The Wedding Crashers is the latest from the new 'brat pack' of Hollywood (consisting of "Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, the Wilson brothers, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrel" if you believe Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian).
Bradshaw himself gives the film just two stars, calling it a "very incorrect but patchy and cynical high-concept item". Bradshaw also thinks the introductory montage scene is waaaaay too long: "I don't think I have ever seen a picture in which this well-understood convention is allowed to overrun its traditional length by about 250%. It's like a short film in itself, or a trailer!"And it seems the whole film is also on the overlong side: "each and every one of its predictable constituent parts is allowed to overshoot the runway.".
But, buried towards the end of the review is Bradshaw's confession that he laughed at the film, "And yet and yet! Only a churl would deny that they reel in a few big laughs,"
Conclusion: "Not without entertainment value, but one for DVD rental, really."
We think The Wedding Crashers gets three stars in the Independent, but to be honest their rating sytsem is confusing us: does three stars next to two film titles mean both films have been awarded three stars or just the one that the stars appear next to? Is this the three star page? Do the four films on this page all get two stars? Or is it just the last film? How hard can it be to make this clear? Are the Independent running out of webspace or something?
Anway Anthony Quinn likes the sound of The Wedding Crashers: "It all sounds so...money!" he exclaims in a tone you suspect sounds like your dad trying to be 'cool'.
But actually it's Owen Wilson who he's got a bit of a man-crush on: "whose straw-blond hair, surfer drawl and Picasso-esque nose constitute such a distinctive part of the movie landscape." Owen Wilson? A distinctive part of the movie landscape? Really?
However, Quinn find the plot wanting, and although it tries to pass itself off as another Meet the Parents this is "a very feeble imitation" according to Quinn.
The most interesting thing about James Christopher's three star review in The Times is this phrase: "They spin sob stories to the bridesmaids and then peel them like bananas."....ewww.
But you can boil his review down to 'good for a bit and then the plot gets daft'.
Another film (like The Wedding Crashers) that we've kind of been looking forward to thanks to a well-put-together trailer is Madagascar.
Yes, we admit it, we are a sucker for a talking animal or two, so we have spent the last couple of weeks casting around for a nephew or neice that we could maybe commandeer as an excuse to see this.
But it’s another two stars from Bradders, who thinks the film is "unsatisfyingly thin stuff with a dull ending, lacking the impact of Shrek or The Incredibles”, which even Sacha Baron Cohen ("who brilliantly voices the local lemur King") can’t save.
It’s two more stars from the Independent (we think) where SBC comes in for more praise but the main complaint is there's not a single moment of spontaneity”
Now call us pedantic, but isn’t asking animated characters to improvise a tad ambitious?
Yet another two star review can be found in The Times where Madagascar is branded as "a perfectly pleasant little film that should appeal to youngsters with a taste for all things cute and furry". But at least Ali G’s alter ego gets another positive mention: "Sacha Baron Cohen’s demented voiceover for the self-appointed king of the Madagascan lemurs ups the comic ante." (and he's engaged to The Wedding Crashers Isla Fisher...not that we're bitter).
Did you know that the BBC were planning to bring back This Life for a one-off ten year anniversary show? Well if you can't wait that long to glimpse Daniella 'Anna' Nardini then you might want to go and see Festival, an indy ensemble piece about a bunch of performers at the Edinburgh Festival.
The film gets three stars across the board in the broadsheets with a general concensus that despite the "hand-jobs, cunnilingus and something nasty up the back passage" which secure the film its 18 rating, Festival "doesn't really achieve the desired Altmanesque flow" but it does contain some genuinely funny, gruesome and downright nasty moments. Although, surely it will only appeal to Festival veterans?
In film news this week you might have noticed that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory goes up against Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this weekend in the States. Will all the kids stay in reading rather than go to the flicks? We're sure the media will let us know.
And talking of Johnny Depp, it seems he's convinced Keith Richards to play the father to the Captain Jack Sparrow character in the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean.
On a much more highbrow slant: the Transformers film has got a release date for the US (July 4, 2007). After the announcement the co-Webmaster of The Transformers Archive said ,"The diehard fans will like it as long as it stays true to Transformers roots and doesn't stray too far from the ideals that we grew up with."
As for our trailer of the week, we're going to have to go for Wolf's Creek (passed on to us by the pleasingly gory eatmybrains.com), which proves once and for all that Australia really is a very very scary place (it's also playing at this year's FrightFest).