Simon Pegg continues his rollercoaster career, alternating between superior blockbuster franchises (Mission: Impossible and Star Trek) and awkward British romantic-comedies (Hector and the Search for Happiness). And this might just be his most disastrous move yet. Despite a promising cast, which includes a reunion of the surviving Monty Python members, this madcap sci-fi comedy never finds its tone, veering wildly from nutty slapstick to sentimental silliness. It's hard to remember laughing even once while watching it.
The story kicks off when an American space probe launched in 1972 is intercepted by the Intergalactic Council (voiced by the Pythons). Their investigation into Earth consists of watching YouTube videos, so of course they decide to destroy the planet. But first, they'll give one earthling a chance to save the world: they randomly choose North London schoolteacher Neil (Simon Pegg) and give him superpowers that allow him to do absolutely anything. After a few mishaps, he tries to use his abilities to improve his life, making his his dog Dennis speak (in the voice of Robin Williams) and appearing irresistible to his neighbour Catherine (Kate Beckinsale). Even though she already likes him. But Neil only has 10 days to do the right thing with his powers, or Earth is doomed.
Yes, this is essentially the same plot as Bruce Almighty, but the film never quite settles on an approach. It's produced in the style of an over-wacky child's movie, but the humour is eerily adult-oriented, so it's difficult to see who would enjoy it. The main plot is never remotely coherent, meandering through the story without any sense of direction. There are also a few corny sideroads to pad out the slim running time, including Neil's work colleague (Sanjeev Baskar) becoming an object of religious devotion, while Catherine's American military one-night-stand (Rob Riggle) becomes an obsessive stalker. Neither of these strands goes anywhere funny. Nor do extended cameos by Eddie Izzard (as a gruff headmaster) or Joanna Lumley (as a snooty TV presenter).
Continue reading: Absolutely Anything Review
If you could change absolutely anything in the world, what would it be? This is the ultimate question that Neil Clarke finds himself faced with when he wakes up with the ability to become whoever he wants to be, have whatever he wants and make the impossible very easily possible. Little does he know that this is a test set up by some disgruntled extra-terrestrial lifeforms, who have given the following ultimatum: use this ultimate power for good, or watch the Earth burn. Unfortunately, Neil has a lot of things in his own life that he would like to change, let alone important things in the rest of the world. He wishes for an easier life, to be more attractive and to win the heart of his neighbour Catherine. But, as Spider-Man once said, with great power comes great responsibility, so if he is thinking of making some big changes, he ought to make sure he's really thought them through first.
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Janet Suzman's remarks didn't go down particularly well in the Twittersphere.
Dame Janet Suzman, the 74-year-old actress who was quoted in The Guardian as saying theatre was in the DNA of white people but not others, has moved to play down the remarks. Dame Janet told the BBC that her comments were exaggerated and that the ethnicity of stage actors "doesn't matter."
Janet Suzman suggested that theatre was in "white DNA"
Originally, the Shakespearean actor was responding to Meera Syal's appeal to the theatre industry to cater for more Asian audiences.
Continue reading: Janet Suzman Plays Down "Theatre Is White Invention" Comments
In a flamboyant, futuristic universe, Qohen Leth works as a computer hacker desperate to uncover the meaning of life. He appears to suffer from a range of conflicting phobias and his eccentricity forces him to stand out to the formidable Management who enlist him to try and crack the most fundamental formula of mankind history, the Zero Theorem. Meanwhile, he is waiting desperately for an important phone call that will reveal to him the purpose of human existence. But as he absorbs himself deeply with his own work at the dilapidated chapel he calls home, he finds himself repeatedly distracted by Management's teenager son Bob and a stunning blonde seductress named Bainsley who was specifically hired by the dictatorial authority. Qohen's sanity is frequently tested as it becomes more and more clear that the Zero Theorem is trying to tell him that all is for nothing.
'The Zero Theorem' is a vibrant sci-fi drama set in an almost Orwellian dystopian future. It has been directed by the Oscar nominated Terry Gilliam ('Twelve Monkeys', 'Brazil', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail') and written by Pat Rushin ('No Ordinary Sun' short) in his full-length screenplay debut. It has already caused a stir having won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival and it is set to be released in the UK on March 14th 2014.
In this WWII-era Europe populated with stop-motion dolls, the evacuation of Dunkirk was a miserable failure. This opens the door for Hitler (Cumming) to invade London by tunnelling from France. But Winston Churchill (Spall) won't give up without a fight, and he's joined by heroic farm boy Chris (McGregor), blustering Yank Fiske (West) and the lovely Daisy (Pike), daughter of a country vicar (Grant). As the Nazis move in, the English resistance decamps to the north, where they hope to get help from the barbarians in Scot Land.
Continue reading: Jackboots On Whitehall Review
The widowed Mrs Sethi (Azmi) is worried that her slightly overweight daughter Roopi (Notay) will never find a husband. Every match she arranges turns Roopi down, which leads Mrs Sethi to react murderously. But now the ghosts (Khan, Bkaskar, Ross and Varrez) of her victims are offering to help in order to improve their chances of reincarnation. Fortunately, Roopi's childhood friend Murthy (Ramamurthy) is back in town and hugely eligible. Unfortunately, he's a detective looking for the killer.
Continue reading: It's A Wonderful Afterlife Review
The movie opens in 1954 London, where Trinidad native and Oxford student Partap (Jimi Mistry) greets his mentor Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi) in England. That meeting kicks off an extended flashback where we learn of Ganesh's rise to prominence over the past decade.
Continue reading: The Mystic Masseur Review