[Movie Review] Four Rooms

Four RoomsStarring: Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Madonna, Valeria Golino, Ione Skye, Salma Hayek, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Bruce Willis
Directors: Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Alexandre Rockwell, Quentin Tarantino
Genre: Comedy
Cert: 18
Released: 1995

It’s one of those nights for pleasant bellhop, Teddy (Roth). His boss has left him to see in the new year in work on his own but little does he know that he is about to experience the weirdest nights of his life.

First of all, there is the sacrificial ritual being carried out by the witches in the Honeymoon Suite. Secondly, never bring ice to the wrong room as Ted finds out when he gatecrashes the perverse paycho-sexual games in Room 404. Thirdly, Antonio Banderas’ badly behaved kids give him a nightmare to last a lifetime and finally, Chester, the big Hollywood star wants to make Teddy an offer he can’t refuse.

So, four stories, four rooms, four directors.

The first two stories – “The Missing Ingredient” (dir: Allison Anders) and “The Wrong Man” (dir: Alexandre Rockwell) – have little to recommend them. Things improve with Robert Rodriguez’s “The Misbehavers” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Man from Hollywood”. Roth is terribly miscast as the bumbling bellboy and infact plays a character inside a character as such. His Mr Nice Guy image crumbles away on a couple of occasions when he takes on a Michael Caine persona to excellent effect.

Skip the first two stories and “Four Rooms” is decent enough.



[Movie Review] Leprechaun

LeprechaunStarring: Warwick Davis, Jennifer Anniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Hy Gorman
Director: Mark Jones
Genre: Horror
Cert: 15
Released: 1993

They do say that you should never take a leprechaun’s pot of gold, but Dan O’Grady (Shay Duffin) made that mistake, and paid for it when the little critter came to reclaim it, took his wife’s life and committed the old man to a loony home. Ten years on J.D. Redding (John Sanderford) has bought the house and invites his daughter, Tory (Anniston – yes, that one from “Friends”!), to stay with him. After meeting local hunky handyman, Nathan (Olandt – “April Fools Day”), Tory takes more of a shine to the rundown house than she initially thought she might. But there’s a leprechaun around, and soon he is terrorising the unsuspecting inhabitants with hilarious limericks and his own brand of brutal murder.

I like a rubbish movie as much as the next person, but “Leprechaun” just defies belief. A killer leprechaun is a reasonably cute idea for a horror movie (in the mould of “Childs Play”), but despite the best efforts of pint-sized actor Warwick Davis (“Return of the Jedi”, “Willow”, Labryinth”, “Harry Potter”), the whole thing is a ludicrious and unentertaining mess. The acting is obviously absymal (the double act of overweight simpleton, Ozzie, and his irritating 12-going-on-30-year-old friend, Alex, is painful), the direction is about as thoughtful and exciting as you might expect (ie “not very”) and the script is desperately lacking in humour or imaginiative twists. Mark Jones has not gone on to create a storm in the world of directing (unless you count the carbon-copy idea, “Rumpelstilkskin” from 1996) and it is no surprise.

Stay clear of this. Only point of interest is the pre-“Friends” Jennifer Anniston. Just goes to show you that stars can come from the most unlikely places.