Max Simkin (Adam Sandler) owns a small shoe shop in New York that is almost as rundown as he is. When his stitching machine breaks one night, the bashful cobbler is forced into the basement to blow the dust of an old pedal-powered contraption. Max soon realises the vintage machine gives him the ability to transform into the owner of any footwear he works on and after walking a mile in other people’s shoes (quite literally), his stance on life and the community begin to change.
Admittedly the premise leads to a number of amusing circumstances, as Max is given a voyeuristic window into the lives of others, although this insight never goes beyond the surface level, preferring a few cheap laughs over depth and substance. The only real emotion comes from a semi-oedipal scene in which Max puts on a pair of his father’s shoes to grant his mother her wish of seeing her long-vanished husband one more time.
This aside, The Cobbler largely neglects to utilise its high concept potential and the result is a 21st century fairytale failure.
This modern day American western sees two brothers, Jakey (Anton Yelchin) and Buddy (Chris Marquette), reunite for the first time in eight years in their dusty Texas hometown. While Jakey moved to New York and found success, Buddy stayed at home, where he was manipulated by the local crime kingpin. In fear of losing one of his men to retirement, drug lord Julius Hench (Vincent D’Onofrio) sets about testing the bonds of brotherhood. Bollywood director Vidhu Vinod Chopra makes a rocky crossover with an English language debut that, sadly, misses the mark and fails to convince.
The Longest Ride
The 10th adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel weaves the story of a modern college girl (Britt Robertson) who falls for the local wannabe champion bull rider (Scott Eastwood) together with that of a World War Two veteran and his wife, played out through flashback. The two strands are wildly incongruous and if you’ve seen previous works like The Notebook and Dear John, then you know exactly what sort of picture-perfect sickly-sweet romantic melodrama waits in store. Unfortunately, the 128 minutes of The Longest Ride seem just that: long.
Preview: The DUFF
After realising she has been consigned to the latest addition to the social pecking order, the Designated Ugly Fat Friend – or DUFF for short – Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) sets about instigating a revolution against the established order by hanging out with the star of the high school football team, who promises to smooth her rough edges in return for improving his academic grades.
Bollywatch: Solid Patels
When their get-rich-quick scheme falls flat on its face, Tom and Jerry Patel (Shiv Pandit and Kettan Singh) must come up with another way to keep their girlfriends happy and their investors at bay. Slated for release next month, Solid Patels looks set to be a rollercoaster comedy about two Gujarati boys who want to get ahead in life without working too hard.