Niagara Gazette


August 27, 2013

CALLERI: From Britain, without much love; a spy movie flails about

Niagara Gazette — A pair of movies from Britain has entered the public consciousness as Hollywood and film fans enter the festival season that has kicked-off in Venice, shifts to Telluride, and then takes over Toronto. The latter’s movie marathon begins the Thursday after Labor Day.

Last weekend, “The World’s End,” a scattershot trifle from the English comedy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, vainly tried to wrest money from North Americans. Pegg and Frost’s movie failed, limping to a weak Friday through Sunday take of $8.7 million. The figure seems acceptable, but it isn’t. Even considering the film’s low $20 million budget, that’s not a good box office. Audiences preferred the beautifully acted intelligence of Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” the silly bawdiness of “We’re The Millers,” and the history lesson told in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

“The World’s End” is about five English schoolmates who went to high school together and decades later are compelled to complete a failed pub crawl in their hometown because of the urging of the most unproductive graduate among them. The movie is funny for the first half hour because it’s about something substantial, a man who won’t grow up. Than it switches gears and becomes a slapdash pile of faltering familiarity about robots run amok. The ending is completely wrongheaded. Director Edgar Wright co-wrote the screenplay with Pegg. Their film lacks cohesion. Think of a slapstick “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers,” but without any style.

This weekend, the British are hoping to lure moviegoers with “Closed Circuit.” I enjoy thrillers, especially spy movies and pictures filled with political intrigue. Government duplicity and intense paranoia can make for engaging moviegoing.

“Closed Circuit” starts out interesting. At the start, a television monitor becomes two monitors and then four, and then doubles again and again. Closed circuit cameras watch everyone and everything. We’re at the historic Borough Market in London, the site of which has been a gathering place for food shoppers since 1041. An explosion fills the screen. Hundreds are killed, many more are injured. A suspect is arrested. He’s assigned a lawyer, who dies. We’re barely ten minutes into the film.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page