Based on the beloved 1978 children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ is a comical fantasy about one man’s pursuit of his dreams. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s computer-animated film is also a colourful morality tale about the gluttony of the west where bigger is apparently always better, especially when it comes to icecream
This silly alien romp brings out the earth-saviour in every kid and shows the grownups who are really in control. Though not the most polished of kids flicks out at the moment, this comedy still manages to shine with a strong cast, fast-paced action and humour to put us adults firmly in our place.
Kenny Ortega’s offering of behind the scenes footage, however lukewarm it might be, gives us a tiny glimpse of an artist who affected popular music like few have ever before. Michael Jackson always said, “I want to start where everyone else would end”. The film doesn’t do enough justice to his musical and choreographic brilliance – it might be called ‘This Is It’ but we know that this is definitely not. Michael Jackson’s legacy will live on forever.
We at Best For Film are probably in the majority if we say we’ve never seen Meryl Streep in a bad movie, so it’s not surprising that in safe, recession-era Hollywood, a rom-com with her name in top billing is one of January’s big releases. Add director Nancy Meyers of Something’s Gotta Give fame to the mix and you should have a surefire hit. But despite having all the hallmarks of a Meyers film, this fluffy romp still falls a little flat.
When it comes to that greatest of British cultural exports, the punk rock movement, figures don’t come much bigger than Ian Dury, so when we at Best For Film learned of the release of a Dury biopic starring the fantastic Andy Serkis, we were psyched. Serkis is spellbinding in his complete embodiment of the eccentric, mercurial rock star, but it’s almost too good a performance for his support cast to hold their own against. Mat Whitecross’s patchy and confusing narrative also leds proceedings down sufficiently.
There are few stories more tragic amongst the continuingly unstable African political landscape than that of Zimbabwe. This heartbreaking new documentary by Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey is a portrait of a local family under siege as a result of Robert Mugabe’s regime, this time through the eyes of an oft-overlooked category of victims – the white African. It’s a rare filmmaking triumph that makes it impossible to turn away from the injustice of life in this harrowing country.
It’s always a bit awkward when Adam Sandler tries a serious role, so when viewing this comedy-drama in which he plays a successful comedian coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis, we approached with caution. Sandler actually proves his chops as an emerging dramatic actor well, and Seth Rogen is equally capable in support as the struggling amateur comic who Sandler decides to mentor. Naturally, the pairing of these two giants of the genre along with the equally impressive Judd Apatow as writer/director delivers a load of laughs, but a lack of balance in the script as a whole means it’s not as good as it could be.
In these troubling times of global warming, financial crises and that nice Tiger Woods cheating on his wife, it’s comforting to know that one man alone remains staid and unchangeable: Hugh Grant. Luckily, his latest frothy outing, with toast of New York Sarah Jessica Parker, is no exception to his usual bumbling-posh-man charms – this time, he’s heading into the wilds of the American midwest after he and his estranged wife witness a murder and must be relocated into a protection scheme. There’s just as many laughs, albeit predictable ones, as always, so if you’re a Hugh fan, get ready for a fun-filled 90 minnutes spent chuckling into your popcorn.
You don’t need us to tell you this was never going to be a good film, but in the age of Up and Where the Wild Things Are, there’s always a chance kids’ movies might surprise you. No surprises here unfortunately – this sequel to the equally inane Alvin and the Chipmunks sees our high-pitched protagonists dealing with high school and a rival rodent-based pop group with typical stupidity and slapstick humour. The plot is formulaic, there’s no acting to speak of and there’s enough cutesyness to test even the strongest stomach.