Our weekly roundup of film reviews continues, courtesy of James Bryan...
The tsunami of hype has crested and the reviews are in. As if you hadn’t heard, four years after they bowed out on the small screen, the fading stars of Sex and The City have returned for their close-up. Yes, we know it’s an orgy of shameless consumerism or, as one blogger describes it, “a Taliban Recruitment video”, but are they still worth it? The generally average reviews suggest not, but if you’re a fan of the show, who cares? You want to drown in the radiated fabulousness of it all and you will. Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian gives it 3-stars:
It is all very trivial and disposable, and yet for all its contrivances, its brand-name silliness and its amplified problems afflicting the comfortably-off metropolitan classes, I can't help thinking this is still a cut above the sinister romcom slush that we are fed, week in, week out. It is still unusual to see a film that features women as the leading characters of their own lives, and which attempts to imagine life after marriage. Like something glutinous from the pudding menu, Sex and the City isn't exactly wholesome, but it won't do you much harm this once.
Wendy Ide in the Times, self-confessed fan of the show, is disappointed with a 2-star review, “2½ hours, near enough – seems like an awful long time to spend with these irritating, self-obsessed women, however much we may have missed them” before concluding that, “it’s like being reunited with old friends only to realise that you’ve grown irreparably apart.”
Basically if you’re the target market you’re going to emerge from the cinema with happily dancing visions of handbags, shoes and a glorious Manhattan existence. Bizarrely the most prescient review might just be from that little-quoted source, the Daily Mail with an intriguing 3-star review:
In years to come, I suspect – and hope – that people will watch this movie, laugh at the naivety of its faux sophistication, and find its assumptions as quaint, bigoted and unconsciously racist as those of Gone With The Wind.
Other releases this week are limited. There’s the bizarre looking Chemical Wedding written by Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. Featuring Simon Callow getting possessed by (real-life) occultist Aleister Crowley which “prompts him to shave his head, urinate on his students during a lecture, crucify prostitutes and reenact the ‘Moonchild’ ritual with a redheaded student to bring about an age of evil.” (The Times, 2-stars). Is it at least amusingly rubbish? The Independent (1-star) thinks so, “The result is dramatically indefensible, intellectually impenetrable – and a tip-top laugh riot.”
The best-reviewed film of the week is the re-release of Francois Truffaut's Jules et Jim, about the love and friendship between three Bohemians in prewar Paris. It’s the template of the French New Wave and The Times has a thoughtful 5-star review. The Guardian (5-stars) sums it up with, “Few films capture life's bittersweet rush and tumble so completely, so profoundly as Jules et Jim. It is the cinematic equivalent of catching lightning in a bottle.”
Next week we’ve got Ben Affleck’s delayed story of a child being abducted, Gone Baby Gone and in two weeks Edward Norton goes green and growly in The Incredible Hulk.
By James Bryan