Sunday 22 August 2010
Not the post-Laurel and Hardy farce that the title might suggest, Pianomania is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about Stefan Knüpfer (right with Lang Lang, seated), an Austrian piano tuner (and Niles Crane lookalike) who tweaks the Steinways in Vienna's concert halls with the eagerness of an amateur mechanic, the nicety of a surgeon, and the semi-mystical sensory refinement of a master sommelier. There's a lot that the film doesn't tell us about Knüpfer's background, but it's a fascinating, slyly amusing peek into the classical music world, where "catastrophe" means a set of new hammer heads being 0.7mm too narrow.
Piranha 3D (18)
A lakeful of prehistoric piranhas make mincemeat of some holidaying students. Alexandre Aja's comedy horror doesn't aim high, and it's probably morally reprehensible, but there's a knowing intelligence behind it which makes it funnier than the competition. Richard Dreyfuss reprises his Jaws role, Christopher Lloyd does his goggle-eyed scientist bit from Back to the Future, Kelly Brook frolics naked underwater for minutes on end, and every imaginable severed body part floats towards the viewer in 3D.
Owen Wilson provides the voice of the eponymous Great Dane in this formulaic children's comedy. It may revolve around a surfing contest for dogs, and it may be preoccupied with bad puns and canine flatulence, but it still trots out Hollywood's two favourite pieties – "be yourself", and "don't prioritise your work over your family – or your pets" – for the billionth time. David Walliams must have been either relieved or disappointed when he heard that his role as a camp animal trainer was to be snipped to a 10-second montage.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda': Singer finally releases predictable video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Laughs go global as Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran bring international comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women