Brand: A Second Coming (15) Three stars

Dir: Ondi Timoner

Runtime: 102 minutes

HAVING initially asked American filmmaker Ondi Timoner to make a film about him, Russell Brand, naughty boy to most, comedy messiah to some, went ice cold on the idea and refused to co-operate or back the piece when it premiered at the London Film Festival recently. Timoner persevered, and good on her for doing so. She may not have secured much sit-down time with Brand himself, and the little she has is not particularly revealing, but the essential building blocks of the story are there, from his Essex beginnings to the drug taking, fame, riches, and the disgrace of Sachsgate. Like the man himself, a little of Timoner’s film goes a long way, and at 102-minutes, this is a documentary in sore need of pruning. There is only so much of brand Brand the viewer can be expected to take in one sitting. The annoying thing about Brand, as Timoner’s film shows, is that underneath all the posing is a funny, as in ha-ha, guy. Not as amusing, mind, as one of the contributors, his mate Noel Gallagher. His affectionate/exasperated view of Brand seems to be par for the course among those who know him.


Paper Planes (U) Three stars

Dir: Robert Connolly

With: Sam Worthington, Ed Oxenbould

Runtime: 97 minutes

BETWEEN a depressed dad (Sam Worthington) and the attentions of the school bully, 12-year-old Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) does not have his troubles to seek in life. Thank the skies above, then, for his ability to make ace paper planes that travel far, win competitions and take him from Australia all the way to the world championships in Japan. Director Robert Connolly struggles at times to mine drama from the folding of bits of paper - in truth, even Spielberg might have crumpled at that one. This being a family film, there is also the compulsory learning of life lessons along the way, with all the creakiness that entails. For all that, this Aussie drama has a likeable, wholesome, Children’s Film Foundation vibe that takes it a long way, with the ever reliable Worthington and Oxenbould making a winning pairing as father and son.