ROMANCE BEFORE SUNSET (15) 80min «u
Nine years after Before Sunrise and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is in Paris on the final leg Of a tour promoting his debut novel. The book's plot concerns that night in Vienna - dealt with in the earlier film — hanging out with Celine (Julie Delpy) and the attendant press corps who ask the very questions that fans Of director Richard Linklater's 1995 film have wanted to ask for nigh on a decade. Did the couple meet six months later as arranged? Did they copulate under the stars? And what ever did happen to these two?
An even better question would have been: does anyone except the most die hard fans of the original actually care? Let '8 face it. Before Sunrise was an overrated movie featuring an annoying American protagonist who could spend an hour in a brothel, not score. but be happy that he spent the time listening tO the sound Of his Own voice. The original movie garnered affection simply because nearly
met someone. got on fabulously well and later regretted not having kept in touch. 80 the idea that the couple might meet again not only undermines any good will Linklater's flawed.
COMEDY ROMANCE 13 GOING ON 30 (12A) 97min «0
‘Everybody Wang Chung tonight!‘ trills Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) as she lurches onto a dance floor at her Office party. Why the 808 reference? Jenna is 13 going on 30. miraculously transformed by magic dust from her 13—year- Old self in 1987 into a high flying fashion reporter circa 2004. And when the Office party starts flagging. Jenna's retro-sensibilities save the day when she persuades the DJ tO play Michael Jackson's ‘Thriller'. Across the suddenly crowded dance floor Jenna spots her childhood sweetheart Matt (Mark Ruffalo). But is Matt still part Of her life? And does Jenna like the cold-hearted. calculating. ambitious person she's become?
Never mind the improbability Of a journalist even asking that last question. Gary Tadpole Winick's lightweight slice Of girly wish fulfilment is bright and brash enough to make you suspend your disbelief. It's Back to the Future meets Pretty Woman, featuring an impressive comic turn from Garner. Playing a girl in a woman's body. essentially the trick that brOught Tom Hanks to fame in Big. Garner‘s physical impression Of a child is spot on. and the scene where she forgets herself enough tO Chat up a teenage boy is genuinely beguiling. Blessed also with a satisfyineg brief ending and a constantly amusing 80s soundtrack. this is a chick flick that works for several generations. Let 's Wang Chung ! (Eddie Harrison)
I General release from Wed 4 Aug.
amateurish early feature may have engendered. it also seems remarkably
Yet Before Sunset is proof that practice can make perfect. Linklater not only tackles the loose ends Of the original with imaginative aplomb but he also works hard to make the movie everyone has had a night when they've work as a standalone essay on how adolescent hope inevitably gives way to disappointment with the encroaching realisation that life may just be a big pile Of shite.
Older and less wide-eyed. Jesse and
Blistering, heartfelt and romantic
Celine actually converse with each other (rather than the series Of showy monologues that make up the Original). Their conversation is blistering. heartfelt and even more romantic than the Parisian backdrop.
Linklater‘s ultimate sucker punch, however, is the terrific ending (we are talking Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid status here. people).
and will remain, Linklater's masterclass on movie making. (Kaleem Aftab) I General release from Fri 23 Jul.
Violence, lactation and sexual deviance
HORROR GOZU (18) 129min 000
At a weekly gang meeting, Ozaki (ShO Aikawa) conspiratorially informs his colleagues that the Chihuahua outside the window is actually a Yakuza attack dog sent by rivals to destroy them. An incredulous knot Of gangsters watches as he wreaks vengeance on the unsuspecting mutt. This is the final straw for Boss (Renji lshibashi). who orders young Minami (Hideki Sone) to take his mentor Ozaki out for a nice long drive in the COuntry but to return alone. Their journey. intended to be both inconSpicuOus and fleeting. quickly turns into an extended hallucinatOry nightmare for both men.
The film is written by Sakichi SatO (lchi the Killer) who. beyond reliably dark doses Of violence. lactation and sexual deviance. presents a layered study Of a complex. forbidden and tortured relationship. Through this deliCiously grotesque movie, director Miike Takashi brutally ups his own ante by going further and deeper than anything seen in Audition or Visitor O.
Peopled almost entirely by Miike regulars and ultimately sold as a black comedy. Gozu may test even the most die- hard fan Of Japan‘s most prolific and extraordinary filmmaker — there is little that can prepare you for this film's breathtaking excess. My advice is to eat before you go. Gozu. much like its director, is a cinematic law unto itself. (Adele Hartley)
I Selected release from Fri 30 Jul.
Forget about his School OfRock. this is.
TEEN COMEDY NEW YORK MINUTE (PG) 90min .0
It seems fitting that one Of the many plots that crash together in New York Minute revolves around dog shit. because this is a film that wallows in the turd high celebrity Of its crappy teen stars. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
The girls play schoolgirl twins (what else!) Jane and Roxy Ryan who are as different as night and day. Jane (Ashley) is a goody two-shoes who is trying to win a scholarship tO study at Oxford University and Mary—Kate is the bad seed more interested in rocking out than getting
Everything can change in an NY minute
good grades. These ambitions take the un- dynamic duo to New York City and in the COurse Of one day. they fall in love. trap a gang of entertainment pirates. escape truant Officer Max Lomax (Eugene Levy). get ghetto fabulous in the House of Bling and. Of course. they learn to love one another again. Admittedly. in all this stupidin there are a COuple Of laugh out loud moments but these do not make up for the fact that mediocrity is a poor replacement for talent and comic timing. (Kaleem Aftab) I General release from Fri 30 Jul.
2? Jill—5 Aug) 900-1 THE LIST 27