There’s not much to be said about The Trip to Spain – the latest freewheeling, improvisational, foodie collaboration between director Michael Winterbottom and actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon – that hasn’t been said twice before. It’s a relaxed sort of travelogue with a loosely constructed storyline unfolding between two highly competitive friends in the same profession. The food looks great, there’s a little bit of drama, they do plenty of impressions, and things work out more or less how one expects. Is The Trip to Spain a letdown or a rehash? That’s really dependent on how the viewer feels about the first two films in this television series turned unlikely theatrical franchise. If you liked The Trip and The Trip to Italy, you’ll probably like this helping of more of the same with a few new spices, but it’s also easy to see that this series is starting to thin.
There’s some great acting on display in South African filmmaker Oliver Schmitz’s courtroom drama Shepherds and Butchers, but little in the way of novelty, originality, or subtext. It’s far from a poorly made or mounted film, but there’s an unshakable feeling that this adaptation of a similarly titled novel by Chris Marnewick leaves a lot on the page.
New arrivals in theatres this weekend include: the comedy Our Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd as a hapless hippy; the action extravaganza Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana; plus the horror film, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark with Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes.
This week, opening at a theatre near you: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play mismatched partners in the action-comedy, The Other Guys; the dancers are back again in Step Up 3, which also debuts in 3D; and opening in select theatres, Robert Duvall stars in Get Low as a hermit who wants to attend his own funeral.