The Quotables Review: Bitesized Edition (#10) UK
UK Film Releases | Friday 15th April 2011
Spring is still powering on at the UK box office, with a range of releases this week including kids’ favourite Winnie the Pooh, promising independents Meek’s Cutoff and Little White Lies – both hits at recent film festivals, and this week’s biggest release, the much anticipated Scream 4.
Winnie the Pooh
Disney returns with a new adaptation of A. A. Milne‘s classic Winnie the Pooh tales. Narrated by John Cleese, this adventure begins when Christopher Robin takes leave and Pooh must help his friend Eeyore his lost tail.
The decision to keep the runtime down is wise, as none of the plotlines really need feature length development, but this is worth seeing in the cinema if you can, not least for a rather sweet short animation being screened before in about Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, and her quest for a home…. completely adorable and beautifully drawn.
— Catherine Bray, Film4
There’s much metatextual joy to be had in the way that the characters interact with the books from which they originated, walking from one of E. H. Shepard’s drawings to the next as scenes develop, or using letters displaced from the text as tools or toys. So while there’s little here that’s edgy, hip or envelope-pushing, under-tens and animation-fan parents will adore it.
— Helen O’Hara, Empire
Red Riding Hood
Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, but she is betrothed to another man.
The level at which Red Riding Hood borrows from Twilight is not just limited to the dueling suitors and the werewolf component. The actor who plays Valerie’s father, Billy Burke, even plays Bella’s dad in the Twilight series. And Valerie has a special bond with the creature: she can talk to it, which causes her to worry about her own nature… Oh, Red, what purple prose you’ve been given.
— Mary Pols, TIME
The best that can be said is that the production design is striking. Otherwise, it’s a foolish story, marred by a strange blend of overacting and bland, offhand performances.
— Claudia Puig, USA Today
Michelle Williams and Shirley Henderson star in this film from Kelly Reichart, following the 1845 journey of American settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in 1845. Leader Meek leads 3 couples on their expedition, wehre they find themselves stranded in harsh conditions.
There is a comparable sense of an embattled, frightened expeditionary force, out of food and water, and ideas: without the experience, resources or language to understand someone who may be their destroyer or their only hope of survival. This superbly made, austere film is Reichardt’s best yet, certainly a huge advance on her previous work, Wendy and Lucy (2008) and a powerful new addition to the western genre.
— Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Reichardt recreates the journey of Western-bound settlers…But the film remains very much of her style: it’s a deceptively small piece of onscreen art that resonates afterward with such insistence that I felt positively nagged by it. Because Reichardt leaves it open-ended, I kept having the illogical urge to get back to the film — as if it were a half-read story that could be picked up again.
— Mary Pols, TIME
Little White Lies
Little White Lies or Les Petits mouchoirs follows a group of friends who, despite a traumatic event, go on their annual beach vacation. Their relationships, are tested until they are forced to confront the little white lies they’ve been telling each other.
Clearly inspired by The Big Chill, Little White Lies feels overstretched in its two-and-half hour running time, with Canet too reliant at times on montages… You do, however, believe that these characters are long-term friends, who’ve become used to not being entirely truthful to themselves and to one another. Alongside some enjoyable comic moments… the real strength of this film lies in the performances.
— Tom Dawson, The List
Despite some good moments and strong performances from a talented cast, Little White Lies is ultimately something of a slog to sit through and the lack of likeable characters means that it fails to deliver the required emotional punch.
— Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
Eleven years after Wes Craven’s Scream became a cult hit, part 4 sees the director return to the franchise to redefine its own genre expectations.
Scream 4 is not without enjoyment. It’s good to see familiar characters back and the opening moments are quite spirited. But it’s a film about horror films without being a horror film itself. It’s enough to make you scream.
There are flashes of wit in the opening film-within-a-film-within-a-fi lm sequence, which uses bankable blondes like Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell as Ghostface fodder. And some later jokes, like a visual jab at the director Robert Rodriguez, are funny. Others…are just dumb.
All that choice and nothing appeals? Take a look at last week’s releases.
Which films are you looking forward to watching this weekend?