, too, the dispirited tone - set by the recurring image of frozen meat patties on a conveyor-belt - seems to defeat its political purpose.
Watch the trailer -
Trailer of the week- Werewolf Women of the SS - not a real trailer but a fake trailer made by Rob Zombie as part of Tarantino and Rodriguez's Grindhouse.