Alan Dee’s cinema preview: Oblivion, Scary Movie 5, The Place Beyond The Pines

There are a number of phrases that leap out from a film’s marketing push that immediately make me want to consign it to the ‘don’t bother’ dump.

Any reference to found footage, teenage werewolves, the syrupy stories of Nicholas Sparks and the two words ‘Adam’ and ‘Sandler’ anywhere in the same sentence will do it.

So will anything along the lines of ‘Tom Cruise must fight to save the human race in this epic sci-fi spectacular.’

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And in Oblivion, the screen world’s shortest A-list Scientologist has to do just that.

Sadly, I just can’t take him seriously any more.

I’ll admit that he can be a much better actor than he is given credit for, but he comes with too much baggage, he’s too much of a star, to convince in any role he takes on these days.

Oblivion is one of those ‘more style than substance’ stories, directed by the man who pressed all the buttons for the recent Tron reboot – and is helming the third instalment, due out next year – in which tiny Tom is once again an everyman hero who, despite having a dead end job, somehow has the resources to save the day when push comes to shove. You know, like War Of The Worlds. remember?

Oh, and it’s ‘based on a graphic novel’ which is another of those phrases that make me look elsewhere every time.

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I certainly won’t be looking in any direction which might allow me to catch a glance of Scary Movie 5, for obvious reasons.

The basic problem with this spoof series, now in its 13th year, is that it’s never been scary and it’s never, ever, been funny.

The fact that this time around there are roles for Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan should tell you all you need to know about the stench of desperation that settles over the whole thing.

It’s been seven years since the last Scary Movie, and since then found footage has been the flavour of the month, so as well as lame jokes and poor acting you get wobbly cameras. Enjoy.

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The best film of the week by some distance sounds as if it should be another lame lump of horror hokum, but The Place Beyond The Pines stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt rider turned reluctant bank robber and Bradley Cooper as the cop determined to put the brakes on his criminal career.

It sounds like pretty routine cops and robbers fare, but that’s just the central spine of a sprawling family drama that is well worth watching.

Gosling continues to impress, Cooper builds on his Silver Linings Playbook buzz and there’s a welcome role for Ray Liotta in an impressive ensemble cast.

The whole thing is overseen by Derek Cianfrance, who teamed up with Gosling for 2010’s Blue Valentine and is rapidly becoming a name to watch.

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