Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Article excerpt

FURRY VENGEANCE Cert PG, 91 mins PEOPLE often ask reviewers to choose the worst film of the year so far. At last I have a cast-iron candidate. It is Roger Kumble's dreadfully titled tilt at giving kids a lesson in ecology while entertaining them with silly slapstick. At the centre of it is poor Brendan Fraser, whose increasing girth now rules out romantic hero roles. Here he is a nasty property developer who intends to raze a forest for a profitable set of show homes in the Oregon wilderness. In the forest are raccoons, skunks, otters, squirrels and ferrets who, with the inevitable help of CG effects, try to prevent him.

At least they don't talk -- but everything else about this movie is third-rate hackery, with Fraser mugging furiously and Brooke Shields barely noticeable. Lucky girl. This is truly terrible stuff.

ONE NIGHT IN TURIN Cert PG, 90 mins JAMES Erskine's film, which tells the story of England's football team at Italia '90, is primarily for the game's nostalgic uber-fans. It is based on Pete Davies's book All Played Out, which some think is one of the best written about the game -- and both book and film do tell a good story. Reviled as "donkeys", the team set out for glory with little hope, despite the emblematic presence of Gazza (below) at his best. They did far better than the carping tabloids had ever suspected, falling only to West Germany in the semis in a penalty shoot-out. Gazza wasn't the only one who cried. Skilfully matching archive footage with the actual matches, Erskine creates a melodrama that suggests football was never the same again, hooligans and all. I doubt that, but we must allow for hyperbole. Ah, I remember it well.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE Cert 15, 95 mins HERE is a comedy that has a goodish central idea, copious swear words and a resounding number of filthy jokes. A posse of fortysomething best friends are so disappointed with their lives they decide to go on holiday to a ski resort in the hope of getting laid. They all get in a hotel hot tub which, by dint of some inexplicable magic, transports them back to their youth. They still know what will become of them but now might have a chance to change it for the better.

John Cusack is always being dumped by his girlfriends, Rob Corddry is an alcoholic who can never find the party, Craig Robinson has a wife who controls him and Clark Duke is a video game nerd. When one mentions that Chevy Chase puts in an appearance as the hotel repairman, you may know what to expect from the humour. It's passably funny in spasms, but in the end the outright vulgarity palls and you wonder what the two leading ladies in the cast, Collette Wolfe and Lizzy Caplan, thought of it all. Not much, I'd say.

CAMERAMAN: THE LIFE AND WORK OF JACK CARDIFF No cert, 85 mins THERE has never been a greater cinematographer, particularly as far as colour is concerned, than Jack Cardiff. …

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