IN&OUTTONIGHT 24 Thursday, 13 August 2009 London Lite SURPRISINGLY this isnt quite as bad as I expected it to be. Dont get me wrong, its still just tweenie froth, and occasionally tweenie froth with an unpleasant heart, but Bandslam sometimes hits the spot. Mostly, though, its a fantasy representation of an American high school, an educational establishment that has a reluctant singer called Sa5m (the 5 is silent) played by Vanessa Hudgens in glum setting; Will (Gaelan Connell), a tiresome indie bore, and a cheerleader-cum- songwriter Charlotte (Aly Michalka), a character who might just be inspired by Paula Abdul and who is in full-on I bake apple pies mode all through the movie. Theres a battle of the bands contest with music so bloodless it faints halfway through the film, some nasty bullying that is never addressed and an outcome of mind-numbing predictability. The good points? Michalka and Hudgens make for decent band leaders and Lisa Kudrow as Wills mother adds welcome witty sourness to proceedings. PC REVIEWSCINEMA Teenyboppers: Aly Michalka, Tim Jo and Charlie Saxton rock out Musical youth in search of a heart Darklyfunnytruestory withanage-oldtheme THIS bleakly humorous, semi-autobiographical film from Gianni di Gregorio (Gomorrah) is a comedy of social mores focusing on the middle- aged and emasculated Gianni (played by the eponymous director). Gianni cares for his widowed mother (Valeria de Franciscis) and is forced to take on three extra OAPs over the August bank holiday to offset outstanding debts. There follows a rocky ride of personality clashes as each woman vies for the attention of an increasingly lubricated Gianni. SH W OW, what a relief. After what seems like months of crash-bang-pow boy movies and whip- lash-smart yet cruel comedies, we finally have a big film with a heart. Dont be fooled by the movies title -- theres only the vaguest hint of sci-fi involved. Even then, a few sci-fi geekboys who attended the screening were guffawing about the holes in the time-travelling plot (as if time travel were as common as Tube travel, the fools). Instead, The Time Travelers Wife, based on Audrey Niffeneggers bestselling novel of the same name, and adapted for the screen by Bruce Joel Rubin who won an Oscar for the equally gooey Ghost, is a film made almost exclusively from sighs, tears and Eric Banas abs. So, action fans, walk away, theres nothing for you here. Henry (Eric Bana), a research librarian, suffers from a genetic anomaly which dictates that he cant stay in the present but instead frequently involuntarily melts away to other periods in his life (and, yes, he always arrives nude, girls). The film opens as a six-year-old Henry is travelling in a car with his mother. Just before the car is involved in a terrible accident Henry fades away and his mother is killed. Moments later, Henry finds himself by the side of the road watching his mother die as an older version of himself tells him that hes a time- traveller. All clear? Then we shoot forward to thirty- something Henry in a library being confronted by Clare (Rachel McAdams) who tells him shes the The Time Travelers Wife Cert 12A, 107 mins REVIEW BY PAUL CONNOLLY >> Bandslam Cert PG, 111 mins Mid-August Lunch Cert 12A, 75 mins Confusion reignsin atimeless taleoflove and loss index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html