DVD reviews

Horton Hears a Who and What Happens in Vegas released on DVD.

Horton Hears A Who!
Dir. Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino 2008

The harebrained title doesn’t exactly fill one with a desire to rush out for a ticket, but then this is a Dr Seuss adaptation, so I guess anything goes. When Horton the elephant (voice of Jim Carrey) hears a high-pitched plea for help emanating from a ‘speck’ that drifts past his over-sized ears, he’s convinced it’s not a figment of his imagination.

Cue tracking shot into the bowels of the speck where we alight upon the inhabitants of the wacky, microscopic town of Who-ville. It emerges that even a puff of wind could cause havoc here so, following a request from Who-ville’s Mayor, the happy-go-lucky pachyderm takes charge and spends most of the film protecting it, much to the consternation of a matronly kangaroo who, in one of several references to faith and morality, believes his wild imaginings will soil the minds of the young.

Blue Sky Studio’s latest CGI creation is aimed squarely at youngsters who’ll appreciate the jocular banter, cute characters, rich colour palette and fanciful backdrops. But what a shame there’s so much padding.
Derek Adams
Dhs85 from Virgin Megastore

What Happens In Vegas
Dir. Tom Vaughan 2008

It’s surprising that Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz haven’t starred together before: both specialise in gorgeous goofballs, and he’s no stranger to older women… And while they rub along fine in this rom-com, it’s no thanks to the contrived plot.

Diaz plays career woman Joy, who decides to let her hair down in Vegas after being dumped by her boyfriend. There, she meets Kutcher’s likeable layabout, Jack. A few hours and many tequilas later, they’re husband and wife. The next morning, annulment plans are shelved when Jack wins the jackpot using Joy’s quarter: if they divorce, she might get half. However, a judge freezes the winnings and orders the bickering pair to make a go of their marriage.

And so this odd couple must live together and play happy families for their psychiatrist (Queen Latifah). Much sitcom humour follows, mostly drawing on well-worn gender observations: she spends ages in the bathroom, he pees in the sink and so on. Sometimes, the accompanying dialogue is snappy enough to raise a laugh. More often, the humour comes from another source: the Best Friends. Lake Bell steals the show as Joy’s mouthy mate, Tipper, who develops a love-hate relationship with Jack’s misogynist pal who is actually called Hater (Rob Corddry).

In fact, a comedy about these two fighting like cat and dog would have been much funnier. As it is, it’s a bland comedy punctuated by the odd witty moment. The inevitable romance is so routine it barely merits a mention.
Anna Smith

Dhs85 from Virgin Megastore

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