by Andy Gibbons
Comedy coppers, whacked-out actors and a bleak family drama set in rural America – it must be another week at the UK box office!
The Other Guys (2/5) stars Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg as a pair of mismatched cops who are well and truly on the bottom rung of ‘cool and heroic’ ladder – Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson rein supreme at the top. But they’re soon caught up in huge case centred on Steve Coogan’s shady banker which sees them well out of their comfort zone. Despite a handful of genuine laughs and a good performance from Eva Mendes as Will’s ‘plain Jane’ wife, The Other Guys just isn’t as funny as it should be. Once Jackson and The Rock are out of the picture, the film has to rely on the Ferrell / Wahlberg and they just didn’t do it for me I’m afraid. Frankly all the best bits are in the trailer so save yourself the money and just watch that a couple of times.
I wanted to take a look at the M. Night Shyamalan produced Devil but unfortunately it’s not being screened to the press – make of that what you will – so instead we’ll movie on to I’m Still Here (3/5), Casey Affleck’s documentary / mockumentary (make up your own mind!) about his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s personal journey as he quits the acting to become a rapper. No really! We’re no closer to finding out if this often shocking yet intriguing movie is real or staged but when it’s is oddball as this, who cares? If it is staged, then I’d suggest that Phoenix be handed next year’s Best Actor Oscar now ‘cos he’s disturbingly convincing. But if it’s real, then he might need some serious therapy.
And finally this week is low-budget festival pleaser Winter’s Bone (4/5). It stars Jennifer Lawrence as 17 year-old Ree who is looking for her drug-dealing father when he skips bail after putting the family home up as insurance. Ok, so it’s not exactly laugh a minute but Lawrence gives such a stunning performance that it’s worth handing over your cash to see her alone. Throw in the scenery of the Ozark Mountains in the US and some fascinating characters and you’ve got a real, if rather bleak, winner.