UK Critics Consensus: Is Zack And Miri Make A Porno On The Money (Shot)? Is Max Payne Maxing Or Taxing?

Plus, The Baader-Meinhof Complex, Complex Name, Complex Film?

by | November 14, 2008 | Comments

This week in the UK cinema screens we have Kevin Smith‘s latest, the intuitively titled Zack And Miri Make A Porno. Marky Mark Wahlberg stars in the video game adaptation Max Payne. And riding high on the crest of the German new wave comes the trickily titled The Baader-Meinhof Complex. But what did the critics have to say?

Kevin Smith’s eighth directorial feature is Zack And Miri Make A Porno and features the klutz-du-jour of US comedy Seth Rogen as Zack, and Elizabeth Banks, fresh from playing America’s First Lady in W., as Miri. The old college buddies fall on hard times and with mounting bills, and their heating cut off, the pair decide that a quick and easy solution is to make a homemade skin flick, naturally starring themselves, doing the dirty on film.

Critics were divided, with most complaining that the crude language and vulgar humour was icky and juvenile, and many were disappointed that the film turned from a foul mouthed sex comedy into schmaltzy rom-com. But at 64% on the Tomatometer, Zack and Miri did have many fans who enjoyed assured performances from Rogen and Banks, as well as decent turns from the supporting cast featuring many Askewniverse Alumni. Special mentions for Justin Longs cameo as Brandon St. Randy, with Tim Robey from the Daily Telegraph calling for a spin off film for the gay porn actor.

Next up is Max Payne, the latest in a long line of movie adaptations of hit video games, and stars Mark Wahlberg as the eponymous New York detective. With many video game films falling by the wayside with shoddy productions, and two dimensional characters, how was Max Payne going to fare? Not very well as it turned out; with only one reviewer out of the seventeen counted today giving the film a Fresh rating and the film is currently languishing at 18% on the Tomatometer. Critics mainly grumbled about the poor script, rubbish acting and unrelenting violence on show, with what little character development there is giving way to flashy empty headed action set-pieces. Maybe Marky Mark should pick a Funkier Bunch of people to work with next time?

German drama The Baader-Meinhof Complex is made by the same producers of 2005 surprise hit Downfall, which recounted the last days of Hitler. The film deals with a difficult time in German history, and tells the story of the West German terrorist cell the Red Army Faction in the late 1960’s to 1970’s. At a very respectable 81% on the Tomatometer it looks like the critics weren’t put off by the heavy subject matter and unwieldy title. Indeed the film is praised for its attention to detail and intricate research that effectively recreates this period of history. With a great cast putting in excellent performances, impressive direction and a thought-provoking and gripping script, The Baader-Meinhof Complex is a worthy addition to the recent raft of German films that have been wowing cinema goers recently, including Downfall and The Lives Of Others.

Also worth checking out this week…

I.O.U.S.A – A potent and lithely constructed documentary about America’s financial crisis, I.O.U.S.A grabs you with figures but holds you with irreverent wit. 91% on the Tomatometer.

Quote Of The Week

“John Moore directs like a man playing an eternal pinball machine in Hell.”

Max Payne. Nigel Andrews, The Financial Times.

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