Saturday Cinema Summary!

By Londonist_ben Last edited 146 months ago
Saturday Cinema Summary!

This week - The Mayan empire collapses (Apocalypto) and Renee Zelwegger is Beatrix Potter, (Miss Potter).

First up - it may sound like a fruity drink, but it's a film - Apocalypto!

Bradshaw gives it 4/5. It's Guardian film of the week.

If people have got it in for Mel Gibson, he has only himself to blame. His behaviour has been repulsive. Everyone is prejudiced against his films. I am prejudiced against his films. So the sentence following this is going to take me quite some time to write, because between every keystroke, there will be a three-minute pause while I clench my fists up to my temples and emit a long growl of resentment and rage.

Don't worry Peter, we get a bit like that when we have to admit that the tube is actually pretty cool.

Anyway, what does he think?

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is pathologically brilliant. It is bizarre, stomach-turningly violent and frequently inspired.

The film "radiates a kind of electric, shamanic craziness" and is "brilliant for its sheer delirious excess, its brash, old-fashioned storytelling, and brash, new-fashioned violence."

Anthony Quinn also gives it 4/5,

The violence is dizzyingly savage: if you didn't already know it from Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ, here is a director obsessed with evisceration.

Eviscerate verb

To remove the entrails of; disembowel.

James Christopher at the Times gives it only 2/5, writing, "Mel Gibson’s mythic Mayan adventure is so tooth-grindingly tense it is almost impossible to enjoy it in any conventional sense of the word"

Heads are tossed down the bloody steps of the highest temple. They sound like coconuts being smashed. Still-pumping hearts are ripped out of terrified captives to sate the thirst of the Sun God.

Yuck... for James it "makes the stomach churn" and we're inclined to believe him. Although some of it sounds cool, there is,

a jaguar biting a man’s face off, and what it looks like bouncing around the floor from a severed head’s point of view.


Watch the trailer here.

Next up, Miss Potter.

Bradshaw, who this week seems to prefer harrowing violence to rabbit illustrations, gives it 1/5,

Watching this horrifically twee film is like having your face pushed into a bowl of pot-pourri for 90 minutes in a two-star B&B somewhere in Cumbria.

Apparently, the performances are "toe-curling" for example the "unrelaxed and unnatural" Ewan McGregor, doing his "posh Obi-Wan voice."

This view is not however shared by James Christopher in the Times who gives it 4/5.

The story of how Miss Potter defies her stuffy parents and gets secretly engaged to the first true love of her life is as gripping as the publishing deal that made her a fortune.

The casting is not toe-curling but "inch-perfect", Renée Zellweger being a "frumpy delight as the lonely Beatrix"

We're sceptical. Where Bradshawites here at Londonist. What does Anthony Quinn at the Independent think? Ahh good, 2/5,

Beatrix Potter actually led a fascinating life, which went beyond her fame as a children's author (she was a pioneering naturalist), but you wouldn't know it from this sweet-toothed and sanitised biopic.

For Quinn, the film's target audience is not certain,

the adults will be irked by its tweeness, while the children will not be switching their loyalties from Harry to Beatrix anytime soon.

The only winner here apparently is the National Trust, "whose well-upholstered properties receive a long and reverential advertisement."

Watch the trailer here.

Other films out this week - A Prairie Home Coming (A look at the backstage comings and goings during the final broadcast of America's most popular country music radio show.), Dark Horse (Voksne Mennesker) (Two dead-beat friends fall for the same girl, but in the course of this awkard love triangle, they discover some profound truths about life.), Employee of the Month (On hearing that the store pin-up will go on a date with whoever wins employee of the month, two slacker warehouse workers compete for the prize and her hand.), Little Red Flowers (Kan shang qu hen mei) (A young boy starting school for the first time struggles to fit into a regimented, post-revolutionary Chinese society.), Paris is Burning (A documentary about the fashion-obsessed New York underground scene that invented "voguing" and the strong bonds between the often outrageous drag queens who rule their fabulous roost.), White Noise 2: The Light (A man's family is killed and he is brought back from the verge of death. He then realises he can identify people who are about to die.)

Trailer of the week - Shrek the Third

Last Updated 06 January 2007