32 Thursday, 1 October 2009 London Lite REVIEWSCINEMA If space is infinite, why are most of the best space films so claustrophobic? from the makers of Resident evil (thats not necessarily a recommendation), pandorum is so intensely claustrophobic at times it had me squirming in my seat. It begins with corporal Bower (Ben foster) and Lieutenant payton (Dennis Quaid) emerging from hypersleep in a dark spaceship that looks like it could do with a visit from those two harpies who like to clean houses on television. slowly, gingerly, Bower and payton begin to piece together the specifics of their mission. Its 2174 and theyre headed for Tanus, a distant planet with oxygen and water. But first they have to repair the vast ships malfunctioning nuclear reactor. and this is no easy task, especially with some not-so-wee beasties to deal with and miles of piping and tubing to crawl through. pandorum plays out a little like a video game, has a couple of really silly fight scenes, and is probably aimed at 15-year-old boys, but its DNa is pure alien meets The Descent and it can therefore be cautiously recommended. PC REVIEWSCINEMAIN&OUTTONIGHT Space hero: Dennis Quaids Pandorum is Alien meets The Descent Acreepygamefor spaceshipaliens... Compellingcinema mirrorsdirectorslife PointlessParisians If youve never seen an Agns varda movie -- and there have been quite a few of them -- this might be a good place to start. Its a sumptuously photographed autobiographical film that encapsulates all that is great about the 81-year- old Belgian film director -- its funny, quirky, cheeky, artistically ambitious and warm. Its by no means a straightforward look back at her career, being instead a celebration of her life and those who have touched it, including her dead husband Jacques Demy whom she clearly misses terribly. This kind of film -- a film about life -- is for everyone. Go see it. PC Sea views: Agns Varda Its all Greek to him: tour guide Nico (Alistair McGowan); inset right, Georgia (Nia Vardalos) The Beaches Of Agnes Cert 18, 112 mins HHHHH T hIs should have been fantas- tic. Ricky Gervais co-writes and directs a high-concept comedy about a world in which the ability to lie has not been discovered until a chubby little loser sud- denly has a revelation that changes his life. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot it seems. for a start the premise of The Invention Of Lying has not been thought through thor- oughly. The set-up is perfectly adequate, however. Gervais p l a y s M a r k B e l l i s o n , a slightly pudgy screenwriter for Lecture films. Not a bad job, you might think, but as this is a world in which only the truth is told and no stories have ever been made up, this means that moviegoers attend films in which actors recite on a historical topic from an autocue. No lies means no fiction. and Mark has been saddled with a century known mainly for the spread of the Black Death. Tough, huh? and this brings us to the first problem. If, as we soon discover, the story of Jesus christ has not been told, how come theres a calendar as we know it? We are living in 2009aD after all. Once you start poking at the films conceit, other holes appear. Your confidence in the film- makers attention to detail starts to waver and other things begin to bother you like the fact the Black Death occurred in the 14th century not the 13th. Then theres the sheer weight of product placement and the fact that after a memorable and funny first hour, Gervais goes all schmaltzy on us and the film descends into romcom formula hell, complete with a gooey climax at a wedding. Despite the fact that this is in part a surprisingly challenging main- stream hollywood movie, at heart The Invention Of Lying is a romcom, plain and simple. Mark, you see, yearns for willowy, slightly masculine anna (Jennifer Garner), who is not sure that hes an ideal match as she explains to her mother on the phone during their first date: hello, yes, Im with him right now. No, not very attractive. hes all right though, he seems nice. a bit fat. has a funny little snub nose. No, I wont be sleeping with him tonight. Thats funny of course, but it presents another problem. This film is supposed to be about telling the truth -- not blurt- The Invention Of Lying Cert 12A, 99 mins HHHII Rickyisfun but flawed, andthatsno wordofalieREVIEW BY PAUL CONNOLLY Seethelatesttrailersonline>> Pandorum Cert 15, 108 mins HHHII YOu would have thought a film about trying to demolish parisian suburbs to move in the middle classes would have gone down like a ton of bricks. But this french sequel to 2004s District 13 was inexplicably so popular that its even made it across the channel. Luc Bessons clichd script suggests his best years are behind him. and the promotional posters promise of dramatic free running is exaggerated. The plot about policemen setting up banlieue-dwellers as an excuse to raze their council estates could have been interesting. But it leads to such an absurd conclusion that it loses any credibility. LP District 13: Ultimatum Cert 15, 101 mins HIIII Thrillerthat failstochill you can see how the executive producer managed to round up the money to make vinyan. Its got all the ingredients -- a Western kid who disappeared in the South Asian tsunami, parents who set off on a wild goose chase to find him, dozens of scary-looking Burmese children and a semi-naked emmanuelle Bart -- to make it irresistible. But the thriller falls short because its never actually scary. LP Vinyan Cert 18, 97 mins HHHII BewarebuffGreeks 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.html44.html45.html46.html47.html