NEW FILMS

BLUES BROTHERS 2000

(PG) HH

Director: John Landis

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Joe Morton

Until some bright spark decides that we need is a follow-up to Waterworld, Blues Brothers 2000 will surely rank as the least keenly anticipated sequel of all time. And one of the tardiest: 18 years after the release of the startlingly unfunny original, The Blues Brothers, that film's director and his co-writer, Dan Aykroyd, have contrived to resurrect the story of Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) who, after the death of his brother and musical partner, Jake, re-emerges after a prison term and decides to reassemble his old band.

There doesn't seem to be any discernible reason for this, but then you don't come to a John Landis film for logic or sense - you come to witness the flights of fantasy which punctuate the long periods of self-indulgence. Landis makes shaggy-dog stories, like his best film, Into the Night, or shaggy-monster stories, like Schlock and An American Werewolf in London. What he does best is ambush an audience with silliness, a talent that he gets the opportunity to exploit in the movie's dotty musical set-pieces, the best of which is set in the headquarters of a phone-sex company, with the various employees in their kaftans and hairnets and curlers twirling their chairs and rolling across their desks.

While the film is all-out stupid, it's also rather endearing - how can anyone despise a movie in which the Russian Mafia and a mob of fascists corner the Blues Brothers Band, only for a voodoo priestess to step in and turn the villains into rats?

But whatever warmth John Goodman brings to his supporting role as Elwood's sidekick, there's no escaping the feeling that this lovely actor has been cast simply because his size is reminiscent of the man he's standing in for - the late John Belushi, a comic whose speciality was a mixture of the uncouth and the utterly naive. Still, at least the calculating nature of the film-makers didn't extend to patching together old out-takes, in the manner of Trail of the Pink Panther, or creating a computer-generated Belushi. Be thankful for small mercies.

THE REAL BLONDE

(15) HHH

Director: Tom DiCillo

Starring: Matthew Modine

Tom DiCillo's prickly satire on the fashion industry and the whole ethical structure behind the promotion of sex doesn't have enough original or incisive ideas to go around, but it is charmingly played by a game cast, and littered with surprises and fizzy one-liners - it's everything that Robert Altman's Pret-a-Porter desperately wanted to be but wasn't.

The film's handful of stories are interweaved in a graceful manner which also brings Altman to mind, with DiCillo carefully balancing his various characters. Matthew Modine plays a struggling and self-righteous actor who is persuaded by his casting agent to lower his standards; the sharp and funny Catherine Keener is his girlfriend, a make-up artist for fashion shoots; Elizabeth Berkley plays a vacuous but good-natured model who believes that The Little Mermaid holds the key to life's secrets; and, in a theatrical performance which hides disturbingly dark shading, Maxwell Caulfield is a soap-opera actor struggling with his own ego.

There is a degree of smugness in the picture's portrait of fashion industry types, but DiCillo mostly reins in these tendencies, and creates an intelligent and disquieting study of the relationship between illusion and reality, as represented by one of the character's ongoing search for a real blonde.

SALUT COUSIN!

(15) HHH

Director: Merzak Allouache

Starring: Gad Elmaleh (subtitles)

A well-intentioned and largely successful portrait of immigrant life in France. Alilo (Gad Elmaleh) arrives in Paris to collect an assignment of clothes to return to his boss, but ends up staying with his cousin, Mok, after he loses the address of the supplier. Hanging around with Mok, he discovers how harsh life can be for an Algerian in France.

Shot with a wonderful groggy feel by the brilliant cinematographer Pierre Aim (La Haine), this is a sensitive exploration of a side of French life rarely touched on by cinema.

GUY

(18) H

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Starring: Vincent D'Onofrio

Formally daring, but dramatically rather draining, experiment in the manipulation of perspective, explored to much more interesting effect in The Lady in the Lake. An unseen woman follows the actor Vincent D'Onofrio around town with a film camera, but the novelty value of this exercise - written by Kirby Dick, who directed the recent documentary Sick - soon wears off.

STAR KID

(PG) HH

Director: Manny Coto

Starring: Joseph Mazello

Amiable children's adventure about a young boy (Joseph Mazello from Jurassic Park) who's called upon to save the universe. What it lacks in budget it makes up for in imagination.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own