Movies Out This Week

As is typical this time of the year, the quality of movie releases nose dives around the time of the academy awards. This week perfectly showcases this phenomenon.

“Catch that Kid”
You can just see the studio executives’ thought process. “Spy Kids did well. Agent Cody Banks did well. Why didn’t we see this market? Why don’t we have a film for this genre?” The executive turns to his lackey. “Find me a kid’s movie that’s a cross between Mission Impossible and James Bond and do it quickly”.

Cue a remake of the Danish film “Klatretosen,” Catch that Kid revolves around a youngster who, with the help of two friends, robs the state-of-the-art bank where her mother works to acquire the cash needed for a costly operation to save her un-well father. Expect the kids to overcome high-tech security systems, attack dogs, and an overzealous guard to get to a bank vault suspended 100-feet above ground. Also expect a film that may well entertain the kids, but certainly won’t stay in your mind long after its finished. Vacuous entertainment has a new poster child.

Miracle is billed as ‘an inspiring tale of human endeavour that overcomes impossible odds to unite a nation’, you may be tempted to think that this film has real potential or a real message. Images of Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid spring to mind. Then you hear its made by Disney and all hopes of this being a movie that has something serious to say, possibly evaporate; after all Miracle has the look of a made for TV movie that somehow crept onto the big screen. However I would ask you not to close your mind so quickly. Cynics may accuse the film of being nothing more than American jingoism and that is certainly a real risk, particularly if it takes itself too seriously. But Miracle has every chance of being exactly what it sets out to be, an entertaining feel good movie, and by all accounts, a very good one at that.

The film recounts the story of the US Ice Hockey team and their coach, Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), who schooled a squad of college kids to gold in the 1980 Olympics. With the nation watching, the team ‘rose to the occasion’, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels’s now (in)famous question to the millions viewing at home: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
Expect to be singing the star spangled banner as you leave the cinema.
Do not expect this film to do well (or even be shown) outside the United States.

“Lost Skeleton in Cadavra”
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, OH DEAR. The people who made this film forgot the critical rule of making movies. If you’re going to make a comedy film, remember to include some jokes and try to make them funny. Lost Skeleton in Cadavra is meant to be a satire on the 1950’s sci-fi and horror films in the worst way possible, through imitation. Horror and sci-fi only work if you can engage and involve your audience. The original films that Lost Skeleton parodies worked because they were able to do just that. The problem is that technology and the expectations of audiences have moved on since then and as a result Lost skeleton comes across as outdated. Unless you’re a Bela Lugosi obsessee then stay well clear of this horrible mess of a film.

February 2, 2004
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