Dir: Frank Coraci
With: Kevin James, Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek
Runtime: 105 minutes
KEVIN James has made a career out of seeing how many laughs he can get from putting his body through various pratfalls. With Here Comes The Boom he tweaks the formula slightly to generate chuckles from how many ways he can get beaten up. As usual, the biggest blow comes to audience intelligence. James plays apathetic teacher Scott Voss who is moved into action when cuts threaten to axe his high school's inspirational music teacher (Henry Winkler), resorting to mixed martial arts fighting in a bid to raise the funds to save him.
Frank Coraci's film panders to just about every cliché in the book and could have served as a parody of films like Warrior and Rocky were it a little smarter. Instead, it sticks to obvious "embrace your dream" ideology and low-brow gags while putting James through all sorts of physical punishment. It also operates from a dubious morality.
Reviewed by Rob Carnevale
Mobile Home (N/C 15+)
Dir: Francois Pirot
With: Arthur Dupont, Guillaume Gouix
Runtime: 93 minutes
THE French Film Festival UK, which plays in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Bo'ness and Kirkcaldy, opens with Francois Pirot's gentle road comedy. Simon and Julien (Arthur Dupont and Guillaume Gouix, left), are a pair of twentysomething Belgians still living with their parents, stuck in rotten jobs, and wondering where their lives are heading. When Simon has the idea of hitting the road for a life of wine, women and playing his guitar in France, Julien decides to sup from that dream too.
But how far are they really prepared to go to sever the ties that bind? Lightweight stuff, but Dupont and Gouix are a likeable pair. A film that's as relaxing as a Sunday morning drive to the beach.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, tonight; Glasgow Film Theatre, tomorrow. French Film Festival, tonight-December 2.
Ernest & Celestine (N/C 5+)
Dirs: Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stephane Aubier
Runtime: 78 minutes
MORE French Film Festival fare, this utterly charming French-Belgian animation is not out on general release till next year, so consider this an early pre-Christmas treat. Inspired by Gabrielle Vincent's books, this is the tale of Ernest the grumpy bear and Celestine an orphan mouse.
Convention dictates the two must fear or loathe each other, but friendship chuckles in the face of such silly rules. Beautifully animated, and while the subtitles might be a chore for the very young, all ages will ultimately delight in this magical concoction.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, November 10; Glasgow Film Theatre, November 17