And lo, it came to pass: Tim hated, as in outright loathed, almost all the films to be released in the UK in a given week. I've been subjected to some crushing line-ups in my time, but I'm not sure any have been quite so dire as the hellish triple threat of Shopgirl, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and Underworld: Evolution, the cumulative effect of which was enough to make sampling cow dung suddenly look like quite a tempting career change. I'll be struggling to find anything nice to say about these wretched flicks come Friday: the stillborn Shopgirl has a promising performance from Claire Danes, until you realise that Mirabelle Buttersfield, her very name a transparent fiction, might as well be a centrefold in Steve Martin's porn stash for all the dimensionality she's given; Terrence Howard keeps threatening to walk off with Get Rich in his back pocket, but then thinks better of it and slinks quietly off-screen to let Fiddy and Jim Sheridan seriously propose gangsta rap as a redemptive and ennobling alternative to ghetto violence; and the Underworld sequel, which in better surroundings would probably be getting an F, at least never sets out with anything other than face-value intent to be unrelievedly oppressive, soul-destroying rot.
The only comparatively bright spot was the perky and half-intelligent Fun With Dick and Jane, a marginal improvement on the original movie, and still a bit of a mess. But a forgivable mess. I think I'd go easy on the Exxon oil spill in a week like this.
Shopgirl - F
Get Rich or Die Tryin' - F
Underworld: Evolution - D-
Fun With Dick and Jane - B-