Film Review:

Beno�t Poelvoorde and  Isabelle Carr� in Romantics Anonymous,
Beno�t Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carr� in Romantics Anonymous,

THERE is something peculiar about a grown man interacting with a bunch of furry rodents as if they were children but it’s a formula that has worked sufficiently to produce a third instalment, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Cert U) – or indeed last 50 years if you go back to the original.

This time Dave (Jason Lee) takes along the six squeaky-voiced CGI critters on a cruise where they predictably cause mayhem which climaxes in them drifting out to sea on a hand glider and fetching up on a desert island.

Dave sets off in pursuit with his old record company nemesis Ian (David Cross) in tow wearing a pelican costume (don’t ask) and a Cast Away-style story ensues when they encounter stranded pilot Jenny Slate. Chipwrecked delivers no more and no less than you would expect and the kids seemed reasonably entertained at the preview, though their adult chaperones maintained a baffled silence.

Jean-Pierre Ameris’s Romantics Anonymous (Cert 12A) has been touted as a worthy successor to Amelie with its tale of a lovelorn kooky Frenchwoman but it is unlikely to find the same universal appeal. At its heart is the erotic powers of chocolate but the film may be a little too sweet and sickly for some tastes and its comedy a mite too broad.

Still, it does have an irresistible charm mostly deriving from the two main characters, both desperate for love but lacking the wherewithal to make it happen.

More games are afoot for Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadow (Cert 12A), a sequel to Guy Ritchie’s rumbustuous re-invention of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective stories.

Holmes is apparently bidding farewell to crime-solving to marry Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly) as newspapers are filled with shocking headlines about anarchist bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna, the apparent overdose of a Chinese opium dealer and the death of an American steel magnate.

The Baker Street sleuth deduces these events are linked to Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) and persuades sidekick Dr Watson to join him on one final globe-trotting adventure. A Game Of Shadows amounts really to a series of ambitious action set-pieces which have been bolted together into an unwieldy narrative.

In 2006 the skeletal remains of a woman of just 38 were found in a self-contained bedsit above a North London shopping centre. The inquest determined that Joyce Vincent had died three years previously, probably of natural causes, sitting on her sofa surrounded by unopened Christmas presents with the television still on.

In Dreams of Life (Cert 12A), film-maker Carol Morley attempts to make sense of this desperately sad story in a fusion of documentary and drama, which imagines the relationship between the young Joyce (Alix Luka-Cain) and her parents (Cornell John, Neelam Bakshi) in 1980s London and her later years (now played by Zawe Ashton).

Ian Soutar