The Adventures of Pinocchio
Time Out saysLandau, as the lonely puppeteer Gepetto, tries his best to bring some heart to this live action version of the rich dark fantasy, and though the effects (digital technology and Jim Henson's Creature Shop) don't always seamlessly integrate Pinocchio with his surroundings, the decorative period detail still gives a strong flavour of Carlo Collodi's imagination. The film starts well with jaunty knockabout fun as the animated Pinocchio runs rings round teacher Sessions and baker's missus Dawn French, but then comes the point where it looks as though someone got cold feet. Just when you think you're about to get a solidly traditional rendering, bets are hedged by wheeling on a computer-generated cricket sounding like a sixth-rate Woody Allen, ginger-coiffed comic baddie Schneider, and a dreadfully out-of-place MOR rock ballad from Brian May. Enjoyably extravagant wickedness from Kier's rival marionette-master and tempter of naughty little boys.