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Posted on April 22, 2011
Arthur. Photograph: Barry Wetcher Arthur (12A) (Jason Winer, 2011, US) Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Luis Guzmán. 110 mins
You can see what they were thinking: “it worked for one difficult-to-market English comic, so let’s try it again”. But somewhere between the moon and New York City this romcom seems to have lost some of its spirit and spontaneity. There are some snappy lines and funny moments, but Brand’s overprivileged wastrel is nowhere near as cuddly as Dudley Moore’s was – or as convincingly drunk. Sometimes, hair of the dog isn’t the answer.
How I Ended This Summer (12A) (Aleksei Popogrebsky, 2010, Rus) Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis. 130 mins
Spare and distinctive two-hander set in remote Arctic Russia, where the endless daylight, monotonous work, some terrible news and a touch of radiation exacerbate generational differences to deadly levels.
Pina (U) (Wim Wenders, 2011, Ger/Fra/UK) 104 mins
A 3D tribute to the work, rather than the life, of choreographer Pina Bausch, built around performances of her defining works in surprising settings.
The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec (12A) (Luc Besson, 2010, Fra) Louise Bourgoin, Gilles Lellouche. 107 mins
Almost a Parisian counterpart to The Mummy, Besson’s comicbook adaptation is lively and irreverent, if oddly patchy. But Bourgoin’s heroine negotiates mummies, pterodactyls and Belle Epoque mores with aplomb.
Fast & Furious Five (12A) (Justin Lin, 2011, US) Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster. 130 mins
The auto-fixated action franchise is as predictable as The A-Team by now, but your variables here are Rio de Janeiro, an unlikely heist, an evil Brazilian tycoon, and Dwayne Johnson as the muscly arm of the law.
TT3D: Close To The Edge (15) (Richard De Aragues, 2011, UK) 104 mins
The speed, danger, history and machine-porn of the Isle of Man’s demented motorcycle race is brought home in this 3D doc, which tracks a few title contenders for added human interest.
Island (NC) (Elizabeth Mitchell, Brek Taylor, 2011, US) Natalie Press, Colin Morgan, Janet McTeer
Atmospheric psychological drama with Press returning to her Hebridean homeland to exact revenge on the mother who abandoned her, which doesn’t go as planned.
Beastly (12A) (Daniel Barnz, 2011, US) Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens. 86 mins
Vain Pettyfer is cursed to look like a lost member of Slipknot in this soulless fairytale update.
Sweetgrass (NC) (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ilisa Barbash, 2009, Fra/UK/US) 101 mins
Visually stunning documentary recording herders driving their sheep through the Montana mountains for one last time.
Zombie Undead (15) (Rhys Davies, 2010, UK) Ruth King, Kris Tearse. 79 mins
Generic, low-budget, zombie siege horror, this time taking place in Leicester.
Dum Maaro Dum (15) (Rohan Sippy, 2011, Ind) Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu. 130 mins
Bollywood takes on the the Goa party scene in this glossy, vaguely controversial cop thriller.
Taxi Zum Klo (18) (Frank Ripploh, 1980, Ger) Frank Ripploh. 94 mins
Daringly graphic portrayal of the pre-Aids gay lifestyle, as lived by a promiscuous Berlin teacher.
Out next week Tracker. Photograph: Kirsty Griffin
Ray Winstone leads the chase across historic New Zealand.
Hammer time for Marvel’s Norse superhero.
Out from Wed
Italian torture horror with shades of Deliverance.
Out from Thu
Ed Helms discovers the wild side of the insurance profession.
French-made, cold war spy thriller based on a true story.
I Saw The Devil
Revenge served Korean-style as a cop hunts a serial killer.
Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson get freaked by their haunted child.
Ex-squaddie Toby Kebbell gets caught up in some south London drug crime.
Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathak in a Bollywood road romcom.
Eisenstein’s landmark reconditioned.
In two weeks… Terrence Malick rises again with The Tree Of Life ? Teen-killing Saoirse Ronan in Hanna ?
In three weeks… Aliens invade the wrong London estate in Attack The Block ? Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez in The Way ?
In a month… Depp ahoy, it’s Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 ? Paul Giamatti coaches amateur wrestling in Win Win ?