New Films: Reviews

CAPTAIN JACK (PG, 100 mins)

Director: Robert Young

Starring: Bob Hoskins. Sadie Frost

Jack (Bob Hoskins) is a salty old seadog. His boat: a leaky tub. His home: Whitby. His destination: the ice-bound Arctic. His crew: a Noah's Ark of oddballs (Anna Massey and Gemma Jones's bickering sisters; Sadie Frost's small- town minx). His story: as dull as ditchwater, motored by Robert Young's chug-a-lug direction, and dragged under by Jack Rosenthal's waterlogged screenplay. Because, for all its broad good humour, Captain Jack is a relentlessly faded and arthritic affair; the missing link between homegrown Thirties cinema and low-budget Seventies telly. One from the Marie Celeste school of movie-making.

West End: Odeon Kensington, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Plaza

THE INHERITORS (DIE SIEBTELBAUERN) (15, 95 mins)

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Starring: Simon Schwarz, Sophie Rois

Stefan Ruzowitzky's pungent Austrian parable manages a happy marriage of Orwell's Animal Farm with Thomas More's Utopia. Played out against a pastoral backdrop, The Inheritors kicks off with the mysterious death of a landowner and the subsequent bequest of his estate to the riff-raff: split seven ways between his peasant workers. The gentry are up in arms over the socialist collective in their midst. Meanwhile, the newly minted farmers struggle to maintain their working unit in the face of newfound freedom and outside hostility. Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Film, Ruzowitzky's tale runs a predictable course, from lightness to dark, hopefulness to heartache. Ultimately, The Inheritors looks less a piece of contemporary cinema than a kind of cautionary piece of folk art. It's as deliberately structured as a waltz, as solidly drawn as a wood-cut. Its allegorical line in storytelling puts it pleasingly at odds with the rest of this week's output. It ploughs its own furrow.

West End: Curzon Soho

THE KING AND I (U, 87 mins)

Director: Richard Rich

Starring: Miranda Richardson, Martin Vidnovic

The three ages of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic: a Broadway musical at its birth; a beloved CinemaScope spectacular at its peak of popularity; and a sugared, kiddy-style cartoon today. Richard Rich's animated take on The King and I tinkers with the plot and shaves off most of the original songs to recount the now-familar tale of true-Brit schoolteacher Anna Leonowens (Miranda Richardson talking; Christiane Noll singing), whose mumsy intimacy and liberal outlook shake up the rigid hierarchies of feudal Siam. The King (Martin Vidnovic) is a strutting poseur with a heart of gold. Plus there's a comedy elephant, a fire-breathing dragon and a scheming minister (Ian Richardson) with one eye on the throne. The artwork is bright but rudimentary: the songs ("Whistle a Happy Tune"; "Getting to Know You", sung during an impromptu tour of the city) are retooled with a synthetic MOR gloss. It all ends happily.

West End: Clapham Picture House, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner West End. And local cinemas

MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN (PG, 93 mins)

Director: Donald Petrie

Starring: Jeff Daniels, Christopher Lloyd

After The Brady Bunch Movie, the Beverly Hillbillies and Mission: Impossible, Hollywood must be hunting hard for old TV shows to cannibalise. Forgive them, then, for alighting finally on My Favourite Martian, a small-screen sitcom from the Sixties (apparently), and surely the last stale crumb in the bucket. As directed by Donald Petrie, this feature-length overhaul is noisy, nonsensical and utterly charmless. Christopher Lloyd is the eponymous extra-terrestrial; nose-diving to Earth and being ushered under the wing of Jeff Daniels' down-on-his-luck TV reporter. Initially, Daniels has his sights set on a career-making exclusive; later, he grows to love the oddball. And so it goes: pantomime complemented by crude slapstick comedy. Enter Darryl Hannah as a kooky neighbour, Elizabeth Hurley as a vapid telly bimbo, and a walking, talking spacesuit with a remorseless set of naff one-liners. Exit enjoyment, involvement, any sense of money well spent. Exit cinema. Go home, lie down. Try to put it out of your head.

West End: Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon West End, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea. And local cinemas

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn