Friday Film News

By Londonist_Laura Last edited 149 months ago
Friday Film News


New to our screens this week:

Gilliam goes gothic (Tideland), Jack Black is back yet again (Nacho Libre) and Halloween animation for the whole family (Monster House).

Starring Jodelle Ferland, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly, new Terry Gilliam film, Tideland, has the critics in disagreement.

"A shapeless, overbearing muddle of Gothic stylings and wigged-out performances" proclaims Anthony Quinn in The Independent.

The film follows a small child as she is orphaned by the death of her junkie parents and retreats in to her imagination.

Says Quinn:

It's a fractured dreamworld in which Gilliam gets so involved that it's as if he forgets that he is directing a movie. The result is deeply tiresome.

Wendy Ide of The Times is much more positive, calling Gilliam a "fascinating director" with Tideland being among his "boldest" work.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian agrees, saying that "For the first time in ages, Terry Gilliam has shown he can deliver the snakebite".

Tideland keeps its grip - and makes it tighter, when it becomes clear that the movie's inspiration is not just Lewis Carroll, but something darker.

We're booking our seats now...

Next up we have Nacho Libre, the new Jack Black vehicle directed and co-written by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and co-written by Mike White (School of Rock).

The Times' Wendy Ide calls the result "lazy, half-baked and ineptly realised".

"The film-makers are so impressed by their own comic pedigree that they neglected to write any serviceable jokes", she says.

The other (male) reviewers think differently, with Anthony Quinn (The Independent) calling the film "a blissful fiesta of absurdity" and Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) agreeing: "The sight-gags, the goofy dialogue, the wacky pastiche, the sheer comedy craftsmanship: it's all terrifically done".

It sounds like if you enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite, this is a film for you.

Finally this week we turn our attention to Monster House, a Halloween themed animation from newcomer director Gil Kenan and co-produced by Steven Spielberg.

"For those whose faith in digimation got rear-ended by Cars, this should provide an excellent restorative", says The Independent's Anthony Quinn, going on to add that "this expertly wrought comedy could be just the thing to rescue "family entertainment" from its current state of disrepute".

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw agrees that "good animations have been thin on the ground lately" and says:

the project is cheerfully and intelligently influenced by the movie's co-producer, Steven Spielberg - reviving happy memories of ET. One of the little boys even looks like little Henry Thomas.

Wendy Ide from The Times likes it too, saying that "The look of the film channels the spirit of early Tim Burton but has a style distinctive enough to be instantly recognisable". She adds that "this will be no hardship for parents to watch, but it may be a little too scary for some kids".

We think it sounds promising.

Also out this week: Lady In The Water (M Night Shyamalan's latest), Wilderness (gory British horror), Innocent Voices (boy soldiers in El Salvador), To Die In San Hilario (whimsical Spanish comedy) and Alpha Male (prodigal son returns to repressed country-house).

Trailers of the week - The Last Kiss and A Scanner Darkly.

Last Updated 11 August 2006