IN&OUTTONIGHT 30 Thursday, 27 August 2009 London Lite G iven mankinds many achievements -- splitting the atom, inventing the chewa- ble toothbrush -- youd think wed all be above jokes about willies by now. not a bit of it. Look at Judd Apatow: the director has proba- bly done more for d**k jokes than anyone in Hollywood and is ac- claimed as a genius because of it. That tag is down to Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old virgin, the squillion-dollar hits that combined a sentimental message with jokes about penises so boys got it, too. Apatow has also brought us turkeys like You Dont Mess With The Zohan and the caveman comedy Year One. But well draw a line under those. Funny People is two and a half hours of clever jokes about dumb stuff. Yes, two and a half hours -- right up there with Ben Hur. Adam Sandler more or less plays himself: a narcissistic comedian, George, who has made his fortune with a string of idiotic films. When hes diagnosed with a terminal blood disease, he rethinks his life and decides to get back into stand-up. He hires aspiring comedian ira (Seth Rogen) to write his jokes. George is a playboy; ira is dork. naturally, they hate each other. naturally, that changes. But this is not just a get-the-mansize- tissues-out bromance. Theres a bigger issue to deal with: faced with certain death, what would you do? George gets back in touch with the love of his life, Laura (Leslie Mann), who has married Clarke (eric Bana), an Australian who conforms to every Crocodile Dundee stereotype. Will Laura fall back into Georges arms? Or will George fall back into his old ways? Guess what? Were not even halfway through the film yet. no one could ever call Funny People restrained -- just as no one could say theyd honestly like to watch two and a half hours of Adam Sandler. its self-indulgent and too long, but funny enough to pull it off, with plenty of gags from the characters themselves. Theyre comedians, after all. There are bizarre cameo appearances, including one from Sarah Silverman and another from eminem, who disses Ray Romano from everybody Loves Raymond (i thought everybody loved you, says a bemused ira). Theres also a surreal moment when ira meets James Taylor at a corporate gig for MySpace. Dont you ever get bored of playing the same songs? he asks. Dont you ever get bored of tell- ing jokes about your d**k? Taylor quips. You cant help feel- ing the joke is on him. OSTENSIBLY the story of one director and his muse, this is really the story of two film-makers and the women who make them tick. The fourth collaboration between Spanish director Pedro Almodvar and Penlope Cruz is a tangled romantic tragedy in which the relationship between life and art is as muddled as the relationships between characters. The film opens with a blind scriptwriter named Harry Caine (played perfectly by Luis Homar). As Caine reminisces about his life as a sighted director named Mateo Blanco, Almodvar weaves in flashbacks of Blancos relationship with Cruzs aspiring actress, Lena. Lena, a secretary, is having a rough time. Her dad is sick and her boss Ernesto Martel (Jos Luis Gmez) is a creep, more interested in her knickers than her words per minute. She succumbs to Martels advances in order to convince him to fund Blancos film, in which she plans to star. Thus the plot thickens into one about the relationship between director and directed. Almodvars characters are bombastic as ever, stuffing in as much Spanish language as his microphones can pick up. Broken Embraces is more self-referential than any of his earlier work. There are films within films, and Mateo Blancos eventual movie, Girls And Suitcases, bears a resemblance to Almodvars 1988 comedy, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown. Cruz didnt feature in that flick, but the fact that Almodvar slips her into its remake works as homage to his beloved star. Pedro and Penlope will never be together off-screen (he is gay and she is dating Javier Bardem) but that makes their pairing all the more thrilling; they are a couple for whom cinema has provided the ultimate love affair. marTHa de lacey REVIEWSCINEMA Funny People Cert 15, 146 mins HHHHI SickSandlersa dead funny act reVIeW By amBer cOWaN Daft,but enjoythe 3Dhorror Blonde ambition: Penlope Cruz plays aspiring actress Lena TangledtaleofCruzthemuse Broken Embraces Cert15,128minsHHHHI Alsoshowing... MeSRine: Killer instinct, currently out, is about the rise of notorious bank robber Jacques Mesrine (vincent Cassel, pictured), who revelled in being Frances public enemy number one. This second part is about his fall -- he came to a bloody end, cut down by a hail of bullets in 1979. it opens with Mesrine in custody, but he soon slips through the police net not once, but four times, even staging a shootout at his own trial. Mathieu Amalric is the detective who hunts Mesrine in a deadly game of cat and mouse. A Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One Cert 15, 133 mins HHHHI The Hurt Locker Cert 15, 131 mins HHHII MARK BOAL, a journalist- turned-screenwriter who hung out in Baghdad in 2004 with a bomb disposal squad, has, alongside Point Break director Kathryn Bigelow, depicted the stomach- churning tension faced by the guys with the wire- clippers. Jeremy Renner is the sergeant, driving his team potty in the desert by shunning protocol and diffusing explosives without his helmet in order to be comfy while working in the hurt locker. Though overlong and light on sub-plots, the thrilling pace hints at the adrenaline tugging soldiers back to the front line. m de l Psychic: Bobby Campo as Nick The Final Destination Cert 15, 82 mins HHHII A SILLY were all going to die script? Tick. Glossy, one-dimensional protagonists? Tick. People being impaled on sharp objects? Tick. Yes, all the ingredients for a shockingly bad film are here. And yet, somehow, the fourth film in the Final Destination series (surely the last?) is thoroughly entertaining. Of course, it helps that its in 3D. It also helps to have low expectations. On a fun day out at the races, Nick (Bobby Campo) gets a premonition that a car will smash into his partys stand, killing everyone in it. He persuades a surprising number of people to escape death, but its only for a limited time, as those who survived are killed off in increasingly imaginative ways (Im never going near a car wash again). The characters all grate, but that means you wont mind when they meet their fate. A ridiculous guilty pleasure with amazing special effects. laUreN PaXmaN Laugh out loud: Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen team up in Funny People stylish copsnrobbers flick, even if a four-hour biopic is probably a little de trop. ac 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.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html