In one episode of The Simpsons, a car manufacturer designs a vehicle according to Homer's every last whim, and the resulting monstrosity is an undriveable mass of fins, TVs and jumbo cup-holders. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (12A) might have been conceived in a similar fashion. I imagine the producers sat down a slack-jawed FHM reader and took notes as he shouted out everything he'd ever wanted to see in a blockbuster. Motorbikes! Kung fu! Guest stars! Dance routines! Cameron Diaz in a bikini! Explosions! Rude jokes! Cat fights! Helicopters! Demi Moore in a bikini! The thing is, after the highfalutin' ponderousness of X-Men 2 and The Matrix Reloaded, it doesn't seem such a bad way to plan a sequel.
The director, who calls himself McG, jumps from one jolt of instant gratification to the next, without troubling himself with such insignificances as the laws of physics, or even the laws of genetics (Bernie Mac is Bill Murray's brother, and John Cleese is Lucy Liu's dad). While Charlie's Angels 1 could never make up its mind how silly or serious it wanted to be, its brighter, slicker sister is consistently semi-parodic. Of course, it's impossible for anyone with a brain larger than a walnut to care what happens, but that's hardly the point: McG made the film to accompany a bucket of popcorn and a bigger bucket of beer. Whether McG is the nom de megaphone of Homer Simpson has yet to be confirmed.
Rivers and Tides (nc) is a mesmeric documentary which will put Andy Goldsworthy on your list of favourite artists. A world away from the "cold, mechanical, conceptual bullshit" that gets Kim Howells in a tizzy, the good-humoured Scottish sculptor spends his days kneeling on beaches in the rain, building deceptively simple structures - a driftwood nest, a slalom of icicles - out of whatever natural resource he happens upon. Much of his work is ephemeral.
We watch as an egg-shaped cairn and a curtain of twigs collapse just before they're finished, and even when a piece does reach completion, the wind or the water obliterate it within hours, leaving only Goldsworthy's photographs. This documentary, then, will be an invaluable resource for art scholars, and a treasure for the rest of us.
The focal point of Hoover Street Revival (15) is Bishop Noel Jones, who preaches in South Central Los Angeles. His sister is Grace Jones, and he hires the area's gang members to help with church security. Or so I've read. The documentary doesn't tell us anything so fascinating. Apart from a glimpse or two of the Reverend buttoning his vestments before showtime, we don't even get to see him when he isn't sermonising, so I'd recommend Sophie Fiennes's fly-on-the-wall documentary only to people who like lots and lots of gospel singalongs.
Almost all of Alex de la Iglesia's La Comunidad (15) is set in one building, as an estate agent unearths a cache of pesetas in one of the apartments, and the tenants band together to stop her leaving with the money - or at all. An audacious Hitchcock pastiche, it whirls with riotous black farce until the intrusion of some ugly violence spoils the fun. In Dragonflies (15), an ex-con is living on a farm with his young girlfriend when a former partner-in-crime slithers into their Eden with revenge in mind and something horrid in the boot of his car. It's a disconcerting, Scandinavian companion to Sexy Beast.
The Clay Bird (nc) is an awkward mix of boarding school story and nationwide political drama, all set in the East Pakistan of the late Sixties. Gods and Generals (12A) is a four-hour dramatised history lesson about the American Civil War and Melville's Le Cercle Rouge (PG) is the last word in world-weary French heist movies.Reuse content