Friday 24 December 1999
Director: Les Mayfield
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson
A strutting action-comedy in the Simpson-Bruckheimer vein, Blue Streak turns an indulgent camera on Lawrence's wisecracking jewel-thief. The plot has our hero infiltrating police HQ to retrieve a precious diamond and then going native as the most unorthodox cop since... oh, since Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, or the Lethal Weapon guys, or about a squillion others I could mention. Because Blue Streak is a film with nothing new to say, and a noisy way of saying it, you wish it would just pipe down and go away.
DOGMA (15, 125 mins)
Director: Kevin Smith
Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Where Clerks, Smith's classic poverty-row debut, stuck to a solitary convenience-store location, his scattershot Dogma tackles a sprawling canvas of life, the universe and everything. Thus we get a star-stuffed secular satire about two renegade angels (Affleck and Damon) intent on busting their way back into Heaven, and the odd-bod saviours (Linda Fiorentino, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, Salma Hayek) charged with stopping them. The ensuing yarn gallops along at a breakneck pace; a rattle-bag of half-baked conceits, comedy cardinals, frat-house antics and a God who turns cartwheels outside church. Of course, Old Testament types might want its makers stoned to death, but there's really nothing that's offensive about this slipshod, rollicking, sporadically charming comedy. After all, as the pre-credits disclaimer says, "Even God has a sense of humour."
MUPPETS FROM SPACE (U, 88 mins)
Director: Tim Hill
Starring: David Arquette, Andie MacDowell
In which the crooked-beaked Gonzo discovers he is an alien from outer- space and his Fuzzy Felt cohorts jiggle in time to various musical interludes. True, the latest Muppets marathon shoehorns in some spry one-liners and film-savvy japery, but there's still a lot of dead air in among the tried- and-tested malarkey, plus a moth-eaten sense to the franchise at large.
MYSTERY MEN (PG, 122 mins)
Director: Kinka Usher
Starring: Ben Stiller, William H Macy
When the preening superhero Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) is foiled by his arch nemesis (Geoffrey Rush), the Mystery Men - a raggle-taggle troupe of Walter Mitty types - seize their shot at glory. Set-up complete, Usher's comic-book spoof ambles merrily on its way, buoyed by bold, primary- coloured design and genial playing from its comedic cast (Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens). Sad to say, then, that this goofy little outing starts to flag midway through. In the end, there's not quite enough gags to go around.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant