The Friday Review 16.12.05

Here is the weekly rundown of the latest cinema and DVD releases:

Here is the weekly rundown of the latest cinema and DVD releases:


King Kong (12A): What more is there to say? Peter Jackson’s remake is simply awesome. Great acting (Watts and Serkis via CGI are the standouts), some incredible action set pieces (the sequences on Skull Island and the Empire State building are as good as anything I’ve seen on a cinema screen) and Jackson’s love for the material make this the best blockbuster of the year. I hope its disappointing opening day at the US box office isn’t a sign of things to come because this is as good as mainstream cinema gets. (Click here for our full review)
(Now showing at cinemas all over the world)

The Family Stone (PG): A weird mix of the conventional and subversive this comedy/drama misfires more than it hits. When Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his uptight girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for the holidays she finds that she mixes with the family like oil and water. Some good moments but mostly an uneasy mix of half-laughs and sentiment.
(Now showing at cinemas nationwide) 

Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noel) (12A): French drama set on Christmas Eve during World War I, based on the real life truce when Germans, French, and Scottish soliders decided to play football instead of killing each other. Diane Kruger, Guillaume Canet, Gary Lewis and Daniel Brühl star in a polished and watchable period piece.
(Now showing at cinemas nationwide)  

Lassie (PG): A new version of the story about a couple (John Lynch and Samantha Morton) forced to sell Lassie to a Duke (Peter O’Toole) only for their beloeved dog to try and find its way home. Harmless but unecessary remake. An impressive cast also includes Peter Dinklage (probably best know for his role in The Station Agent).
(Now showing at cinemas nationwide) 

Films also out this week that we haven’t seen yet but might be worth checking out:
Screaming Masterpiece (12A): Apparently this film "captures all the energy of the world’s hottest indie music scene in Iceland’s cool capital city of Reykjavik". Sounds interesting, despite
(Now showing at the Curzon Soho in London)


1. King Kong
2. The Constant Gardener
3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
4. March of the Penguins
5. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

> Check out showtimes courtesy of The Guardian
> Find out showtimes via Google UK (very handy indeed)


King Kong Collector’s Box Set: Check out the 1933 original (groundbreaking although it looks a little hokey compared to Jackson’s version), a colourised version (maybe not such a good idea), the 1976 remake (not quite as bad as I remembered it and the climax on the World Trade Centre is now quite eerie in retrospect), the documentary "It Was Beauty Killed the Beast" and "King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1963)" and "King Kong Escapes" (1968).