New film releases (09/06/2012)
Saturday 09 June 2012
Casa de Mi Padre (15) ***
Dir. Matt Piedmont
Stars Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, 84mins
Will Ferrell's Spanish-language comic tribute to Mexican popular cinema and melodramatic telenovelas is surprisingly earnest, and even their continuity errors and misaligned edits, cheap special effects and lurid colours and costumes are mocked with affection. He plays another guileless man-child: this time a middle-aged virgin rancher who doesn't realise that his family's money comes from the drugs trade, and falls in love with his brother's fiancée.
The Innkeepers (15) ****
Dir. Ti West
Stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, 101mins
Ti West's follow-up to the superb retro horror film The House of the Devil takes place in the present day but has a similarly eerie out-of-time quality. It is set in one of those creaky American hotels that are rumoured to be haunted, and has vintage patterned wallpaper and carpets straight out of The Shining. West's patient approach to storytelling means that you get to know and like the bored young clerks overseeing the hotel's final week in business, who investigate paranormal activity on the sly. It also means that the film fully earns its comparison with The Shining.
The Pact (15) **
Dir. Nicholas McCarthy
Stars Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, 88mins
A low-budget ghost story about a young woman who moves back into her dead mother's suburban home, and slowly – oh so slowly – comes to realise that she isn't alone there. The build-up is muddled, but the spooky stuff is effective enough.
Red Tails (12A) **
Dir. Anthony Hemingway
Stars David Oyelowo, Terrence Howard, Elijah Kelley, 124mins
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of black US Air Force fighter pilots stationed in Italy during the Second World War, who had to combat institutional racism as well as the Luftwaffe. No doubt their efforts deserve to be memorialised with something other than this simplistic action movie, produced and personally financed by George Lucas and displaying his usual childish delight in special effects and explosions, and concomitant indifference to characterisation.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything (15) **
Dir. Crispian Mills
Stars Simon Pegg, Amara Karan, 100mins
The first film by the former frontman of the Britpop band Kula Shaker (and Hayley Mills' son), Crispian Mills, is an insistently quirky mock horror, adapted from a Bruce Robinson short story, about a writer whose research into Victorian killers has left him agoraphobic and paranoid. A one-hander for too much of its running time, its thin and unstructured screenplay and its director's overcompensatory tricks leave a mugging Simon Pegg exposed.
Sing Your Song (12A) ****
Dir. Susanne Rostock
Harry Belafonte is your highly personable host for this documentary about his own life, which establishes his significance as a black entertainer who reached a mainstream American audience during the era of segregation, before focusing on his political activism during the civil rights movement, in Apartheid-era South Africa, and today, when he continues to campaign on behalf of black America's imprisoned youth.
Woody Allen: a Documentary (15) ***
Dir. Robert B Weide
This film-by-film guide to the life and work of Woody Allen spans six decades, and finds that he is much the same neurotic but romantic figure as a 76-year-old director that he was as a 16-year-old 50-gags-a-day joke-writer for television. Which is pretty much the definition of an auteur.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance 'Carol' for not wearing high heels
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Mad Men, TV review: Perfect harmony? Not quite, but an enlightening finale for Don Draper
Theresa May accused of seeking to introduce state censorship of the media by Cabinet colleague Sajid Javid
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland