London Lite Thursday, 1 October 2009 33 Teenhasabadspell THERES no pleasure to be had in slating a British film made on a shoestring budget by an aspiring writer/director. But theres no getting round the fact that The Spell is terrible. Made by Owen Carey-Jones and apparently based on a true story (hmm, really?) The Spell features Rebecca Pitkin as a teenager whos suddenly possessed by a demon after an enemy casts a spell. Then she gets rid of the demon. And thats it. The end. Cheap doesnt need to mean bad. PC The Spell Cert 15, 87 mins HIIII REVIEWSCINEMA REVIEWS bearingjokesolderthanZeus Theyre back: Buzz and Woody Cartoontoysin3D arebuzzingagain Street fighters: the ragtag army in Paris Grippingtributeto braveNazi-fighters THIS sprawling epic tells the gripping true story of the Red Poster episode in Second World War France, when a ragtag army of foreign fighters took on the Nazis in Paris, despite the shameful apathy of most Parisians. The plot focuses mainly on the bands Armenian-born leader, Missak Manouchian (Simon Abkarian) and his sparky girlfriend (Virginie Ledoyen). Although a pacifist at heart, Missak soon takes the reins of a group set on disrupting the Nazis. When several of the groups leaders were executed in 1944, the gutless Vichy regime emblazoned Paris with posters depicting them as terrorists, with the slogan, Liberators? The Liberation, by the Army of Crime. But this films a fitting tribute to exceptional men. PC Toy Story 3D Cert U, 81 mins HHHHH Army Of Crime Cert 15, 139 mins HHHHI GIVEN that it takes in every Greek stereotype under the sun, its best you neck a large glass of retsina before watching this mindless holiday romance from director Donald Petrie (How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days). Nia Vardalos, the appealing star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (which she wrote) takes the lead in this romcom (which she didnt), as Georgia, a Greek- American Bridget Jones with upper-lip hair. She has lost her job as a classics professor in Athens, so instead works as a tour guide, boring her charges with dry history lessons in between wailing about how she hasnt had sex in, like, forever. Her nemesis is rival tour guide Nico (bewilderingly played by Alistair McGowan) and the love interest is her driver Poupi Kakas (not even the worst joke in the film). Poupis buff body could make him a direct descendent of Zeus, but Georgia doesnt notice his Chippendale-like physique. Disbelief suspended? Well press on. Georgia and Poupi are given the job of taking a busload of national stereotypes on a tour of Greek ruins. There are loud Americans, boozy Australians, uptight Brits and a loveable old coot called Irv (Richard Dreyfuss). Georgia struggles with her charges until Poupi teaches her how to relax. Scenery is like frozen music, he says, And Ive got the best seat in the house. Cue the violins. Greece looks beautiful -- its a bit like watching A Place In The Sun -- and, for the first time, the Greek government allowed a US film crew into the Acropolis. But the crumbling ruins arent the oldest things in the film; that would be the jokes. The American title was My Life In Ruins. By the end, you may have some idea how that feels. AMBER COWAN Driving Aphrodite Cert 12A, 95 mins HHIII at Telling lies: Mark (Gervais) cashes in at the bank; left, Anna (Garner) ing out your every thought. A waiter welcomes them with Hi, Ill be serv- ing you tonight and Im embarrassed to be working here. Thats much more than just telling the truth and again it undermines the concept. The best part of the film is when Mark discovers that he can lie -- or say what isnt. While comforting his mum on her deathbed (a moving scene) he tells her that shell see her dead husband on the other side and have her own mansion. Word gets out and suddenly Mark has invented The Man In The Sky. Its a very amusing if not terribly subtle dig at religion but the fact that its in a mainstream Hollywood movie represents a triumph of sorts for Gervais. The Invention Of Lying is not bad by any means -- its consistently funny despite the gloopy, tacked-on ending but one scene highlights why it possibly doesnt work as well as it should. A cameo by the wonderful Stephen Merchant sizzles with comic energy. Perhaps Gervais needs to get back to working with the lanky streak. It seems he may be missing him. IT WAS always going to be near-impossible for Pixar to top 1995s cartoon Toy Story. They came close with Toy Story 2, but Toy Story 3D is now the one to beat. Andys toys Sheriff Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Mr Potato Head, Slinky Dog and the rest all come to life when their owner leaves the room. They dread Christmases and birthdays when they might be replaced by better toys, until one year their nightmares come true with the arrival of Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). The space ranger comes complete with a voicebox, laser and wings, and soon replaces Woody as Andys favourite, setting in motion some ill- advised rivalry. Toy Storys imaginative plot, hilarious script and breathtaking landmark computer animation made it the highest grossing film of the year. The added 3D effects deserve to make it even more popular. Buzz soars round the room more brilliantly than even he expected and the snarling neighbours dog is scarier than before. This release will bring phrases like to infinity and beyond and I come in peace to a whole new audience. And give the rest of us an excuse to watch the best cartoon ever, all over again. LAUREN PAxMAN 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