The Quotables Review: Bitesized Edition (#6) UK
UK Film Releases | Friday 11th March 2011
It’s almost Spring-time at the box office, and it’s a bit of a sleepy week. The UK cinema circuit features Age of Heroes and The Resident – though reviews are difficult to come by. However, we can tell you all about the reception of recession drama The Company Men, apocalyptic fun in Battle: Los Angeles, and Farrelly Brothers’ comeback comedy Hall Pass. Here are snippets from the latest reviews to help you decide how to spend your pennies at the cinema this weekend.
The Company Men
The movie debut of ER creator John Wells, The Company Men follows MBA Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) who, made redundant through recession, loses his white-collar job and must keep his family afloat. Brother-in-Law contractor Jack Dolan (Kevin Costner) gives him an unlikely hand up in this topical drama.
Taken as a whole, “The Company Men” is about what you’d expect from an old-school TV showrunner: straightforward topical melodrama, with a throbbing social conscience, sympathetic characters, good actors and a script that regularly grabs a hammer from Jack’s tool belt and attacks you with it, just in case you’ve wandered away from the theme. (In other words, it’s a John Sayles movie in spirit, if not in fact.)
— Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
It’s simple stuff, but the movie’s heart is in the right place. And there’s something cathartic if not wholly effectual in Company’s message: Even for the Italian sports car set, things are tough.
— Scott Bowles, USA Today
Battle: Los Angeles
Stunningly shot on celluloid by cinematographer Lukas Ettlin, the grainy hand-held images resemble a 12A-rated version of ‘Black Hawk Down’, but the tone flips between documentary-style authenticity and the adrenaline-junkie excitement of a first-person computer game.
— Nigel Floyd, Time Out London
Locked and loaded from the off with explosions, fire-fights and close quarters combat, Jonathan Liebesman’s film has a full clip of eye-singeing, ear-battering mayhem that should sate sci-fi junkies after a quick visceral fix.
— Neil Smith, Total Film
In this lestest comedy from the Farrelly Brothers, Boorish pals Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) reach the end of their wives’ tethers with their roving eyes. Both wives decide to call their partner’s bluff, awarding Rick and Fred a “Hall Pass” – an unsupervised week-long break from their marital responsibilities with the promise of guilt-free sexual freedom.
Hall Pass would like to be as dunked in reality as Judd Apatow’s best comedies, but the movie is thin. The Farrellys can’t quite nudge the characters from two dimensions to three. When Rick and Fred get lessons in humanity, the movie seems to be about two sketch-comedy characters learning they have souls.
— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Comfy is exactly the vibe that Wilson gives off pretty much all the time. He has a self-deprecating appeal that tends to make even his quirkiest characters in the most forgettable films embraceable. For all the off-colors they wave, the Farrellys have a winning sentimental side too. It’s time for them to get past their Peter Pan potty-mouth days.
— Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
Which films are you looking forward to this weekend?