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.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
How did our legends really begin?
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine pay tribute to Jon 'Fat' Beast, dead at 51
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
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