Londonist saw Nirvana on stage back when Kurt still had a head and never really got what all the fuss was about. All the bands of that period that played better, wrote more interesting songs and managed to resist the temptations of Courtney Love and shotguns have had a much more lasting contribution to the music scene. Sonic Youth outplayed Nirvana simply by plugging in a guitar and recording some feedback so we're a little bemused by Gus Van Sant's need to revisit the blonde moper as he shuffles around from room to room deciding which walls need a splash of red.
Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian (and perhaps a nice green flannel shirt) reckons that Last Days is actually something that we should go and see:
Van Sant succeeds in projecting Cobain's private unhappiness out into this affectless landscape and creates an utterly plausible spiritual endgame. It is captivating and even thrilling to watch Kurt make his grim, pain-wracked progress to the cliff's edge.
Hmmm. Of course no one is allowed to call the character in the movie Kurt less Ms Love gets annoyed and falls drunkenly on those responsible so the depressed blondester in Last Days is actually named Blake. Anthony Quint over in the Independent Doesn't give a stuff about any of that though and starts looking for a point to the whole thing:
Sorry to have to ask, but where exactly is the movie here? Surely it can't be this disjointed sequence of epically long takes and slurred, desultory talk, can it?.. is he depressed because he's not a very good songwriter?
Ouch. Only a single star there. So with Bradders and Quint at opposite ends of the grungeometer it's over to James Christopher in The Times to settle things:
At one point the camera swings and settles on a lump of verdant foliage for several mystifying minutes.
Oddly enough Christopher likes that kind of thing and gives the film four stars. We knew that Kim Gordon popped up in it but we hadn't realised that Londonist favourite Asia Argento was also in the mix... maybe we'll shrug off our own rockstar style sulking and go see it then. If you're at the same screening as us then please feel free to give us a nudge if you see us falling off.
From arthouse to frathouse perhaps with the release of The 40-year Old Virgin. The chap who played the boss in the US version of The Office here plays... well, the clue is in the title.
Bradshaw gives it a so-so 3 out of 5 and points out the level of the humour on offer:
There are some great lines, though - particularly when two of the guys start taunting each other in a non-PC orgy of bad taste: "You know how I know you're gay, man? You like Coldplay." Ouch.
Not quite Woody Allen then. Quinn compares the film to Last Days and opts for this as the better of the two calling it a sweet and occasionally uproarious comedy of innocence in his whopping 4 star review.
The times knocks off a couple of stars, but you probably want to put them back if you like your comedy to be as subtle as a rutting bull elephant. That the hero is encouraged to make out with women so drunk they are dribbling and cross-eyed and there’s vomit leaking out of their handbags makes us think we may well leave this one for when The Sun gives it away as a free DVD sometime in the year 2010.
The Independent is still insisting on lumping the majority of their reviews together in a throwaway style so we'll do just that. If you have a spare two minutes you can read them here.
On A Clear Day is one of those Full Montyish type affairs we keep rolling out once a year like a feel good colonic. This one is about an unemployed ship builder who wants to swim the channel. You can feel the irony from here can't you? Wendy Ide in The Times allows it three stars, but isn't impressed enough to give it more than a paragraph of her time, saying that there's more sentiment sloshing about than there is water in the Channel, but Mullan’s quiet dignity saves it.
Bradshaw has even less to say and dismisses the attempt with two stars and complains that it does nothing like enough justice to the wrenching physical agony of a 55-year-old man - or anyone - swimming the Channel.
Red Eye then is the big stupid release of the week and stars Cillian Murphy fresh from Batman Begins in Wes Craven's apparently return to form air based thriller. Peter Bradshaw enjoys it well enough and doesn't mind that the plot may not stand up to that much scrutiny as Craven nicely channels some post-9/11 high anxiety. Three stars.
The Times enjoying it less gives it only two stars. James Christopher warns that Craven's best move is to snare two genuinely gifted young actors who are leaping up the ladder of Hollywood fame. Let's hope they don’t confuse the "vacant" sign on the door for the exit. Quite.
Annie over on the London Underground Tube Diary points us in the direction of the Prince Charles this evening to go and see something more topical and sadly a lot closer to home:
"NO SHOOT TO KILL: A special benefit screening for the families of Jean Charles de Menezes & Azelle Rodney. Fri Sep 02, 6.15pm Tickets £5
Screening of feature + Q&A with families & filmmakers. Hosted by United Families & Friends Campaign
Previously 'banned', INJUSTICE is about the struggles for justice by families of people who have died in police custody in the UK. Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Shiji Lapite and Ibrahima Sey met violent deaths at the hands of police officers. The 'official' response was to cover up these deaths..."
The only film news we give a stuff about this week is that Mr T has signed up for a cameo in Rocky VI. Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na NA NA NA NA NA NA NA na na na na NA NA NA na... We bet it's not as good as THIS.
Trailer of the week has GOT to be Aeon Flux.