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The Spallness Factor and Get Smart This Summer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 24/04/2008 @ 11:42
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 123
Films seen this week: What Happens In Vegas, Stop-Loss, Death Note, Made of Honour, Nim's Island, Summer Hours, Deception, Persepolis, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, The Tracey Fragments

Glossary: The Spallness Factor
Regular readers may have noticed that whenever I have to review a movie with Timothy Spall in it, I invariably make some comment about the Spallness Factor and whether it is high or low. It's not that I hate Timothy Spall (I thought he was excellent in Pierrepoint, for example) but I am sick and tired of seeing movies where he starts blubbering and whining and he seems to make one every third movie or so. There are two films in particular where the Spallness Factor is off the scale - Intimacy and Mike Leigh's All or Nothing – and I would rather chew my own arm off rather than have to sit through either of them again. So, a note to directors everywhere: if you're going to cast Timothy Spall, please try and keep the Spallness Factor to a bare minimum (e.g. Sweeney Todd, Enchanted). Otherwise, please cast Mark Benton instead. Cheers.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Get Smart
Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99? Now that's what I call perfect casting. I have very fond memories of the Get Smart TV show, from when Channel 4 first repeated them back in the early 1980s. Co-created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, Get Smart starred Don Adams as bumbling spy Maxwell Smart and was intended as a spoof spy series to cash in on the popularity of things like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. It ran for 5 years, from 1965 to 1970, although younger viewers are probably more familiar with Adams as the voice of Inspector Gadget, which was based on the same show. The new movie opens in July and if it's half as good as the trailer, it should be hilarious. Hathaway looks fabulous as Agent 99 and it's great to see The Rock flexing his comedy muscles again. Sadly, it doesn't look as if Carell is attempting Adams' distinctive voice, but at least they appear to have kept the catchphrases – there's a "Missed it by THAT much" in the trailer and if there isn't at least one "Sorry about that, Chief" in the movie, I'll be very disappointed.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):

A few changes this week with Persepolis, Stop-Loss
 and Forgetting Sarah Marshall all making it into the top ten.

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3. No Country For Old Men
4. Persepolis
5. [REC]
6. The Orphanage
7. In Bruges
8. Happy-Go-Lucky
9. Stop-Loss
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

DVD of the Week: I Am Legend (two disc Special Edition, out now, RRP £22.99)

This week's DVD of the Week is the two disc Special Edition of I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as the last man on earth. Sadly, the dodgy CGI zombie-vampires (or whatever they were) look even worse on the small screen. Still, there are some decent extras, particularly four specially made animated comics / short stories, all of which are scarier than the actual movie. There's also a marginally better alternate ending (though fans of the original novel still won't be pleased) and a twenty minute featurette about the "science" of I Am Legend, which looks at things like Avian Flu and tries to speculate whether it could wipe us all out. There's also a DVD-ROM link that gives you access to the impressive-sounding Bonus Material Databank, which includes at least 50 minutes of Making Of documentaries and so on. Finally, in another interesting new trend, the purchase of the DVD entitles you to a free digital download of the film for you to store on your hard drive.


by  Anonymous  25/04/2008 @ 11:34
Matthew Turner doesn't rate Timothy Spall and is looking forward to the new Steve Carell movie which looks about as funny as the Pink Panther remake. Is he being deliberately divisive?
by  Matthew Turner  26/04/2008 @ 13:41
I'm not being deliberately divisive! And I do rate Timothy Spall - it's just that I'm fed up with him playing whiny, blubbing losers, in much the same way that I'm fed up with seeing Robin Williams playing innocent man-child types. As long as Spall sticks to roles where he's not required to burst into tears about halfway through, everything will be fine. And for what it's worth, I really *am* looking forward to the Get Smart movie, though I accept that a) it may be rubbish and b) not everyone will share my looking-forward-to-it-ness.
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