Film Friday: In The Name Of The Shah
Though there are only three new films on release this week, it would be unfair to bemoan the shortage when one film, Persepolis, is of a high enough quality that it might as well be the only film released. During TIFF 2007 Christopher Bird handed it a 5/5 and called it “a masterwork in every way that matters.”
Much like in our praise of There Will Be Blood, we do have to hesitate with our own hyperbole so as not to build your expectations too high. It’s simply a very lovely film, telling Marjane Satrapi’s story in a pleasant, anecdotal style while a portrait of Iran’s turbulent history reveals itself in the background. It’s well worth going to see, and they’ve kept the excellent original French-language voice acting, so that’s another bonus.
Moving on though, it’s really a struggle to find something to say. There’s First Sunday, featuring Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan. We actually really like Tracy Morgan as, er, “Tracy Jordan” in 30 Rock, but Eye’s Jason Anderson laments, “not even 30 Rock’s ruling nutjob can withstand the onslaught of preachy sentimentality that drains First Sunday of any vitality and spontaneity.”
There’s also In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, aka “We paid for a video game license, but now we’re really not sure why.” It’s directed by Uwe Boll, which should be more than enough information for anyone to make a quick judgment, but if that really isn’t enough, the Sun’s Jim Slotek does call it “the funniest movie of the young year, though it doesn’t mean to be.” Which, judging from most of Boll’s output (which manages to pass right through “so bad it’s good” to “so bad it’s really, really bad”) is an improvement.