BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
2001: a Space Odyssey ★★★★★
Stanley Kubrick’s epic, enigmatic and baffling movie was greeted on release with both enthusiasm and derision, some calling it a masterpiece, others finding it incomprehensible. A spacecraft commanded by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, is en route to Jupiter to investigate a mysterious monolith and discoverÉ what? The meaning of life? The existence of a Supreme Being? Arthur C Clarke’s screenplay poses many questions but provides few answers. This is a film you have to work out for yourself and trying to do so is a highly worthwhile experience. There is little dialogue — much of that provided by Hal 9000, the omniscient robot (voiced by Douglas Rain) that is really in charge of the mission — so the music, largely by Johann Strauss, is all-important. You may not understand all that’s going on — I can’t say I did — as it charts man’s development from primitive beginnings to something much higher. But this is one sci-fi movie you really ought to see.
The Guardian ★★★
We’ve been here before – smart aleck trainee butts heads with his veteran tutor – but Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner are good value in a gripping tale about the US Coast Guard from The Fugitive director Andrew Davis.
Run Fatboy Run ★★★
Simon Pegg squeezes into some very small shorts for this cheeky underdog comedy, which sees him sign up for a marathon to prove his love for jilted lover Thandie Newton.
Spider-Man 3 ★★★
Tobey Maguire dons the spandex for the final time in a super-villain blow-out that pits Spidey against the Sandman, Venom and a new Green Goblin. However, you can have too much of a bad thing and director Sam Raimi’s swansong behind the camera proves no match for the brilliantly executed previous adventures.
The Bank Job ★★★
Highly entertaining British heist movie in the good old-fashioned vein. It’s set in the 1970s (so be prepared for plenty of beige) and has an absurd plot, despite being based on a true story involving police corruption, MI5 and a certain member of the Royal Family. Jason Statham adds his chunky charm to the proceedings, too.
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